VAW-13 “Zappers” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron Home » NAS Units » VAW-13 “Zappers” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

vaw-13-zappers-patchVAW-13 was born on Agana, Guam September 1, 1959. The planes assigned to the squadron were AD-5Q and AD-5W Sky Raiders, referred to by squadron personnel as “Queens”. The designation was changed several years later to EA-1F. The Tail Code was V R “Victor Romeo” and the call sign on the UHF Radio was “Robinson”. The Squadron was known as the “Zappers” and the Green Dragon with Lighting Bolts became the Squadron Patch.

The Squadron operated out of Guam until they were re-assigned stateside to NAS Alameda, Calif. July 22, 1961. In June and July of 1961, members and planes from VAW-11 Stationed at NAS North Island, Calif prepared for transfer to VAW-13. All AD 5 Q’s from VAW-11 along with the support group and pilots were then transferred to VAW-13 arriving in July & August of 1961.

VAW-13 took on the full time duty of an Electronic Warfare (ECM) Squadron and VAW-11 became a fulltime Anti-Submarine Squadron.

VAW-13 supplied a minimum of two planes and support personnel to every Aircraft Carrier that deployed to Westpac for the next several years.

A Detachment at NAS Cubi Point, PI was maintained by VAW-13 from April/May of 1962.This Detachment was known as Det.One.

On September 30, 1968 VAW-13 and its Sky Raiders passed into the Naval History books as one of the last great propeller Squadrons to serve in the US NAVY but the love of the plane and all its personnel live on.

On October 1, 1968 VAQ-130 was born out of the men and women from VAW-13 and live on to this day. This is another story for other Sailors to tell.

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— provided by Mr. Wayne (Smitty) Smith, and Mr. Robert T. Kingzett

11 thoughts on “VAW-13 “Zappers” Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

  1. Request assistance in obtaining a copy of COMFAIRALAMEDA Instruction 3310.5 (late 1950’s) containing “Sandblower” mission routes/checkpoints.
    I am researching my fathers aviation career and I am specifically looking for information on the “Sandblower #12” mission route. Sandblower routes are identified in this instruction.

    Thank You.

    1. We do have archives, but the info is not cataloged, much less digitized for access. Good luck with your search.
      Robbie Dileo, Secretary

    1. I am also looking for a Zapper patch. Were you in VAW-13? I was there from 64-66. I would be glad to contact you if I locate patches.

  2. I served on the USS Midway in 1965. The enlisted men from VAW 13 used our AQ shop (VF-21) to perform maintenance on their ECM gear. On June 2, 1965 their plane was shot down. The names of those men who were lost that day are listed below. I have a photo of the plane they were flying although it was covered with a silver covering which I believe was put on before their plane was craned aboard in Alameda. It was as shown in the photo I have when we came aboard. if anyone has an interest in the photo feel free to contact me.

    LTJG M.D. McMican, pilot; LTJG Gerald M.
    Romano, navigation officer; Petty Officer Third Class William H. Amspacher,
    Electronic Countermeasures Operator, and ATN 3 Thomas L. Plants.

  3. I was in VAW 13 from 1966 to 1970, so was my brother.
    Michael hill and James hill.
    I do have the original vaw13 patch and the heavy one patch.

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