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

16 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.

  4. I was NAESU tech rep at Alameda and Westpac 1967 – 68, Beach Det, Cubi Pt. Lots of rides in the C-130’s, Huey’s, Spads and EKA-3B’s. many beers at the Zapper Room Cubi BOQ.
    I knew Cdr Ned Ferris, Lcdr Moore, Lt Bob Bullock, Lt Vic brown, “Alfie” VAW-13 Maint Officer, Lcdr Paul Burgundy (first met Paul 1961 in VP-19, P-2V7 Hgr 39, COMFAIR Alameda) Cdr Markus, Lt Peterson, many more. Hats off and many thanks to the guys and long hours in AIMD shops that ‘kept em flying’. I served with USAF F-4J and C-141. Marine A4’s El Toro/Chu Lai and AH-1W TOW. My fondest memories are the guys who were the Zappers.

  5. I was with the original formation of V A W 1 3 in 1959 on Guam. I flew as aircrew ecm operator. Call sign on uhf Robison. My favorite plane was number 727. Pilot Lt. Egan was my favorite. CPt. Hitchcock was my commanding officer. During carrier landing qualifications i rode as observer for many of the new pilots. I remember one ensign Vidartie we made seven attempts before we caught a wire. My rank was AT2.

  6. I was with VAW 11 before transfering into VAW 13 prior to West Pac, cruise on USS Ranger in 1960.
    Our detachment left the carrier in Japan and we traveled to Guam, where we operated for the next 12 months.
    I was transferred out of VAW 13, and not happy for that! My last year of active duty I was assigned to VF 121 in Miramar, CA.
    VF 121 was a training squadron for the F4H-1 aircraft, which were new to the US Navy’s inventory, this assignment was good for me personally, but I still missed my old squadron VAW13, and my buddies!

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