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VC-10 Challengers

VC-10 Challengers

Point of Contact - Squadron Duty Officer (SDO)

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Crusader's Cross - 1961
Drawn by Anna Vanderpool

Black Celtic Fighting Lion - 1983
Courtesy of Christopher Weisse

Patch
  • From 1943 through 1961, VU-16 and VU-10's patch displayed a Proud Pelican pulling a target sleeve symbolic of the squadron mission.

  • From 1961 through 1969, VU-10 and VC-10's patch displayed a Crusader's Cross on a shield.

  • From 1969 through 1993, VC-10's patch displayed a Black Celtic Fighting Lion superimposed on a red, white and blue background.

Handle
  • 1943 - Mallards. Official name is Mallards but when assigned the F-8 Crusader, Squadron pilots unofficially took the name "Challengers".
  • 1961 - 1993, Challengers.

Heritage
  • October 26, 1943, Utility Squadron SIXTEEN (VU-16) was established in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  • August 16, 1946, VU-16 was redesignated as Utility Squadron TEN (VU-10) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

  • July 1, 1965, VU-10 was redesignated as Fleet Composite Squadron TEN (VC-10) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

  • July 1, 1993, Fleet Composite Squadron TEN (VC-10) disestablished at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Home Ports
  • Date - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Location:
  • Oct 1943 - - - - - - San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • May 1944 - - - - - - Miami, Florida
  • Apr 1945 - - - - - - Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

Air Wings
  • Date - - - - - - - - - - - - Tail code - - - - - - - Air Wing
  • No info yet

Deployments
  • Departure & Return - - - - - - - - Air Wing - Carrier - Aircraft - - Area of Operations:
  • No info yet


Aircraft
Commanding Officers
  • Date Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
  • 1943 - - - - - - - LCDR V. C. Wright
  • 1945 - - - - - - - LCDR W. D. Wilder
  • 1946 - - - - - - - LCDR C. G. Strum
  • 1947 - - - - - - - CDR T. L. Conroy
  • 1949 - - - - - - - CDR G. R. Egbert
  • 1950 - - - - - - - LCDR R. J. Sutherlin
  • 1951 - - - - - - - CDR S. Sterling, Jr.
  • 1952 - - - - - - - CDR T. B. Wolfe
  • 1954 - - - - - - - CDR D. E. McCoy
  • 1955 - - - - - - - CDR S. R. Stanul
  • 1957 - - - - - - - CDR A. L. Lane
  • 1958 - - - - - - - CDR M. E. Hrischi
  • 1959 - - - - - - - CDR R. H. Bookhamer
  • 1959 - - - - - - - CDR H. R. Poorman
  • 1960 - - - - - - - CDR F. C. Nugent
  • 1962 - - - - - - - CDR G. E. Buker
  • 1962 - - - - - - - CDR W. B. Moore
  • 1963 - - - - - - - CDR E. W. Keegan, Jr.
  • 1964 - - - - - - - CDR H. E. Lang
  • 1965 - - - - - - - CDR H. W. Kiker
  • 1965 - - - - - - - CDR T. D. Brown
  • 1966 - - - - - - - CDR R. C. James
  • 1967 - - - - - - - CDR D. F. Cross
  • 1968 - - - - - - - CDR P. Goslow
  • 1969 - - - - - - - CDR B. H. Ashley
  • 1970 - - - - - - - CDR T. D. Barrett
  • 1971 - - - - - - - CDR L. P. Walsh
  • 1972 - - - - - - - CDR E. W. Oehlbeck
  • 1973 - - - - - - - CDR S. L. Zwick
  • 1974 - - - - - - - CDR W. W. Miller
  • 1976 - - - - - - - CDR K. A. MacGillivary
  • 1977 - - - - - - - CDR K. J. Jaskolski
  • 1978 - - - - - - - CDR D. M. Snyder
  • 1979 - - - - - - - CDR J. J. Drew
  • 1981 - - - - - - - CDR F. P. Riordan
  • 1982 - - - - - - - CDR J. L. Unrau
  • 1983 - - - - - - - CDR C. E. Jones III
  • 1985 - - - - - - - CDR W. E. Mahew
  • 1986 - - - - - - - CDR J. E. Hilburn
  • 1988 - - - - - - - CDR E. D. Ulrich
  • 1989 - - - - - - - CDR G. G. Evens
  • 1991 - - - - - - - CDR J. W. Bean
  • 1993 - - - - - - - CDR K. C. Naumann

Events
  • October 26, 1943:
    Utility Squadron SIXTEEN (VU-16) was established in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Mallards were assigned the JM-1 Martin Marauder.
    Nicknamed the "3 a day in Tampa Bay" and "Martin Murder"
    Photo by Harry S. Gann.

  • 1943 through 1945:
    VU-16 participated in World War II (Caribbean).

  • August 16, 1946:
    VU-16 was redesignated as Utility Squadron TEN (VU-10) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

  • 1947:
    VU-16 was assigned the Grumman F-8F Bearcat.

  • 1954:
    VU-16 was assigned the Grumman F-9F Cougar.

  • 1958:
    VU-16 was assigned the North American FJ-3 Fury.

  • 1961:
    VU-16 was assigned the Chance Vought F-8 Crusader.

  • October 1962:
    Participated in Cuban Missile Crisis.

  • July 1, 1965:
    VU-10 was redesignated as Fleet Composite Squadron TEN (VC-10) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

  • 1966:
    VC-10 was assigned the US-2 Grumman Tracker.

  • While working night shift as a young strapping ADRAN and reading the squadron Plan of the Day, I noticed an announcement that the skipper was holding a contest to design the paint scheme for the new squadron A-4s that we were to transition to. The winner was to receive the first back seat checkout in the TA-4J after transition. Just for my own entertainment, I tore off the thin white paper wrapping from a tube of paper coffee cups, picked up an "Approach" magazine and found a picture of an A-4F. I traced the picture onto the torn off paper wrap and colored a design incorporating red, white and blue stripes in the aircraft wings and across the saddle area along with the red, white and blue vertical stab colors and JH squadron identifier already adorning the current F-8s assigned to the squadron. After completing the design I looked it over and decided that it didn't look all that bad. I put my name on the paper and put it in CDR Miller's suggestion box. Awhile later I was notified that I had won the contest! I unfortunately never did collect on the prize as I rotated out of the squadron prior to the receipt of even our first aircraft. It would have been a great treat to fly in the TA-4J as I was already qualified and flying as a Utility Aircrewman in the US-2B & US-2C aircraft as a tow reel operator.
    Jim Harvey
    AD-1, USN (Ret)

  • 1975??:
    VC-10 was assigned the Douglas A-4F Skyhawk and Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk.

  • December 29, 1980:
    Cdr. Frank Riordan when his TA-4J BuNo 154626 caught fire and he then spent 36 hours bobbing in the Caribbean Sea in his life jacket before being rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter from Puerto Rico.
    European Stars and Stripes, Saturday, January 3, 1981.

  • 1983:
    Participated in Grenada Invasion.

  • February 15, 1984:
    Lt. James M Merrill was killed when his TA-4J BuNo 153528 crashed between Vieques Island and St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    (Annapolis, MD)(?) The Capital article

  • 1991:
    Participated in Haiti Crisis.

  • July 1, 1993:
    Fleet Composite Squadron TEN (VC-10) disestablished at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Awards
  • Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:
  • 1983 & 1989
    • Battle E
  • 1979, 1982, & 1987.
    • CNO Safety Award
  • 1991
    • Meritorious Unit Commendation

Photographs


MAY 1978:
BuNo 153525 parked on the ramp.
Bill Curry

VC-10 Skyhawks in formation.

AUG 1978: BuNo 153528, JH-8, assigned to LTJG Eckhart, parked on the flightline.
Rob Mignard

1978: BuNo 154315, JH-9, assigned to ENS Pat 'Spud' Richards parked on the flight line.
Unknown photographer via W. Mutza

JUN 1982: BuNo 153526, JH-5, assigned to LTJG "Low Rider" Lockley, parked on the flightline.
Lionel Paul

05 Feb 1983 Proud Pelicans Skyhawk BuNo 153528, JH-2, parked on the flight line.
Photo by T. Paskowski, Gary Verver Colleciton.

15 Sept 1983 AO2 Robert McGill, left, AO2 John Zacko, and AOAN Lewis Ryan arm Proud Pelicans Skyhawk BuNo 153528, JH-2 prior to a training flight.
US Navy Photo, JO1 Gary Hopkins.

Jan 1986 BuNo 153526, JH-5, parked on the ramp at NAS Cecil.
Photo by R.E. Kling, G. Verver collection.

09 JAN 1987:
A member of Fleet Composite Squadron 10 (VC-10) checks the cockpit of a TA-4J Skyhawk, JH-5, aircraft parked on the flight line during a daily turnaround inspection.
Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class Angel Manseau of Fleet Composite Squadron 10 (VC-10) tapes exposed ordnance and disarms the 20 mm gun of a TA-4J Skyhawk aircraft (TA-4J BuNo 153526, JH-5). The procedure is part of a regular aircraft preservation routine and helps prepare it for a run through the wash rack.
Members of Fleet Composite Squadron 10 (VC-10) check the cockpit of a TA-4J Skyhawk (TA-4J BuNo 153526, JH-5) aircraft parked on the flight line during a daily turnaround inspection.
A member of Fleet Composite Squadron 10 (VC-10) inspects the inside of a TA-4J Skyhawk aircraft (TA-4J BuNo 153526, JH-5) air intake during a daily turnaround inspection.
Photos by PH1 Gary Rice, from Gary Verver.

Aug 1987 BuNo 153525, JH-9, parked on the ramp.
Photo by R.E. Kling, G. Verver collection.

26 Sept 1987 Proud Pelicans Skyhawk BuNo 153526, JH-5, parked on the flight line.
Photo by D. Brown, Gary Verver Collection.

01 Jan 1988 BuNo 152863, JH-3, in-flight over GITMO.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 BuNo 152863, JH-3, in-flight over GITMO.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 BuNo 152863, JH-3, in-flight over GITMO.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 uNo 152863, JH-3 flies along the Cuban coast.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 uNo 152863, JH-3 banks over the Cuban coast.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 uNo 152863, JH-3 banks over the Cuban coast.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 uNo 152863, JH-3 banks over GITMO.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 uNo 152863, JH-3 flies over GITMO.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 uNo 152863, JH-3 flies over GITMO.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

01 Jan 1988 uNo 152863, JH-3 in-flight over GITMO.
US Navy photo, PH3 Logan.

Feb 1989 BuNo 153526, JH-5, parked on the ramp.
Photo by R.E. Kling, G. Verver collection.

Guantanamo Bay, Cuba : A MD-3A tow tractor tows a Fleet Composite Squadron 10 (VC-10) TA-4J Skyhawk (BuNo 154312, JH-9) from a hangar.
Photo by PH1 Gary Rice.

JUN 2009:
BuNo 153481 rots away at NAS Guantanamo Bay.
"I was driving around NAS Guantanamo Bay and found this TA-4F fading away in the sun. The paint is very faded and I could not find a aircraft data plate to get the full BUNO. I could only find out that it was a TA-4J because of some part data plates inside the wheel well. But on one side of the tail you can make out the last 3 or 4 painted digits which should be the last numbers of the BUNO. They are 3481 with a possible 2 infront of the 3 making it a possible 23481. The aircraft was painted navy light gray. Also the modex is 00 on the nose. The pictures make it look like it is in better shape. But it is in the worst enviroment for a aircraft humidity and salt air. I was wondering if you might be able to locate a full BUNO and maybe a owning unit for this aircraft."
Pic 2
Greg


Sources:
  • Harry S. Gann.
  • LCDR Lumpy Sudbeck.
  • Frank J. Mirande.
  • Christopher Weisse
  • Jim Harvey
  • PH3 Logan
  • R.E. Kling
  • Gary Verver


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