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Courtesy of Frank Garza
VT-23 Griffin patch
Harry S. Gann
November 1, 1958: Advanced Training Unit TWO HUNDREDTWENTY-TWO (ATU-222) established.
May 1, 1960: Advanced Training Unit TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO (ATU-222) re-designated Training Squadron TWENTY-THREE (VT-23).
1958 - - - - - - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas
No info yet.
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
1958 - - - - - - - - - - - - Grumman F-11 Tiger.
1965 - - - - - - - - - - - - Grumman TF-9J Cougar.
10 April 1970- - - - - - - - Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk.
1972 - - - - - - - - - - - - North American T-2C Buckeye.
199? - - - - - - - - - - - - Boeing - McDonnald Douglas - British Aerospace T-45 Goshawk.
September 30, 1999 - - - - - VT-23 Boeing T-45C Goshawks were transfered to VT-7.
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
1973: CDR Donald Martin.
1998: CDR J. E. Tibbels
1999: CDR W. V. Martin
1959 - - - - - - Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award.
1960 - - - - - - Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award.
1967 - - - - - - Top Jet Squadron Award.
1970 - - - - - - Top Jet Squadron Award.
1970 - - - - - - The John H. Tower Trophy.
1972 - - - - - - Meritorious Unit Commendation.
1973 - - - - - - Vice Admiral Robert Goldthwaite Award.
1981 - - - - - - Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award.
1982 - - - - - - Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award.
1983 - - - - - - Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award.
1984 - - - - - - Chief of Naval Air Training Effectiveness Award.
1985 - - - - - - Chief of Naval Air Training Effectiveness Award.
1986 - - - - - - Chief of Naval Air Training Effectiveness Award.
November 1, 1958: Advanced Training Unit TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO (ATU-222) was established at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, flying the Grumman F-11 Tiger.
November 1958: ATU-222 was assigned the advanced pilot training final phases including: swept wing familiarization, formation flying, all weather instrument flying, tactics and air-to-air and air-to-ground gunnery.
May 1, 1960: Advanced Training Unit TWO HUNDRED TWENTY-TWO (ATU-222) was redesignated Training Squadron TWENTY-THREE (VT-23).
June 1965: Training Squadron TWENTY-THREE was assigned the Grumman TF-9J Cougar. Carrier qualification and air-to-ground rocketry training were added to the syllabus.
April 1970: Training Squadron TWENTY-THREE was assigned the Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk.
February 26 1971: Lt(jg). Gary J. Hagstrom, 26, (VT-23) ejected safely from his TA-4J Skyhawk (BuNo 153490) just before it crashed about 1/2 mile south of the NAS Kingsville runway at 10:17 a.m. today. The aircraft was returning from a solo training flight when the accident occurred. Corpus Christi Times, Friday, February 26, 1971.
March 4, 1971: Lt. George Hiduk, 26, IP, and Ens. Kenneth Pritchard, 23, (student) ejected safely from their TA-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 152849) shortly before it crashed four miles north of NAS Kingsville at 6:50 a.m. today. Both were taken from the crash site by helicopter. The crash started a small fire in land belonging to the King Ranch. Corpus Christi Times, Thursday, March 4, 1971. Lt. George Hiduk and Ens. Ken Pritchard parachuted to safety Thursday before their TA-4J Skyhawk crashed and burned in an open area near Bishop, TX, in Nueces County. Amarillo Daily News, Friday, March 5, 1971.
April 26, 1971: Lt(jg). Robert A. Day and Lt(jg). Jon D. Radford ejected safely after their TA-4J Skyhawks (BuNo 156913 & TA-4J BuNo 158089) collided in flight Monday over the Dixie Target Range in South Texas. They were on a practice bombing mission when the collision occurred. Lubbock Avalanche, Lubbock, Texas, Tuesday Evening, April 27, 1971.
August 4, 1971: Lt. Richard L. Perry, 30, (IP) Marine 1st Lt. T.L. Holt, 26, (student) ejected safely from their TA-4J Skyhawk (BuNo 156893) when it crashed 20 miles NW of NAS Kingsville at about 7:30 a.m. today. Both were picked up by a helicopter from NAS Kingsville. Corpus Christi Times, Wednesday, August 4, 1971.
May 2, 1972: TA-4J Skyhawk BuNo 153509 ... I was on the line crew and in charge of driving the plane captains to and from the needed aircraft. We'd had some rain the last several days so the ground was wet and muddy. TA-4J BuNo 153509 came in and no sooner had it landed it started to veer off the runway. It travel several hundred yards and then went completely off the runway. Since the ground was muddy one of the struts (could have been the nose strut) dug into the mud and the aircraft flipped with the engine still turning. A few seconds later some other instructor pilots jumped into my van and told me to drive. So there I go onto the taxiway and down the runway. When we got there both pilots were standing by the upside down aircraft. I'll never forget the look on the instructor, the Back Seater. He had his helmet in his hand and just looked at us. Mud and water dripping down his face. He looked like "Holy Shit I'm Alive" and a sick looking grin on his face. If I remember right his name was Lt. Bachelor. I don't remember the student or his name. We all knew most of the instructors, if I remember right Lt. Bachelor was the squadron safety officer.
The pilots jumped in the van and I took all of them back to the hangar. They eventually hauled the aircraft to an older runway and left it until its transfer. As luck would have it I got the chance to stand guard on it for several hours. Why? I never knew. Because over those hours all sorts of pilots came out to look at it. From Frank Garza. Pic 1, Pic 2, Pic 3, Pic 4, Pic 5, Pic 6, Pic 7, Pic 8.
Went to NARF Pensacola 19 September 1972 from VT-23 and was SOC NARF Pensacola 24 July 1975.
JUL72: BuNo 153467 3H-368 parked on the ramp. Gary Verver Collection.
August 22, 1972: Lt. Joseph Hart, 27, (VT-23) and Lt. Roger Kjosa, 28, (VT-24) ejected safely from their TA-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 156906) this morning before it crashed and burned in an open field about three mile north of NAS Kingsville, TX. The Corpus Christi Times, Corpus Christi, TX, Tuesday, August 22, 1972.
October 1972: The Navy switched training concept to parallel flow and the "Single Base Training Concept." VT-23s training mission changed to provided basic flight training in Transition, Precision Acrobatics, Basic Instruments, Radio Instruments, Night Flying, Formation Flying, Air-to-air Gunnery and Carrier Qualification. Training Squadron TWENTY-THREE was assigned the North American T-2C Buckeye to accomplish basic flight training.
Advanced flight training was now also accomplished at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. VT-23 graduates went "next door" to VT-21 or VT-22 for advanced flight training in the TA-4J Skyhawk.
1982: Training Squadron TWENTY-THREE was tasked with Grumman E-2 pilot training comprised of 68 training flights in the T-2C Buckeye. In 1985 this task was transferred to VT-4.
199?: Training Squadron TWENTY-THREE was assigned the Boeing T-45C Goshawk.
September 30, 1999: VT-23 Professionals were disestablished. Assets were transferred to Training Squadron SEVEN at Naval Air Station Meridian, Mississippi.
1971: left front view of Professionals Skyhawk 3H-330 in tension on the cat and ready to go. Harry Gann.
1974: VT-23 TA-4J. Watching a VT-23 TA-4J approaching the wires in 1974. From a photograph by Harry S. Gann.
Black & White of same A-4 Skyhawk as above, with wing tanks for supplementary fuel, approaches for landing on U.S. carrier. Note position of the Tailhook! Looks like the tail-code of the parked scooters ends in H, so maybe the Oriskany or the Kitty Hawk is the "Boat". Douglas photo from Gary Verver Collection that was part of the 27 Feb 1979 News Release from McDonnel Douglas.
VT-23 TA-4J. This VT-23 TA-4J, side number 3H-324 is pictured on the Luke Air Force Base Transit Line in the 1970's. From a photograph by Tony Suglio.
VT-23 158094 parked on the ramp, location and photographer unknown. The other a/c in the photo are and A-6, S-2 and C-97. From Gary Verver.
Date Unknown: TA-4J 158093 Col Robert Clapp via G. Verver.
MAY 1971: VT-23 TA-4J BuNo 156934, 3H-334. Photographer unknown, from Gary Verver Collection.
No info yet.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to VT-23.