Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). See FAQ/Research/Contact link under [SA] in the menu.
Dedicate this page to a former VX-4 Evaluator Pilot or Bluejacket. The Skyhawk Association is looking for a Pilot or Bluejacket whose loss of life, while assigned to VX-4, merits the posthumous dedication of this web page: email email@example.com
VX-4 Robert Lay patch 1975
Jim Nicholas, AE1 Ret.
The original VX-4 came to life in 1950 at a base in New England, where it's primary focus was the development of AEW systems. After moving to Pax River the squadron disestablished in 1951.
The second VX-4 was commissioned at NAS Point Mugu on 11 September 1952 & spent it's whole life dedicated to the operational test and evaluation of fighter aircraft and systems destined for fleet units. In April 1994 VX-4 was combined with VX-5 from NAWC China Lake to form the VX-9 Vampires.
In it's 42 year history VX-4 had one aim:- to subject new aircraft, systems and weapons to the type of punishing service they could expect with fleet units. VX-4 found the limits, ensured new systems met their promises and reported back to NAVAIR as to which were worth expenditure on. As a result VX-4 was primarily an operational unit, assigned a test role. Aircrew had to keep up with Fleet requirements for carrier qualification, ACM and more. In addition to deciding which kit was worth buying the unit wrote manuals and developed tactics for systems prior to fleet introduction.
Being involved in evaluating all new systems destined for the fleet meant that during it's life the squadron operated almost every type of fighter aircraft the Navy has flown since 1952. The first F-14A arrived September(?) 1972, fresh from Naval Air Test Centre evaluation. VX-4 carried out OPEVAL for the F-14A (in much the same way that VX-9 is currently undertaking OPEVAL for the F/A-18E/F), ensuring it was ready for the rigors of shipboard life and developing, then writing the tactics and manuals that would cover not only how it fought, but how it was maintained.
; VX-4 then became involved in the AIMVAL/ACEVAL tests of the late 1970's, which saw F-14As from VF-1 and VF-2 deploy to Nellis AFB for several months of tests, flying against F-5s and F-15s. The results helped forge US fighter fundamentals for the 1980s and 90s and also provided vital data for the formulation of requirements that would lead to development of the AIM-120 AMRAAM.
The Evaluators helped prove the F-14/AWG-9/AIM-54 mix, ensuring it could meet it's promised multi-target track and engagement requirements. A F-14A from VX-4 was the aircraft that engaged six drones at various speeds and altitudes on the 8th of June 1973. Pilot 'Smoke' Wilson and RIO Jack Hawver fired six AIM-54's in 38 seconds. Despite one missile having an in flight malfunction and a drone going off course the test was a success - four drones were destroyed and another scored as a lethal miss. The F-14A had passed it's toughest test, one that reduced the threat of the Tomcat being cancelled, a very real threat at that time.
NAS Point Mugu, CA
No info yet.
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
20 March 1959- - - - Douglas YA4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk *
15 March 1961- - - - Douglas A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk *
24 january 1958- - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
26 April 1962- - - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk
1 October 1973 - - - Douglas A-4F Skyhawk
15 April 1969- - - - Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk
6 May 1975 - - - - - Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
197? - - - - - - - - Grumman F-14A/D Tomcat
196? - - - - - - - - Grumman A-6A, A-6E & A-6F Intruder
19?? - - - - - - - - Lockheed DC-130H Hercules
195? - - - - - - - - McDonnell/Douglas F/A-18 Hornet
19?? - - - - - - - - McDonnell F4H-J & F-4S Phantom II
19?? - - - - - - - - CH-46 Sea Knight
* November 30, 1962
The YA4D-1 designation was changed to A-4A
The A4D-1 designation was changed to A-4A
The A4D-2 designation was changed to A-4B
The A4D-2N designation was changed to A-4C
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
Assumed Command - - - - - Commanding Officer
Aug 1945 - - May 1948 - - Cdr. Lucien A Dodson
No info yet
No additional info
January 19, 1970: Lt. John W. Smith, 27, ejected safely from his VX-4 A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 154316) just seconds before it plunged into the sea and sank about three miles off the Point Mugu coastline when it had a flameout on take-off. He was rescued by a Navy helicopter just 13 minutes after takeoff at 11:40 a.m. The helicopter was piloted by Lt(jg). Thomas L. Moss with crewmembers ADJ3 Bill Cramer and AN Steve Shaw. The Press Courier, Oxnard, CA, Monday, January 19, 1970 and January 20, 1970.
1992: VX-4 and VX-5 are merged into VX-9.
1958: VX-4 A-4B Skyhawk 142417, XF-41, and VX-4 A-4B 142675, XF-42. The 11 - foot, nearly 600 pound AGM-12/ASM-N-7 BULLPUP in the foreground will have two more stabilizing wings added in the rear, and two more control vanes added to the nose during installation. Information Services, Martin Co., Baltimore Div.
Circa 1959: BuNo 137814 on display for an open house. P. Stevens.
04 OCT 1963: VX-4 A-4B Skyhawk XE-41 , BuNo 142417, in flight with two Bullpup missiles. U.S. Navy
1972: Left side view of Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 152853, XF-21, assigned to LT J.J. Luthman parked on the ramp and painted in a tan/brown/green camouflage scheme. Unknown via W. Mutza.
NOV73: Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 154204 parked on the ramp. Jan Jacobs.
NOV73: Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 154204 making a low pass. Jan Jacobs.
Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 153674, XF-22, on the flight line. John Campbell.
Circa 1975: left side view of VX-4 Evaluators TA-4J Skyhawk BuNo 153674, XF-22, on the Moffett Field flight-line. Thanks go to Perry Clausen for giving us the location and time taken. Photographer unknown.
1975: VX-4 Evaluators TA-4J Skyhawk BuNo 153674, XF-22. Location. Photographer unknown.
20 SEP 1975: Left front view of VX-4 Evaluators TA-4J Skyhawk BuNo 153674, XF-22, on the ramp, Andrews AFB. P/C C.P. Clausen. Copyright R.W. Harrison.
24 SEP 1976: Right side view of Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 152853, XF-21. Verver Collection.
AUG 1977: Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 152853, XF-21. Verver Collection.
Evaluaters Skyhawk BuNo 149511, XF-40, armed with Sidewinders. Possibly taken at Pt. Mugu, CA. Captain Hook.
07 APR 1981: Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 153674, XF-22, in formation with VX-4 Evaluators F/A-18A Hornet XF-10. U.S. Navy.
01NOV81: Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 152853, XF-21, with MBER's and practice bombs at an open house. USAF F-15A Eagle s/n 77-132, tail code WA, at right.
DEC81: Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 152853, XF-21, on display at an open house. Verver Collection.
30 SEP 1982: Harpoon missile mounted on Evaluators Skyhawk BuNo 153674, XF-22, at the Pacific Missile Test Center. U.S. Navy.
No info yet.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit: