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Crusader's Cross - 1961
from Anna Vanderpool
Black Celtic Fighting Lion - 1983
Courtesy of Christopher Weisse
From 1943 through 1961, VU-16 and VU-10's patch displayed a Proud Pelican pulling a target sleeve symbolic of the
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.
Harry S. Gann.
LCDR Lumpy Sudbeck.
Frank J. Mirande.
1943 - Mallards. Official name is Mallards but when assigned the F-8 Crusader, Squadron pilots unofficially took the name "Challengers".
1961 - 1993, Challengers.
October 26, 1943, Utility Squadron SIXTEEN (VU-16) was established in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
August 16, 1946, VU-16 was re-designated as Utility Squadron TEN (VU-10) at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
July 1, 1965, VU-10 was re-designated 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.
Date - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Location:
Oct 1943 - - - - - - San Juan, Puerto Rico
May 1944 - - - - - - Miami, Florida
Apr 1945 - - - - - - Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
No info yet.
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
1943 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Martin JM-1 (B-26) Marauder.
1947 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - F-8F Grumman Bearcat.
1954 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - F-9F Grumman Cougar.
1958 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - FJ-3 North American Fury.
1961 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - F-8 Chance Vought Crusader.
1966 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Grumman US-2 Tracker.
29 March 1975- - - - - - - - - - Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk.
13 July 1975 - - - - - - - - - - Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk.
*There is some disagreement on the dates that the Skyhawk Models arrived at VC-10.
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
No info yet
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
1983 & 1989
1979, 1982, & 1987.
CNO Safety Award
Meritorious Unit Commendation
October 26, 1943: Utility Squadron SIXTEEN (VU-16) was established in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Mallards were assigned the JM-1 Martin Marauder.
1943 through 1945: VU-16 participated in World War II (Caribbean).
August 16, 1946: VU-16 was re-designated 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 re-designated 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. A while 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.
1975??: VC-10 was assigned the Douglas A-4F Skyhawk and Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk.
April 30, 1976: LCdr. Roger Reff successfully ejected following a mid-air collision with Lt. Robert (Vess) Vessely. I reported aboard VC 10 shortly after the incident, to fly the A-4. I was briefed on the incident by one of the pilots, Lcdr. Roger Reff, who was flying the aircraft that was lost and had to eject. The other pilot involved, Lt Robert (Vess) Vessely had just transferred out. Roger and Vess were flying a two plane mission in support of a ship and had just gone feet wet heading south of GTMO. They were not in close formation and Roger lost sight of Vess, who was in the lead. As a result of the loss of sight, Roger gradually climbed and impacted the bottom of Vess'. The impact caused Roger's aircraft to break apart and as he passed into view of Vess, Vess called for Roger to eject, which he did. Vess' aircraft was badly damaged, but flyable, and Vess was able to safely get his aircraft back to Gtmo. This all took place in the late afternoon. Roger was picked up a short time later by the station helicopter. He suffered no serious injuries. As a footnote, Vess was involved in another midair in 1983, flying the A-7. He was killed when his A-7 and another A-7 collided at Roosevelt Roads. From John Waas USN -Ret, VC 10 1976-1978.
December 29, 1980: Cdr. Frank Riordan who is assigned to a squadron at Guantanamo Bay ejected from his A-4 (BuNo 154626) when it caught fire and 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. A U.S. Navy pilot ejects from stricken Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk, BuNo. 154626, 'JH', of VC-10, on flight from NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after engine failure and fire, spends 30 hours in the water before rescue shortly after midnight on Wednesday, 31 December, from the Atlantic ~ 45 miles S. of Bahamian island of Mayaguana by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter. Two Skyhawks departed Gitmo on routine training mission at 1500 hrs. on Monday, second pilot sees pilot Cmdr. Frank Riordan successfully eject from burning fighter with a good canopy ~240 miles NE of Guantanamo. Observer aboard U.S. Navy P-3 Orion out of NAS Jacksonville, Florida, spots strobe light on pilot's life jacket on Tuesday night, 28 December. Riordan recovered in good condition "except for a slight case of exposure", said a Coast Guard spokesman in Miami, Florida. The Greenville News, Thursday, 0 1 January 1981, page 16A. VC-10 TA-4J BuNo 154626 was destroyed at Bahama Islands after aircraft crashed into sea after engine failure, 29 December 1980. Pilot ejected, in water 38 hours. Naval Safety Center via Jim Winchester.
1983: Participated in Grenada Invasion.
February 15, 1984: Lt. James M. Merrill, 25, from Fleet Composite Squadron 10 at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was killed when his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 153528) crashed into the sea between Vieques Island off of Puerto Rico's east coast, and St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Capital, Saturday, February 18, 1984. The Navy suspended its search for the A4 Skyhawk piloted by Lt. James M. Merrill, 25, crashed into the sea off Puerto Rico between the islands of Vieques and St. Croix. No trace of the aircraft or its pilot has been found. Lt. Merrill was returning to NAS Roosevelt Roads after doing practice landings and take offs on one of the carriers (Saratoga and America) participating in the Navy's month long training exercises. The crash was reported by the pilot of a 2nd A4 Skyhawk flying with Merrill. The Newark Advocate, Saturday, 18 February 1984. VC-10 TA-4J BuNo 153528 was destroyed at Caribbean Sea when aircraft crashed into water while flying night approach under radar control. 15 February 1984. 1 fatality. Naval Safety Center via Jim Winchester.
1991: Participated in Haiti Crisis.
July 1, 1993: Fleet Composite Squadron TEN (VC-10) dis-established at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
1975-76: BuNo 152854, JH-6, parked on the ramp. Gary Verver Collection.
1976: BuNo 154626, JH-2, parked on the ramp. Gary Verver Collection.
MAY 1978: BuNo 153525 parked on the ramp. Bill Curry.
BuNo 153525, TA-4J, JH-04 about to land. Gary Verver Collection.
AUG78: BuNo 153528, JH-8, assigned to LTJG Eckhart, parked on the flight-line. 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 Collection.
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.
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.
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 Pic1, JH-3, in-flight over GITMO. Right side view of Proud Pelicans Skyhawk BuNo 152863, JH-3, in-flight over GITMO. The aircraft carries an AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile on each outboard wing pylon and five Mark 20 Rockeye 500-pound cluster bombs. US Navy photo, PH3 Logan. BuNo 152863 Pic2, Pic3, Pic4, Pic5, Pic6, Pic 7, Pic8, Pic9, Pic 10.
FEB89: Feb 1989 BuNo 153526, JH-5, parked on the ramp. Left rear view of VC-10 Proud Pelicans TA-4J Skyhawk BuNo 153526, JH-5, parked on the NAS Cecil ramp configured with a pair of drop tanks, February 1989. At right is VC-10 TA-4J BuNo 153486. Photo by R.E. Kling, G. Verver collection.
1989: BuNo 153486, parked on the ramp. Gary 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.
1993: BuNo 153525, TA-4J JH-9, parked. Gary Verver Collection.
JUN 2009: BuNo 153481 rots away at NAS Guantanamo Bay.
"This is the VC-10 Barracks. They were open-bay type barracks with individual "cubes" partitioned off with 2 or 3 men to a cube. The extensions to the first and second decks were added by the squadron sailors with the first deck being the Acey-Deucy suite and the 2nd deck being a squadron recreation room with a snack bar known at that time as the "Dew Drop Inn" because the E-4 that ran the place was John Dew." Jim Harvey.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit: