Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= Strike Fighter Squadron One Four Three
caption= VFA-143 Insignia
Close air support Air interdiction Aerial reconnaissance
Carrier Air Wing Seven
garrison= NAS Oceana
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
nickname= "Pukin Dogs"
Gulf of Tonkin Incident Operation Pierce Arrow
Operation Desert Shield
Operation Desert Storm Operation Southern Watch Operation Enduring Freedom
decorations= FFARP trophy
Tactical Reconnaissance trophy
Battle Efficiency "E", 1990
Joseph C. Clifton Award
Strike Fighter Squadron 143 (VFA-143) also known as the "Pukin Dogs" are a
United States Navystrike fighter squadron based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. The Pukin Dogs are an operational fleet squadron and flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet. They are currently attached to Carrier Air Wing Sevenand deployed aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69). [ [http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=26518 Carrier Air Wing 7 Begins OEF Missions] ]
Insignia and nickname
The squadron adopted its current insignia in 1953, a winged black lion (or a mythical
Griffin) on a blue shield. There are two tales on how the distinctive squadron name came about: the popular version is that when the Griffin design was unveiled a female observer commented that the creature’s droopy head and gaping mouth made it looked like a dog throwing up. Some say that the nickname originated in Vietnamwhen a USAFpilot remarked on how the beast resembled a vomiting canine. Either way, the legend of the World Famous Pukin’ Dogs had begun.cite web
title = Strike Fighter Squadron ONE FOUR THREE [VFA-143]
publisher = US Navy
url = http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/vf-143.htm
accessdate = 2006-12-30 ] In the politically correct aftermath of the
Tailhook scandalin 1991, the squadron was forced to officially rename itself the "Dogs". This official banishment was widely ignored until Admiral John Mazach, Commander of the Atlantic Fleet Naval Air Force, rescinded the policy in a 1996 speech to the squadron.
Two Navy squadrons have held the designation VF-143. The first was established on 20 July 1950 as VF-821, and redesignated VF-143 on 4 Feb 1953. This squadron was disestablished on 1 April 1958. The second VF-143 was established in 1950, was eventually redesignated VFA-143, and is the subject of this article.
VFA-143 began as VF-871, a reserve F4U-4 Corsair squadron based at
NAS Alamedacalled to active duty on 20 July 1950. The squadron deployed twice during the Korean War, flying from the aircraft carriers USS Princeton (CV-37)and USS Essex (CV-9). On 4 Feb 1953, the squadron was redesignated VF-123 and transitioned to the F9F-2 Panther. In April 1958they transitioned to the F3H Demonand were redesignated VF-53.
On 20 June
1962, the unit was redesignated VF-143 and began its transition to the F-4 Phantom. They deployed seven times during the Vietnam War. The squadron was credited with the downing of a MiG-21in 1967.
The last VF-143 Vietnam deployment commenced in September 1972 with Carrier Air Group (CAG) 14 aboard
USS Enterprise (CVN-65). On the last day of official American hostilities, a squadron "Phantom" was struck by AAA fire near Quang Tri while performing one of the last combat missions of the war. Executive Officer, Cmdr Harley Hall and his RIO ejected near the coast and both were seen alive on the ground by their wingman. Hall's RIO was captured by North Vietnamese and returned from captivity a few months later. Cmdr Hall became the last Naval Aviator listed as Missing in Action(MIA). Two weeks after the shoot down, however, his status was changed from MIA to " Prisoner of War(POW), authenticated", a designation held until he was declared deceased in February 1980.
The squadron returned to NAS Miramar in June 1973, and three months later made a final "Phantom" deployment to the Mediterranean. In
1974VF-143 transitioned to the F-14 Tomcatand then changed homeport to NAS Oceanain 1976. VF-143, along with sister squadron VF-142, were aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69)for her maiden voyagein 1979.
In 1980 VF-143 deployed to the
Indian Oceanin response to the Iran-Iraq war, setting a Navy underway record of 153 days. VF-143 soon gained Tactical Air Reconnaissance Pod System (TARPS) capability, and provided the first time imagery of the new Soviet aircraft carrier Novorossiyskand the new Soviet Slava class cruiser. On August 5, 1983, VF-143 intercepted five Libyan MiG-23s some 220 kilometers south of "Eisenhower" in the Mediterranean Sea. No weapons were fired during these encounters but the situation was "very tense". [ [http://www.acig.org/artman/publish/article_357.shtml Libyan Wars, 1980-1989, Part 3 - Operation "Manta" By Tom Cooper] ] The Pukin’ Dogs became the first to fly combat TARPS missions when they flew 45 combat reconnaissance sorties over Lebanonin the autumn of 1983.
VF-143 was one of the first squadrons to deploy with the F-14A(+) (later renamed F-14B), in March
1990aboard "Eisenhower".When Iraqinvaded Kuwaitin August 1990, "Eisenhower" and her battle group rushed to the Red Seato deter the Iraqis from further advancement into Saudi Arabia. In late August, USS Saratoga (CV-60)relieved "Ike".
In early 1991, VF-143 was awarded COMNAVAIRLANT’s 1990 Battle Efficiency Award as the Atlantic Fleet’s finest fighter squadron. In addition, VF-143 was awarded the
Chief of Naval Operations Rear Admiral Joseph C. CliftonAward. In May 1991 during the Air Wing’s detachment to NAS Fallon, VF-143 dropped air-to-ground ordnance for the first time. In September, the squadron deployed to the Persian Gulf, and participated NATOexercises in the Norwegian Sea.
1992, the "Pukin’ Dogs" and the rest of CVW-7switched aircraft carriers to the USS George Washington (CVN-73), the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier. VF-143 deployed for "Washington’s" maiden cruise and then again for the carrier’s first Mediterranean Seadeployment in May 1994where she took part in the 50th anniversary commemoration of the D-Dayinvasion and Operation Deny Flight. The VF-143 was awarded the 1994 Battle E, Safety S, Joseph C. Clifton and Golden Wrench awards.
In December 1994, the VF-143 completed departed on their second deployment in fifteen months, operating in support of
Operation Decisive Endeavourand Operation Southern Watch. The squadron provided TARPS, Forward Air Controller, air superiority and air-to-ground missions. VF-143 returned to Oceana in July 1996.
1997, VF-143 transitioned to the Navy's newest carrier, the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), deploying in 1998. The maiden deployment took them to the Persian Gulf, spending 131 days there in support of Operation Southern Watch. VF-143 played key roles using LANTIRN, night vision gogglesand digital TARPS. VF-143 was recognized by COMNAVAIRLANT with the 1998 Battle “E” Safety "S" awards.
VF-143 deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch,
Operation Enduring Freedomand Operation Iraqi FreedomPhase II. The last deployment with the F-14 was in 2004aboard "George Washington" in support of Iraqi Freedom, during which time the squadron participated in strikes over Fallujahbetween April 28- April 29. [Tony Holmes (2005). "US Navy F-14 Tomcat Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom", Osprey Publishing Limited. - Ongoing Operations, page 87]
In 2005 VF-143 transitioned to the F/A-18E Super Hornet, and was designated Strike Fighter Squadron 143 (VFA-143) on (date).
The first deployment with the F/A-18E commenced in
2006and ended in the spring of 2007. During the cruise aboard "Eisenhower", VFA-143 supported Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and operations off the Somalicoast. [ [http://www.navy.mil/search/display.asp?story_id=29568 CVW-7 Sailors Complete an Eight-Month Deployment] ] .
Modern US Navy carrier air operations
List of military aircraft of the United States (naval)/ List of US Naval aircraft
United States Naval Aviator
United States Marine Corps Aviation
List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons
List of Inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons
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