<-Phantom Squadrons - VF-11 RED RIPPERS
The Red Rippers were commissioned in 1927 as VF-5S in the earliest days of Naval Aviation at Hampton Roads, Virginia flying the Curtis F6C-3 HAWK. They served in both theaters of World War II, in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and in Operations PROVIDE COMFORT and SOUTHERN WATCH in the Iraqi theater. From the decks of the USS LANGLEY, America's first carrier, to the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69), the most powerful warship-airwing combination in the history of the world, the Red Rippers have written the history of Naval Aviation.
From their commissioning in 1927 until World War II, the Rippers flew a number of propeller aircraft including the Boeing F3B-1 and F4B-1, and the Grumman FF-1 and F3F-1 and held the following squadron designations: VF-5S, VB-1B, VF-5, and VF-4. During World War II, the Rippers (then known as VF-41) supported the allied invasion of North Africa, downing sixteen enemy aircraft in the Grumman F4F-3 WILDCAT. They then conducted the first air strikes against German forces in Norway in September 1943. The Red Rippers (re-designated VF-A) transferred to the Pacific theater in 1944 on board USS BUNKER HILL and USS ESSEX. There they flew the first air strikes against Tokyo in the Grumman F6F HELLCAT.
In 1948, the Red Rippers became Fighter Squadron ELEVEN (VF-11), their current designation. In the post-World War II years, the Red Rippers leaped into the jet age, flying the McDonnell F2H-1 BANSHEE. They flew the BANSHEE during the Korean War from the flight deck of USS KEARSARGE. In 1959, the Rippers transitioned to the Chance-Vought F-8 CRUSADER on board USS ROOSEVELT from where they helped to quell unrest in the Dominican Republic in 1961. In 1965, the Rippers moved to Naval Air Station Oceana flying the F-4B PHANTOM II and saw action against North Vietnam in 1967 off USS FORRESTAL (CV-59).
The Red Rippers transitioned to the F-14A TOMCAT in 1980 and made their first cruise deployed on USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV-67) in 1982. In 1984 the Rippers deployed off Beirut during the crisis there, with one aircraft sustaining damage from a suspected surface-to-air missile. On 30 May 1991, the Red Rippers made their final deployment with Carrier Air Wing SIX flying from the flight deck of USS FORRESTAL in support of Operation PROVIDE COMFORT in Northern Iraq. On 12 July 1992, the Red Rippers joined Carrier Air Wing FOURTEEN at Naval Air Station Miramar and began turn-around training in the F-14D.