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Strike Fighter Squadron 147
VFA-147 Insignia
Active February 1, 1967
Country 23x15px United States of America
Branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Type Fighter/Attack
Part of Carrier Air Wing Eleven
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station Lemoore
Nickname "Argonauts"
Engagements Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Southern Watch
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Commander Ernest Spence
Ceremonial chief CMDCM CMC Marsch
Aircraft flown
Fighter F/A-18E Super Hornet

Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147), also known as the "Argonauts", is a United States Navy strike fighter squadron based at Naval Air Station Lemoore California. VFA-147 flies the F/A-18E Super Hornet as part of Carrier Air Wing Eleven deployed to the USS Nimitz. Their tailcode is NH and their radio callsign is Jason.

Squadron Insignia and Nickname

The squadron’s insignia was approved by CNO on 30 June 1967. The squadron is named after a band of heroes in Greek mythology, Jason and the Argonauts), who searched the oceans in quest of adventure and personal reward.


File:A-7A VA-174 CVA-61 1968.jpg
An A-7A from VA-147 over Vietnam in 1968/69.

4 November 1967 25 May 1968 CVW-2 CVA 61 A-7A WestPac/Vietnam 26 October 1968 17 May 1969 CVW-2 CVA 61 A-7A WestPac/Vietnam


Attack Squadron 147 was commissioned as the Navy's First A-7A Corsair II squadron on February 1, 1967 in Lemoore, California. The squadron received its first A-7A on 28 June 1967, and in December 1967, the squadron flew its first combat missions, striking targets in North Vietnam from USS Ranger. This was the first introduction of the A-7 Corsair II in combat. The squadron would deploy a total of five times in support of the Vietnam War.

In January 1968 while embarked on USS Ranger (CV-61), the squadron flew support missions during the siege at Khe Sanh before the carrier was ordered from Yankee Station to the Sea of Japan following the capture of USS Pueblo (AGER-2) by North Korea on 23 January 1968. In April 1969 following the shoot down of a Navy EC-121 aircraft by the North Koreans on 15 April, Ranger, with VA-147 embarked, again left Yankee Station and proceeded to the Sea of Japan for operations off the coast of Korea. After deployment, the squadron upgraded to the A-7E in September 1969.
Lynn Garrison in his F4U-7 Corsair leads A-7s of VA-147 before first deployment to Viet Nam, 7 July 1967 over NAS Lemoore, California


The Argonauts deployed to WestPac/Vietnam aboard USS America (CV-66) in 1970, and USS Constellation (CV-64) in 1971-72. In May 1972, the squadron participated in the early phase of Operation Linebacker I, heavy air strikes against targets in North Vietnam.

In April 1972 the squadron participated in Operation Freedom Train, tactical air sorties against military and logistic targets in the southern part of North Vietnam. It also provided support for forces in South Vietnam following a massive invasion by North Vietnam on 1 April 1972. In March– June 1973 embarked on Constellation, VA-147 provided aerial support during Operation End Sweep, the removal of mines from North Vietnamese waters.

In November 1974, VA-147 embarked on Constellation, operated in the Persian Gulf. This was the first time in 26 years that an American carrier had entered and operated in the Persian Gulf. The Squadron won the Battle "E" Award in 1977 as the top Corsair squadron in the Pacific Fleet.


VA-147 deployed aboard Constellation in 1980 and 1981-82. During these deployments, the squadron remained ashore at NAS Cubi Point as CVW-9’s Beach Detachment as part of the "Swing Wing Concept" during most of Constellation’s deployment.

Between January 1984 and June 1987, the squadron deployed three times aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), including an around-the-world cruise.

In September 1988 while embarked on the first of two USS Nimitz (CVN-68) deployments, VA-147 operated in the Sea of Japan in support of the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea.

The squadron was redesignated Strike Fighter Squadron 147 (VFA-147) on 20 July 1989, and transitioned to the F/A-18C Hornet under the instruction of VFA-125. The squadron received its first LOT XII "Night Attack" Hornet in December 1989.


The Argonauts deployed to the Persian Gulf in March 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm during troop withdrawal operations. The Argonauts became the Navy's first operational FA-18 squadron to employ the Navigational Forward Looking Infra-Red PODS (NAV FLIR) and night vision goggles.

In June 1995 the Argonauts completed the transition to new LOT XVI/XVII FA-18C aircraft with the APG-73 radar and Enhanced Performance Engines. The Argonauts made deployments to the Gulf three more times in support of Operation Southern Watch aboard Nimitz.

In May 1998 the Argonauts conducted a wholesale swap of their Lot XVI Hornets for Lot XI Hornets from VFA-195.


After the September 11 attacks, the Argonauts participated in Operation Noble Eagle, flying combat patrols over Los Angeles from USS John C. Stennis. The squadron deployed aboard Stennis in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, conducting numerous strikes into Afghanistan against Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces. During these missions, VFA-147 also helped refine the employment of the JDAM (Joint Direction Attack Munition).

VFA-147 received the 2002 Battle E Award, recognizing the Argonauts as the top squadron in the Pacific Strike Fighter Wing.

File:F-18E of VFA-147 lands on USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in 2013.jpg
An F/A-18E of VFA-147 landing on USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in the Gulf of Oman, 2013.

VFA-147 deployed aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on 17 January 2003 to the Western Pacific for an 8-month deployment, maintaining a U.S. presence in the South China Sea and the Western Pacific.

The Argonauts next deployed on Carl Vinson with CVW-9 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in January 2005. CVW-9 was reassigned to USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) in 2007. VFA-147 was awarded the 2007 Battle “E”, and was named the U.S. Navy’s top F/A-18C Hornet Squadron for 2007 earning the Capt. Michael J. Estocin Award. The squadron began transitioning to F/A-18E Super Hornets in October 2007, and completed transition in February 2008. VFA-147 and CVW-9 deployed with the John C. Stennis on a scheduled Western Pacific deployment on 13 January 2009.

After 40 years of having been assigned to CVW-9, VFA-147 was reassigned to CVW-14 aboard the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) for two deployments in 2010 and 2011. The following year, the squadron was moved again, this time to CVW-11 aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68). VFA-147 participated in exercise RIMPAC 2012 and began a scheduled deployment to the Western Pacific and the Indian Ocean on 30 March 2013. After 2 extensions and after supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, VFA-147 returned home on December 12, 2013.[1]

See also

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External links