VA-25 “Fist of the Fleet” Squadron Patch (3 star) – Hook and Loop
A squadron patch of the VA-25 “Fist of the Fleet” with Hook and Loop
- 4″ Patch
- US Naval Aviator Owned Business
Attack Squadron 25, also known as the “Fist of the Fleet,” is a respected and experienced unit within Naval Aviation. The squadron was originally established in 1943 as Torpedo Squadron 17, and flew TBM and SB2C attack bombers from the USS HORNET during World War II. After the war, the squadron was rebranded as VA-65 and began flying the AD-1 “Sky Raider,” a propeller-driven aircraft also known as the “Spad.” In 1948, VA-65 became a founding member of the USS CORAL SEA carrier’s crew and also deployed aboard the USS MIDWAY, where it won its first Battle Efficiency award for being the top single-engine attack squadron on the east coast.
VA-65 was transferred to NAS Moffett Field at the start of the Korean War and deployed to Korean waters with Carrier Air Group 2 on the USS BOXER. During this deployment, the squadron flew a total of 1,645 combat missions. In 1959, the squadron was renamed VA-25 and moved to NAS Lemoore in California. From 1965 to 1968, VA-25 made three deployments to Southeast Asia on the USS CORAL SEA, during which its pilots flew over 3,000 combat missions and dropped over 10 million pounds of ordnance on enemy targets. In 1968, VA-25 retired its A-1 “Spads” and became the last propeller-driven tactical squadron in the Navy.
VA-25’s next aircraft was the A-7B Corsair II, and after just four months of training, the squadron deployed for its fourth combat cruise to Southeast Asia. In the following two years, the squadron made two more combat cruises on the USS RANGER and dropped over 15 million pounds of ordnance on targets in Laos and Vietnam. VA-25’s 1974 deployment to the Western Pacific was its first non-combat deployment in over nine years.
In 1983, VA-25 began training on the new F/A-18A Hornet and was rebranded as Strike Fighter Squadron 25 (VFA-25) on July 1, 1983. In February 1985, VFA-25 deployed on the historic first deployment of the F/A-18 Hornet on the USS CONSTELLATION. During this deployment to the Western Pacific, VFA-25 won both the CVW-14 Bombing Derby and the CVW-14 Tailhook Award before returning to NAS Lemoore in August 1985.