VF-151 Vigilantes F-4b (1965) Model
Fly off the USS Coral Sea again with the VF-151 Vigilantes in this 18 inch wood model. Each model is carefully carved and hand painted to provide a unique and treasured piece.
In Jul 1961, the squadron moved homeports to NAS Miramar and made the first of three WestPac deployments aboard USS Coral Sea (CV-43). In Jan 1964, the squadron transitioned to the two-seat F-4B Phantom and deployed for its first Vietnam War cruise on 7 Dec 1964. During the eleven month combat deployment, the squadron flew nearly 1500 combat sorties, including support of the 1965 Operation Rolling Thunder bombing campaign against military targets in North Vietnam. The Vigilantes returned to Southeast Asia on their second Vietnam deployment in December 1966 aboard USS Constellation (CV-64).
The squadron made its third deployment of the war aboard USS Coral Sea from July 1967 to April 1968. On October 24, 1967 the squadron’s commanding officer, CDR C.R. Gillespie, and his RIO, LTJG R.C. Clark, were shot down by a surface-to-air missile over North Vietnam. CDR Gillespie became a POW and was not released until May 1973. LTJG Clark died in captivity. In Mar 1968, Coral Sea, with VF-151 embarked, operated on station off the coast of Korea following the capture of USS Pueblo (AGER-2) by North Korea. The squadron deployed again in Sep 1968 with Carrier Air Wing 15 (CVW-15) aboard Coral Sea again following a short turn-around period. The squadron made its fifth combat deployment of the war in September 1969 aboard Coral Sea and flew more than 2100 combat sorties, more than any other Navy squadron in FY1970.