VF-21 Freelancers F-11 Tiger Model
A handcrafted F-11 Tiger with VF-21 Freelancers! Each piece is carved from wood and handpainted to provide a piece you’ll love.
Length – 18 inches
VF-43 was a Fighter Squadron of the U.S. Navy. The squadron was originally established as Fighter Squadron 74A (VF-74A) on 1 May 1945, it was redesignated Fighter Squadron 74 (VF-74) on 1 August 1945, redesignated VF-1B on 15 November 1946, redesignated VF-21 on 1 September 1948, redesignated as Attack Squadron 43 (VA-43) Challengers on 1 July 1959 and Fighter Squadron 43 (VF-43) on 1 June 1973. It was disestablished on 1 July 1994
VF-1B was assigned to Carrier Air Group One (CVBG-1), aboard USS Midway and was embarked on Midway’s first deployment from 29 October 1947 to 11 March 1948 to the Mediterranean.
VF-21 was assigned to Carrier Air Group Six (CVG-6) and deployed to the Mediterranean aboard USS Midway from 9 January to 5 May 1952.
VF-21 was assigned to Air Task Group 181 (ATG-181) aboard USS Forrestal from 24 January to 31 March 1956 during her shakedown cruise in the Atlantic, and aboard USS Bennington for a Western Pacific deployment from 15 October 1956 to 22 May 1957.
VF-21 was assigned to Carrier Air Group 8 (CVG-8) aboard the USS Ranger in 1957 and served on Ranger’s shakedown cruise from 4 October to 6 December 1957. This would be VF-21’s last deployment.
On 1 July 1959 VF-21 was redesignated as Attack Squadron 43 (VA-43) and became a fleet replacement squadron for the F-11 Tiger and later the A-4 Skyhawk. The squadron subsequently adopted the moniker of the “Challengers” in 1961.
In June 1973, the squadron was redesignated as Fighter Squadron FORTY-THREE (VF-43) and was assigned as an Atlantic Fleet adversary squadron at NAS Oceana, Virginia in support of training Atlantic Fleet fighter squadrons collocated at NAS Oceana. In this role, the squadron would fly the A-4F/J and TA-4F/J Skyhawk II, the T-38A Talon, the F-16N Fighting Falcon, and the F-21A Kfir, the latter being an Israeli-built modification of the Dassault Mirage 5. The squadron also conducted instrument proficiency training and spin training in the T-2C Buckeye.  Following the end of the Cold War and subsequent reductions in the U.S. defense budget, VF-43 was identified for disestablishment. Following VF-43’s inactivation in July 1994, its mission was assumed by strike fighter and fighter composite squadrons in the Naval Air Reserve. At NAS Oceana, this mission is primarily accomplished by Fighter Composite Squadron 12 (VFC-12).
May 1949 – September 1949 with CVG-2 aboard USS Coral Sea (CVB 43)
January 1951 – May 1951 with CVG-6 aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB 42)
January 1952 – May 1952 with CVG-6 aboard USS Midway (CVB 41)
August 1952 – October 1952 with CVG-6 aboard USS Midway (CVB 41)
December 1952 – May 1953 with CVG-6 aboard USS Midway (CVA 41)
September 1953 – February 1954 with CVG-7 aboard USS Bennington (CVA 20)
November 1954 – June 1955 with ATG-181 aboard USS Randolph (CVA-15)
January 1956 – March 1956 with ATG-181 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)
October 1956 – May 1957 with ATG-181 aboard USS Bennington (CVA 20)
October 1957 – December 1957 with CVG-8 aboard USS Ranger (CVA 61)
March 1958 – May 1958 with CVG-8 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)