VF-33 Starfighters Squadron Patch – Sew on
A 4 inch squadron patch of the VF-33 Starfighters
The squadron was originally equipped with the Chance-Vought F4U-4 Corsair. It was assigned to Carrier Air Group Three (CVG-3) and made two deployments on the aircraft carrier USS Leyte. The first was to the Mediterranean Sea in mid-1950 quickly followed by a combat deployment to Korea from September 1950 to February 1951. For its action in the Korean War VF-33 earned the Navy Unit Citation. The squadron called themselves the “Tarsiers”, which was a fierce monkey. The squadron affectionately called their Tarsier “Minky”.
In 1964 the unit transitioned to the F-4 Phantom II and would fly the Phantom for the next seventeen years alongside its sister squadron VF-102. The first VF-33 Phantom was the F-4B, which they flew until 1967 at which time they moved up to the F-4J which featured better radar, higher thrust engines, slatted tailplanes, extra fuel cells and a larger main wheels to handle the increased weight. Between 1965 and 1968 Carrier Air Wing Six made the shakedown cruise and three deployments aboard the USS America.