VFA-14 Tophatters F/A-18 Tailflash
A beautifully carved 20-inch solid wood plaque of the VFA-14 Tophatters! Collect all your squadrons with truly artistic craftsmanship of the Navy’s finest symbols.
The use of naval aviation insignia is a modern form of heraldry that dates back to the early period of naval aviation in the 1920’s and captures many proud moments of its history. The practice fosters a sense of pride, unit cohesion and contributes to high morale, esprit de corps and professionalism within the community. It also serves as an effective means of preserving a command’s tradition, continuity of purpose and recognition, as traced through its lineage. The following rules are provided to ensure that all command insignia and slogans are in keeping with the highest traditions of the proud naval aviation heritage.
The Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) “Tophatters” are a United States Navy fighter attack squadron based at Naval Air Station Lemoore. They fly the F/A-18E Super Hornet, and are the Navy’s oldest active squadron, having formed in 1919. Their callsign is Camelot, and their tail code is NG. Since its inception the squadron has flown 23 different type aircraft, had its designation changed fourteen times, operated from 20 different aircraft carriers (and several battleships) and had 81 commanding officers (the 82nd is now in command). Over the years the squadron has been assigned many different missions, including patrol and observation in its early years, and scouting, attack, fighter, bombing and forward air control missions when it became associated with carrier-based operations. The squadron adopted the classic Top Hat as its squadron patch and called themselves the “High Hats”. Early years The Tophatters began carrier operations on board the Navy’s first aircraft carrier Langley in 1926. The squadron, then designated Fighter Plane Squadron One, set the record for carrier landings in a single day. Flying the TS-1, they logged 127 traps by the end of flight operations. In 1929 the squadron was assigned to Saratoga, where it began as a fighter squadron and transitioned to a bomber squadron. Throughout the 1930s, the Tophatters flew the FB-5, F2B, F4B, F11C-Goshawk, BFC, SB2C Helldiver and the SB2U-1 Vindicator. In 1939, while flying the Vindicator, the Tophatters were transferred to the Atlantic Fleet and Ranger.