VP-17 White Lightnings Squadron Patch – Sew On
Established as Reserve Patrol Squadron NINE HUNDRED SIXTEEN (VP-916) on 1 July 1946.
Redesignated Medium Patron SIXTY SIX (VP-ML-66) on 15 November 1946.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron SEVEN HUNDRED SEVENTY TWO (VP-772) in February 1950.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron SEVENTEEN (VP-17) on 4 February 1953, the third squadron to be assigned the VP-17 designation.
Redesignated Heavy Attack Mining Squadron TEN (VA-HM-10) on 1 July 1956.
Redesignated Patrol Squadron SEVENTEEN (VP-17) on 1 July 1959.
Disestablished on 31 March 1995.
Squadron Insignia and Nickname
The first insignia was submitted by the squadron for approval shortly after VP-916 had been redesignated VP-ML-66. It was approved by CNO on 25 September 1947. The design was circular with an Indian chief central, carrying a large bomb under his arm. The Indian’s left hand was raised over his eyes as if seeking the enemy. The subject
of the design, the American Indian, was symbolic of the tactical mission of the squadron,“ . . . scouting and search with ordnance participation.” The squadron designation was inscribed inside the design below the Indian. Colors: Indian, red brown flesh; tan leggings; dark brown moccasins; white feather headdress; rising sun, yellow with purple rays; bomb, blue with white stripes; squadron letters, brown. A photo copy of this design was not available in the squadron records.
The second squadron insignia was approved by CNO on 11 April 1951, shortly after VP-ML-66 had been redesignated VP-772. The American Indian was replaced with a nautical-looking eagle wearing a petty officer third class uniform. The bomb was under the eagle’s left wing pointing to a submarine periscope. The eagle, perched on the periscope, was giving a big wink with the left eye. The insignia was based on one of the primary missions for the squadron, antisubmarine warfare. The white-hat eagle represents an aircraft.that had made contact with a submarine and was prepared to release a bomb to complete the mission.
Colors: eagle, tan; beak, yellow; suit, blue; hat, white; bomb, yellow; periscope, black; water, blue; border, red; background, white.
A third insignia was submitted to CNO for approval after VP-772 was redesignated VP-17. CNO approved the design with minor changes on 11 May 1955. The insignia featured an eagle with raised wings, clutching a submarine in one claw and a bomb in the other. Three small white lightning bolts were highlighted on the wings and a large lightning bolt slanted downward between the upthrust wings.
The new squadron designation, Patron Seventeen was enclosed in a scroll at the bottom of the design.
The significance of the eagle was unchanged, with the bomb and submarine symbolizing the squadron’s primary assignment of ASW. Colors: eagle, brown body with white head; eyes and tongue, red; beak and claws, yellow; bomb, black; submarine, gray with black trim outline; sea, blue; small lightning bolts, white; large lightning bolt,
yellow; background, white; trim around patch and scroll, red; letters of squadron designation, yellow.
The fourth squadron insignia of VP-17 was approved by CNO on 22 December 1989. The new design
featured a surface vessel and a submarine, joined overhead by two white lightning bolts. The top of the
design was a rainbow. The two vessels typify the dual mission of the patrol squadrons of antiship and antisubmarine
warfare. The rainbow symbolized the squadron’s affiliation with the “Rainbow Fleet” of
PatWing-2 at NAS Barbers Point, Hawaii. Colors: rain bow, red, yellow, green and blue; lightning bolts,
white; surface ship, gray; submarine, black; sea, bluegreen; border of design, blue; letters of squadron at
bottom, white on background of light blue. The fifth and final insignia of the squadron was a
return to the third, more historic version originally approved after the squadron became VP-17 in 1953. The design and colors remained essentially unchanged from the earlier version. The request for the reversion to the earlier design was approved by CNO on 26 March 1993.
Nickname: White Lightnings, 1959–1995.