The Flying Eagles
of VFA-122 trace their lineage back to VC-35, a "composite"
squadron composed of various models of the A-1 Skyraider. Commissioned on
25 May 1950 at NAS San Diego, VC-35's mission was to supply All-Weather
Attack and Anti-Submarine Warfare detachments for carrier deployments and
Pacific Fleet exercises.
VC-35 Detachment three was the squadron's first detachment to deploy. It
cruised to Korea from 9 NOV 1950 to 9 JUN 1951 and flew ASW patrols, night
"heckler" missions, and other combat sorties. These missions
became standard fare for VC-35 detachments deployed to support the United
Nations operations on the Korean Peninsula.
35 was redesignated as Attack Squadron (All Weather) 35 on 1 July 1956.
Three years later VA(AW)-35's mission was changed from "All-Weather
Attack" to "Fleet Replacement Training" on 29 JUN 1959. The
squadron was then redesignated Attack Squadron 122 (VA-122) to reflect this
change in mission. Known as the "Spad School", the squadron was a
component of Readiness Attack Carrier Air Wing Twelve and trained pilots
and maintenance technicians to support Fleet squadrons flying the A-1
In 1963, the
squadron moved to the newly completed NAS Lemoore and continued to fly the
Spad. The introduction of Vought Aeronautical Division's A-7 jet attack
airplane created a new era for VA-122. The first Corsair arrived in
November of 1966 and the squadron's name was changed from "Spad
School" to "Corsair College". Just two years and two months
after the first A-7 flights VA-122 graduates commenced combat operations
from the USS RANGER at Yankee Station.
In 1971 the
Corsair College name gave way to the squadron's current name, the FLYING
EAGLES, and the squadron continued its fine tradition of training pilots
and maintainers for another 20 years. On a sad day in May of 1991 VA-122
closed its doors. For 32 years VA-122 provided quality pilots and
maintainers for combat operations as varied as Vietnam and The First Gulf
The Flying Eagles
saw new life when the squadron redesignated to VFA-122 in January 1999 and
became the first squadron to operate the FA-18E/F Super Hornet. The
squadron's role remains the same as it was on the 29th of JUNE 1959: to
train replacement aircrew and maintainers for combat operations in a new
and challenging aircraft. The “Rough
Raiders” of VFA-125 Merged with VFA-122 in October 2010 to create one Fleet
Replacement Squadron in Lemoore.
Combining these two squadrons resulted in VFA-122 becoming the 10th
largest air force in the world with over 100 aircraft operating F/A-18 A-F
Hornet and Super Hornet aircraft.
VFA-122 trained aircrews have flown combat missions in support of
both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
of February 2016, NAS Lemoore no longer operated the F/A-18 A-D Legacy
Hornet. At that time the Flying Eagles of VFA-122 began solely operating
F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets. VFA-122 is still one of the largest air forces
in the world, with over 80 aircraft and continuing to provide quality
replacement aircrew and maintainers for the fleet.
The following links regarding VC-35 are
provided for those interested in learning more about the Skyraider and
The appearance of
external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the United States
Department of Defense, the United States Department of the Navy and
VFA-122, or the information, products or services contained therein. For
other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale,
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Defense, the Department of the Navy and VFA-122 does not exercise any
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Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD web