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VF-3 or Fighter Squadron 3
was known as the Felix Cat Squadron
, was a United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...
strike fighter squadron now inactive.
A number of fighter squadrons have been designated VF-3, most before World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...
. Officially, the U.S. Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons if a new squadron is formed with the same designation. Often the new squadron will assume the nickname, insignia, and traditions of the earlier squadrons.
The first VF-3 was established on 1 July 1922 and was disestablished in May 1924.
The second VF-3 was established when VF-6B was redesignated VF-3 on 1 July 1937. VF-3 served aboard the USS Lexington
USS Lexington , nicknamed the "Gray Lady" or "Lady Lex," was an early aircraft carrier of the United States Navy. She was the lead ship of the , though her sister ship was commissioned a month earlier...
until she was sunk during the Battle of the Coral Sea
The Battle of the Coral Sea, fought from 4–8 May 1942, was a major naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied naval and air forces from the United States and Australia. The battle was the first fleet action in which aircraft carriers engaged...
and the USS Yorktown
was an aircraft carrier commissioned in the United States Navy from 1937 until she was sunk at the Battle of Midway in June 1942. She was named after the Battle of Yorktown in 1781 and the lead ship of the Yorktown class which was designed after lessons learned from operations with the large...
until the Battle of Midway
The Battle of Midway is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of the Pacific Campaign of World War II. Between 4 and 7 June 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea and six months after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Navy decisively defeated...
. After Midway, the squadron served in several other posts, including the USS Enterprise
USS Enterprise , colloquially referred to as the "Big E," was the sixth aircraft carrier of the United States Navy and the seventh U.S. Navy ship to bear the name. Launched in 1936, she was a ship of the Yorktown class, and one of only three American carriers commissioned prior to World War II to...
until the end of the war. The commanding officer of the squadron during 1942 was then - Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander is a commissioned officer rank in many navies. The rank is superior to a lieutenant and subordinate to a commander...
John Smith "Jimmy" Thach was a World War II naval aviator, air combat tactician, and United States Navy admiral. Thach developed the Thach Weave, a combat flight formation that could counter enemy fighters of superior performance, and later the big blue blanket, an aerial defense against Kamikaze...
. After the battle of Midway, VF-3 and VF-6 swapped designations on 15 July 1943, resulting in a three year controversy as to which squadron owned the Felix name and emblem until VF-3 was re-designated VF-3A on 15 November 1946 and awarded the official approval to adopt Felix the Cat by the Chief of Naval Operations. VF-3A was then re-designated VF-31
VFA-31 or Strike Fighter Squadron 31 is known as the Tomcatters, callsign "Felix", a United States Navy strike fighter squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet.-Squadron insignia and nickname:...
on August 7, 1948.
- History of the United States Navy
The history of the United States Navy divides into two major periods: the "Old Navy", a small but respected force of sailing ships that was also notable for innovation in the use of ironclads during the American Civil War, and the "New Navy", the result of a modernization effort that began in the...
- List of inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons
- List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons