This print was made by my friend Dan Teker, a few years ago. Dan creates these beautiful and personalized squadron prints and they are some of the best out there. Detailed, accurate and as I mentioned, personalized, he created this print for me of our squadron CAG jet, Camelot 100 (Camelot being our tactical call sign) with the history of our squadron, Fighter Squadron 14, at the bottom. The write up on the Tophatters is necessarily lengthy because our squadron is the Navy’s oldest continuous naval aviation unit, with an unbroken service history dating back to its founding in 1919.
1919, you may say…and this year is 2019…why that means…yes! A big 100th birthday soiree is planned for late summer in Pensacola. Your humble scribe and blogger will certainly be there.
Your typical F-14 squadron had about 14 or so jets assigned to it, and most of the jets were painted in the standard grey low-visibility (low-viz) paint scheme that was preferable in the combat arena to limit or at least reduce the bad guy’s ability to see you easily. Your top 2 jets, however, usually numbered 100 and 101 (in our case) you could have what was called the Show Bird paint job with bright colors and designs. During the Persian Gulf hostilities back in the early 90s when VF-14 spent time in the Red Sea and over Saudi Arabia and Iraq, this bright Show Bird paint scheme was changed to the low-viz grey deal. A smart move, given the whole idea is to not be seen – or reduce the possibility of that happening as long as you possibly can.
Beautiful job, Dan! Thanks again.