(1) Squadron designations were based on specific letters used for indicating the missions for each particular type of squadron and its assigned aircraft. As an example, a World War II squadron operating the F4U Corsair aircraft would have been designated a fighting squadron (VF). The letter F, for fighting or fighter, was the key in identifying the type of squadron and was also used in the aircraft's designation.
(2) Identification numbers were assigned to each squadron, such as VF-1. The number 1 separates Fighter Squadron 1 (VF-1) from Fighter Squadron 10 (VF-10).
1. the duties or mission of a squadron
2. technical advances in aircraft or equipment
3. changes in tactics or development of new tactics
4. changes in naval aviation or fleet organziation
Acronym Full Squadron Designation General Timeframe in use HAL or HA(L)Helicopter Attack Squadron Light 1967-72, 1976-88 HC Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 1965-present HCS Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron 1988-present HCT Helicopter Combat Support Training Squadron 1974-1977 HM Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 1971-present HS Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 1951-present HSL Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (Light) 1972-present HT Helicopter Training Squadron 1960-present HTU Helicopter Training Unit 1950-1957 HU Helicopter Utility Squadron 1948-1965 RVAH Reconnaissance Attack Squadron 1964-1979 RVAW Carrier Airborne Early Warning Training Squadron 1967-1983 STAGRON Special Air Task Force Squadron (VK) 1943-1944 TACRON Tactical Squadron or Tactical Air Control Squadron or Tactical Control Squadron 1946-present VA Attack Squadron 1946-present VA(AW) All-Weather Attack Squadron 1956-1959 VAH or VA(H) Heavy Attack Squadron 1955-1971 VA(HM) Attack Mining Squadron 1956-1959 VAK Tactical Aerial Refueling Squadron 1979-1989 VAL or VA(L) Light Attack Squadron 1969-1972 VAP or VA(P) Heavy Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) or Heavy Photographic Squadron 1956-1971 VAQ Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron or Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron 1968-present VAW Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 1948 1956-present VAW Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron 1968 VB Bombing Squadron or Light Bombing Plane Squadron 1928-1946 VBF Bombing Fighting Squadron 1945-1946 VC Composite Squadron 1943-45, 1948-56 VC Fleet Composite Squadron 1965-present VCN Night Composite Squadron 1946-1948 VCP Photographic Composite Squadron 1959-1961 VCS Cruiser Scouting Squadron 1937-1945 VD Photographic Squadron 1943-1946 VE Evacuation Squadron 1944-1945 VF Combat Squadron 1922 VF Fighting Plane Squadron or Fighting Squadron 1922-1948 VF Fighter Squadron 1948-present VFA Fighter Attack Squadron 1980-1983 VFA Strike Fighter Squadron 1983-present VF(AW) All-Weather Fighter Squadron or Fighter (All-Weather) Squadron 1956-1963 VFN or VF(N) Night Fighting Squadron 1944-1946 VFP or VF(P) Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) or Light Photographic Squadron 1956-1987 VGF Escort-Fighter Squadron 1942-1943 VGS Escort-Scouting Squadron 1942-1943 VH Rescue Squadron 1944-1946 VJ Utility Squadron or General Utility Squadron 1925-1946 VJ Weather Squadron or Weather Reconnaissance Squadron 1952-1953 VJ Photographic Squadron 1952-1956 VK Special Air Task Force Squadron (STAGRON) 1943-1944 VN Training Squadron 1927-1947 VO Spotting Squadron 1922 VO Observation Plane Squadron or Observation Squadron 1923-45, 1947-49 1967-1968 VOC Composite Spotting Squadron 1944-1945 VOF Observation Fighter Squadron 1942-1945 VP Seaplane Patrol Squadron 1922 VP Patrol Squadron 1924-1944 1946 1948-present VP-AM Amphibian Patrol Squadron 1946-1948 VPB Patrol Bombing Squadron 1944-1946 VP-HL Heavy Patrol Squadron (landplane) 1946-1948 VPM Meteorological Squadron 1946-1947 VP-ML Medium Patrol Squadron (landplane) 1946-1948 VP-MS Medium Patrol Squadron (seaplane) 1946-1948 VPP or VP(P) Photographic Squadron or Patrol Squadron (photographic) 1946-1948 VPU Patrol Squadron Special Unit 1982-present VPW Weather Reconnaissance Squadron 1945-1948 VPW Air Early Warning Squadron 1948 VQ Electronic Countermeasures Squadron 1955-1960 VQ Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1961-present VR Transport Squadron or Air Transport Squadron or Fleet Logistic Air Squadron 1942-1958 VR Fleet Tactical Support Squadron 1958-1976 VR Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1976-present VRC or VR(C) Fleet Tactical Support Squadron 1960-1976 VRC Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1976-present VRE Air Transport Evacuation Squadron 1945 VRF Transport Ferry and Service Squadron 1943-1946 VRF Air Ferry Transport Squadron or Air Ferry Squadron 1943-1948 VRF or VR(F) Aircraft Ferry Squadron 1957-1986 VRJ Utility Transport Squadron 1945-1946 VRS Air Ferry Service Squadron or Ferry Command Service Squadron 1943-1946 VRU Transport Utility Squadron 1946-1948 VS Scouting Plane Squadron or Scouting Squadron 1922-1946 VS Anti-Submarine Squadron or Air Anti-Submarine Squadron or Carrier Air Anti-Submarine Squadron 1950-1993 VS Sea Control Squadron 1993-present VSF Anti-Submarine Fighter Squadron 1965-1973 VT Torpedo Bombing Plane Squadron or Torpedo Bombing Squadron 1922-1930 VT Torpedo Plane Squadron 1921 VT Torpedo Squadron 1930-1946 VT Training Squadron 1960-present VTN Night Torpedo Squadron 1944-1946 VU Utility Squadron 1946-1965 VW Air Early Warning Squadron or Airborne Early Warning Squadron or Fleet Early Warning Squadron 1952-1971 VW Weather Reconnaissance Squadron or Fleet Weather Reconnaissance Squadron 1967-1975 VX Experimental Squadron 1927-circa. 1943 VX Experimental and Development Squadron or Operational Development Squadron or Air Operational Development Squadron or Air Development Squadron 1946-1968 VX Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 1969-present VXE Antarctic Development Squadron 1969-present VXN Oceanographic Development Squadron 1969-1993 ZJ Blimp Utility Squadron 1944-1945 ZK Kite Balloon Squadron 1922-1924 ZKN Kite Balloon Training Squadron* ZKO Kite Balloon Observation Squadron* ZNN Non-rigid Airship Training Squadron* ZNO Non-rigid Airship Observation Squadron* ZNP Non-rigid Airship Patrol Squadron* ZNS Non-rigid Airship Scouting Squadron* ZP Airship Patrol Squadron 1942-1961 ZP Blimp Squadron 1942-1961 ZP Airship Patrol Squadron (All-Weather Anti-Submarine) or Airship Squadron or LTA Patrol Squadron 1942-1961 ZRN Rigid Airship Training Squadron* ZRP Rigid Airship Patrol Squadron* ZRS Rigid Airship Scouting Squadron* ZS Airship Anti-Submarine Squadron* ZW Airship Early Warning Squadron 1956-1961 ZX Airship Operational Development Squadron or Airship Development Squadron 1950-1957
* These squadron designations were developed, however, the Navy never established any squadrons using the designations.
30 June 1997