- First, a little history of the Navy's VX squadrons is in order.
- VX = Experimental Squadron 1927-1943.
- 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 1969-1999
- VXN = Oceanographic Development Squadron 1969-1993
- The original four VX squadrons were under operational control of COMOPDEVFOR (Commander
Operational Development Force).
- Today COMOPDEVFOR is known as COMOPTEVFOR and it still controls VX-1, VX-9 and HMX-1.
- VX-6 / VXE-6 was not the first Navy squadron to use the tail code of "XD".
- "XD" was first assigned to VX-4.
- However, it was not the same VX-4 of NAS Point Mugu / Playboy Bunny F-4 fame.
- Some web pages on the internet "mistakenly" identify early VX-4 aircraft that
have the "XD" tailcode as VX-6 aircraft.
- More information about the FIRST VX-4 squadron can be found further down the page.
- Rest assured that VX-6 did not operate any Boeing PB-1W'ss or Martin P4M
- The Navy has / had the following VX type squadrons assigned:
- Air Test and Evaluation Squadron One
- Anti-Submarine Warfare
- Patuxent River, MD
- Experimental Squadron Two
- Air Development Squadron 2
- Drone Controller / Guided Missile Development
- Part of Task Group 1.6
- TG 1.6 had three different functions: drone plane and drone boat control, aerial
photography, and seaplane transportation.
- TE (Task Element) 1.6.14 was Air Development Squadron 2 (VX-2)
- NAS Chincoteague, VA
- Experimental Squadron Three, also known as Helicopter Development Squadron Three, was
established at NAS NewYork 01 July 1946 to study and evaluate the adaptability
of helicopters to Navy requirements.
- Besides developing operational procedures and conducting experiments with
helicopters, VX-3 was responsible for training Navy helicopter pilots at the air station.
After two years of increased helicopter activity in the fleet, it became apparent
that VX-3 was becoming more involved in fleet operations and less in development.
- On April 1, 1948, VX-3 was disestablished and two new squadrons were established,
designated Helicopter Utility Squadrons HU-1 and HU-2.
- Personnel from VX-3 formed the nucleus of the two new squadrons.
- Their primary mission was search and rescue,and providing utility services for the
fleet. HU-2, based at NAS Lakehurst, N.J., was also tasked with training helicopter pilots
- NAS New York
- **NOTE** On certain web pages VX-3 has also been listed as being one of
the VX squadrons that helped to develop the F-8 Crusader along with being the first navy
squadron to operate the Crusader, together with the F4D-1 Skyray and F11F-1 Tiger, from an
aircraft carrier deck.
- This does not jive with OFFICIAL US Navy sources, and my personal opinon is that they
have mixed up VX-2 with VX-3.
- VX-4 (Not the Vanguards of Point Mugu)
- Established as VP-11F 01 Jul 1936.
VP-11F Redesignated VP-11 01 Oct 1937
VP-11 Redesignated VP-54 01 Jul 1939
VP-54 Redesignated VP-51 01 Jul 1941
VP-51 Redesignated VB-101 01 Mar 1943
VB-101 Redesignated VPB-101 01 Oct 1944
VPB-101 Redesignated VX-4 15 May 1946
VX-4 Redesignated VW-2 18 Jun 1952
For its first land-based airborne early warning aircraft, the Navy in 1945 purchased
twenty new B-17Gs and modified each to the PB-1W configuration by sealing shut its
bomb bay, removing the armament, and mounting an APS-20 air search radar in a large
dome beneath the fuselage.
- The first PB-1Ws were delivered to VPB-101 in the spring of 1946; the Navy was to
purchase a total of thirty-one. The PB-1W was a delight to fly, being much lighter
than the original B-17G, but its lack of cabin pressurization made it cold and
uncomfortable for the men operating the radar and tracking systems.
- In late 1946 VPB-101 was moved to NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and redesignated
Airborne Early Warning Development Squadron Four (VX-4).
- VX-4 moved from NAS Quonset Point, Rhode Island to NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, in July
1948; NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, as it was commonly known, became the center of
Navy airborne early warning for the next seventeen years.
- Lessons learned from flying the PB-1W were applied to development of the Lockheed PO-1W
(a redesigned Lockheed 749 Constellation airliner later designated WV-1), which
first flew in 1949, and to the highly successful Lockheed WV-2 (based on the famous
L-1049G Super Constellation), which was first delivered to the Navy in 1954.
- **MORE VX HISTORY TO FOLLOW**
- The Navy's "VX" squadrons had the following tailcodes assigned to them:
- VX-1 XA / JA
- VX-2 XB / JB
- VX-3 XC
- VX-4 XD
- VX-4 XF
- VX-5 XE
- VX-6 XD / JD
- VXE-6 JD / XD
- VX-8 JB
- VXN-8 JB
- VX-9 XE
- From what I can find it seems that in 1957 the Navy's remaining VX squadrons changed
tailcodes from "X_" to "J_".
- VX-3 and VX-4 had been disestablished by 1957.
- VX-4 and VX-5, while being established in 1952 and 1951 were located on the West Coast
and were given the tailcodes of XF and XE.
- Most of the VX squadrons were located on the east coast.
- Now look at the current listing of squadrons that have "J" as the first
- VX-1 Tailcode JA
VR-1 Tailcode JK
VQ-2 Tailcode JQ
VR-48 Tailcode JR
VR-46 Tailcode JS
VR-52 Tailcode JT
VR-56 Tailcode JU
VR-58 Tailcode JV
VR-62 Tailcode JW
- You can see how the JD of VX-6 / VXE-6 would fit right in this list had they stayed at
NAS Quonset Point.
- Even though VXE-6 moved to NAS Point Mugu they kept the "JD" tailcode.
- At some point after 1977 they switched (back) to the tailcode of "XD".
- One explination why VXE-6 kept the JD tailcode after the move to Nas Pt Mugu is that
VXE-6 migh have still fallen under AIRLANT, and only when VXE-6 was placed into the
custody of AIRPAC did the tailcode change to "XD".
- If anyone can help fill in the blanks or has any corrections please let me know.