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VF-1486 Fighting Hobos

On Friday, 27 September 1991, CAPT James 'Flats' Flaherty Jr., FitWing One Commander, and LCDR Eric 'Hennie' Lowe of VF-1486 officially completed the last flight for the Fighting Hobos of VF-1486 at NAS Oceana. CAPT Flaherty, as VF-101 maintenance/operations officer, was instrumental in standing up this Squadron Augment Unit (SAU) in 1983. He was on hand to oversee the disestablishment of the unit by flying the last flight. LCDR Lowe, who joined the squadron in 1985 after flying the F-4/F-14 for VF-33, completed his 1,000th hour in the Tomcat during this flight.
CNO direction was issued in March 1983 to establish VF-1486 as a SAU for support of Naval Atlantic Fleet F-14 fighter squadrons. Since establishment on 1 October 1983, the command mission was to provide ground, simulator and flight training for Reserve aircrews and maintenance training to Reserve enlisted personnel in order to provide combat-ready personnel to augment fleet squadrons during mobilization. VF-1486 used assets provided by VF-101, the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), as well as those of the fleet squadrons.
With CDR James V. 'Raider' Ray Jr., as skipper, VF-1486 completed its eighth year of mishap/FOD-free flying. The squadron was composed of 24 highly experienced aircrew whose cumulative military flight time total exceeded 46,000 hours, including more than 35,000 F-14 hours and 9,000 carrier landings. Forty-three enlisted Selected Reservists from around the East Coast trained to support fleet squadrons' maintenance efforts. Thirteen enlisted SAU personnel from VF-1486 were mobilized in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Information via Patrick Catt, via Tailhook Association

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