|For over 30 years, the F-8 Crusader served, as "Mig Killer" and, in the
photo version - F8U-1P in the early days, RF-8G years later - as the "eyes of the
fleet". It was the Crusader which went in low and fast to photograph the Cuban missle
sites in 1962, and "unarmed and unafraid", brought back the before and after
pictures of bombing targets in Vietnam.
Major John Glenn flew across the country in a 1P and set a coast-to-coast speed record. 30 years prior to its retirement, the Collier Trophy was awarded to Vought and the Navy for its design and achievements.
On March 29th, at the Naval Air Facility at Andrews Air Force Base, Light Photographic Squadron Two Zero Six was disestablished. This marked the end of the "no guns, just guts" dedicated reconnaissnace squadrons. Its kind having flown some 2,360,000 hours and more than 385,000 carrier landings, the last F-8 Crusader was presented to the National Air and Space Museum.
(the French Navy continued to fly F8E's though these may be retired by now, and there were one or two others being flown by NASA and other agencies)
|Sister squadron VFP-306, also based at Andrews, was disestablished in 1984.|
Lt.Cdr (now Rear Admiral) John Cotton (l) and Cdr John Peck prepare for the last dual Crusader flight. Squadron C.O. Cdr David Strong did the final flight.