The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a twin-engine, variable sweep wings capable of supersonic flight.
The aircraft is crewed by a Pilot and a Radar Intercept Officer who share the tasks of navigation,
Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force only. The name “Tomcat” is said to come from the
call-sign used by Vice Admiral Thomas Connolly which conformed to the USN tradition of giving
Grumman aircraft feline names.
Originally established as VF-81 in 1944; over the years the unit under went several designation
changes. In 1946 they became VF-13A, in 1948 they were VF-131 and 1950 saw them become
VF-64. Their final designation as VF-21 Freelancers came in 1959 making them the third USN
squadron to have this designation. In June 1990 VF-21 made its first deployment onboard USS
Independence and completed its final deployment in November 1995. On January 1, 1996 VF-21
was disestablished and F-14A 161616 was sent to VF-101 and finally struck off charge in 1999.