Our limited edition vintage aviation clothing have been designed with a special offset aging and weathering process that gives the look of being printed in a Quonset hut, faded by the tropical sun and flown fifty missions. Much like an old flight jacket, they will only become more comfortable, faded and treasured with each passing day and each passing flight.
Printed on garment dyed fabric, pre shrunk 6.1 ounce heavy weight cotton. Set in Sleeves. ¾ ribbed collar with double-needle top stitched neckline. Double needle stitched armhole, sleeve and waist hems. Taped neck shoulder to shoulder.
Strike Fighter Squadron One Zero One
VF-101 Grim Reapers
On June 3rd, 1942, the original Grim Reapers was activated as VF-10 at NAS San Diego. Flying the F4F Wildcat, VF-10 was initially deployed on the carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6) to the Southern Pacific. On thier first cruise, the Grim Reapers participated in first major offensive by Allied forces against the Empire of Japan, known as the Battle of Guadalcanal. Otherwise known as "Operation Watchtower" this action marked the transition by the Allies from defensive operations in the Pacific, to the strategic offensive in that theatre and the beginning of offensive operations, including the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, and Central Pacific campaigns, that resulted in Japan's eventual surrender and the end of World War II.
Once retuning to mainland US, The Grim Reapers transitioned into the F6F-3 Hellcat and redeployed onboard the USS Enterprise to the South Pacific. During their second deployment, VF-10 engaged in various operations including Marshall Islands, Jaluit, Emirau, Western Caroline Islands , Hollandia, Truk Lagoon and lastly, the Battle of the Philippene Sea also more famously known as the "Marianas Turkey Shoot”. The last major carrier-versus-carrier engagements between American and Japanese naval forces. The battle was named due to the extremely disproportional losses inflicted upon the Japanese forces by American pilots and anti-aircraft gunners. It was during a debrief that a pilot aboard the USS Lexington said "Why, hell, it was just like an old-time turkey shoot down home!”.
In 1945, the Grimm Reapers returned to the mainland, and were assigned the venerable F4U Corsair at NAS Atlantic City. Returning one last time to the Pacific Theatre, The Squadron participated in strikes against Ryukyu Islands, Kyushu, Okinawa and the Wake Island. Finally, At wars end, VF-10 returned home to NAS Alameda, where it was deactivated in November of 1945.
Seven years later, on the 1st of May, 1952, VF-101 was commissioned at NAS Cecil Field, Florida. In observance of Naval tradition, VF-101 assumed the name and markings of the original Reaper squadron. Equipped with the FG-1D Corsair fighter, the Grim Reapers were deployed to the Korean War. 1952 also marks the first year that the Grim reapers received a Jet, namely the F2H-2 Banshee, then on to their first radar equipped aircraft, the F4D-1 Skyray. Serving on both the USS Midway as part of Carrier Air Group 1, then on to the USS Saratoga when assigned to Carrier Air Group 7 as part of NATO Operation Strike-back. This was the Squadrons last deployment.
In April 1958, The Grim Reapers merged with the Fleet All Weather Training Unit Atlantic to commence training crews on both the F4D-1 Skyray, as well as the F3H-2 Demon to perform all weather operations. In assuming this role in the Navy’s training structure, the Grim Reapers became part of the Readiness Attack Carrier Air Wing 4, and ceased to be a deployable squadron.
During the 60s, VF-101 moved on to the F-4 Phantom, and training moved to NAS Key West. The new detachment was assigned as primary training for replacement pilots and Radar Intercept Officers(RIOs) in aerial refuelling, carrier qualifications, ACM, missile firing, and radar intercept techniques.
In the late Seventy’s , VF-101 was split into two separate squadrons, VF-171, which continued to train F-4 crews, while VF-101 began to train F-14 crews and maintainers on the Navy’s newest fighter. In 1988, VF-101 received the F-14A+ which greatly increased power to an additional 14,600 pounds of thrust over its predecessor, while adding one third more time on station and sixty percent more operational range.
On September 12th, 1990, a “Fleet Aircraft” VF-101 Tomcat released bombs for the very first time, ushering in a new era of the “Bombcat”. Traditionally an air-to-air fighter, VF-101 built on VX-4’s groundwork by adding air-ground weapon training including general purpose bombs, laser-guided, and cluster bombs to the Bombcat’s repertoire. Finally in 1994, in the squadron was moved to NAS Oceana, and the disestablishment of VF-124 made the Grim Reapers the sole F-14 fleet replacement squadron in the US Navy.
As F-14 squadrons began to transition to new F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, VF-101 mission began to diminish. On September 30th, 2005, VF-101was disestablished at a ceremony at NAS Oceana, and the Tomcat was retired. At one point VF-101 had as many as 130 F-14s of all three variants in their inventory.
"MOW EM DOWN"
On May first, 2012, the Grim Reapers was redesigned as Strike Fighter Squadron 101 (VFA-101), moved to Eglin Air Force Base, and was reactivated as a Fleet Replacement Squadron training on the carrier capable variant of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter(JSF)