VF-103 Jolly Rogers T Shirt

Regular price $32.50

Our limited edition vintage aviation clothing undergo a special 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 very high quality 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.


VF-103 Jolly Rogers F-14 Tomcat


The F-14 Tomcat, with its swept wings and twin-tail is a US Naval Interceptor which rose to an iconic level during its service, and like all Grumman aircraft before her, she carried a feline name. The name, "Tomcat", was partially chosen to pay tribute to Admiral Thomas Connolly (Admiral Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare) as the nickname, "Tom's Cat", had already been widely used by the manufacturer. In the end, the name stuck. The F-14 made its first deployment in 1974 aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65), replacing the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. Nicknamed the “Turkey” due to the movement of its control surfaces as it approached the deck, the F-14 is unquestionably one of the most famous and loved aircraft in Naval Aviation history.

One of many squadrons selected to fly the mighty F-14, is Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (VF-103) which was established in 1952 and is currently based in NAS Oceana, Virginia. The Squadron carries the call sign “Victory” and is assigned to Carrier Air Wing Seven. The first incarnation of the Jolly Roger was established on January 1, 1943 at NAS Norfolk, as VF-17, flying the F4U Corsair. Inspired by the fact that the Corsair name was derived from the French Privateers or better known as Pirates, VF-17's commanding officer Tommy Blackburn selected the Jolly Roger as the squadron's insignia. 

The VF-103 originally carried the markings of a cloverleaf and baseball bat. The bat was added due to an early skipper who carried one with him regularly. VF-103 adopted the Jolly Roger after VF-84 was disestablished , all the aircraft were repainted with ominous all-black tails and black bands with gold chevrons painted on the side of the forward fuselage.

The Jolly Rogers continue a long-standing tradition of “passing the bones” to the new members of the squadron (FNGs). The skull-and-crossbones encased in glass, known simply as “Ernie” is the remains of Ensign Jack Ernie of VF-17. During a fierce battle over Okinawa, Ensign Jack Ernie was attempting to disengage from a fight due to loss of oil pressure. He was jumped by two Japanese Zeros and fought valiantly, even managing to splash one with his crippled Corsair, but was shortly overcome by the second Zero. As his F-4U Corsair plunged towards the sea, Ensign Ernie managed to make one last transmission: “Skipper, I can’t get out, remember me with Jolly Rogers.”

After a last deployment ”Last time baby” on John F. Kennedy with Carrier Air Wing Seventeen and returning to NAS Oceana in December 2004, VF-103 gave up their F-14B Tomcats and began transition to the F/A-18F Super Hornet and transfer to Carrier Air Wing Seven. The squadron was officially re-designated as VFA-103.