The first incarnation of the Jolly Rogers was established on 1 January 1943 at NAS Norfolk, as VF-17. Initially based on the USS Bunker Hill, the unit saw combat as a land-based squadron in the Solomon Islands in 1943-44, flying the F4U Corsair. The squadron was broken up in April 1944, but a new unit, with new personnel and aircraft, was formed with the same squadron designation. This new VF-17 served aboard the USS Hornet, and flew the F6F Hellcat in the final drive across the Pacific in 1945.
The first VF-17 had 11 aces and was credited with 152 victories; the second had 12 aces and 161 victories. Together VF-17 was the highest-scoring Navy squadron of World War II
The second VF-84, initially known as the Vagabonds, was established on July 1, 1955, at NAS Oceana flying the FJ3 Fury. After deactivation of VF-61 in 1959, VF-84's commanding officer, formerly with VF-61, requested to change his squadron's name and insignia to that of the Jolly Rogers. His request was approved on April 1, 1960.
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