VAW-33 “Nighthawks” Nose Art

VAW-33 “Nighthawks” Metal Nose Art

The squadron was established in 1949 as Composite Squadron VC-33 at NAS Norfolk. It flew the TBM-3E/N/Q Avenger and a few SNB-5 Texans. Its mission was antisubmarine warfare (ASW). It moved to NAS Atlantic City in 1950, where its mission changed to night attack. It sent three detachments to the Korean War aboard carriers, where it distinguished itself in night attack and ECM missions.

In 1952, it adopted the nickname Nighthawks, and in 1956 was redesignated as an All-Weather Attack Squadron VA(AW)-33. In 1958, the squadron moved to NAS Quonset Point, and was soon redesignated Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron VAW-33. In 1961, it began providing ASW detachments to antisubmarine carriers in the Atlantic Fleet. In 1966, a VAW-33 detachment supported the recovery of the Gemini IX spacecraft. From 1967-1968, VAW-33 provided carrier-based ECM services in the Vietnam War zone.

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