The history behind the VAW-123 Screwtops distinctive squadron insignia.
Now that the “Screwtops” have solidified their world famous reputation, it’s time to disclose the background behind the design of their distinctive squadron insignia. (Notably recognized by the spiraling logo adorned on each aircraft’s radar dome.) The basic helix design was the product of many attempts during GITMO REFTRA in 1967 by Cdr Russ Lambert and Lcdr Jack Larison to draw free hand a symbol representing the legendary “Cyclops”;.eg. something one-eyed, all-seeing, large and UGLY. That sample was rushed up to OPNAV for approval before the squadron deployed to WestPac and the savings available in emblem products… Over time the original nickname morphed into the squadron call-sign. During a subsequent WestPAC deployment in 1972 , AM1 Kemph , the squadron Corrosion Control leader proposed painting the domes with the helix design; and with concurrence of WO Dooley, started an effective practice to combat corrosion at sea. Another benefit derived was an early launch to avoid mesmerizing bridge occupants by pre-launch dome rotation; thereby enabling instant control of subsequent aircraft. – John D. Larison, Captain, USN (RET).