VF-41 Black Aces F-14 Tomcat crew members who took part in Gulf of Sidra Incident recall the shooting down of Gaddafi Sukhoi Su-22M Fitter fighter bombers

‘The F-14 had incredible superiority in the turn rate and radius over the Su-22, especially because we flew the F-14A Block 95 model with the auto-manoeuvring slats and flaps, which worked phenomenally well,’ Lt Lawrence “Music” Muczynski, former F-14 Tomcat pilot.

On Aug. 19, 1981, the famous Sidra Gulf Incident in which two Grumman F-14 Tomcat interceptors of US Navy (USN) squadron VF-41 ‘Black Aces’ shot down two Libyan Arab Air Force (LAAF) Sukhoi Su-22M Fitter fighter bombers took place.

As told by Tom Cooper, Albert Grandolini and Arnaud Delalande in their book Libyan Air Wars Part 1: 1973-1985, around 6:00am on that day, six F-14s and four F-4s, supported by two E-2Cs, took off towards their patrol stations. As on the previous day, the southernmost of these was inside the airspace claimed by Libyans. After Hawkeyes and fighters, USS Nimitz and USS Forrestal launched a similar number Lockheed

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Tomcat 4-Qaddafi 0: how two U.S. Navy F-14s shot down two Libyan MiG-23s over the Gulf of Sidra on Jan. 4, 1989

After returning to the carrier, both the F-14s received single FLOGGER ‘kill’ markings above the nose MODEX, although these were removed by the time the jets returned to Oceana on Jan. 31

Jan. 4, 1989 was a historic day for VF-32, and the Tomcat community as a whole, when the F-14 once again entered into aerial combat, and again with the Libyan Arab Air Force (LAAF). As John F. Kennedy steamed eastwards for a portcall in Israel, four F-14As were on combat air patrol (CAP) as the ship passed the Gulf of Sidra. As explained by Mike Crutch in his book CVW: US Navy Carrier Air Wing Aircraft 1975-2015, Callsigns CAMELOT 100 and 101 (BuNos 162700 and 162691) of VF-14 were flying the western CAP, while to the east were VF-32 F-14As GYPSY 202 (BuNo 159437, flown by LT Hermon Cook and RIO LCDR Stephen Collins) and GYPSY 207

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