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Virtual VF-84 Wolf Gang of Aces High


On 1 May 1944, the first VF-84, known as "Wolf Gang" was established. It was formed around a nucleus of veterans of VF-17 (the original "Jolly Rogers"), an F4U Corsair squadron land-based in the Solomon Islands in late 1943 and early 1944. The new squadron's commanding officer was Lt. Cdr. Roger R.Hedrick, former executive officer of VF-17.

VF-84 was assigned to the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17), the original home of VF-17. As part of Task Force 58, the carrier and its air group (including VF-84) participated in the final drive across the central Pacific. Roger Hedrick was promoted to head CAG-84 on the combat loss of the air group's commanding officer, and Lt. Cdr. Raymond "Ted" Hill took over the fighter squadron.

VF-84 took part in the invasion of Iwo Jima; raids on Tokyo and other targets in Japan; the discovery and sinking of the Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest warship in the world; and support of the invasion of Okinawa, including combat air patrol over the invasion fleet to defend against kamikaze attack, ground support, and combat air patrol over targets on Okinawa.

On 11 May 1945, while off Okinawa, two Japanese kamikazes struck the carrier in quick succession. A bomb carried by one penetrated to the pilots' ready room. 22 members of VF-84 lost their lives in the attack. Both the carrier (then the flagship) and its air group were knocked out of the war. Although VF-84 was reformed in July as an F6F Hellcat squadron, the war ended while it was still at its base in the United States. The squadron was disestablished on 8 October 1945.[2]

While with the task force, the pilots of VF-84 were credited with 92 shootdowns for a loss of 4 Corsairs in air-to-air combat, a ratio of 48:1. Nine of the squadron's pilots became aces.

Virtual VF-17 Jolly Rogers of Aces High

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