Jul 23

First Jet Delivered to All-Jet Squadron, 23 July 1947

Saturday, July 23, 2011 12:01 AM


On 23 July 1947 the first jet powered aircraft, an FH-1 Phantom, was delivered to the Navy’s first all-jet squadron, VF-17A, ushering in a new era in naval aviation. Training in these early jet squadrons was sometimes ad hoc, partly because the aircraft themselves were experimental. One pilot reported, “VF-17A trained itself. Checkout consisted of reading the handbook and watching a movie on compressibility.” Less than a year later the squadron was fully equipped with 16 FH-1s. On 5 May 1948 VF-17A became the Navy’s first carrier-qualified jet squadron, having completed three days of operations on board Saipan (CVL 48) during which all of the squadron’s pilots plus the commander of Carrier Air Group 17 qualified with a minimum of eight takeoffs and landings each.

  • Mike Rutledge

    …and so it began. Lots of aviation fun up to the end of the Vietnam war. Then it all went downhill from there. Women, sensitivity training, lowered standards, don’t ask don’t tell, and on, and on, and on…….

  • View a National Archives gallery of photos that directly preceded the initiation of jets to the naval air arm. In fact, the Trilogy contains 1150 such photos, seen at http://www.navy-wwii-memoir.com. A lesser version can a;so be seen at http://www.ship-n-planes.com. You’ll be proud of the nation’s 1942-1945 wherewithal.

  • Jim Valle

    Given how difficult it was to operate the first jets from carriers and how dangerous they were to land on, I’m surprised they used a relatively small carrier for this purpose.

  • steve mueller

    Hey, Rutledge:

    I know that’s you. Contact me at [email protected].