This compilation of squadrons includes eleven units that were assigned to the Pacific Fleet for the entire time they flew the F-14. Four of the Pacific Fleet squadrons covered in this book also served with the Atlantic Fleet during part of the time they were operational with Tomcats. The “Red Rippers” of VF-11 and the “Tomcatters” of VF-31 were originally Atlantic Fleet squadrons that were transferred to the Pacific Fleet in 1992, at which time they upgraded to the F-14D version of the Tomcat. VF-11 would serve with the Pacific Fleet until 1997, when it was reassigned to the Atlantic Fleet. VF-31 would serve in the Pacific until 2004 before returning to the Atlantic Fleet. The other two squadrons to serve with both fleets while flying Tomcats were the “Fighting Checkmates” of VF-211 and the “Fighting Blacklions” of VF-213. Both of these squadrons spent almost their entire time in Tomcats with the Pacific Fleet, and the colours and markings used on their F-14s during their Pacific Fleet service are included in this publication. VF-211 transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in 2002 and only flew Tomcats two more years before transitioning to the Super Hornet. VF-213 also transferred to the Atlantic Fleet in 2002, and it continued to fly Tomcats until 2006.
Each of the seventeen fighter squadrons are covered by a short history of their years flying the Tomcat, including both operational highlights and a good look at the squadron markings with which each unit adorned their aircraft. How those markings evolved over time as the Navy moved from the Light Gull Gray over Insignia White paint scheme, to the overall Light Gull Gray scheme, and finally to the group of very low visibility exteriors that were classified as tactical schemes is illustrated for each squadron with colour photographs and art profiles.