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USN Squadrons

U.S. Navy Aircraft Squadron Designations in WWII

Although most USN squadrons had designations similar to the planes that equipped them, i.e. VF was a Fighter squadron, VSB a Scout Bomber one, some squadron designations were not so obvious. Here is a list, derived originally from James C. Fahey's Ships and Aircraft of the United States Fleet, Victory Edition, 1945, with additions such as VBF added. Please note that some of these designations were little used or were used for only a short period of time.

US Navy Heavier-than-Air Units

VB Bombing Squadron
VBF Bombing Fighter Squadron
VC Composite Squadron
VCS Cruiser Scouting Squadron
VD Photographic-Reconnaissance Sq.
VF Fighting Squadron
VF(N) Night Fighting Squadron
VGF Escort Fighting Squadron
VGS Escort Scouting Squadron
VH Air-Sea Resque Squadron
VJ Utility Squadron
VM Miscellaneous (Base) Squadron
VN-D Training Squadron (District)
VO Observation Squadron
VOT Operational Training Squadron
VP Patrol Squadron
VP-D Patrol Squadron (District)
VPB Patrol Bombing Squadron
VR Transport Squadron
VRE Transport-Evacuation Squadron
VRF Ferry Squadron
VRS Service Squadron
VS Scouting Squadron
VS-D Scouting Squadron (District)
VSB Scout Bombing Squadron
VT Torpedo Squadron
VTB Torpedo Bombing Squadron
VX-D Experimental Squadron (District)

Marine Corps Heavier-than-Air Units

VMB Marine Bombing Squadron
VMD Marine Photographic Squadron
VMF Marine Fighting Squadron
VMF(N) Marine Night Fighting Squadron
VMJ Marine Utility Squadron
VMO Marine Observation Squadron
VMOT Marine Operational Training Sq.
VMP Marine Patrol Squadron
VMPB Marine Patrol Bombing Sq.
VMR Marine Transport Squadron
VMRF Marine Ferry Squadron
VMRS Marine Service Squadron
VMS Marine Scouting Squadron
VMSB Marine Scout Bombing Squadron
VMT Marine Torpedo Squadron
VMTB Marine Torpedo Bombing Sq.
VMW Marine Wing Headquarters Sq.

Lighter-than-Air Units
Airship Squadrons (Blimprons)

ZJ Airship Utility Squadron
ZN Airship Training Squadron
ZP Airship Patrol Squadron
ZS Airship Scouting Squadron

Squadron Numbering

Prior to WWII, each carrier's number was used to designate its VF, VS, VB and VT squadrons. USS Ranger was CV-4, so her squadrons were numberd VF-4, etc. However, after America's entry into the war, this ceased to be the case, as squadrons had to be refitted and retrained after seeing combat. Other types of squadrons were typically numbered sequentially, starting from one. F4U Henderson.jpg (14723 bytes)

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