This is an official site of the U.S. Navy Privacy Policy/General Disclaimer and Cookie Disclaimer SSHWFGD History The Dragons trace their roots back to 1945, just prior to the end of World War II, when VF-153 was established on March 26th at NAS Atlantic City.  Flying the F6F Hellcat, VF-153 was known as the “Fightin’ Kangaroos.” The squadron quickly moved to NAS Oceana and spent a year there before moving cross-country to NAS Alameda and being re-designated VF-151.   In March of 1947, the squadron deployed for the first time aboard USS Antietam (CV-36).  Upon return, they transitioned to the F8F Bearcat and became the, “Black Knights.”   In February 1949, the Knights embarked aboard the USS Boxer (CV-21) and deployed to the Northern Pacific. In 1950, the squadron was once again officially re-designated, becoming VF-192 on February 15th aboard USS Boxer while deployed to the Western Pacific.  The squadron returned in June and transitioned to the F4U Corsair.  Once the Corsair transition was complete, the squadron became "The Flying Dragons," adopting a silver dragon flying across the bow of a grey aircraft carrier (the Dragon pilots still wear this patch one day a week, in deference to the squadron's history). Deploying again in 1950 aboard USS Princeton (CV-37), they flew their first combat missions providing close air support for the Marines in the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.  On May 1st, the Flying Dragons provided defense suppression in the historic strike that destroyed the Hwachon Reservoir Dam.  The Flying Dragons moved to NAS Moffett Field before once again deploying aboard the Princeton for extensive combat in 1952.  The Dragons made history by conducting night missions their Corsairs, inflicting significant damage to the enemy who moved supplies primarily at night.  The Flying Dragons also led a 24 aircraft strike that destroyed the Fusen Hydro-electrical plants on the Yalu River, and participated in major strikes against industrial targets in Pyongyang. The Flying Dragons' homecoming marked their entrance into the jet age with the F9F Panther.  Deploying in 1953 aboard USS Oriskany (CV-34), the squadron participated in the filming of two movies, "Men of the Fighting Lady" and the Oscar winning, "The Bridges at Toko-Ri."  It was prominent display of a Golden Dragon on the nose of their aircraft in the movies from these films that the squardon became known as the “world Famos Golden Dragons,” with their newfound publicity and the The Dragons deployed once more on Oriskany in 1955 before transitioning to the swept-wing F9F-6 Cougar in 1956.  On March 15th, the squadron was re-designated VA-192 to reflect the nuclear strike capability that accompanied  the new Cougars.  Accordingly, the squadron adopted a new insignia featuring a yellow dragon holding a white nuclear symbol with a white mushroom cloud and red rising center.  It remains the squadron's insignia to this day.   The next few years saw two more transitions.  In 1957 to the FJ-4B Fury, the naval variant of the venerable F-86 Saber, and then to the A4D-2 Skyhawk after their 1959 Fury deployment. The 1960's brought about the Dragon's second era of combat experience, beginning aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31).  After moving to NAS Lemoore in 1962, VA-192 made back to back nine- month deployments in 1962 and 1963, and again for a ten-month combat cruise in 1965. Their return home was brief, providing just enough time to upgrade to the A-4E Skyhawk before deploying again in October of 1966, this time aboard the USS Ticonderoga (CV-14).   Returning to Vietnam with the more powerful Skyhawk, Golden Dragon LCDR Michael J. Estocin greatly distinguished himself through his sacrifice and he forever cemented the squadron's place in history.  For the selfless gallantry he displayed in the execution of enemy air defense suppression missions on the 20th and 26th of April 1967, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.  In his memory, The Golden Dragon's still proudly fly with his name painted on Dragon 402.  The primary navigation fix for Lemoore based aviators, "EOCIN," is named after him, and the Navy's annual recognition of the best Strike Fighter Squadron in the fleet is aptly named the Michael J. Estocin Award.  The Dragons would deploy once more with the Skyhawk in April 1969, on the USS Oriskany.  Setting unprecedented combat and safety performance records, they became known as the Super S#!t Hot World Famous Golden Dragons (SSHWFGD),  a title they still proudly wear today. In February 1970, the Dragons transitioned to the A-7E Corsair II, deploying in November aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63).  The Dragons dropped a record 15 million pounds of ordnance while participating in the "Laotian Highway Patrol."  Upon their return in 1971, The Dragons immediately began workups in preparation for what would be their seventh and  final Vietnam combat deployment.   The Dragons participated in the historic mining of North Vietnamese harbors as well as supporting Operation LINEBACKER I.  With the completion of combat operations, VA-192 deployed on several Western Pacific cruises before departing in 1979 aboard USS America (CV-66) for the first of two Mediterranean cruises.   In 1983, VA-192, along with the rest of Carrier Air Wing Nine (CVW-9) onboard the USS Ranger (CV-61), provided presence off the coast of Nicaragua due to the instability in Central America before being Sailing to the Arabian Sea to prevent Iran  from blocking oil exports. On January 10th, 1986, the Golden Dragons completed their transition to the FA-18A Hornet and were officially re-designated VFA-192 reflecting the dual-role fighter- attack mission.  They also moved their homeport across the Pacific to join the Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) in NAF Atsugi, Japan. During the first Hornet cruise for the World Famous Golden Dragons aboard USS Midway (CV-41), they participated in Operation EARNEST WILL, providing air cover to escort reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers.   Following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the Dragons set sail onboard Midway for Operation DESERT SHIELD.  On the night of 17 January 1991, the Dragons fought their way into enemy airspace employing anti-air defense missiles to open Operation DESERT STORM.  Throughout the 1990s, VFA-192 would deploy five times in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, first aboard the USS Independence (CV-62), and then aboard the Kitty Hawk with upgraded FA-18C Hornets.  After the terrorist attacks on September 11th, VFA-192 prepared for an emergency deployment, readying themselves within a week.  They deployed a contingent aboard the Kitty Hawk to provide Close Air Support for Special Operations Forces while also providing air defense for the vulnerable U.S. Navy Facility on Diego Garcia Island.  In January of 2003, VFA-192 sailed into harm's way again to lead the main assault of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.  Over the next nine years, the World Famous Golden Dragons would deploy several times in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM, ENDURING FREEDOM, and NEW DAWN, both with the FDNF and after a homeport change back to NAS Lemoore, with Carrier Air Wing NINE.  Currently, the World Famous Golden Dragons are stationed in NAS Lemoore. They deployed in September 2012 onboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), four months earlier than originally planned, where they once again entered the history books as the first squadron in over 40 years to employ rockets from an aircraft carrier.  Having just returned home, the Dragons prepare for their tenth major aircraft type transition to the F/A-18E Super Hornet.  The World Famous Golden Dragons are truly proud of their rich history, Today's Dragons are ever cognizant that they stand on the shoulders of giants while they forge new history. Super S#!t Hot World Famous Golden Dragons! COMMANDING OFFICERS 1. CDR WARD POWELL (May-1948) 2. CDR KARK VAN METER (JUNE 1949) 3. CDR “ACE” PARKER (NOVEMBER 1951) 4. CDR JOHN DINNEEN (OCTOBER 1953) 5. CDR C. N. V. WHITED (MAY 1954) 6. LCDR FRANK FOLTZ (OCTOBER 1955) 7. LCDR BILL FLANAGAN (SEPTEMBER 1957) 8. LCDR LARRY BAUMGAER (SEPTEMBER 1958) 9. CDR BILL PAYNE (JULY 1959) 10. CDR HANK SNOWDEN (MAY 1960) 11. CDR BEN ADAMS (Mar-1961) 12. CDR MITCH SIMMON (Mar-1962) 13. CDR KEITH WEAVER (Feb-1963) 14. CDR “BUCK” ROGERS (Dec-1964) 15. CDR GENE TISSOT (Dec-1964) 16. CDR A. E. “BOOT” HILL (Dec-1965) 17. CDR ED McKELLAR (Dec-1966) 18. CDR L. F. “GUS” EGGERT (Dec-1967) 19. CDR J. K. STANLEY (Dec-1968) 20. CDR R. E. WOODBURY (Oct-1969) 21. CDR D. C. PARKHURST (Aug-1970) 22. CDR R. L. KIEHL (Apr-1971) 23. CDR R. C. TAYLOR, JR. (May-1972) 24. CDR D. D. OWENS (May-1973) 25. CDR D. N. ROGERS (Jul-1974) 26. CDR G. R. GOLDENSTEIN (Oct-1975) 27. CDR J. D. COLE (Jan-1977) 28. CDR J. L. McWHINNEY (Apr-1978) 29. CDR T. B. LATENDRESSE (Jun-1980) 30. CDR J. J. ZERR (Sep-1981) 31. CDR H. T. RITTENOUR (Jun-1982) 32. CDR G. E. RUDD (Jun-1983) 33. CDR C. D. ENGLEHARDT (Aug-1984) 34. CDR R. G. FERVER (Jan-1986) 35. CDR J. F. WILLIAMS (Apr-1987) 36. CDR J. A. PETTITT (May-1988) 37. CDR M. D. SHUTT (Sep-1989) 38. CDR J. B. “GIB” GODWIN III (Mar-1991) 39. CDR T. L. “HEELS” HEELY (Jun-1992) 40. CDR C. T. "CT" CUNNINGHAME (Sep-1993) 41. CDR S. R. "TURK" GREEN (Dec-1994) 42. CDR S. R. TALLANT (May-1996) 43. CDR C. E. “JUICE” AYUSO (Sep-1997) 44. CDR S. P. “SLAM” DUNKLE (Dec-1998) 45. CDR R. “BEAV” HORTON (Dec-1999) 46. CDR D. C. “TAILS” TAYLOR (Feb-2001) 47. CDR J. “HOSER” PAULSEN (May-2002) 48. CDR B. K. "ZULU" COREY (Sep-2003) 49. CDR C. P. "CHEBS" CHEBI (Dec-2004) 50. CDR S.A. “FUZZ” MCCLURE (Mar-2006) 51. CDR G. A. “STIFFY” McWHERTER (Jun-2007) 52. CDR J. L. “DOOGIE” ENFIELD (Aug-2008) 53. CDR K. M. “SQUISHY” HENRY (Jul-2009) 54.CDR P. S. "SLIDER" MILLER (Nov-2010) 55. CDR B. J. "BEETLE" BAKER (Mar-2012) 56. CDR R.J. “GUIDO” BERNACCHI (May-2013) 57. CDR B.A. “NED” LASSEN (August-2014)