Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA5225 Grumman F-14A Tomcat BuNo 161616, VF-21 “Freelancers”, USS Independence, CVW-5, 1994. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The Grumman F-14 Tomcat is a twin-engine, variable sweep wings capable of supersonic flight. The aircraft is crewed by a Pilot and a Radar Intercept Officer who share the tasks of navigation, Navy and the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force only. The name “Tomcat” is said to come from the call-sign used by Vice Admiral Thomas Connolly which conformed to the USN tradition of giving Grumman aircraft feline names.
Originally established as VF-81 in 1944; over the years the unit under went several designation changes. In 1946 they became VF-13A, in 1948 they were VF-131 and 1950 saw them become VF-64. Their final designation as VF-21 Freelancers came in 1959 making them the third USN squadron to have this designation. In June 1990 VF-21 made its first deployment onboard USS Independence and completed its final deployment in November 1995. On January 1, 1996 VF-21 was disestablished and F-14A 161616 was sent to VF-101 and finally struck off charge in 1999.