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VF-83 and VFB-83 (VBF-83) | USS Essex CV-9 | CVG-83


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VF-83 | Bombing Squadron Eighty-Three

Established 1 May 1944
Disestablished 24 Sep 1945

Aircraft: F6F-5 Hellcat

Silkscreened on canvas. (Jacket was acquired in a lot that included the veteran's medals and scrapbook.)





The Bomber Fighter Squadrons were created to reduce the Fighter Squadrons in an Air Group to a more manageable size. Fighter Squadrons had up to 60 planes and 100 pilots. Normally a Fighter Squadron was split in two to create a Bomber Fighter Squadron.

Apparently, during the brief period these units existed after the war they were subsequently referred to by the abbreviation VBF. Navy Cross and other citations issued in 1945 used the original nomenclature: ". . .Fighting-Bombing Squadron EIGHTY-THREE (VFB-83)". The VFB and VBF unit designations was discontinued in 1946.


"The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to William Hugh Harris, Jr., Lieutenant, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Fighter Plane in Fighting-Bombing Squadron EIGHTY-THREE (VFB-83), embarked from the U.S.S. ESSEX (CV-9), on 18 July 1945, while deployed over Yokosuka, Japan. His outstanding courage and determined skill were at all times inspiring and in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service."

VFB-83 (VBF-83)| Bombing Fighting Squadron Eighty-Three

Established 6 January 1945
Disestablished 24 September 1945

Aircraft: F4U-1D Corsair

Deployment: 10. March 1945 - 14. September 1945 CV-9 USS Essex CVG-83

Silkscreened on leatherette. (Patch was acquired in a lot that included the veteran's medals and scrapbook.)





The insignia was silkscreened on large leatherette squares.




VF-83 and VFB-83 formed part of Carrier Air Group 83 (CVG-83) assigned to the USS Essex. CVG-83 was in action in the Pacific theatre from 10 March to 15 September 1945 participating in raids on Kyushu, supporting the invasion of Okinawa, the discovery and sinking of the Japanese battleship Yamato and other air strikes against the Japanese home islands.

USS Essex under way 20 May 1945.





F4U Corsairs and F6F Hellcats of Air Group 83 aboard USS Essex (CV-9), during the Okinawa Campaign.





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  • 4 years later...
Steve Brannan

I was recently given a wonderful unit history of Essex Air Group: CVG-83. The combat History of the Air Group 83 and the USS Essex from 10 March, 1945 to 13 September, 1945. A lot happened in that six month. Will share some photos of the 4 Squadron patches of AG 83 from this book. More to follow. 



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  • 1 year later...

Steve -


I am very interested in the history of VB 83.  My Dad was a rear-seat radioman-gunner in that squadron, flying both Dauntless dive bombers and Helldivers.  He and his pilot were shot down after a raid on Naha Air base on Okinawa (prior to the main invasion).  The pilot was killed (unfortunately, I do not know his name), but my dad managed to get into a raft after the plane was ditched in the ocean.  Two days later, he was rescued by a US submarine.  Just wondering if any of this appears in the unit history.  His name was Frank Ponikvar, and they called him "Porky".  He died in 2002, but I still have his flight helmets, medals, and other memorabilia.  This is his graduation photo from flight school.



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