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VT-18 | Torpedo Squadron Eighteen | "The Carrier Clowns"


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VT-18 | Torpedo Squadron Eighteen | "The Carrier Clowns"



Established 20 Jul 1943


Aircraft: TBF-1 (Jul 1943); TBM-1 (Sep 1943); TBM-1C (Nov 1943); TBM-3E (22 Apr 1945)


24–26 Oct 1944: The squadron participated in the Battle for Leyte Gulf. On 24 October VT-18’s TBMs flew sorties against a powerful Japanese surface force in the Sibuyan Sea. These attacks contributed to the sinking of the Musashi, one of the two largest battleships in the world. On 25 October, the squadron’s planes were part of a Fast Carrier Task Force that attacked a Japanese carrier force in the Battle of Cape Engano. Four Japanese carriers were sunk during that engagement. On the 26th, squadron planes participated in an attack on the Japanese surface force which was retiring from the Battle Off Samar.


Embroidered on twill




The Carrier Clowns insignia was in use by the squadron prior to its approval by CNO on 24 Mar 1945.




Roberts, Michael D. Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons. Volume 1. Naval Historical Center. p 129.

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