The Navy catapults the last F-14 Tomcat

Posted By on August 11, 2006


Although I heard about this when it happened, it wasn’t until I saw the photo above (click it for full size) taken by Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Nathan Laird made me want to include the bit of history in my blog. I grew up with a secret desire to be a Naval officer and would dream about both the sea and aviation. (I sort of still do — although the dreams are a bit more realistic) The one aircraft that stood apart was the F-14 Tomcat. Maybe it was just movies like “Top Gun” where Tom “Maverick” Cruise flew an F-14 … but then I’m not that young.

Late last month while completing Joint Task Force Exercises, the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN71) along with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) launched the last of the F-14 fighters. A F-14D Tomcat (number 112) assigned to the “Tomcatters” of Fighter Squadron Three One (VF-31) was the last F-14 catapulted from the deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt on July 28, 2006. Although this is the last scheduled launch, the Navy won’t officially retire the F-14 until September 2006. The F-14 Fighter has had 32 years of exceptional service. I would be remise to not offer a ‘thank you’ to all who had a hand in designing, maintaining and flying this tremendous aircraft; thank you for your service.

Comments

  • Wayne D. Mooney

    During my stent in the Navy. I was fortunate enough to be the first person to push The Button on the FA-18 [ Tail no.3] on the steam catapult in Pax River, Md. Little did I realize, that small action would help to bring evolution forward, and the demize of one of the worlds’ greatest fighter aircraft. Sorry about that Tomcat Drivers.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.