Aviation Photojournal May - June 2016 - Page 18

FEATURED ARTICLE

VMAQT-1

"Tairngreacht Bas"

Much can be gleened from VMAQT-1's logo and motto. It's logo (and nickname) is the Banshee, the Irish mythological creature that is said to fortell death. The squadron's motto is "Tairngreacht Bas" which is Gaelic for "Death Foretold." This is an accurate description as the Prowler's mission is to ingress to a target area to jam enemy electronics, just before the strike package arrives. Then it's literally lights out for the enemy, its demise having been foretold by the arrival of the Banshee Prowlers in the skies above.

VMAQT-1 traces its lineage to VMC-1, which was activated on September 15, 1952 flying the AD-4 Skyraider. While serving in the Korean War the squadron scored the Skyraider's only air-to-air victory of the war. The squadron's next combat operations were in Vietnam, then as VMCJ-1. During Vietnam the squadron flew a mix of aircraft including the RF-8A Crusader, EF-10B Skynight, RF-4B Phantom and finally the EA-6A. The Banshees were redesignated VMAQ-2 after the Vietnam War and at the time also transitioned to the EA-6B.

Flying the Prowler, the Banshees went on to fight in Desert Storm, the Global War on Terror and several other engagements. In 2013, the squadron was designated a training squadron, which it remained until its decommissioning. During its operational history, the Banshees were awarded 12 citations and commendations, including the Presidential Unit Citation.

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