Fast Eagle 102 as she looks now, sitting outside at Midland. (Photo by Gena Linebarger - High Sky Wing Leader)

Fast Eagle 102 as she looks now, sitting outside at Midland. (Photo by Gena Linebarger – High Sky Wing Leader)

The Commemorative Air Force’s High Sky Wing, based in Midland, Texas will begin the refurbishment of F-14A Tomcat Bu.160403 tomorrow, July 27th, 2016. Their aircraft, on loan from the US Navy, is of particular significance as it is the first Tomcat to shoot down another aircraft in combat. CDR Henry ‘Hank’ Kleemann and LT David ‘DJ’ Venlet of VF-41 flew her as callsign Fast Eagle 102 from the decks of the USS Nimitz during the Gulf of Sidra Incident of August 19th, 1981, shooting down the first of two Libyan fighters dispatched by the US Navy that day. The second Libyan SU-22 fell to a Sidewinder missile from another VF-41 Tomcat, Bu.160390 Fast Eagle 107 flown by LT Lawrence ‘Music’ Muczynski and LTJG James ‘Luca’ Anderson. Here are further details from the CAF about Fast Eagle 102’s resurrection…

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Fast Eagle 102 is the sole surviving aircraft from the air-to-air battle and shoot down of two Libyan Su-22 Fitter aircraft on August 19th, 1981. While on deployment with the USS Nimitz battle group off the Libyan coast, two VF-41 Black Aces F-14A Tomcats encountered two Libyan SU-22 “Fitters” while on a routine combat air patrol over the Gulf of Sidra. The VF-41 Tomcats, call signs Fast Eagle 102 and Fast Eagle 107, engaged in a dogfight with the SU-22s shooting down both Libyan jets. The dogfight between the Tomcats and Fitters marked the first Navy air combat confrontation since the Vietnam War and the first ever for the F-14A Tomcat. It was also the first time a variable wing geometry aircraft shot down another variable wing geometry aircraft. Fast Eagle 102 was credited with the first kill.

Fast Eagle 102, one of the two F-14 Tomcats on the deck of the USS Nimitz immediately following the incident. (Image via Wikipedia)

Fast Eagle 102, one of the two F-14 Tomcats to bag a Libyan fighter during the Gulf of Sidra Incident of August 19th, 1981 on the deck of the USS Nimitz immediately following the incident. (Image via Wikipedia)

The sole surviving aircraft from this engagement Fast Eagle 102 is now located at the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) High Sky Wing in Midland, Texas. On July 27, 2016, The Flight Deck Veterans Group (FDVG) will begin the much anticipated restoration project on the F-14 Tomcat Fast Eagle 102 and return the aircraft to its former glory. The FDVG members, who are eager and excited to restore the F-14, will work passionately to preserve naval aviation history. Join the CAF High Sky Wing and The Flight Deck Veterans Group at AIRSHO 2016, in Midland, Texas, for a public unveiling of Fast Eagle 102 on Saturday, August 27th with more details to follow.

Another view of Fast Eagle 102. (Photo by Gena Linebarger - High Sky Wing Leader)

Another view of Fast Eagle 102. (Photo by Gena Linebarger – High Sky Wing Leader)

The FDVG is seeking volunteers and support. Please contact Michael Deacon for more information at mdeacon@fdvg.org or 308.660.8844. The CAF High Sky Wing is accepting donations to help with the restoration project on “Fast Eagle 102”. Donations can be made out to CAF High Sky Wing. Please send donations to CAF High Sky Wing F-14 Project, P.O. Box 61064, Midland. TX 79711. For more information contact: gena@highskywing.org or 432-528-0997

Click HERE to Support This Project

3 Comments

  1. lb brennan says:

    There was an account, I heard from another fighter squadron, that the second Libyan a/c was unmanned when it was shot down. The crew of the second Libyan a/c had punched out when their wingman had fired on VF 41.

  2. I wish them well. Nice to see it getting some attention.

    I believe some Iranian F-14s scored kills in 1980, so this may not be the “first Tomcat to shoot down another aircraft..”

  3. hi guys,
    Do not waste your money and efforts on the wrong aircraft, the 102 was shot down by the Su22 that was in the hands of the Libyan airforce commander Belgasem Emsik and he is still alive, the navy then did not want to spread that a Tomcat was shotdown by a Su22 and hence replaced it by another aircraft, investigate further and you should find that the main assymblies are not belonging to 102 unles they had built a new aircraft with the same s/N. do your investigation …. do not get fooled by the Navy probaganda

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