Flinn, William, ATCS

Aviation Electronics Technician
 Service Photo   Service Details
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Current Service Status
USN Retired
Current/Last Rank
Senior Chief Petty Officer
Current/Last Primary NEC
AT-8345-F-14 System Aircraft Organizational Maintenance Technician
Current/Last Rating/NEC Group
Aviation Electronics Technician
Primary Unit
1988-1990, AT-8345, VF-51 Screaming Eagles
Previously Held NEC
AT-0000-Aviation Electronics Technician
AT-6611-Aircraft UHF Communications, ADF and ICS Equipment IMA Technician
AT-6612-Aircraft Tacan/Radio Navigation Equipment IMA Technician
638X-Limited Duty Officer - Aviation Avionics
Service Years
1976 - 1996
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Military Customs Inspector
Order of the Shellback
Order of the Golden Shellback
Persian Excursion
Plank Owner
AT-Aviation Electronics Technician
Four Hash Marks

 Official Badges 

US Navy Retired 20

 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Shellback US Navy Honorable Discharge Order of the Golden Shellback

 Military Association Memberships
Department of ColoradoPost 1781, Rocky Mountain PostBranch 49Association of Naval Aviation
  2009, American Legion, Department of Colorado (Member) (Denver, Colorado) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2009, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 1781, Rocky Mountain Post (Member) (Fort Collins, Colorado) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2009, Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), Branch 49 (Member) (Denver, Colorado) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2009, Association of Naval Aviation - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

  1983-1986, AT-8345, VF-124 Gunfighters

AT-Aviation Electronics Technician

From Month/Year
- / 1983

To Month/Year
- / 1986

VF-124 Gunfighters Unit Page

Petty Officer Second Class

AT-8345-F-14 System Aircraft Organizational Maintenance Technician

San Diego

 VF-124 Gunfighters Details

VF-124 Gunfighters



VF-124 "Gunfighters" aka "Crusader College"

Active August 16, 1948 - September 30, 1994
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
Type Fleet replacement squadron
Part of Inactive
Nickname "Gunfighters"
Aircraft flown
Fighter F-8 Crusader
F-14 Tomcat

Fighter Squadron 124 (VF-124) was a fleet replacement squadron of the United States Navy. Known as the Gunfighters, they were active from 1958 through 1994. The squadron's task was the training of pilots for the F-8 Crusader and later the F-14 Tomcat.

VF-124 was established on 16 August 1948 as VF-53 and became VF-124 at NAS Moffet Field on 11 April 1958 due to a need for an increased number of flight training squadrons, itself necessary because of introduction of swept wing fighters into Navy service. VF-124 had three missions assigned, initial training of F-8 Crusader pilots, bringing them to a standard where they were ready to join a fleet squadron, refresher training for aviators returning to the Pacific Fleet, and also providing maintenance training for ground personnel on the F-8.
This last mission is often overlooked, but was a crucial part of the training provided by a Fleet Readiness Squadron. In addition to these training roles, VF-124 maintained its instructor crews as combat ready pilots in case of national emergency. Flying the F8U-1, TV-2 and F9F-8T the Gunfighters won the Safety S awards for 1958 and 1959.

After three years at Moffet Field VF-124 moved to Naval Air Station Miramar which would become their life for the rest of its existence. F-8 training continued throughout the years and by 1970 VF-124 became the Pacific Fleet training squadron for the new F-14 Tomcat. VF-124 stopped training F-8 pilots in August 1972 and responsibility for the small number F-8’s left was handed over to VFP-63. VF-124 received their first F-14A’s on October 8, 1972. A few days later the two first active fleet F-14 squadrons, VF-1 and VF-2 were commissioned. In December 1973, US Marine Corps officers reported to VF-124 to start training as instructors. USMC involvement continued until 1976 when it was decided that the F-14 was too expensive for the USMC to operate. The first set of replacements pilots trained by VF-124 took to sea in December 1974, flying day and night carrier qualifications of the deck of USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63).

n 1976 personnel from the Imperial Iranian Air Force arrived to begin training on the F-14 until the overthrow of the Shah three years later. As a new decade began the role of reconnaissance was introduced to the F-14 with the TARPS pod. VF-124 began to teach air and ground crews how to operate the pod. By December 1988 VF-124 had trained 1502 aircrew, over 14.400 maintenance personnel and flown over 153,193 flight hours and VF-124 also achieved 124 days without any Foreign Object Damage.

With the introduction of the improved F-14D Super Tomcat, VF-124 was assigned the role of training air and ground personnel on the new aircraft and the first F-14D was accepted on November 16, 1990, with four aircraft undertaking the first fleet F-14D carrier qualifications on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) on October 2, 1991.

On March 11, 1993 a VF-124 F-14 made the final landing on USS Ranger (CVA-61), Lieutenant Mark A. Garcia and Lieutenant Tim Taylor completed the carrier’s 330,683rd landing. With the downsizing of the F-14 squadrons in the early 1990s the Navy’s training squadrons were reduced and VF-124 was disestablished in September 1994 and the responsibility of all F-14 training went to VF-101. VF-124 would operate the F-14A Tomcat and the F-14D Super Tomcat as all F-14B Tomcats were flown by the Atlantic Fleet Squadrons.


Air Units - Fixed Wing


Parent Unit
Fixed Wing

Air Squadron

Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: May 8, 2017
My Photos For This Duty Station
No Available Photos
185 Members Also There at Same Time
VF-124 Gunfighters

Blake, Thomas, PO1, (1976-1986) AT AT-8345 Petty Officer First Class
Weed, Michael, CPO, (1979-2002) AT AT-8345 Petty Officer Second Class
Hamilton, Robert, PO3, (1982-1995) AT AT-8345 Petty Officer Third Class
Sero, Chuck, SCPO, (1984-2007) AT AT-8345 Petty Officer Third Class
Storch, Ernest, CWO3, (1981-2006) AT AT-8345 Petty Officer Third Class
Noble, Valentino, SCPO, (1985-Present) AT AT-8345 Airman Apprentice
Carrithers, Wesley, PO1, (1978-1985) AT AT-6701 Petty Officer First Class
Moeller, David, SCPO, (1976-1998) AT AT-8345 Petty Officer First Class
Unruh, Donald, PO1, (1971-1992) AT AT-6609 Petty Officer First Class
Rostrata, Perry, LT, (1980-2000) AT AT-9502 Petty Officer Second Class
Wilcox, William, PO2, (1982-1989) AT AT-6650 Petty Officer Second Class
Vinson, Kevin, PO1, (1981-2003) AT AT-6653 Petty Officer Third Class
Clausen, Bill, LCDR, (1974-1994) OFF 132X Lieutenant Commander
Watson, Edmond, CAPT, (1976-2005) OFF 132X Lieutenant Commander
Cowles, Bob, LT, (1963-1989) OFF 645X Lieutenant
Mills, Robert, CAPT, (1981-2011) OFF 131X Lieutenant
Wardall, Scott, LCDR, (1979-1997) OFF 132X Lieutenant
Dumler, Bruce, LCDR, (1981-1997) OFF 132X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Miller, Kirby, RDML, (1984-Present) OFF 132X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Moses, Raymond, CDR, (1985-2012) OFF 132X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Smith, Kenneth, LT, (1982-1994) OFF 132X Lieutenant Junior Grade
Crider, Mark, LCDR, (1984-1994) OFF 132X Ensign
McLaughlin, Leslie, LT, (1978-1991) OFF 110X Ensign
Dorf, Matt, LCDR, (1976-2005) AO AO-8345 Chief Petty Officer
Dronkers, Patrick, MCPO, (1978-2009) AME 8345 Chief Petty Officer
Fry Brewer, Jacki, SCPO, (1974-1995) PR PR-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Goodman, Willie, SCPO, (1966-1989) AM AMH-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Holbrook, Michael, SCPO, (1972-1992) AME AME-9502 Chief Petty Officer
Lazo, Salvador, CPO, (1964-1989) AMH AM-8345 Chief Petty Officer
Lewis, Douglas, MCPO, (1974-2004) AZ AZ-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Rao, Sal, SCPO, (1954-1986) 00 9502 Chief Petty Officer
Reyes, Robert, MCPO, (1972-2004) AM AMS-0000 Chief Petty Officer
Smith, Bruce, CPO, (1967-1990) 00 8845 Chief Petty Officer
Weick, Tim, CPO, (1976-1991) AME 8323 Chief Petty Officer
Abelon, Bartolome, PO1, (1974-1993) AE AE-8345 Petty Officer First Class
Baldwin, David, LCDR, (1982-2013) 00 9502 Petty Officer First Class
Bjornson, Bruce, CPO, (1975-1996) AE AE-8345 Petty Officer First Class
Blake, Richmond, PO1, (1976-1996) AD AD-6415 Petty Officer First Class
Crawford, Rob, CPO, (1975-1996) AO AO-8345 Petty Officer First Class
Derby, Lynn, PO1, (1979-1989) AMS AMS-8215 Petty Officer First Class
Dimitriou, David, LCDR, (1977-2002) AME 8345 Petty Officer First Class
Dixon, Daniel, PO1, (1977-1997) AD AD-9502 Petty Officer First Class
Flatten, Larry, CPO, (1981-2004) 00 9502 Petty Officer First Class
Haynie, Mike, LCDR, (1973-2005) AE AE-9502 Petty Officer First Class
Lathrop, Tim, PO1, (1969-1990) AM AM-9502 Petty Officer First Class
Lowery, Patricia, PO1, (1978-1986) YN YN-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Peterson, David, PO1, (1975-1994) AMH AMH-0000 Petty Officer First Class
Thomas, Arriegious, PO1, (1978-1998) AE AE-8345 Petty Officer First Class
Tucker, Ralph, CPO, (1974-1997) AD AD-9502 Petty Officer First Class
Bartz, Robert, PO1, (1977-1997) 00 9502 Petty Officer Second Class
Begley, John, PO2, (1983-1987) AE 8345 Petty Officer Second Class
Boyce, Molly, LCDR, (1984-2005) YN YN-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Cantu, Michael, PO1, (1976-1996) 00 8845 Petty Officer Second Class
Canup, Rick, CWO4, (1981-2012) AE AE-7197 Petty Officer Second Class
Clarke, John, CPO, (1983-2007) AE AE-0000 Petty Officer Second Class
Cooper, Victoria, PO1, (1977-1997) PH PH-8345 Petty Officer Second Class
Croker, Robert, CWO3, (1981-2001) AQ AQF-8324 Petty Officer Second Class
Dunlap, Lenny, SCPO, (1980-2001) AD AD-6415 Petty Officer Second Class
Ellis, Donald, CWO4, (1980-2010) AO AO-8345 Petty Officer Second Class

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