Mission: To Preserve the History of the Greatest Fighter Jet the United States Navy Has Ever Flown.


President’s Message – August 2018

Dear Tomcat Flyers, Fixers, and Fans,

Greetings! We have three fantastic topics to describe in this newsletter, so please read all the way to the end.

In case you weren’t aware, we are conducting our reunion in the same hotel and on the same weekend as the F-8 Crusader association.  We are joining forces on some events, and have de-conflicted others to maximize your fun for the weekend.  See details below.

Attention to brief – item#1.  It is time to register for the 2018 Reunion in San Diego.  Do not delay, do not procrastinate, just finish reading this and go to the F-14 Association website, click the Flight Schedule button, or use this link:  http://www.f-14association.com/form/6-2018-tomcat-reunion-registration.html and sign up.  You do not need to be a current member (but you know that you should be). 

We have a fantastic plan for this year, at the beautiful San Diego Marriott La Jolla.  You can book your room by clicking Hotel Registration Link  or call (800) 228-9290 and ask for Group Reservations – F-14 Tomcat Group.  Do not delay – the Hotel reservations and registration cutoff date is September 4, 2018.

General schedule:

Date F-14 Tomcat Association F-8 Crusader Association
Wednesday PM Welcome reception – Ready Room at the hotel Ready Room open
Thursday day Tour of Midway Free time
Thursday night Gunfighter Happy Hour Reception
Friday Day VIP Airshow Chalet – DOD day at Miramar
Friday Night Banquet Dinner - RADM Fred Lewis Squadron dinners
Saturday Day

Group Breakfast then Symposia:


-Fighting against the Tomcat – the Adversary Pilot panel led by Jim “Guido” DiMatteo

-Testing the Tomcat – Developmental and Operational Test stories

General Business Meeting

San Diego Air and Space Museum

Golf Tournament

High Tea for ladies

Board Meeting

Saturday night Informal Squadron Dinners Last Annual Crusader Ball


We picked this weekend because of the Miramar Air Show.  See the Blue Angels, and flight demonstrations by F/A-18s, Harriers, F-35, F-22, and many others. Fighters rule! 


New this year, we will have a well-stocked Ready Room in the hotel's Presidential Suite. It will be open generously throughout your stay and is the perfect place to meet up with and hang out with your squadron mates.  Your registration fee covers unlimited use (if you have more than 5 guests, you will incur a $20/head fee for them however).

The Crusader gang knows how to hold a reunion, so while you may see an increase in some prices, you will never be hungry or thirsty.  Each event is absolutely first class.  You can check out their web page at:  http://www.f8crusader.org/

Attention to brief - Item #2.  We will be present and participate in ‘Hook 2018’, scheduled for 6-9 September 2018 at the Nugget Casino Resort in Reno/Sparks Nevada.  Look for our board members at our information booth.  We would love to re-connect with former Tomcat personnel and talk about ways the Association is working to maintain contact among the members of the Tomcat community, keep members informed of developments in Naval Aviation, provide support to museums where F-14s are on display, and sponsor annual reunions of the F-14 family. Membership is open to anyone who has flown, worked on, or just plain loves the F-14 aircraft.

Attention to brief - item #3.  There is a group of very motivated individuals led by RADM Fred “Bad Fred” Lewis and Bruce “Dog” Doyle who are planning to erect a monument to our beloved Tomcat at the Naval Aviation Plaza in Virginia Beach. What they have in mind will be a beautiful and striking tribute to the F-14 and to the guys who flew it and to the great maintainers who kept it flying. If sufficient funds are raised, additional monuments will be erected in San Diego and potentially other locations.  

There are financial details being worked out to appropriately raise funds – the F-14 Association is tax exempt but not a charitable organization – and your help will be needed to make this vision a reality.   Please attend the free breakfast and symposium at the reunion, followed by our General Business Meeting, where this will be discussed.  

Summary - There you have it.  Please go now to the F-14 Association web site http://www.f-14association.com/ and register for this year’s reunion.  Then do me a favor – send this letter and/or the link to every Pilot, RIO, Maintainer, or just plain Tomcat lover you know.  We really want this reunion to be our biggest yet.  Tomcats Forever! 

Mike “Rabies” Rabens

President, F-14 Tomcat Association

Always, Baby

Random Tales

by Dave “Bio” Baranek

stories-15 clip image0021 Dec 1982 - I was flying an F-14A with LCDR Steve "Drifty" Smith over the Pacific Ocean off Southern California, and our mission was to shoot an AIM-7