squadron was established on 1 December 1943 as Utility Squadron
SIXTEEN at NAS Isla Grande in San Juan, Puerto Rico. VJ-16's mission
was to provide gunnery target tow services, radar tracking, search
and rescue, and photographic services to ships and aircraft in the
Caribbean area. As was typical for most of its service, the squadron
was equipped from the outset with a variety of aircraft types.
Initially, the squadron's inventory consisted of Grumman J2F-5/6
Duck, Consolidated PBY-5/5A Catalina, Grumman TBF-1 Avenger, Douglas
SBD-5 Dauntless and North American SNJ-4 aircraft.
a brief move to NAAF Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in April 1944,
VJ-16 settled in at NAS Miami, Florida in May 1944 and added Martin
JM-1/2 Marauder, Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat, General Motors FM-2 Wildcat
and Grumman TBM-1J/3J Avenger aircraft to its roster. For the
remainder of World War II, the squadron operated detachments in
Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Brazil, Cuba, Panama and Trinidad. VJ-16
consolidated its operations at NAS Guantanamo Bay/McCalla Field,
Cuba in April 1945 and was redesignated as Utility Squadron TEN on
15. Nov 1945.
the next fifteen years, VU-10 variously operated JD-1, UF-1, Martin
PBM-5A Marine, Consolidated PBY-6A Catalina, Douglas R4D-5 Skytain,
Beechcraft SNB-5, Grumman F6F-5D Hellcat, Grumman F7F-2D Tigercat,
Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, Grumman F9F-6/8 Cougar and North American
FJ-3 Fury aircraft, as well as Grumman F6F-5K Hellcat, Culver TD2C,
and Radioplane KD2R-5 target drones. In 1957, VU-10 also established
an operating detachment at NAS Jacksonville, Florida that was
absorbed into Utility Squadron FOUR (VU-4) in 1963.
the closure of McCalla Field, VU-10 moved to the nearby NAS
Guantanamo Bay/Leeward Point Field in January 1960 and added defense
of the base as one of its missions after Communist rebels took over
the Cuban government during the Cuban Revolution. During the October
1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, VU-10's Vought F-8A Crusader fighters
became the front line defense force for the base against both Cuban
and deployed Soviet forces. The squadron, which acquired Grumman
US-2C Trackers and, in succession, Vought F-8B/D/A/C/K Crusaders,
was redesignated as Fleet Composite Squadron 10 on 1. July 1965.
Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk IIs modified to carry air-to-ground ordnance
and AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles replaced the last of
VC-10's F-8 Crusaders in 1976, augmented by a Douglas EA-4F Skyhawk
II in the late 1980s. VC-10 continued to provide aerial target
services for fleet training and dissimilar air combat maneuver
training (DACT) for fleet aircraft during Atlantic Fleet carrier
battle group deployment work-ups.
was disestablished at NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on 14. August 1993 as part of a post-Cold War reduction in naval forces and the transfer
of the composite squadron mission to the Naval Air Reserve