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VAQ-142 (1) GRIM WATCHDOGS 1988-1991

       The first VAQ squadron numbered 142 was established at Whidbey Island on 1 June 1988 as the thirteenth Fleet EA-6B unit. The squadron, under the command of Baker R. “Whiskey Bob” Hamilton, took the name “Grim Watchdogs”, based on an alternate name of his first squadron as an Ensign, S-2 Tracker flying VS-27.


VAQ-142 was assigned to CVW-6 and started its first unit, to the Mediterranean in Forrestal (CV-59), in November 1989.


It would prove to be the only major deployment made by the squadron as by the time they had returned the Navy had already decided to ax a Carrier Air Wing and most of the squadrons associated with it.


When CVW-13 was chosen as the victim, Prowler leadership at Whidbey chose to swap their resident EA-6B squadron, VAQ-133, for VAQ-142 in order to keep the much older “Wizard” lineage alive.


While assigned to CVW-13 for only a short period, VAQ-142 was disestablished in March 1991.  Its core of personnel would soon form the basis for VAQ-35.

     Major Deployments      

Nov 1989-Apr 1990

USS Forrestal CVW-6


Commanding Officers

CDR Baker R. “Bob” Hamilton

Jun 1988

CDR Ed Gordon

Dec 1989

CDR Brian Moss

Dec 1990


VAQ-142 (2) GRAY WOLVES 1997-2014

The second VAQ-142 was established on 1 April 1997 as part of the expeditionary growth period at Whidbey. The new unit adopted a slightly modified version of the name of VAQ-35 (“Gray” vice “Grey” Wolves) along with the basic dog motif of the original VAQ-142’s patch.


Between 1998 and 2010 the squadron made 15 overseas deployments to land bases where they supported combat operations over Iraq and Afghanistan.  Their 2003 trip to Bagram marked the unit as the first entire VAQ to be based inside Afghanistan


In May 2011 the squadron started training for carrier duty as other Whidbey units began EA-18G transition.  They would make three major boat deployments before entering VAQ-129 for Growler training in 2014.

Major Deployments

Mar-Jun 1998

Prince Sultan AB Saudi Arabia


Aug-Sep 1998



Dec 98-Mar 1999


OSW/Desert Fox

Sep-Dec 1999

Incirlik TU


Aug-Oct 2000

Incirlik TU


May-Aug 2001



Feb-May 2002

Incirlik TU


Nov 02-Feb 03



Feb-Mar 2003

Sigonella Italy


Dec 03-Apr 2004

Bagram, Af


Oct 04-Apr 2005

Iwakuni, Japan

Marine OPCON/MAG-12

Jul 06-Jan 2007

Bagram, Af


Sep 07-Apr 2008

Al Asad Iraq


Jan-Jul 2009

Al Asad Iraq


May-Sep 2010

Al Asad, Iraq


Jun-Aug 2012

USS Nimitz CVW-11


Sep-Nov 2012

USS Nimitz CVW-11

Western Pacific

Apr-Dec 2013

USS Nimitz  CVW-11

Western Pacific, Med, OEF

PSAB: Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia.  OSW: Operation Southern Watch. ONW: Operation Northern Watch. OEF: Operation Enduring Freedom, OND: Operation New Dawn.

Insignia:  The second VAQ-142 used a number of insignia through its EA-6B days. Only one appears in the records of the Naval Aviation Historical Office as having been officially approved by the office of CNO.  It’s approval date was 27 August, 1997.  During the squadron’s final deployment they wore the logo of the original VAQ-142 “Grim Watchdogs”.

Commanding Officers 

CDR Patrick Keller

April 1997

CDR John Boe

July 1998

CDR Pete Rush

Oct 1999

CDR Mark Darrah

Jan 2001

CDR Dan Doster

May 2002

CDR Jeff Graham

Sept 2003

CDR J.D. Haugen

Jan 2005

CDR Charles Chase

Mar 2006

CDR Jim Stoneman

Jun 2007

CDR Rich Meadows

Jul 2008

CDR Courtney Smith

Oct 2009

CDR Wm Brewster

Jan 2011

CDR Ed Grohe

Apr 2012

CDR Carlos Medina

Jun 2013

CDR David Reuter

Oct 2014

Historical Note: Although frequently portrayed as one organization through time, In accordance with OPNAVINST 5030.4 (“Naval Aviation Squadron Lineage”) the two VAQ-142s and VAQ-35 are officially three separate organizations for lineage purposes with formal establishment and disestablishment dates separating them. The first VAQ-142 was disestablished in March of 1991 with its core of personnel forming VAQ-35, which was established three months later. The new unit used a modified version of VAQ-142’s insignia and carried through certain traditions of the earlier squadron. The “Grey Wolves” were in turn disestablished in October, 1993.  When the second VAQ-142 was established in April 1997 they adopted yet another variant of the original squadron’s insignia and a modified title (“Gray Wolves”) based on VAQ-35’s nickname.


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