Vietnam/cold war USN airwing composition and size

I am trying to do some scenario building in Command: MO and DCS and I am having a heck of a time finding data on the numerical composition (how many of what airframe) was on a USN carrier air wing in the early through late 70’s. I know this will vary across carrier types, deployments etc, I am looking specifically the Forrestal (as it’s the cold war carrier we’ve got in DCS).

Any data would’ve appreciated.


@Hangar200 this is your ball.

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It may not be super accurate, but probably not out of the realm of possibility either:

They have sample complements for 60s, 70’s, etc.

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Wait you have Command :MO too? I might have a question or two…

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There’s also here:

Some of the links show historical wing complements:


Ive got the older version. I call it my headache simulator


LOL! I have that too, just in case!


This is also a great resource:

As for numbers. The F-4/F-14/A-7 squadrons generally had 12. The A-6 squadron usually had a mix of around 10 A-6E and 4 KA-6D.


Good stuff here!

IIRC, isn’t that because of reliability? Typically there were 1-2 ‘down’ birds at any given time, so the strength of the squadron was normally 10 operational?

Son of a … no idea why I didn’t think to wiki the Forrestal itself. Carrier air wing’s where just getting me nowhere on plane counts. That gives men an excellent basis.

Excellent, that combined with

pretty much gets me what I needed.

Fire away! Great sim, happy to help.


I only know what I experienced…CVW-3 from 1985 through 1988 onboard CV-67.

We were the “All-Grumman Airwing” since we had two F-14 plus two A-6E squadrons instead of 1 x A-6E and 2 x A-7 squadrons. That said:

VF-14 Tophatters; 100 series side numbers, F-14As, about 12.
VF-32 Swordsmen (my squadron); 200 series side numbers; F-14As, about 12
VA-74 Sunday Punchers; 500 series side numbers; A-6Es, about ?? 12-15 (two were KA-6 tankers)
VMA-533(AW)…don’t recall this name…they were Marines, A-6Es, 550 series side numbers, about ?? 12-125 no KA-6)
VAQ-136 (?), side numbers in the upper 600s, EA-6Bs. I think they had 4 jets.
VAW-128 Hawkeyes (I may have their squadron number wrong), 600 series;E-2Cs, 4 aircraft
VS-22 Vidars (supposedly an acronym of "Vikings In Defense Against Russian Subs…but maybe not…still they actually did ASW back then) 700 series, VS-3Bs; 4 aircraft
HS-7 Dusty Dogs (no idea why), somewhere in the 600 series, SH-3s (yeah, that old) about 6 to eight aircraft…minus the one that went down off Florida (all survived just fine).

…and then, just as were were about to go on deployment, somebody discovered that none of our aircraft could shoot HARM…oops…something about our EA-6Bs and A-6’s didn’t have the latest upgrade. So we had to take a 4 -plane A-7E detachment from a squadrons which was just about to stand down and transfer to F/A-18s. “Everybody who thinks that they are going to learn how to fly the Hornet take one step forward…not so fast you four!” So, as were were the All-Grumman Airwing, they styled themselves as the “Grumman Defenders”.

Fun stuff.


I think this site can be valuable in your research as well, I’m astonished it gets updated regularly, despite the ancient looks: CV-63(1961-1998)

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@Hangar200 Excellent thank you, the bit about adding a four ship of A-7’s is great. I love when people go ape over TOE’s that aren’t “by the book.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen one that in actually was correct.

@TeTeT Excellent thank you.