VS-33 'Screwbirds'

Squadron History

Established April 1960
Base NAS North Island, CA.
Tail Code NG
Squadron Name Screwbirds

Sea Control Squadron THREE THREE (VS-33) was formed from a segment of the VS-38 "Red Griffins" in 1960 and flew the Grumman S-2E/G Tracker from its commission date until 1975 when it transitioned to the S-3A Viking.

In 1991, VS-33 transitioned to the S-3B and in October, 1993 the squadron's designation was changed from "Air Anti-Submarine Squadron" to "Sea Control Squadron" to better reflect the new multi-mission role of the S-3B.


The VS-33 are known as the "Screwbirds", which is actually a shortened version of its full name, the "World Famous and Internationally Traveled Screwbirds", a title that was earned by conducting operations in every part of the world aboard an impressive number of different ships. These ships include USS Hornet (CVS-12), USS Bennington (CVS-20), USS Ranger (CV-61), USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63), USS Constellation (CV-64), USS America (CV-66), USS Nimitz (CVN-68), USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) and USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). The Screwbirds have demonstrated their versatility in recent years by carrying out Anti-Surface Warfare (SUW), Maritime Intercept Operations, and Strike Support in the Arabian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and Operation Southern Watch.

Over the years VS-33 has earned a large number of awards include six Battle Efficiency Awards, five Meritorious Unit Commendations, five Arnold J. Isbell Awards for Anti-Submarine Excellence, seven Golden Wrench Awards for aircraft maintenance excellence, and two recent CINPACFLT Golden Anchor Awards for Retention Excellence.



#6 rich roberts mypepeboy@gmail.com  2016-09-08 17:27
Iwas an AW for 2 kitty hawk and 1 nimitz trips... missing the good times with my brothers......
#5 Oscar Adams Doc HM3 1984 to 87 seabeefamily@cox.net  2015-08-31 19:15
Oh man Phil Church....dude you remember Fallon in 84. I 'm glad I'm still alive.
#4 Phil Church phil5776@q.com  2015-02-21 14:37
I was with VS-33 from 1983 to 1985 and was on the 1983/84 west pac on the USS Ranger and we burned in the indian ocean for almost 12 hours and it really changed my life and I will never forget the morning of Nov 1 1983 and the west pac on the USS Kitty Hawk was much better since the ship we were on was sea worthy and the Ranger wasn't and I can remember that either a small fire or flooding or some kind of problem would happen on a daily basis. Being a part of VS-33 is something I will never forget and I hope all of my squadron mate's that fooled around with my wife are happy with themselves...AO 2 Ron Kitter...Reynol ds..you helped me get a divorce and I could of hung you out to dry with the UCMJ and you all know it...
#3 Pat McLaughlin apm615@gmail.com  2014-02-26 20:49
I believe my dad was the first Skipper of the Screwbirds and eventually CAG of 59. He also commanded Tico in 1969-70.
#2 Don Walling pdwalling@aol.com  2014-02-25 16:35
I was a pilot w/ the VS33 Screwbirds from late 1968 to July 1971. Our 5 month WESTPAC cruise aboard the Tico in 1971 included stops in Hawaii, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, and Hong Kong. We also sailed through the Sunda Strait, South Indian Ocean, Yellow Sea, Sea of Japan and, of course, the Tonkin Gulf.

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