In October of 1960, men started reporting to NAS Sanford, Florida
for assignment to a new squadron being formed, Heavy Attack
Squadron Thirteen (HATRON THIRTEEN). On 3 January 1961
HATRON THIRTEEN (VAH-13) was commissioned to serve
aboard the Navy's newest attack carrier, the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk
(CVA-63), which was commissioned on 29 April 1961.
After completing its initial training the squadron was deployed
on the Kitty Hawk, departing Norfork on 1 July 1961, the ship
headed for her shakedown cruise in the Caribbean out of
Guantanamo. After completing the shakedown, the majority
of the squadron returned to NAS Sanford where they received
orders to proceed to their new homebase at NAS Whidbey
Island, Washington by first part of September 1961.
Meanwhile, the detachment that remained on the ship sailed
around Cape Horn arriving at its new homeport in San Diego,
California on 1 November 1961. The detachment then flew
on to NAS Whidbey Island to rejoin the rest of the squadron.
For the next three years HATRON THIRTEEN maintained
readiness requirements and served with the Seventh Fleet
aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk. This period included a :
Mid-Pac June and July of 1962,
WEPTRAEX July and August of 1962,
WESTPAC September 1962 thru March 1963,
WESTPAC October 1963 thru March 1964,
WESTPAC April 1964 thru July 1964.
In August of 1964 the squadron returned to NAS Sanford, Florida
in preparation for its transition from the Douglas A3D Skywarrior
to the North American RA-5C Vigilante. On 1 November 1964
the squadron designation and mission was officially
changed from Heavy Attack Squadron Thirteen to
Reconnaissance Attack Squadron Thirteen.