A Toilet Can Sometimes Be Seen Hanging On A U.S Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet’s Wing – Here Is Why

The navy Strike Fighter Squadron 25, also known as VFA-25 ‘Fist of The Fleet,’ exhibited one of their new F/A-18E Block III Super Hornets with a unique store hanging under its wing. It was a toilet with an air-to-ground bomb-like empennage.

The Naval Air Station Lemoore-based unit dates to World War II when then VA-25 flew Avenger torpedo-bombers in the Pacific.

The big piston-powered Skyraider shared carrier decks with then fast jets during Vietnam. Here a Douglas A-1J Skyraider of VA-25 is seen on the carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) in 1967.

A wonderful account of the bizarre contraption’s origins comes from Midwaysailor.com. It reads:

“On November 04, 1965, CDR Clarence W. Stoddard, Jr., Executive Officer of VA-25 “Fist of the Fleet,” flying A-1H Skyraider Bu. No. 135297, NE/572, from Carrier Air Wing Two aboard USS Midway, carried a special bomb to the North Vietnamese in commemoration of the 6-millionth pound of ordnance dropped. This bomb was unique because of the type….. it was a toilet!

Also unique to this mission is the fact this aircraft was named “Paper Tiger II” (a temporary name used for just this one flight).”

The following is an account of this event by Clint Johnson, Captain, USNR Ret. Captain Johnson was one of the two VA-25 A-1 Skyraider pilots credited with shooting down a MiG-17 on June 20, 1965.

“I was a pilot in VA-25 on the 1965 Vietnam cruise.

572 was flown by CDR C. W. “Bill” Stoddard. His wingman in 577 (which was my assigned airplane) was LCDR Robin Bacon, who had a wing station mounted movie camera (the only one remaining in the fleet from WWII).

The flight was a Dixie Station strike (South Vietnam) going to the Delta. When they arrived in the target area and CDR Stoddard was reading the ordnance list to the FAC [Forward Air Controller], he ended with “and one code name Sani-Flush.” The FAC couldn’t believe it and joined up to see it. It was dropped in a dive with LCDR Bacon flying a tight wing position to film the drop. When it came off, it turned hole to the wind and almost struck his airplane. It made a great ready-room movie.”

The ‘E’ seen on the toilet shows the unit has been awarded the Battle Effectiveness Award.

CWO3 Wayne Toth, a member of VFA-25 gave a little background on how the toilet-bomb was brought back to life:

“I am the Gunner in now VFA-25. We had a change of command and decided to replicate it. This time on a brand-new BLOCK III Super Hornet.

One of my AO3s (AO3 Meagan Rickets) picked up a toilet from the marketplace, and I cut the steal, used Mk 76 lugs, made the tail assembly out of multiple dryer exhausts, and our Corrosion Control made the stickers.”

The change of command ceremony was on September 16 at Naval Air Station Lemoore where the historic toilet recreation was exhibited. During the ceremony, Commander Mark “IROC” Tedrow, a former Blue Angel, took over as skipper of VFA-25 from Commander Kristen Hansen.

Commander Mark Tedrow is replacing Commander Kristen Hansen as CO of VFA-25.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *