U.S. Navy Aviation Squadron
Designations and Abbreviations

U.S. Navy aviation squadron designations from the early 1920's to present are listed alphabetically by squadron acronym. The list does not include Marine Corps squadron designations. Dates for use of a designation are expressed in a general timeframe.

For a history of the derivation of squadron designations see Appendix 4  to Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Volume 1, 1995, by Roy Gossnick.

Acronym Squadron Designation Timeframe
HAL or HA(L) Helicopter Attack Squadron Light  1967-1972, 1976-88
HC Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 1965-2007
HCS Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron 1988 -2006
HCT Helicopter Combat Support Training Squadron 1974-1977
HM Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 1971-present
HS Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron  1951-2016
HSC Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 2006-present
HSL Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (Light) 1972 -present
HSM Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 2008-present
HT Helicopter Training Squadron 1960-present
HTU Helicopter Training Unit 1950-1957
HU Helicopter Utility Squadron 1948-1965
HUQ Unmanned Reconnaissance Helicopter Squadrons 2012-present
RVAH Reconnaissance Attack Squadro 1964-1979
RVAW Carrier Airborne Early Warning Training Squadron 1967-1983
Tactical Squadron
Tactical Air Control
VA Attack Squadron 1946-1996
VA(AW) All-Weather Attack Squadron 1956-1959
VAH or VA(H) Heavy Attack Squadron 1955-1971
VA(HM) Attack Mining Squadron 1956-1959
VAK Tactical Aerial Refueling Squadron 1979-1989
VAL or VA(L) Light Attack Squadron 1969-1972
VAP or VA(P) Heavy Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy)
Heavy Photographic Squadron
VAQ Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron
Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron
VAW Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron
VB Bombing Squadron
Light Bombing Plane Squadron
VBF Bombing Fighting Squadron 1945-1946
VC Composite Squadron 1943-1945, 1948-1956
VC Fleet Composite Squadron 1965-present
VCN Night Composite Squadron 1946-1948
VCP Photographic Composite Squadron 1958-1961
VCS Cruiser Scouting Squadron 1937-1945
VD Photographic Squadron 1943-1946
VE Evacuation Squadron 1944-1945
VF Combat Squadron 1922
VF Fighting Plane Squadron
Fighting Squadron
VF Fighter Squadron 1948-1996
VFA Fighter Attack Squadron
Strike Fighter Squadron
VF(AW) All-Weather Fighter Squadron
Fighter (All-Weather) Squadron
VFC Fleet Fighter Composite Squadron  1973-present 
VFN, VF(N) Night Fighting Squadron 1944-1946
VFP, VF(P) Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Light)
Light Photographic Squadron
VGF Escort-Fighter Squadron 1942-1943
VGS Escort-Scouting Squadron 1942-1943
VH Rescue Squadron 1944-1946
VJ Utility Squadron
General Utility Squadron
VJ Weather Squadron
Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
VJ Photographic Squadron 1952-1956
Special Air Task Force Squadron
VN Training Squadron 1927-1947
VO Spotting Squadron 1922
VO Observation Plane Squadron
Observation Squadron
1923-1945, 1947-1949, 1967-1968
VOC Composite Spotting Squadron 1944-1945
VOF Observation Fighter Squadron 1942-1945
VP Seaplane Patrol Squadron 1922
VP Patrol Squadron 1924-1944, 1946, 1948-present
VP-AM Amphibian Patrol Squadron 1944-1946
VPB Patrol Bombing Squadron 1944-1946
VP-HL Heavy Patrol Squadron (landplane) 1946-1948
VPM Meteorological Squadron 1946-1947
VP-ML Medium Patrol Squadron (landplane) 1946-1948
VP-MS Medium Patrol Squadron (seaplane) 1946-1948
VPP, VP(P) Photographic Squadron
Patrol Squadron (photographic)
VPU Patrol Squadron Special Unit 1982-x
VPW Weather Reconnaissance Squadron 1945-1948
VPW Air Early Warning Squadron 1948
VQ Electronic Countermeasures Squadron 1955-1960
VQ Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1961-2012
VR Transport Squadron
Air Transport Squadron
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron
VR Fleet Tactical Support Squadron 1958-1976
VR Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1976-present
VRC, VR(C) Fleet Tactical Support Squadron 1960-1976
VRC Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1976-present
VRE Air Transport Evacuation Squadron 1945
VRF Transport Ferry and Service Squadron 1943-1946
VRF Air Ferry Transport Squadron
Air Ferry Squadron
VRF, VR(F) Aircraft Ferry Squadron 1957-1986
VRJ Utility Transport Squadron 1945-1946
VRS Air Ferry Service Squadron
Ferry Command Service Squadron
VRU Transport Utility Squadron 1946-1948
VS Scouting Plane Squadron
Scouting Squadron
VS Anti-Submarine Squadron
Carrier Air Anti-Submarine Squadron
Air Anti-Submarine Squadron
VS Sea Control Squadron 1993-2008
VSF Anti-Submarine Fighter Squadron 1965-1973
VT Torpedo Bombing Plane Squadron
Torpedo Bombing Squadron
VT Torpedo Plane Squadron 1921
VT Tropedo Squadron 1930-1946
VT Training Squadron 1960-present
VTN Night Torpedo Squadron 1944-1946
VU Utility Squadron 1946-1965
VUP Unmanned Patrol Squadrons 2014-present
VW Air Early Warning Squadron
Early Warning Squadron
Fleet Early Warning Squadron
VW Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
Fleet Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
VX Experimental Squadron c1927-1943
VX Experimenta and Development Squadron
Operational Development Squadron
Air Operational Development Squadron
Air Development Squadron
VX Air Text and Evaluation Squadron
Text and Evaluation Squadron
VXE Antarctic Development Squadron 1969-xxx
VXN Oceanographic Development Squadron 1969-1993
ZJ Blim Utility Squadron 1944-1945
ZK Kite Balloon Squadron 1922-1924
ZKN Kite Balloon Training Squadron *
ZKO Kite Balloon Observation Squadron *
ZNN Non-rigid Airship Training Squadron *
ZNO Non-rigid Airship Observation Squadron *
ZNP Non-rigid Airship Patrol Squadron *
ZNS Non-rigid Airship Scouting Squadron *
ZP Airship Patrol Squadron 1942-1961
ZP Blimp Squadron 1942-1961
ZP Airship Patrol Squadron (All-Weather Anti-Submarine)
Airship Squadron
LTA Patrol Squadron
ZRN Rigid Airship Training Squadron *
ZRP Rigid Airship Patrol Squadron *
ZRS Rigid Airship Scouting Squadron *
ZS Airship Anti-Submarine Squadron *
ZW Airship Early Warning Squadron 1956-1961
ZX Airship Operational Development Squadron
Airship Development Squadron
(1) * Designation established by the Navy but never used.
(1)  Grossnick, Roy A. (1995). Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons Volume 1 - The History of VA, VAH, VAK, VAL, VAP and VFA Squadrons  Appendix 4 (Off site)
(2)  Wikipedia List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons (Off site)
(3)  Wikipedia  List of inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons (Off site)