VFS-13 Black Cats Veritech Squadron
Veritech Squadron VFS-13 - The Black Cats
VFS-13, the “Black Cat Squadron,” or more usually, “The Black Cats” was a squadron originally designated as VF-31, the “Tomcatters,” while flying F-14 Tomcats through the 20th Century. At the outbreak of the Global Civil War, the decimation of VF-31 caused a strike wing reorganization. The squadron was re-designated VFS-13 “The Strike Jaguars” (Squadron patch design above) and assigned to fly the F-203 Dragon II Fighter. With the arrival of the SDF-1 and in the aftermath of the Global Civil War, the unit was moved from the UEG to the RDF, and chosen to be one of the first squadrons to transition to the VFX program for training and adoption of the VF-1 Veritech Variable Fighter.
The so-called “Curse of the Cats” began shortly afterwards. The Jaguars seemed impossible from returning from a mission, be it a training exercise or clean up of anti-government forces after formalization of the United Earth Government, without taking a loss of at least 50% operational capacity of their Veritechs. Their pilot rarely died, but did spend more time in the hospital on average compared to any other VT squadron. On more than one occasion, Squadron members had to walk their VTs home after losing wings, engines, or other components.
It didn’t take long for the jokes to reach epic levels of morale-crushing ridicule for the poor Strike Jaguars. Starting as a in-house joke, soon the name “Black Cats” became the more or less official name for VFS-13.
Not too long after the unfortunate “mecha pretzel” incident with the squadron commanding officer, a new C.O. was brought in. Commander Patrick Allen Xavier – callsign “PAX.” Pax was a firm believer in turning your weaknesses into strengths. Recognizing that fighter pilots are among some of the most superstitious people in existence, he went about “rebranding” the Jaguars. Embracing the RDF base joke as a badge of pride, Pax reinstated the original VF-31 “Tomcatters” insignia for the squadron, officially re-naming VFS-13 to “the Black Cats.”
The first mission the newly renamed Cats flew was a complete success, with no damage to mecha or pilot. The squadron members seemed to feel as if a curse was lifted, and since the rebranding have flown with a perfect operational record. Since then, the gold and black patch of a cat running with a bomb has been worn with pride by the “Fighting 13th.”
Squadron Mecha Composition
12 VF-1 Series Veritech Fighters
– Squadron Number 1301, SQDRN CO’s VT
– SNs 1302, 1303, 1304, and 1305
– SNs 1306 – 1310
– SNs 1311 – 1312. Not to be confused with the later production VF-1R series Veritechs. These are VT-1D trainers specially modified to serve in reconnaissance roles. Not dish-carrying VTs, but rather increased sensor suites and specially modified missiles that can act as sensor probes in space environments.