At this year's Tailhook convention in Reno, Nev., the "World Famous Pukin' Dogs" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 143 were recognized as the 2010 winners of the Wade McClusky Award.
The McClusky Award, presented on Sept. 10 to the Pukin Dogs, is named in honor of Rear Adm. Clarence Wade McClusky who, as an air group commander in 1942 during the Battle of Midway, led a group of scout bombers on a strike against the Japanese carrier fleet.
In the words of Adm. Chester Nimitz, McClusky's decision to continue the search for the enemy, and his judgment as to where the enemy might be found, "decided the fate of our carrier task force and our forces at Midway." In recognition of his heroic actions, the McClusky award is given annually to the most outstanding attack squadron in the US Navy.
Throughout 2010, the Pukin' Dogs displayed flawless mission execution and impeccable readiness. Boasting 2,574 mishap-free sorties and logging 6,350 flight hours, more than 5,400 hours of which were embarked, the Pukin' Dogs excelled in every facet of operations, from administrative to maintenance to combat execution. Embarked aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in direct support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the Pukin' Dog pilots achieved a 100 percent hit rate on all ordnance employed.
The Dog pilots again set themselves apart achieving the title of Top Hook for three of the four line periods and the overall Top Hook Award for Carrier Air Wing 7 while the Dog maintainers achieved a 99.4 percent overall sortie completion rate and a 99.7 percent combat sortie completion.
"The Pukin' Dogs take great pride in delivering high quality results. It would not be possible without acute attention to detail in every department. These accomplishments are a direct result of the dedication of every member of the Pukin' Dog team. We are proud to answer the bell no matter what the calling may be," said Commanding Officer Cmdr. Joe Barnes.