VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — On Thursday, officials with the F-14 Tomcat Association officially presented the city of Virginia Beach with a monument honoring the F-14 Tomcat fighter jet.
The 10-ft tall black granite obelisk monument highlights the history of the Tomcat, a tribute to maintenance and operational personnel, and a commemoration of those who died flying the aircraft. It is located at the Naval Aviation Monument Park that is adjacent to the Virginia Beach boardwalk.
Officials erected the monument earlier this year, however, the ceremony was delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are so very pleased that so many of you have accepted our invitation to join us in Virginia Beach,” said Retired RADM Bad Fred Lewis, USN, chair Chairman, F-14 Tomcat Monument Dedication Committee in a letter. “In fact, acceptances have far exceeded our expectations.”
The installation of the monument was first announced in May 2020.
The jet, officially retired in September 2006, was officially introduced by the US Navy 32 years prior. It served as a multirole fighter during its time with the Navy. The jet was also a central part of the 1986 film, Top Gun.
It became a symbol of America’s air superiority and was later retired from the U.S. Navy. An early success came when two F-14 pilots shot down Libyan planes in the Mediterranean Sea.
Identical laser-etched monuments also stand in Pensacola and San Diego.