The Demon was the Navy’s first swept-wing, all-weather, missile-armed fighter. Design work on the F3H began in 1949, but delays due to engine problems resulted in the prototype not flying until 1951 and the first production aircraft did not fly until 1953. Despite the delays the plane’s Westinghouse J40 engine was very unreliable and failures resulted in several crashes. The engine was eventually replaced with an Allison J71, which cured most of the Demon’s problems. The first versions of the Demon were strictly interceptors, but the later F3H-2 model was a strike fighter that added air-to-ground capability to the design. A total of 519 Demons were built and the type remained in front-line service until the mid 1960s when they were replaced by the F-4B Phantom II.
Built by McDonnell Aircraft Company, St. Louis, Missouri and delivered to the U.S. Navy on July 17, 1958.
August 1958 To Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina for service modifications.
December 1958 To Fighter Squadron 31 (VF-31), Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
Fighter Squadron 13 (VF-13), USS Shangri-La, 1963
February 1959 To Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14), USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.
February 1959 To Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron 104 (FASRON-104), Naval Station Rota, Spain.
March 1959 To Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14), USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.
August 1959 Unit returns to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
September 1959 To Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron 9, Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
November 1959 To Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina for overhaul.
September 1960 To Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14), Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
February 1961 Deployed on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.
August 1961 Return to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida
August 1962 Deployed on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.
November 1962 Redesignated as F-3B.
May 1963 Return to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
June 1963 To Fighter Squadron 13 (VF-13) aboard USS Shangri-La.
May 1964 Return to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
June 1964 To Litchfield Park, Arizona for storage.
May 1978 Loaned to Pima Air & Space Museum by the National Museum of Naval Aviation.
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