The F/A-18C is the single-seat variant and the F/A-18D is the two seat variant. The D-model can be configured for training or as an all-weather strike craft. The "missionized" D-model's rear seat is configured for a Weapons and Sensors Officer to assist in operating the weapons systems. The F/A-18D is primarily operated by the U.S. Marine Corps in the night attack and FAC(A) (Forward Air Controller (Airborne)) roles.
At the end of World War II, the Chief of Naval Operations, Chester W. Nimitz, ordered the formation of a flight demonstration team to keep the public interested in Naval Aviation. The Blue Angels performed their first flight demonstration less than a year later in June 1946 at their home base, Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. LCDR Roy "Butch" Voris led the team, flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat.
Two months later, on August 25, 1946, the Blue Angels transitioned to the Grumman F8F Bearcat. The 1947 team, led by LCDR Robert Clarke, introduced the now-famous "Diamond Formation."
By the end of the 1940s, the Blue Angels were flying their first jet aircraft, the Grumman F9F-2 Panther. In response to the demands placed on Naval Aviation in the Korean Conflict, the team reported to the aircraft carrier USS Princeton as the nucleus of Fighter Squadron 191 (VF-191), "Satan’s Kittens," in 1950.
The team reorganized the next year and reported to NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, where they began flying the newer and faster version of the Panther, the F9F-5. The Blue Angels remained in Corpus Christi until the winter of 1954 when they relocated to their present home base at NAS Pensacola, Florida. Here they progressed to the swept wing Grumman F9F-8 Cougar.