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VBF-17 Skeleton Riding a Rocket
VF-62 Helmet and Shield -1952
VA-106 Helmet and Shield - 1955
VFA-106 Helmet Shield - 1982
VFA-106 F/A-18 Hornet
VFA-106 Det. Key West
November 23, 1945, Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN created the "Skeleton Riding A Rocket" patch.
April 16, 1952, Fighter Squadron SIXTY-TWO initiated the "Helmet and Shield" patch --- illustrated above.
May 26, 1982, VFA-106 modified the "Helmet and Shield" patch. This patch is illustrated above.
199x, VFA-106 Hornet pilots wear unofficial F/A-18 shoulder patches.
Harry S. Gann
There is no recorded moniker for the 1945 to 1952 period.
VA-106 Gladiators from 1952 to 1969.
VFA-106 took the name "Gladiators" when established in 1984, and has used it to the present.
January 2, 1945, Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN (VBF-17) established.
November 15, 1946, VBF-17 redesignated as Fighter Squadron SIX B (VF-6B).
July 28, 1948, VF-6B redesignated as Fighter Squadron SIXTY-TWO (VF-62).
July 1, 1955, VF-62 redesignated Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX (VA-106).
November 7, 1969, Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX (VA-106) disestablished.
VFA, Strike Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX (VFA-106) established April 27, 1984.
January 2, 1945* - - - - - Naval Air Station Agana, Guam
July 8, 1945 - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Alameda
September 1945 - - - - - - Naval Auxiliary Air Station Fallon
February 1946- - - - - - - Naval Air Station Brunswick
1946 - - - - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Norfolk
September 25, 1948 - - - - Naval Auxiliary Air Station Oceana
November 22, 1948- - - - - Naval Air Station Norfolk
January 20, 1949 - - - - - Naval Auxiliary Air Station Oceana
September 18, 1950 - - - - Naval Auxiliary Air Station Cecil Field
October 13, 1952 - - - - - Naval Air Station Jacksonville
December 1954- - - - - - - Naval Air Station Cecil Field
April 27, 1984 - - - - - - Naval Air Station Cecil Field
* Temporary shore assignment while the squadron conducted training in preparation for combat deployment.
The squadron was transferred from Naval Air Station Brunswick to Naval Air Station Norfolk sometime in July or August 1946.
The squadron's home port changed to Naval Air Station Jacksonville on September 5, 1950 and the move from Naval Auxiliary Air Station Oceana was conducted between September 6 and 7. On September 18, Commander Fleet Air Jacksonville changed the squadron's home port to Naval Auxiliary Air Station Cecil Field.
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
VBF-17, VF-6B, VF-62, VA-106
January 1945 - - - - - - - - - - Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat
September 1945 - - - - - - - - - Vought F4U Corsair I
February 1946- - - - - - - - - - Vought F4U-4 Corsair I
June 30, 1948- - - - - - - - - - Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat
February 1950- - - - - - - - - - Grumman F8F-1B Bearcat
August 3, 1950 - - - - - - - - - McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee
October 1955 - - - - - - - - - - Grumman F9F-8B Cougar
June 4, 1958 - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk
December 18, 1962- - - - - - - - Douglas A-4C Skyhawk
November 1966- - - - - - - - - - Douglas A-4E Skyhawk
February 1969- - - - - - - - - - Douglas A-4B Skyhawk
March 1969 - - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A-4C Skyhawk
February 9, 1985 - - - - - - - - McDonnell F/A-18A Hornet
March 22, 1985 - - - - - - - - - McDonnell TF/A-18A Hornet
May 1986 - - - - - - - - - - - - McDonnell Douglas F/A-18B Hornet
October 1987 - - - - - - - - - - McDonnell Douglas F /A-18C Hornet
December 1987- - - - - - - - - - Boeing F/A-18D Hornet
Three view drawings from Harry Gann, redrawn by Bud Southworth.
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
Date - - - - - - - - - - - - Tail code - - - - - - - Air Wing
January 2, 1945- - - - - - C - - - - - CVG-17/CVBG-17/ CVBG-5/CVG-6*
September 1950 - - - - - - F - - - - - CVG-4
1954 - - - - - - - - - - - P/AK - - - CVG-10
October 12, 1961 - - - - - - - - - - - CVG-10
November 12, 1961- - - - - AK- - - - - CVG-10/CVW-10
January 1, 1966- - - - - - AC- - - - - CVW-3
February 1, 1967 - - - - - AA- - - - - CVW-17
January 10, 1968 - - - - - AK- - - - - CVW-10
March 3, 1969- - - - - - - AG- - - - - CVW-7
April 27, 1984 - - - - - - AD- - - - - COMLATWING ONE
* CVG-17 was established on January 1, 1943, re-designated CVBG-17 on January 22, 1946, then re-designated CVBG-5 on November 15, 1946. CVBG-5 was then re-designated CVG-6 on July 27, 1948.
The tail code was changed from P to AK in 1957. The effective date for this change was most likely July 1, 1957.
The squadron was temporarily assigned to Air Group 1 for operation Blow Torch, simulated nuclear strikes against North American targets, and for nuclear operational suitability tests aboard United States Ship Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42.
CVG-10 was re-designated CVW-10 when Carrier Air Group (CVG) designations were re-designated Carrier Air Wings (CVW) on December 20, 1963.
*CVG-I5 was re-designated CVW-16 when Carrier Air Groups (CVG were re-designated Carrier Air Wings (CVW) on December 20, 1963.
Departure & Return - - - - - - - - Air Wing - Carrier -Aircraft - - Area of Operations:
02-10-45 to 06-13-45 - CVG-17 - CV 12- - F6F-5 - - Pacific
10-27-49 to 11-23-49 - CVG-6- - CVB 42 - F8F-2 - - NorLant
05-15-51 to 10-04-51 - CVG-4- - CV 34- - F2H-2 - - Mediterranean
04-19-52 to 10-12-52 - CVG-4- - CVB 43 - F2H-2 - - Mediterranean
04-26-53 to 12-04-53 - CVG-4- - CVA 39 - F2H-2 - - Korea/West Pac/Med
07-07-54 to 12-20-54 - CVG-10 - CVA 43 - F2H-2 - - Mediterranean
08-13-56 to 02-11-57 - CVG-10 - CVA 43 - F9F-8B- - Mediterranean
08-07-59 to 02-26-60 - CVG-10 - CVA 9- - A4D-2 - - Mediterranean
09-06-60 to 10-20-60 - CVG-10 - CVA 38 - A4D-2 - - NorLant
02-02-61 to 05-15-61 - CVG-10 - CVA 38 - A4D-2 - - Mediterranean
02-07-62 to 08-28-62 - CVG-10 - CVA 38 - A4D-2 - - Mediterranean
10-01-63 to 05-23-64 - CVW-10 - CVA 38 - A-4C- - - Mediterranean
02-15-65 to 09-20-65 - CVW-10 - CVA 38 - A-4C- - - Mediterranean
03-11-66 to 10-26-66 - CVW-3- - CVA 60 - A-4C- - - Mediterranean
06-06-67 to 09-15-67 - CVW-17 - CVA 59 - A-4E- - - WestPac/Vietnam
06-04-68 to 02-08-69 - CVW-10 - CVS 11 - A-4E- - - WestPac/Vietnam
09-03-69 to 10-09-69 - CVW-7- - CVA 62 - A-4C- - - NorLant
VBF-17, VF-6B, VF-62, VA-106
January 11, 1945 - - - - - - - Lieutenant Commander Hugh W. Nicholson
May 14, 1945 - - - - - - - - - Lieutenant Edwin S. Connant (acting)
August 20, 1945- - - - - - - - Lieutenant Commander Edwin S. Connant
July 1, 1947 - - - - - - - - - Commander C. E. Houston
1948 - - - - - - - - - - - - - Lieutenant Commander Walter O. Zoecklein (acting)
July 2, 1948 - - - - - - - - - Lieutenant Commander James E. Shew
January 3, 1950- - - - - - - - Lieutenant Commander Hugh A. Kelly
October19, 1951- - - - - - - - Commander Douglas A. Clark
November 25, 1952- - - - - - - Lieutenant Commander William W. Kelly
February 27, 1954- - - - - - - Commander Lewis W. Jenkins
July 1955- - - - - - - - - - - Commander Hollis H. Hills
February 1957- - - - - - - - - Commander O. L. Dauphin
April 25, 1958 - - - - - - - - Commander Newton P. Foss
December 5, 1959 - - - - - - - Commander S. O. Bach
July 22, 1960- - - - - - - - - Commander L. W. Baldwin, Jr.
July 31, 1961- - - - - - - - - Commander L. E. Irvin
July 25, 1962- - - - - - - - - Commander W. S. Nelson
July 1963- - - - - - - - - - - Commander G. E. R. Kinnear II
August 1, 1964 - - - - - - - - Commander C. B. Crockett
June 1965- - - - - - - - - - - Commander James H. Scott
June 24, 1966- - - - - - - - - Commander S. R. Foley, Jr.
August 7, 1967 - - - - - - - - Commander S. E. Latimer, Jr.
November 17, 1967- - - - - - - Commander Walter L. Clarke, Jr.
March 3, 1969- - - - - - - - - Commander J. H. Harns
April 27, 1984 - - - - - - - - Commander D. J. L'Herault
December 13, 1985- - - - - - - Commander J. W. Peterson
February 13, 1987- - - - - - - Commander L. G. Kappel
June 3, 1988 - - - - - - - - - Commander W. O. King, Jr.
June 12, 1989- - - - - - - - - Commander W. N. Deaver, Jr.
March 19, 1991 - - - - - - - - Commander J. Barry Waddell
Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:
Pacific Unit Commendation
02-16-45 to 06-10-45
Campaign Medal WW-II Asiatic-Pacific Area
02----45 to 06----45
07-01-49 to 06-30-50
07-01-55 to 06-30-56
07-01-59 to 06-30-60
07-01-65 to 12-31-66
06-09-53 to 07-27-53
06-09-53 to 09-27-53
VIETNAM SERVICE MEDAL
07-15-67 to 07-17-67
07-23-67 to 07-31-67
08-12-67 to 08-13-67
09-05-68 to 09-27-68
10-14-68 to 11-14-68
12-03-68 to 12-27-68
06-03-61 to 06-11-61
06-14-61 to 06-18-61
05-01-85 to 04-30-86
05-01-86 to 10-31-87
11-01-87 to 12-31-89
VBF-17, VF-6B, VF-62, VA-106
January 2, 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN (VBF-17) was established at Naval Air Station Agana, Guam, a month before it entered combat. Personnel from VF-17 were the core of the newly established Bomber-Fighter Squadron 17. The squadron was assigned the Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat.
February 10, 1945 through June 13, 1945: VBF-17 flying the F6F-5 Hellcat embarked on USS Hornet CV 12, for combat in the Pacific war.
February 16 & 17, 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN operating from USS Hornet CV 12, striking against targets in the Tokyo area.
February 20 through 22, 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN flew strikes against Iwo Jima and provided air support for the landings on the island.
February 25, 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN flew strikes in the Tokyo area.
March 18 & 19, 1945: Major strikes were conducted by VFB-17 aircraft against Kanoya, the largest airfield on Kyushu and against the Japanese Fleet anchored at Kure Naval Base. On March 19, Lt. Edwin S. Conant was awarded the Silver Star for his action as flight leader on a fighter sweep over Kure Bay. He shot down three planes during an engagement with the enemy and his flight group accounted for a total of 24 enemy planes downed and probably eight or more damaged.
March 21, 1945: Lt(jg) Henry E. Mitchell became an Ace when he shot down five Betty twin engine bombers that were part of a sortie attacking the squadron's task force. Henry was later killed in action on April 3, 1945. For his action on March 21, LTJG Henry Mitchell was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross.
March through May 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN operating from USS Hornet CV 12, flew strikes against Okinawa.
April 6, 1945: Ens. Harold Yeremain became an Ace when he added three more aircraft to his total by downing two Mitsubishi A6M Zeke Fighters, more commonly known as Zeros and an Aichi Val single engine carrier bomber during an engagement near Okinawa. Ensigns John J. Gafeney and William J. Kostik were awarded Silver Stars for their actions in shooting down three Japanese aircraft each during this engagement.
April 7, 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN flew in the combined task force strikes against the super battleship Yamato and its accompanying escorts, resulting in the sinking of Yamato, two cruisers and three destroyers.
April 7, 1945: Lt. Byron A. Eberts became an Ace when he brought his total to five by shooting down a Yokosuka Francis Japanese Navy Night Fighter.
April 12 1945: Lt. Edwin S. Conant became an Ace when he shot down a Mitsubishi A6M Zeke (Zero) and a Japanese Army Nakajima Tojo Fighter and brought his tally to six aircraft downed.
April 14, 1945: Ensigns Robert A. Clarke and William J. Kostik became Aces when they each shot down a Mitsubishi A6M Zeke (Zero).
April 16, 1945: Lt. John M. Johnston became an Ace when he shot down four Mitsubishi A6M Zekes (Zeros), bringing his total to eight aircraft. For John's action during this engagement he was awarded the Silver Star.
May 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN flew strikes against Kyushu and Shikoku, hitting aircraft plants and airfields.
May 14, 1945: LCdr. H. W. Nicholson, Bomber-Fighter Squadron SEVENTEEN's Commanding Officer, was killed in action during a strike against Kyushu.
May 14, 1945: Lt(jg) Carl V. Stone became an Ace when he added two Japanese fighters to his total of downed aircraft.
September 1945: VBF-17 was assigned the Vought F4U Corsair I.
November 15, 1946: VBF-17 re-designated as Fighter Squadron SIX B (VF-6B).
June 30, 1948: VF-6B was assigned the Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat.
July 28, 1948: VF-6B re-designated as Fighter Squadron SIXTY-TWO (VF-62).
August 3, 1950: VF-62 was assigned the McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee.
July 1, 1955: VF-62 re-designated Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX (VA-106).
October 1955: VA-106 was assigned the Grumman F9F-8B Cougar.
August 1956: Following the nationalization of the Suez Canal by Egypt on July 26, the USS Coral Sea CVA 43, with Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX aboard was ordered to the eastern Mediterranean as tensions increased and France and the United Kingdom began preparations for military action against Egypt.
October and November 1956: On October 29, Israel invaded Egypt and a day later France and the United Kingdom joined in the invasion, with the intent of reoccupying the Suez Canal. USS Coral Sea CVA 43, with Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX aboard was on station in the eastern Mediterranean during the American evacuation of Western nationals from Egypt and Israel.
June 4, 1958: VA-106 was assigned the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk.
Jan. 1959: In One Hour, 46 Landings! VA-106 Smashes Intrepid Record. From sun-up to moon-up, it was a most unusually busy day for the men of Attack Squadron 106 aboard USS Intrepid (CVA-11). At the close of operations the pilots had racked up 225 landings in A4D-2 Skyhawks. Forty-six of them were made in one hour, marking an Intrepid first.
February 6, 1959: Lt(jg). Rupert B. Lowe, 23, (Cecil Field) ejected safely from his Skyhawk (BuNo 142782) and landed beside a Lake County Road while on a bombing mission Friday. Lowe suspected he collided with something -- believed to be a bird -- and the planes controls were damaged. The plane crashed in the Ocala National Forest. Orlando Sentinel, Sunday, February 8, 1959.
July 1959: During the NATO exercise Riptide, held off the east coast of the United States, Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX conducted cross deck operations with the British carrier HMS Victorious.
November 15 through 28, 1960: Following a request from Guatemala and Nicaragua, a Navy patrol was established off the coast of these Central American countries to prevent infiltration by communists from Cuba. Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX operated from USS Shangri-La CVA 38, as part of the patrol force.
June 2 through 19, 1961: Following the assassination of the Dominican Republic's dictator, General Rafael Trujillo, VA-106 operated from USS Shangri-La off the coast of Dominica until the domestic situation stabilized.
October 22 through November 28, 1962: During the Cuban Missile Crisis VA-106 was assigned to the U.S. Air Force's 19th Tactical Air Force, in an alert status.
May 1963: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX operated from USS Shangri-La CVA 38, in the Caribbean during the period of unrest in Haiti and the civil strife with the Dominican Republic.
July 22, 1963: Lt. George D. Stathers Jr. based at NAS Cecil Field is missing and presumed lost after his A-4C Skyhawk (BuNo 148478) crashed into the ocean about 250 miles off Norfolk, VA. He was on a practice mission and about 8 miles from the USS Shangri-La while making an approach to the carrier. Pensacola News Journal, Wednesday, 24 July 1966.
May 15, 1967: LT(jg) Davis ejected safely when his test bird, A-4E BuNo 151155, came apart over the runway.
July 8, 1967 through September 15, 1967: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX Gladiators flying the Douglas A-4E Skyhawk from the from USS Forrestal CVA 59, deployed for their first of two WestPac/Vietnam combat cruises.
July 29, 1967: After four days on Yankee Station tragedy struck USS Forrestal CVA 59. While aircraft were being prepared for the second launch of the day against targets in Vietnam, a Zuni rocket was accidentally fired on the flight deck causing a chain reaction of explosions among the aircraft loaded with bombs and fuel. Flames engulfed the fantail and spread below decks touching off bombs and ammunition. Heroic efforts by VA-106 personnel, along with other members of CVW-17 and ship's company, brought the fires under control. Damage to the carrier and aircraft was severe and VA-106 lost eight men out of the 132 dead, two missing and presumed dead and 62 injured.
U.S.S. Forrestal - 29 JULY 1967
After four days on Yankee Station, while aircraft were being prepared for the second launch of the day against targets in Vietnam, a fire broke out (a Zuni rocket was accidentally fired) on the flight deck of United States Ship Forrestal CVA 59. A chain reaction of explosions among the aircraft loaded with bombs and fuel caused flames to engulfed the fantail and spread below decks touching off more bombs and ammunition.
June 4, 1968 through February 8, 1969: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX flying the A-4E Skyhawk from USS Intrepid CVS 11, the second of two combat cruises to WestPac/Vietnam.
September 23, 1968: LCdr. David F. Callahan in VA-106 BuNo 152091 was killed when he crashed into port quarter of flight deck and went into the sea off the port quarter at latitude 18-12.2N and longitude 107-09.1E and sank in 38 fathoms of water at 1116. USS Stoddard (DD 566) and helicopter commenced search for pilot. USS Intrepid deck log, 23 September 1968. Generator failure and banked sharply left on approach, struck the LSO platform and crashed into the sea. The LSO Lt. Robert William Harris also was killed. LCdr. Callahan is on panel 43W, line 068 of the Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
October 21, 1968: Lt. Kenneth "Keith" Knabb was killed when his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 151160, AK 217) crashed Monday about 38 miles south of a stand-down area. The Skyhawk, the 910th American warplane reported lost in combat over North Vietnam, made a strafing run on a truck, went into a dive, and a large fireball was observed. Reno Evening Gazette, Tuesday, October 22, 1968.
November 7, 1969: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX (VA-106) was disestablished.
April 27, 1984: Strike Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX (VFA-106) was established. The squadron's mission is the training of F/A-18 replacement pilots and maintenance personnel for east coast F/A-18 fleet squadrons.
February 9, 1985: Strike Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIX was assigned the McDonnell F/A-18A Hornet.
October 7, 1985: The first Replacement Pilot Class arrives at VFA-106 to begin training on the F/A-18 Hornet.
2005: VFA-106 dedicates a new briefing room to the Skyhawk. Early in 2005 Lt. Michael A. DePalma of VFA-106 requested assistance from the Skyhawk Association in decorating a new briefing room. Below are the results.
24 Oct 1958: Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 142782, AF-514, is readied for launch from the Intrepid. Naval Aviation News Photo, Gary Verver.
1959: Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 142767 trails the hose and drogue as it refuels from BuNo 142773 which is taking on fuel from another Gladiators Skyhawk (BuNo 145025 or 145026). Naval Aviation News.
July 1959: VA-106 Gladiators A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 144954, AK-00, trapping aboard the HMS Victorious during cross-deck operations. Official U.S. Navy photo.
1959: Personnel - 1959-1961 aboard the U.S.S. Shangra La CV-38. Photo from Cruise Book, via Otto Krueger.
Personnel - 1959-1961 aboard the U.S.S. Shangra La CV-38. Photo from Cruise Book, via Otto Krueger.
Personnel - 1959-1961 aboard the U.S.S. Shangra La CV-38. Photo from Cruise Book, via Otto Krueger.
VA-106 maintenance 1959-1961 aboard the U.S.S. Shangra La CV-38. Working on something in the aft "Hell-Hole". Photo from Cruise Book, via Otto Krueger.
Gladiator four plane. In March 1961, six Skyhawks flew over the United States Ship Shangri-La CVA-38 in the Mediterranean off Navplion, Greece on returning from an escort mission. An accompaning VFP-62, F-8 Crusader flying top cover rolled on his side and snapped this picture from his side camera. The Crusader photo bird was piloted by LCDR Norm Youngblood, Officer in Charge, of VFP-62 Det 44. The Shang was headed into the wind and launching the next flight cycle. The Skyhawk flight was actually made up of 6 planes but two were cropped from the picture. LCDR Otto Krueger the VA-106 Operations Officer was flying lead in AK 300; Left wing was LTJG Jim "Trim" Tabb in AK 302; On right wing was LT Bob Kemper in AK 306; Tail-end Charlie in AK 310, was LTJG Jack Peace. Subsequently Killed in Action December 31, 1967, CDR John Darlington Peace III, is listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall panel 33 line 10. The pilots of the two cropped Skyhawks were LTJG John Kessler and LTJG Jay Rower. Wire services published this picture and erroneously identified the lead plane pilot as CAG CDR Frank Ault. USN photograph from Otto Krueger.
1960: left front view of Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 142724, AK-313, tied down topside on the Shang. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza
1962: Gladiators Skyhawks BuNo 145011, AK-303, and BuNo 144962, AK-301, tied down on the Shang's flight deck. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
1962: VA-106 145026, AK305; 144960, AK-302; 144903, AK311 and unknown A4D-2 during the Shangri La MED cruise in 1962. Martin Treu.
VA-106 1962 Shangri La Med Cruise.
1963-64: Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 148463, AG-316, parked on the ramp. Neil Schneider.
Oct 1964: partial left front view of Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 149529, AK-306. UH-25B Retriever at right is BuNo 128496. Naval Aviation news Photo.
1964-66: BuNo 148546, AK-309, on the ramp behind an array of Skyhawk ordnance including FFAR's, Sidewinders, Bullpups and iron bombs. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
January 1965: These Gladiator Skyhawks flying in a spear formation represent the striking punch of the NAS Cecil Field, FL based squadron operating with the USS Shangi La. Naval Aviation News.
1965: Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 150585, tail code AK, moving onto the Shang's forward cat. Naval Aviation News Photo.
Nov 1965: Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 147796 prepares to taxi forward after the hookman has cleared the arresting cable. Naval Aviation News Photo.
1966: CAG-3 LSOs group photo on the platform of USS Saratoga in 1966. The A-4 squadrons were VA-34, VA-46 and VA-106.
1966: A-4E SKYHAWK BuNo. 151178. VA-86 A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151178, side number AG 412 is shown trapping on the United States Ship Independence CVA-62 in 1966. USN photo from Jack "Puresome" Woodul.
1966: a Gladiators pilot preflights Skyhawk BuNo 148600 aboard the Sara. Naval Aviation News Photo.
MAR - OCT66: VA-106 Gladiators A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 148545, AC-412, USS Saratoga, CVA-60, March 1966 - October 1966. HC-2 Fleet Angels Det. 60 UH-2A BuNo 152195, HU-39, at right. VA-46 Clansmen A-4C and VA-34 Blue Blasters A-4C AC-303, next to the island. Official U.S. Navy photo.
1967: VA-106 Gladiators A-4E, BuNo 150070, AA-321, tied down on the USS Forrestal. Probably June/July 1967 as VA-106 deployed on the Forrestal in "67" with tail code AA and modex 3xx. VA-106 Gladiators A-4E Skyhawk BuNo 150070, AA-321, behind the island next to RVAH-11 Checkertails RA-5C Vigilante AA-601 and AA-605 as a F-4B Phantom traps aboard the USS Forrestal, circa 1967. Looks like VAW-33 Det. EA-1F Skyraider AA-904 in the foreground. They sailed 6 June and the stern of the Forrestal had a new look after 29 July. Official U.S. Navy photo, Don Scott collection and courtesy of Gary Verver.
1967: (pre-29JUL67 fire): BuNo 152024, AA-310, on the ramp prior to the 1967 WestPac aboard CVA-59. This aircraft was destroyed in the fire aboard CVA-59 on 29JUL67. Dave Dollarhide.
29 July 1967: burned out hulk of Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 152024, AA-310, on-board the USS Forrestal, CV-59, following the fire while on station off the coast of Vietnam. US Navy Photo.
1967: Gear up landing at Rosy Roads for BuNo 152030. With twin drop tanks carried, damage is minimized. Rocky Pratt - from Gary Verver.
September 1968: VA-106 Gladiators A-4E Skyhawk BuNo 152091, AK-216, configured as a tanker is positioned for launch aboard the USS Intrepid (CVS-11) in the Gulf of Tonkin. Official U.S. Navy photo.
02 September 1968: VA-106 Gladiator Skyhawk BuNo. 151178, side number AK 210 --rebuilt and upgraded and now operating from the United States Ship Intrepid. 151178 is shown cleaned-up after takeoff from Naval Air Station Atsugi. Black & white photograph by and from Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
September 1968: BuNo. 152069 is brought to the launching position on a steam catapult aboard USS Intrepid (CVS-11), during flight operations in the Gulf of Tonkin. Note nose-wheel steering bar in use. Pretty sure the squadron is VA-106 as they were the only A-4E squadron on-board the Intrepid at that time and they used the AK 2xx modex. Information is that the other two A-4 squadrons on-board were VA-36 and VA-66 and they flew A-4C's with the modex AK 5xx and AK 3xx. Official US Navy Photo - Provide by Gary Verver.
02 Oct 1968: Gladiators Skyhawk BuNo 151027, AK-202, taking off from NAS Atsugi. Photo by Masakaai Hayakawa.
November 1968: BuNo 155078, AK-201, assigned to CDR Walt Clarke parked on the ramp. Nick Williams.
February 1969: BuNo 150091, AK-217, parked on the ramp. Nick Williams.
March-October 1969: VA-106 Gladiators A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 149640, AG-301, and BuNo 145078, AG-307, USS Independence, CVA-62, March - October 1969. VSF-1 War Eagles A-4C AG-614 at left and VA-64 Black Lancers A-4C AG-581 between them. Official U.S. Navy.
1969: BuNo 149640, AG-301 of VA-106, going to the cat, being steered by a Blue Shirt. USN Photo via Gary Verver.
1970: USS Shangri-La (CVA-38) with CVW-10 (AK) including VF-13 Night Cappers (F-8E Crusader), VF-62 Boomerangs (F-8E Crusader), VA-106 Gladiators (A-4C Skyhawk), VA-176 Thunderbolts (A-1H Skyraider), VA-46 Clansmen (A-4C Skyhawk), VFP-62 Eyes of the Fleet Det. (RF-8A Crusader), VAW-12 Det. (E-1B Tracer) and HC-2 Det. (UH-2A Seasprite), 1970.
Forrestal Fire Memorial
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit: