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VF-93 flying shark 1954 - John Cook
VF-93 flying shark 1954
Skull, NUC Explosion & Aircraft - 1957
VA-93 Blue Blazers 1965-1986
Created by Joe "Fang" Schaedel
VA-93 Blue Blazers Det. Quebec
We Pass Gas - 1965
Gary "Buck" Rodgers
14 APR 1954 - The squadron's first insignia was the Flying Tiger Shark with a back-ground of light blue with a buzz saw outline in red; the upper part of the shark was dark blue, the lower part white and the shark was outlined in black; gold wings with a white eye and red pupil; the carrier was gray outlined in black with white streaks running from the carrier to the tail of the shark.
08 MAY 1957 - Following VF-93's re-designation to VA-93 a new Skull, NUC Explosion and Aircraft patch was created and approved on 8 May 1957.
19 NOV 1965 - A modified kinder and gentler Skull, NUC and Aircraft patch was created by Joe "Fang" Schaedel and adopted. VA-93 was forced to change its patch during the Vietnam War when the Navy Bureau felt atomic explosions a too harsh and eliminated the NUC explosion from the succeeding patch. Patch from the Tailhook Association.
1954 to 1976: Blue Blazers
1976 to 1986: Ravens (Fighting Ravens)
26 MAR 1952: Fighter Squadron NINETY THREE (VF-93) established.
15 SEP 1956: VF-93 was re-designated Attack Squadron NINETY THREE (VA-93).
31 AUG 1986: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE (VA-93) was dis-established.
26 MAR 1952: Naval Air Station Alameda
08 MAR 1962: Naval Air Station Lemoore
05 OCT 1973*: Naval Station Yokosuka (Naval Air Facility Atsugi & Misawa)*
16 APR 1986: Naval Air Station Lemoore
* VA-93, along with CVW-5 and USS Midway CVA 41, were parts of a program to permanently assign a carrier and air wing to an overseas home port. Midway's new homeport was Naval Station Yokosuka, Japan, and the squadron would normally operate out of Naval Air Facility Atsugi or Misawa when the carrier was at Naval Station Yokosuka. The assignment was effective 30 JUN 1973, with the squadron arriving 05 OCT 1973.
MAY 1952: - - - Goodyear FG-1D Corsair I.
MAY 1952: - - - Grumman F9F-2 Panther. *
SEP 1953: - - - Grumman F9F-5 Panther. *
JAN 1955: - - - Grumman F9F-8 Cougar. *
26 NOV 1956 - - Douglas A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk. **
25 MAY 1958 - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk. **
01 SEP 1960 - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk. **
15 OCT 1963 - - Douglas A-4B Skyhawk. (DET Q)
SEP 1966: - - - Douglas A-4E Skyhawk.
SEP 1967: - - - Douglas A-4F Skyhawk.
29 APR 1969 - - Vought A-7B Corsair II.
MAR 1973: - - - Vought A-7A Corsair II.
APR 1977: - - - Vought A-7E Corsair II.
* The F9F through the F9F-5 Panther have straight wings; the F9F-6 through the F9F-8 Couger have swept wings.
** November 30,1962
The A4D-1 designation was changed to A-4A
The A4D-2 designation was changed to A-4B
The A4D-2N designation was changed to A-4C
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
MAR 1952: N/NG*- CVG-9/CVW-9†
19 FEB 1964: NT - CVSG-59
01 AUG 1966: NF - CVW-5
01 NOV 1968: COMFAIRALAMEDA
19 MAY 1969: NE - CVW-2
01 JUN 1970: COMFAIRLEMOORE
01 SEP 1970: AH - CVW-16
16 FEB 1971: NF - CVW-5
* The tail code was changed from N to NG in 1957. The effective date probably was July 1, 1957.
CVG-9 was re-designated CVW-9 when Carrier Air Group (CVG) designations were re-designated Carrier Air Wings (CVW) on December 20, 1963.
15 DEC 52 to 14 AUG 53: CVG-9 - CVA 47 - F9F-2 - Korea
11 MAY 54 to 12 DEC 54: CVG-9 - CVA 12 - F9F-5 - World Cruise
11 FEB 56 to 13 JUN 56: CVG-9 - CVA 34 - F9F-8 - WestPac
16 SEP 57 to 24 APR 58: CVG-9 - CVA 14 - A4D-1 - WestPac
06 FEB 60 to 30 AUG 60: CVG-9 - CVA 61 - A4D-2 - WestPac
11 AUG 61 to 08 MAR 62: CVG-9 - CVA 61 - A4D-2N - WestPac
09 NOV 62 to 14 JUN 63: CVG-9 - CVA 61 - A-4C - WestPac
19 FEB 64 to 11 SEP 64: CVSG-59 - CVS-20 - A-4B - Westpac Det Q
05 AUG 64 to 06 MAY 65: CVW-9 - CVA 61 - A-4C - WestPac/Vietnam
16 OCT 65 to 21 JUN 66: CVW-9 - CVAN 65 - A-4C - WestPac/Vietnam
05 JAN 67 to 22 JUL 67: CVW-5 - CVA 19 - A-4E - WestPac/Vietnam
27 JAN 68 to 10 OCT 68: CVW-5 - CVA 31 - A-4F - WestPac/Vietnam
14 OCT 69 to 01 JUN 70: CVW-2 - CVA 61 - A-7B - WestPac/Vietnam
16 APR 71 to 06 NOV 71: CVW-5 - CVA 41 - A-7B - WestPac/Vietnam
10 APR 72 to 03 MAR 73: CVW-5 - CVA 41 - A-7B - WestPac/Vietnam
11 SEP 73 to 15 OCT 73: CVW-5 - CVA 41 - A-7A - WestPac*
26 NOV 73 to 22 DEC 73: CVW-5 - CVA 41 - A-7A - WestPac
29 JAN 74 to 06 APR 74: CVW-5 - CVA 41 - A-7A - WestPac
18 OCT 74 to 20 DEC 74: CVW-5 - CVA 41 - A-7A - WestPac
13 JAN 75 to 18 FEB 75: CVW-5 - CVA 41 - A-7A - WestPac
31 MAR 75 to 29 MAY 75: CVW-5 - CVA 41 - A-7A - WestPac
04 OCT 75 to 19 DEC 75: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7A - WestPac/IO
13 MAR 76 to 26 APR 76: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7A - WestPac
19 MAY 76 to 22 JUN 76: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7A - WestPac
09 JUL 76 to 04 AUG 76: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7A - WestPac
01 NOV 76 to 17 DEC 76: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7A - WestPac
11 JAN 77 to 01 MAR 77: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7A - WestPac
19 APR 77 to 25 APR 77: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7A - WestPac†
18 AUG 77 to 02 SEP 77: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
27 SEP 77 to 21 DEC 77: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac/IO
11 APR 78 to 23 MAY 78: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
09 NOV 78 to 23 DEC 78: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
11 JAN 79 to 20 FEB 79: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
07 APR 79 to 18 JUN 79: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - IO
20 APR 79 to 14 SEP 79: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
39 SEP 79 to 20 FEB 80: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - IO
14 JUL 80 to 26 NOV 80: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac/IO
23 FEB 81 to 05 JUN 81: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac/IO
26 JUN 81 to 16 JUL 81: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
03 SEP 81 to 06 OCT 81: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
26 APR 82 to 18 JUN 82: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
14 sEP 82 to 11 DEC 82: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - NorPac/WestPac
02 JUN 83 to 14 AUG 83: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
25 OCT 83 to 11 DEC 83: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
28 DEC 83 to 23 MAY 84: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - IO
15 OCT 84 to 12 DEC 84: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
01 FEB 85 to 28 MAR 85: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - WestPac
10 JUN 85 to 14 OCT 85: CVW-5 - CV 41 - A-7E - IO/WestPac
11-15-85 to 12-12-85 - - CVW-5 - CV 41 - - A-7E - - WestPac
01-17-86 to 03-30-86 - - CVW-5 - CV 41 - - A-7E - - WestPac
* USS Midway CVA 41, with CVW-5 and its assigned squadrons, including VA-93, were forward deployed and home ported overseas at Naval Station Yokosuka, Japan. Only operations outside the home waters of Japan are listed as deployments.
During the period April 25 to August 17, 1977, VA-93 was shore based at NAS Cubi Point, Philippines, and transitioning from the A-7A to the A-7E.
1952: LCDR E. W. Smith (acting)
1952: LCDR W. E. Carver
1953: LCDR J. T. Barker
1955: CDR G. E. Hartley
1956: CDR Paul E. Padget
1958: CDR Robert F. Kanze
1959: CDR E. W. Gendron
1960: CDR William H. Hile, Jr.
1961: CDR J. W. Porter, Jr.
1962: CDR Robert F. Schoultz
1963: CDR William M. Gortney
1964: CDR E. W. O'Callaghan
1965: CDR A. J. Monger
1966: CDR W. G. Sizemore
1967: CDR R. S. Salin
1968: CDR Robert R. Wilson
1968: CDR Thomas W. Schaaf
1970: CDR David L. Glunt, Jr.
1970: CDR Edwin R. Kohn, Jr.
1971: CDR Carl E. Erie
1972: CDR Jerry L. Terrell
1973: CDR Douglas L. Clarke
1974: CDR Walter V. Roeser
1975: CDR William A. Dougherty, Jr.
1976: CDR Rodger W. Wright
1977: CDR John W. Patterson
1978: CDR Clarence S. Vaught
1979: CDR Eugene F. Mitchell
1980: CDR Marion R. Rackowitz
1981: CDR James H. Finney
1982: CDR Dennis W. Irelan
1984: CDR Harry W. Hartsell
1986: CDR David V. Park
25 Jan 1953 - 27 Jul 1953
31 Jan 1953 - 27 Jul 1953
29 Apr 1975 - 30 Apr 1975
01 Jan 1978 - 30 Jun 1979
27 Oct 1969 - 12 May 1970
07 May 1971 - 28 Oct 1971
13 Nov 1979 - 08 Feb 1980
27 Jul 1982 - 01 May 1984
01 Jul 1962 - 30 Jun 1963
01 Jan 1970 - 30 Jun 1971
01 Jan 1982 - 30 Jun 1983
24 Jun 1960 - 25 Jun 1960
01 May 1963 - 05 May 1963
19 Sep 1964 - 20 Sep 1964
01 Oct 1964 - 09 Oct 1964
28 Nov 1964 - 30 Dec 1964
17 Jan 1965 - 17 Mar 1965
04 Apr 1965 - 13 Apr 1965
04 May 1968 - 07 May 1968
10 Jan 1970 - 13 Jan 1970
12 Apr 1970 - 13 Apr 1970
29 Apr 1975 - 30 Apr 1975
29 Apr 1975 - 30 Apr 1975
15 Apr 1979 - 06 Jun 1979
21 Nov 1979 - 07 Feb 1980
19 Aug 1980 - 13 Nov 1980
12 Mar 1981 - 19 May 1981
30 Apr 1972 - 09 Feb 1973
30 Mar 1972 - 15 Jul 1972
02 Dec 1965 - 14 Jan 1966
04 Feb 1966 - 23 Feb 1966
16 Mar 1966 - 12 Apr 1966
22 Apr 1966 - 14 May 1966
23 May 1966 - 06 Jun 1966
05 Feb 1967 - 25 Feb 1967
15 Mar 1967 - 12 Apr 1967
28 Apr 1967 - 04 Jun 1967
12 Jun 1967 - 27 Jun 1967
20 Feb 1968 - 24 Mar 1968
13 Jun 1968 - 07 Jul 1968
21 Jul 1968 - 18 Aug 1968
27 Aug 1968 - 14 Sep 1968
16 Nov 1969 - 07 Dec 1969
17 Dec 1969 - 06 Jan 1970
29 Jan 1970 - 18 Feb 1970
27 Feb 1970 - 30 Mar 1970
16 Apr 1970 - 13 May 1970
17 May 1971 - 09 Jun 1971
29 Jun 1971 - 20 Jul 1971
31 Jul 1971 - 17 Aug 1971
26 Sep 1971 - 11 Oct 1971
01 May 1972 - 01 Jun 1972
11 Jun 1972 - 07 Jul 1972
16 Jul 1972 - 13 Aug 1972
23 Aug 1972 - 10 Sep 1972
19 Sep 1972 - 12 Oct 1972
23 Oct 1972 - 23 Nov 1972
03 Dec 1972 - 22 Dec 1972
31 Dec 1972
04 Jan 1973 - 24 Jan 1973
03 Feb 1973 - 09 Feb 1973
26 MAR 1952: Fighter Squadron NINETY THREE (VF-93) established and assigned the Goodyear FG-1D Corsair I. and Grumman F9F-2 Panther aircraft.
15 DEC 1952 through 14 AUG 1953: Fighter Squadron NINETY-THREE flying the F9F-2 Panther from the USS Philippine Sea CV-47 deployed to the seas near Korea for combat.
SEP 1953: VF-93 started to receive the straight wing Grumman F9F-5 Panther.
JAN 1955: VF-93 started to receive the swept wing Grumman F9F-8 Cougar.
15 SEP 1956: VF-93 was re-designated Attack Squadron NINETY THREE (VA-93).
26 NOV 1956: Attack Squadron NINETY-THREE was the first West Coast squadron to receive the Douglas A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk.
9 JUL 1957: Cdr. P.C. Durup, 36, was seriously injured when he ejected from his A4D (BuNo 139949) at 20,000 feet after reporting engine trouble on a routine acceptance flight from El Segundo. He parachuted into the Verdugo Hills area and the pilotless jet streaked over a heavily populated section of Glendale and crashed and burned in a tiny open plot between apartment buildings. The Independent, Wednesday, 10 July 1957 and The Independent, Thursday, 11 July 1957. From first accounts it appeared that Pilot Durup had committed a grave error. According to earlier reports he was out over the ocean when his jet developed engine trouble raising the question as to why he turned inland and ejected over heavily populated Glendale? The explanation straight from the Navy's mouth... First the plane didn't develop engine trouble; rather the controls failed. Durup had switched from hydro control to manual without incident and was headed in for a landing when the manual control started malfunctioning. The plane became uncontrollable with persistent veering to the east. Durup stayed with it until the last possible moment in an effort to crash it into the mountains. However it made a 360 degree turn after he ejected. L.A. Times, Sunday, 14 July 1957.
12 SEP 1957: First A-4 WestPac deployment: First A-4D's Head For Sea - VA-93 Skyhawks to Board Carrier: Attack Squadron 93, commanded by Cdr. P.E. Padgett, will become the first VA squadron to go aboard a Pacific Fleet carrier with A4D Skyhawks when they board USS Ticonderoga this fall. The first A4D carrier landing was made on the Ticonderoga Sept. 12, 1955(?).
2 OCT 1957: Lt. Frankie Lee Naylor, 26, was killed when he crashed into the sea on take-off (A4D-1 BuNo 142216) from the USS Ticonderoga, 50 miles south of Oahu. The Daily Review, Hayward, CA, Thursday, Oct. 3, 1957.
29 Oct 1957: Lt(jg). J.C. Perkins ejected safely. 1311 A4D BuNo 139959 of VA-93 pilot LTJG J.C. Perkins while landing damaged the landing gear severely. A landing gear wheel hit John C. Parker, AN, V-1 Division who received a fracture of the left femur. 1320 Pilot bailed out of aircraft. 1329 Pilot was recovered by helicopter at Lat. 34-50.6 N Long. 142-10.9W. 1331 Recovered one helicopter with pilot of crashed A4D. USS Ticonderoga deck log, Tuesday, 29 October 1957.
30 OCT 1957: Lt. Harry P. Daly ejected safely when A4D BuNo 142233 crashed into the sea off starboard beam at latitude 35-17N, longitude 142-14E, at 1630 and sank in 3700 fathoms of water. Pilot Daly was recovered by helicopter at 1635. The USS Ticonderoga was steaming in TG 77.6 in the Yokosuka operating area. USS Ticonderoga Deck Log, Wednesday, 30 October 1957.
25 MAY 1958: VA-93 started to receive the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk.
9 July 1959: Lt(jg). Ronald P. Raeymaeckers, 27, (VA-93) was killed when his A4D Skyhawk (BuNo 142933) crashed during practice night bombing maneuvers at Fallon. Pacific Stars & Stripes, 10 July 1959. Lt(jg). Ronald P. Raeymaeckers, 27, (VA-93) was killed when his A4D Skyhawk crashed and burned at 1:18 a.m. during practice night bombing maneuvers 15 miles south of Fallon while TAD to NAAS Fallon from NAS Alameda. Reno Gazette, 10 July 1959.
December 2, 1959: Lt(jg). James H. Thacker, 26, was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 142091) crashed into the Pacific moments after it was launched from the USS Ranger. Pacific Stars & Stripes, Dec. 04, 1959.
06 FEB through 30 AUG 1960: VA-93 Blue Blazers flying the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk deployed aboard USS Ranger CVA 61, with CVG-9 to Westpac.
August 5, 1960: LCdr. Allan L. Emerson (VA-93 XO ) (A4D-2 BuNo 142823) ejected and died of his injuries following a mid-air collision with VA-95 Lt(jg). Charles Lynn Berger (AD-7 Skyraider) near the southern coast of Japan. The Navy said Emerson was on an operational flight and Berger was on a navigational exercise when the collision took place. Both were operating off the USS Ranger northeast of Okinawa. Oakland Tribune, Saturday, Aug. 6, 1960.
01 SEP 1960: VA-93 started to receive the Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk. The squadron's outstanding safety record contributed to the award of the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award to Air Group NINE.
11 AUG 1961 through 08 MAR 1962: VA-93 Blue Blazers flying the Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk deployed aboard USS Ranger CVA 61, with CVG-9 to Westpac.
09 NOV 1962 through 14 JUN 1963: VA-93 Blue Blazers flying the Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk deployed aboard USS Ranger CVA 61, with CVG-9 to Westpac. VA-93 received the Navy 1962 Battle Efficiency Excellence Award as the outstanding West Coast Jet Light Attack Squadron.
MAY 1963: Following the military losses of the Lao neutralist to the Pathet Lao in the Plaine de Jarres, Laos, USS Ranger CVA 61, with Attack Squadron NINETY THREE embarked transited to the South China Sea to support possible operations in Laos.
15 OCT 1963: VA-93 started to receive the - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk. VA-93 established a Detachment Q "Fighting Ravens" for deployment aboard the anti-submarine carrier USS Bennington CVS 20, to provide daylight fighter protection for the ASW aircraft.
From Bob Krall: These are the A-4's flown by VA-93 Det Q from November 1963 thru August 1964: 142090, 142100, 142126, 142131, 142132, 142697, 144876, 144917, 147714 and 147720.I have no idea who the aircraft custodian was of these birds. But, my logbook shows that I flew these Skyhawks while attached to the Det during the period mentioned. I believe, based on my logbook, that VA-93 Det Q deployed with the following BUNOS: 142100, 142697, 144876, 144917.
19 FEB through 11 SEP 1964: VA-93 Detachment Q Fighting Ravens flying the Douglas A-4B Skyhawk deployed aboard USS Bennington CVS 20, with CVSG-59 to Westpac.
05 AUG 1964 through 06 MAY 1965: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE Blue Blazers flying the A-4C Skyhawk from the USS Ranger CVA 61, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the first of eight combat cruises. There were no Blue Blazer combat or operational losses this cruise. The squadron flew the first night armed reconnaissance flights in North Vietnam and won the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award in 1965.
07 FEB 1965: Following a Viet Cong attack against the American advisor compound at Pleiku, South Vietnam, a reprisal strike, named Flaming Dart I, was ordered by the President. VA-93 participated in this strike, but upon reaching the target, the military barracks at Vit Thu Lu, the mission was aborted due to the weather.
11 FEB 1965: VA-93 participated in Flaming Dart II, retaliatory strikes against the military barracks at Chanh Hoa, North Vietnam.
15 MAR 1965: The Blue Blazers participated in Rolling Thunder strikes against ammunition storage area in Phu Qui, North Vietnam.
26 OCT 1965 through 21 JUN 1966: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-4C Skyhawk from the USS Enterprise CVAN 65, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the second of eight combat cruises. There were no Blue Blazer combat losses this cruise.
02 DEC 1965: Attack Squadron NINETY-THREE flew the first combat mission ever launched from a nuclear-powered warship.
23 MAR 1966: LCdr. John Bethel Tapp KIA, flew into water during and instrument approach to the USS Enterprise about 70 miles offshore. Two helicopters and two destroyers searched the area thoroughly but found no sight of the pilot although an oil slick and scattered wreckage was seen. 0456 (hours) Lost radio and radar contact with A/C 302, VA93 A4C (BuNo 147738). Position 17-46N, 108-13E. USS Enterprise deck log, 23 March 1966. 0506 (hours) A4C aircraft side number 302, of VA-93, failed to return to the USS Enterprise. Aircraft disappeared from radar scope approximately 10 miles astern. USS Weddeborn (DD-684) detached to proceed to search area at position 17-42N, 108-08E. USS Fiske deck log, 23 March 1966.
JUN 1966: VA-93 pilots had flown 2,247 combat sorties and delivered nearly three million pounds of ordnance on enemy targets.
SEP 1966: VA-93 started to receive the Douglas A-4E Skyhawk.
05 JAN 1967 through 22 AUG 1967: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-4E Skyhawk from the USS Hancock CVA 19, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the third of eight combat cruises. There were no Blue Blazer operational accident losses this cruise. VA-93 pilots attacked military targets in the Hanoi and Haiphong area. They flew 1,867 combat sorties and delivered five and a quarter million pounds of ordnance on enemy targets. The squadron was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation for their outstanding combat performance.
06 MAY 1967: Lt(jg). Robert Earl Wideman ejected and was captured when his Skyhawk (BuNo 151082, NF 310) was hit as he was about to fire rockets on barges 35 miles S of Thanh Hoa.
24 MAY 1967: Lt(jg). M. Alsop ejected and was rescued by a Navy helicopter about 15 miles off Thanh Hoa when his Skyhawk (BuNo 151076, NF 311) was hit by AAA during an attack on a target 10 miles SW of Ninh Binh.
26 MAY 1967: Lt(jg). Read Blaine Mecleary ejected, was badly injured and was captured about 12 miles east of Kep after his Skyhawk (BuNo 152022, NF 300) was hit by AAA during an attack on the MiG base at Kep.
LTjg Read Mecleary's May 26, 1967 and was in a division of flak suppressors leading an Alpha Strike. These are his words: "On my 56th mission, the plane I was piloting [NM 302, BuNo 152022] was hit by a surface -to-air missile when on a strike against Kep Airfield 60km east of Hanoi. When I ejected I was badly injured due to the 600+ mile-an-hour wind-blast and was unable to walk for about two months." "I was held prisoner in seven different prison camps in and around Hanoi and one about 10km south of the Chinese border. Like most other American POWs I was tortured with ropes for military and political information. On March 4, 1973, after 69 months and five days I was released." "I was awarded the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal and Navy Commendation Medal."
30 MAY 1967: Cdr. James Patrick Mehl (XO) ejected and was captured when his Skyhawk (BuNo 151049, NF 301) was hit by an SA-2 missile on an Iron Hand mission during a raid on the Do Xa transshipment area.
The Blue Blazer XO Cdr. James P. Mehl wasn't flying his NF 302, BuNo 152022, on his last sortie in the Vietnam War. The XO's Skyhawk was flown earlier in an air-wing strike on Kep airfield by another Blue Blazer pilot, when it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile and its pilot captured. Four days later Cdr. P. Mehl suffered the same fate. This is an account of his last sortie.
"On May 30, 1967 Cdr. Jim Mehl was the section leader of a two-aircraft strike group assigned targets in Thai Binh Province, North Vietnam. Upon entering the target area, Cdr. Mehl and his wingman began receiving indication that a surface-to-air missile (SAM) site to the north was preparing to launch a missile. Cdr. Mehl eluded one missile and maneuvered his aircraft to fire his Shrike missiles at the site. When in a 10-degree nose-high attitude, a second missile impacted the underside of his aircraft. Cdr. Mehl immediately turned toward the water, but was forced to eject near the city of Hung Yen. His parachute was observed after he left the aircraft. Cdr.Mehl landed in a field situated in a heavily populated area near the juncture of Ha Tay, Hai Hung, Nam Ha and Thai Binh Provinces. People were observed to converge the area immediately, precluding any rescue attempt. A report from the Hanoi broadcast system mentioned Cdr. Mehl by name and stated that he had been captured. In the spring of 1973, 591 Americans were released from prisoner of war camps in Vietnam, and Captain James P. Mehl was among them. He had been promoted to the rank of Captain during his captivity.
June 22, 1967: LCdr. James Glenn Pirie ejected and was captured when his Skyhawk was hit by AAA during an attack on the Hai Duong railway bridge.
SEP 1967: VA-93 started to receive the Douglas A-4F Skyhawk.
27 JAN 1968 through 10 OCT 1968: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-4F Skyhawk from the USS Bon Homme Richard CVA 31, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the fourth of eight combat cruises. VA-93 pilots delivered more than eight million pounds of ordnance and completed 3,542 combat sorties against North Vietnamese targets. The Secretary of the Navy awarded Air Wing FIVE and USS Bon Homme Richard the Navy Unit Commendation for exceptionally meritorious service while participating in combat operations in Southeast Asia in support of United States national policy.
11 APR 1968: Cdr. Fredrick H. Whittmore (BuNo. 154995) was killed, lost on ferry flight from NAS Cubi Point to the USS Bon Homme Richard.
14 May 1968 LTjg. Barry E. Karger, was KIA when his Skyhawk (BuNo 154198, NF-304) crashed during a target run over Quang Binh province, North Vietnam. On January 6, 1994 the remains of Navy LTjg. Barry E. Karger, USN Reserve of Prather, California were identified in North Vietnam. LTjg Karger's remains were turned over to American authorities in June 1994 and were returned to Travis Air Force Base in California later in 1994.
21 MAY 1968: Lt(jg). John A. "Jack" Douglas, 25, ejected safely and was rescued by USS Halsey (DDG-97) HC-7 Sea Devils Det. 110 SH-3A Sea King near the North Vietnam coast (19 miles, 30⁰ from Vinh, 11 mi off shore, 10 miles NW Hon Matt Island) after his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 154988, NF 313) caught fire from small arms fire. He was about 2 minutes off target and 10 miles out to sea when he noticed a foul smell in his oxygen and saw a fire warning light. Flight Leader LCdr. Thomas Shanahan told Douglas that flames were shooting out of the tail. He started to climb and began losing hydraulic control and couldn't move the stick, at which time Shanahan told him to eject. The rescue helicopter, piloted by Lt. Mike White and Ens. Dick Diekman took him to the Halsey and in less than an hour he was back aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard. Pacific Stars & Stripes, Friday, May 31, 1968.
10 JUL 1968: Cdr. Robert R. Wilson, VA-93 CO, LCdr. Edwin M. Stewart, HC-1, Lt. Howard G. Hammons Jr., HC-1, ADJ3 Arthur D. Petersen, HC-1, and TN Leoncio A. Bautista, S-5 Div., all from the USS Bon Homme Richard, were killed when HC-1 UH-2C helicopter Seasprite BuNo 150176, UP-81, crashed near Clark Air Force Base, Luzon, Philippines.
27 JUL 1968: Cdr. Frank Fullerton was killed when A-4F Skyhawk BuNo 154182, NF 303, crashed during a night road reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. Seeing a string of lights below during a night road reconnaissance mission Cdr. Fullerton dove to attack what appeared to be a truck convoy. Frank's bombs were observed exploding and seconds later a huge red-orange fireball appeared along the bomb line. It is suspected bomb fragments brought down Fullerton's Skyhawk. LCdr. Frank Eugene Fullerton, United States Navy was born January 2, 1934, in Riverdale, CA. He was 34 years old when he was listed as Missing-In-Action. This Web Site is dedicated to Cdr. Fullerton.
30 AUG 1968: LCdr. H.A. Eikel ejected safely (BuNo 154981, NF 316) and was rescued by USS Sterett (DDG-104) HC-7 Seadevils Det. 110 SH-3A Sea King 29 miles, 285⁰ from Vinh, 31 miles inland, mountain, lost to AAA over North Vietnam.
06 SEP 1968: Lt. R.B. Curtis ejected and was rescued when his Skyhawk (BuNo 154187) crashed into the sea off the port bow at 1302 (hours) 320 deg. (R), 6 miles at 18-27.5 N, 107-05 E and sank in 190 ft. of water. 1304 Helicopter commenced search for pilot. 1324 Pilot recovered by helo and delivered on board this ship. USS Bon Homme Richard deck log, Friday, September 6 1968.
20 APR 1969: VA-93 started to receive the Vought A-7B Corsair II.
14 OCT 1969 through 01 JUN 1970: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-7B Corsair II from the USS Ranger CVA 61, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the fifth of eight combat cruises. There were no combat losses this cruise.
05 FEB 1970: A-7B Corsair II BuNo. 154391 was lost in an operational accident. The pilot was killed.
09 MAY 1970: A-7B Corsair II BuNo. 154555 was lost in an operational accident. The pilot was recovered.
16 APR 1971 through 06 NOV 1971: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-7B Corsair II from the USS Midway CVA 41, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the sixth of eight combat cruises. There were no combat losses or operational accidents this cruise
10 APR 1972 through 03 MAR 1973: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-7B Corsair II from the USS Midway CVA 41, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the seventh of eight combat cruises.
MAY through OCT 1972: VA-93 participated in Operation Linebacker I, heavy air strikes against targets in North Vietnam to reduce that country's ability to continue the war effort in South Vietnam.
30 MAY 1972: VA-93 Blue Blazer A-7B Corsair II BuNo. 154405, side number NF 302 was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over North Vietnam. Cdr, C. E. Barnett, United States Navy was Killed-In-Action.
07 SEP 1972: VA-93 Blue Blazer A-7B Corsair II BuNo. 154393, side number NF 307 was lost over North Vietnam. LCdr. D. A. Gerstel, United States Navy was Missing-In-Action in this action.
10 NOV 1972: VA-93 Blue Blazer A-7B Corsair II BuNo. 154506, side number NF 314 was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over North Vietnam. Lt. M. J. Cobb, United States Navy successfully ejected, successfully evaded and was rescued.
MAR 1973: VA-93 started to receive the Vought A-7A Corsair II.
11 SEP 1973 through 05 OCT 1973: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-7A Corsair II from the USS Midway CVA 41, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the eighth of eight combat cruises.
29 JAN 1974 through 06 MAR 1974: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-7A Corsair II from the USS Midway CVA 41, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the nine of nine combat cruises.
18 OCT 1974 through 20 DEC 1974: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-7A Corsair II from the USS Midway CVA 41, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the ten of ten combat cruises.
13 JAN 1975 through February 18, 1975: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-7A Corsair II from the USS Midway CVA 41, deployed to WestPac/Vietnam for the eleven of eleven combat cruises.
31 MAR 31 1975 through 29 MAY 1975: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE flying the A-7A Corsair II from the USS Midway CVA 41,
APR 1975: The Blue Blazers participated in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of American personnel from Saigon, South Vietnam as the country fell to the communists.
AUG through SEP 1976: Operated near the Korea Peninsula following the murder of U.S. military personnel in the Korean DMZ by North Koreans.
APR 1977: VA-93 started to receive Vought A-7E Corsair II.
NOV through DEC 1979: In response to the seizure of the American Embassy and its staff, by an Iranian mob, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, USS Midway CV 41, with Attack Squadron NINETY THREE embarked operated in the Arabian Sea.
MAY through JUN 1980: Following the massacre of several hundred people in the city of Kwangju, South Korea, USS Midway CVA 41, with Attack Squadron NINETY THREE embarked operated off the coast of South Korea until the crisis had subsided.
DEC 1981: Following unrest in Korea, USS Midway CVA 41, with Attack Squadron NINETY THREE embarked operated off the coast of South Korea for several days.
31 AUG 1986: Attack Squadron NINETY THREE (VA-93) was dis-established.
1957: Blue Blazers squadron officers pose in front of BuNo 139964, NG-301 assigned to CO Cdr. P.E. Padgett. Kneeling LCdr H.N. Batten, XO, Cdr. Paul E. Padget (CO 24 Sep 1956 to 30 Apr 1958), LCdr. J.A. Sickel, Operations Officer. Front row standing (l-r) LTjgs W.B. Jones, T.R. Wilkinson, P.E. Langford, R.S. Gallagher, J.E. Gilreath, J.M. Stokes, F.L. Naylor, Lt. A.L. Emerson, and Ens R.P. Raemaeckers. Back row standing (l-r) LTjgs J.K. Chadwick, L. Long, J.B. Davis, Lt R.N. McDowell, LTjgs M.C. Noble, H.P. Daly, Lt L.N. Hoover, LTjgs J.C. Perkins, R.B Lindsay. LTjg F.W. Wilson was not present. U.S. Navy photo via Sickel family.
1957: VA-93 A4D-1 BuNo 139942, NG-302. The photo is Official U.S. Navy and the caption is: "USN 1016962; 5-9-57; A4D piloted by LCDR J.A. Sickel of VA-93 (CVG-9) based at Alameda". From Gary Vever Collection.
28 Oct 1957: First appearance of Skyhawk is made in the far east as these three Blue Blazers Skyhawk delta wing jets arrive to conduct operations at Atsugi, Japan. L-r: BuNo 139948, NG-305, BuNo 139950, NG-306 & BuNo 139949, NG-313. Based with VA-93 aboard USS Ticonderoga, the light attack bombers are primarly designed as special weapons aircraft. They have a secondary mission of close air support. The Skyhawk is capable of speeds in excess of 650 mph. VA-93 is commanded by Cdr. P.E. Padget. Naval Aviation News photo via John Gabbard
1958: Air Group Nine Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 139958, NG-309, being hoisted aboard the USS Ticonderoga. Naval Aviation News Photo.
VA-93 WESTPAC RANGER CRUISE February 1960 through August 1960: Blue Blazer Officers and A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo. 142775 - July 21, 1960 VA-93 Blue Blazer officers stand by Douglas A-4B Skyhawk BuNo. 142775 side number NG 301 on the United States Ship Ranger (CVA 61) flight deck while in port. Official United States Navy photograph from R. 0. (Dick) Daniels.
21JUL60: Blue Blazer Centurions and A-4B Skyhawk BuNo. 142775. VA-93 Blue Blazer Centurions stand by Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo. 142775 side number NG 301 on the flight deck of United States Ship Ranger (CVA 61). Official United States Navy photograph from R. 0. (Dick) Daniels.
27 FEB 1961:VA-93 Blue Blazers A4D-2N Skyhawks BuNo 147721, NG-306, and BuNo 147743, NG-309, in flight with VAH-6 Fleurs A3D-2 Skywarrior BuNo 147657, NG-7, near NAAS Fallon. Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection.
Circa 1962: VA-93 pilots pose in front of BuNo 147718 at the new NAS at Lemmore CA. Pat Cornelius, Larry Murphy, Ed Pogue, Jud Springer, Dick Dellwo, Paul McNergney. Photo from Larry Murphy.
1962: LT Pat Cornielius in Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 147750, NG-310, flies by Mt. Fuji. Richard E. Dwello.
1962-63 Blue Blazer Skyhawk formation: Top-bottom BuNo 147732, NG-308, BuNo 147721, NG-306, BuNo 147768, NG-303, BuNo 147718, NG-304, BuNo 147723, NG-307, and BuNo 147750, NG-310. US Navy photo courtesy of Tom Bispo.DEC63: VA-93 Blue Blazer Det China Lake.
A Blue Blazer Detachment went to China Lake for weapons work without the aggravation of the Lemoore "Tule" fog. Front Row (Left to Right): Commanding Officer Commander Edmund O'Callaghan; Ensign Paul Cassiman; Lieutenant Junior Grade Bob Davis; Lieutenant Junior Grade John Juris Jegers. Back Row (Left to Right): Executive Officer Commander A. J. "Jack" Monger; Lieutenant Commander Olaf Magnus "Ole" Carlson; Lieutenant Commander Marvin "Marvelous Marv" Reynolds; Lieutenant Junior Grade Carl Bruntlett.
Feb 1964 to Sept 1964 United States Ship Bennington CVS-20 VA-93 DET Q.
Summer 1964: VA-93 Det Q Fighting Raven Pilots. Name below the canopy is LT Dick Luthi. United States Navy photograph from Bob Krall.
Summer 1964: Douglas A-4B Skyhawk BuNo. 142132. VA-93 Det Q Lieutenant Commander Tom Randall is flying A-4B BuNo. 142132 side number NG 1 with Japan's Mount Fujiyama in the background. Photograph taken by Bob Krall.
Summer 1964: Douglas A-4B Skyhawk BuNo. 142100. VA-93 Det Q A-4B Skyhawk BuNo. 142100 with Mount Fujiyama in the background mid-year 1964. Photograph taken by Bob Krall.
1964: Blue Blazers Det Q Skyhawk BuNo 142100, NG-II, in formation with a VAW-12 EA-1E Skyraider BuNo 135142, RR-75, as they fly by the USS Bennington. Bob Krall.
1964: Douglas A-4B Skyhawk BuNo. 144917. Two VA-93 Det Q A-4B Skyhawks intercept a Soviet Madge. Lieutenant Commander Randall, O-in-C, is flying BuNo. 144917 side number NG 02. Detachment Q painted the nose and the area beneath the horizontal stabilizer to give the appearance they had radar. Photograph taken by Bob Krall.
1964: Douglas A-4B Skyhawk BuNo. 142697. Two VA-93 Det Q A-4B Skyhawks intercept a Soviet Badger bomber. Bob Krall is flying BuNo. 142697. Description: USS Bennington VA-93 Blue Blasters Det Q A-4B Skyhawk BuNo 142697, NG-4, armed with Sidewinder missiles escorts Soviet TU-16 Badger bomber s/n 2572011, #16, 1964. Note the A-4B nose is painted black to simulate a C model radome. Photograph taken by Dave Boaz.
1964: Douglas A-4B Skyhawk BuNo. 142132. Two Det Q A-4B Skyhawks intercept another Soviet Badger. BuNo. 142132 is on the right wing of the Badger and a VQ-1 World Watcher A-3D Skywarrior is trailing. Photograph taken by Bob Krall.
1964: Left side in-flight view as BlueBlasters Det Q Skyhawk BuNo 142697, NG-4, armed with Sidewinder missiles intercepts a Soviet TU-16 Badger bomber. Bob Krall is flying BuNo 142697. Bob Krall.
1964: 1964: Left side in-flight view as BlueBlasters Det Q Skyhawk BuNo 142697, NG-4, armed with Sidewinder missiles intercepts a Soviet TU-16 Badger bomber. Bob Krall is flying BuNo 142697. Bob Krall.
1964: Blue Blasters Det Q Skyhawk BuNo 144917, NG 02, flown by O-in-C LCDR Randall intercepts a Soviet Madge. Detachment Q painted the nose and the area beneath the horizontal stabilizer to give the appearance they had radar. Our Flag wanted some close photos. Tom Randall is flying on the Madge's left wing. Bob Krall.
1964: Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 147721, NG-306, and BuNo 147743, NG-309, in formation with Skywarrior BuNo 147657, NG-7, over Fallon, NV. Richard E. Dwello.
06MAY64: Blue Blazer A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147750 NG 310. During cruise work-ups Douglas Skyhawk tanker BuNo. 147750 side number NG 310 is ready to refuel Chance Vought RF-8a Crusader BuNo. 145620 side number PP 929 over Yuma, Arizona. Blue Blazer BuNo. 148441 NG-304 stands by as little Pauli drags the drogue for the Crusader. USN photograph taken by a VFP-63 Crusader is from Paul Cassiman.
Aug 1964 - May 1965 VA-93 COMBAT CRUISE United States Ship Ranger CVA 61
Raven Officers and A4D-2N Skyhawk BuNo. 147732. VA-93 Raven officers of CVW-9 by Douglas A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147732 on the United States Ship Ranger CVA 61 flight deck. Official United States Navy photograph from Pete Dodge.
Catwalk Rendezvous. The 1964 transit to WESTPAC was mostly AOMs/APMs. However, in the evenings before the ready room movie, there were the rendezvous in the starboard catwalk to catch a breath of fresh air. On the USS Ranger, 1964 (l to r) John Jegers, Steve Woodburn and Bill Robby" Robinson, (Air Intelligence Officer). Photo from Paul Cassiman.
DEC64: NG-307 launching off the waist of USS Ranger in December 1964. We spent all of the month of December and part of November, I believe, in the South China Sea. Our reprieve came on New Year's Day when we entered port in Hong Kong. That is a 400-gallon tank on the centerline. Photo from Paul Cassiman.
1964: Jim "Snake" Dalton at the end of the USS Ranger 1964 cruise. Tom Wondergem
1964: LT Walt Brand on USS Ranger coming into Pearl Harbor. Tom Wondergem.
1964: LT Walt "Baluke" Brand by his plane onboard USS Ranger. Tom Wondergem.
1964-65: L-R: Mighty Shrike Skyhawk BuNo 147719, NG 402, Blue Blazers BuNo 147738, NG-302, Mighty Shrike BuNo 149531, NG-412 & BuNo 147746 parked on the Ranger. Blue Blazers Skyhawk 149502, NG-303 on the cat. Dick Wells via "Boom" Powell.
1964-65: Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 149523, NG-312, and VFP-63 RF-8A Crusader BuNo 146861, PP-903, parked on the Ranger. "Boom" Powell.
BuNo 149525 as NG-307 aboard the Enterprise. PH3 L.T. Henderson, description: Given this photo from a family member. Appear to have belonged to the ship board photo lab.
BuNo 149508, modex 303. Catapult crewmen position an A-4C "Skyhawk" attack plane for launch, 24 March 1965. VA-93 was then operating in Southeast Asian waters. Photographed by PH1 Jean Cote and PHC Robert Moeser. From Gary Verver.
Mark 117, 500-pound and 750-pound bombs lined up on the Ranger's Flight Deck, awaiting loading on aircraft for strikes on North Vietnam. Photographed in the South China Sea by JOC Robert S. Moeser and PH1 Jean C. Cote during February and March 1965. Official U.S. Navy Photograph - Photo #: USN 1110198. The partial Skyhawk at the top of the photo belongs to VA-93 or VA-94. Hard to tell, but looks like 93. From Gary Verver.
DEC 1965: LT Mac "Smokey" Alsop poses in front of Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 149537 aboard the USS Enterprise. Photographer unknown.
1965: Blue Blazer A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147732. Captain Holloway, commanding officer of United States Ship Enterprise (CVAN 65), observes a fire drill on the flight deck with a VA-93 Blue Blazer A-4C BuNo. 137732 side number NG 308 in the background. United States Navy Photograph from James Hensley.
1965: Two Blue Blazer A-4C Skyhawks BuNo. 147721 and BuNo. 147834. Two VA-93 Blue Blazer A-4C Skyhawks, BuNo. 147721 side number NG 306 and BuNo. 147834 side number NG 311, are spotted by two VA-94 Shrike A-4C Skyhawks, BuNo. 149531 side number NG 412 and BuNo. 149541 side number NG 413, on the Enterprise flight deck. Another Shrike A-4C BuNo. 149502 is partially visible at the top. United States Navy Photograph from James Hensley.
1965: Four Blue Blazer A-4C Skyhawks. A flight of four is about to go feet dry in South Vietnam. NG 311 BuNo. 147834 is leading the division in right echelon formation. NG 310 BuNo. 147710 is flying on his wing. The section leader is flying NG 301 BuNo. 149551 and NG 316 BuNo. 149505 is flying on his wing. Official Navy photograph is from Paul Cassiman.
1965: Blue Blazer Skyhawk NG 313 Startup and hookup. The pilot of NG 313 gives the two-finger signal to the plane captain initiating the airflow from the starter's turbine to the Skyhawk's engine turbine. When the engine reaches starting r.p.m., the pilot will move the throttle into the "Idle" position (around the horn), which will start fuel flowing into the airstream which the ignitors will start the fire.
The plane director gives NG 313's pilot of the signal to apply brakes after the nose wheel has passed over the shuttle. The hold-back fitting is being attached to the Skyhawk, which will keep the aircraft from moving as the pilot applies full power before the catapult is fired. United States Navy Photograph from James Hensley.
Pete "Pedro" Dodge, December 1965. That was the month VA-93 arrived in the South China Sea. Second photo: Pete "Pedro" Dodge is growing his Charlie Chan mustache. On board USS Enterprise Dec. 1965. Photos from Paul Cassiman.
1965: The Enterprise Fighting Raven Ready Room - Christmas Eve 1965 With less that one bombing day till Christmas the boyz celebrate His birthday. Photograph from Pete Dodge.
21 JUN 1966: CVW-9 aboard CVAN-65 on 22JUN66 as it passes under the Golden Gate Bridge returning from a WestPac Cruise.
VA-93 A-4C, 1966: NAN September 1966 Cover photo: Plane Captain Bruce R. Lynch, AN, assists LTJG John J. Jegers, VA-93, just before a launch from USS Ranger (CVA-61) on a strike into Vietnam. NAN photo. From Gary Verver.
1966: USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) with aircraft from CVW-9 (NG) on deck including VF-92 Silver Kings F-4B Phantoms, VF-96 Falcons F-4B Phantoms, VA-36 Roadrunners A-4C Skyhawks, VA-76 Spirits A-4C Skyhawks, VA-93 Blue Blasters A-4C Skyhawks, VA-94 Mighty Shrikes A-4C Skyhawks, VAH-4 Fourrunners Det M A-3B Skywarriors, RVAH-7 Peacemakers RA-5C Vigilantes, VAW-11 Early Elevens Det M E-1B Tracers, HC-1 Fleet Angels Det M UH-2A/B Seasprites, VQ-1 Det EA-3B Skywarriors and VAP-61 World Recorders Det RA-3B Skywarriors, circa 1965-1966. Gary Verver.
1967: BuNo 149651, NF-302, of VA-93 aboard CVA-19 in 1967. Richard Mylar.
Circa 1968: VA-93 A-4F NF-3xx circa 1968 on the Bon Homme Richard, CVA-31. NAN photo. Last page of the June 68 NAN, no caption provided. From Gary Verver.
1968: VA-93 NF-302, BuNo 154178, loaded with MK-117 750lb dumb bombs aboard CVA-31 in 1968. Gary Verver.
VA-93 NF-3xx loaded with MK-117 750lb dumb bombs aboard CVA-31 in 1968. Richard Mylar via Dave Dollarhide.
1968: BuNo 154198, VA-93, NF-304 on the left. Lost to ground fire over North Vietnam - On 14 MAY, 1968, LTJG Barry Edwin Karger was KIA. On the right is VA-94 BuNo 150001. Richard Mylar via Dave Dollarhide.
BuNo 154215, VA-93 NF-313, parked on the ramp at NAS Cubi Point. Richard Mylar via Dave Dollarhide.
1968: VA-93 A-4F NF-311 trapping aboard CVA-31. Richard Mylar.
1968: BuNo 155001 of VA-94, NF-401, parked on the deck of CVA-31, the Bon Homme Richard. "Willy Fudd" (E1 Early Warning aircraft) parked behind her. Richard Mylar.
BuNo 150035 of VA-94 parked on CVA-31. An A-4F (VA-93?) is trapping, back from a tanker sortie. 1of3. 2of3. 3of3. Richard Mylar.
1966: Blue Blazer Skyhawk 149505 Catapult. A-4C BuNo. 149505 side number NG 316 on the Enterprise catapult. The name below the canopy is "LTJG S. E. WOODBURN" --- that has to place the picture toward the end of the cruise, because Woody wasn't promoted from Ensign until then. The photograph is interesting because there isn't a drop tank on BuNo. 149505. It appears to be loaded with ten Mk 81s. If so, that will make it a very short cycle. They could be launching Woody on an ordnance offload mission to catch the end of the recovery cycle.
Raven Officers and A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147720 VA-93 Raven officers of CVW-9 stand by Douglas A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147720 on the United States Ship Enterprise CVAN-65 flight deck. Official United States Navy photograph from Pete Dodge.
03JAN66: VA-93 Blue Blazer Change of Command - January 3, 1966 Commander W. G. Sizemore assumes command of VA-93 from Commander J. Monger leading to this traditional cake-cutting. The change of command was a dual ceremony with CVW-9 in which Commander Shipman assumed command of the wing from Commander Brown. United States Navy Photograph from James Hensley.
10 SEP 1966: Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 147710, NG-310, parked on the ramp. D. Kasulka.
1966: Skyhawk NG-303 prepares to launch. Naval Aviation News.
1966-67: Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 151070, NF-303, parked on the ramp. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
Jan 1967 to July 1967 USS Hancock VA-93 WESTPAC CRUISE
JAN 1967: Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 152022, NF 302 along with NF 312 & NF 314 are packed tight on the hangar deck for the transit from CONUS to Yankee Station. NF 302 was destroyed by a SAM on 26 May and its pilot captured. Navy photo from Mike Trout.
7-13-67: 5 unidentified A-4's on-board the Hancock. Tonkin Gulf: Skyhawk attack bombers are readied for flight from the deck of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier Hancock, operating in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam. Information is that the squadrons on-board the Hancock (CVW-5) in July 67 were VA-93 (modex NF 3xx) and VA-94 (modex NF 4xx). U.S. Navy Photo via UPI photo from the Gary Verver Collection.
January 1967: VA-93 Chief Petty Officers. Blue Blazer Chief Petty Officers pose on the deck of United States Ship Hancock CVA-19 (01-05-67 to 07-22-67). Standing (left to right) 1. H. F. Florea, ADJC; 2. R. W. Grisso, AEC; 3. M. L. Melder, AMSC; 4. S. S. Baron, ADCS. Kneeling (left to right) 1. W. A. Strafford, ATC; 2. W. K. Wilson, 3. AMCS; L. G. Roberts, ASC. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
January 1967: VA-93 Ordnance Department. Blue Blazer Ordnance Men pose on the deck of United States Ship Hancock CVA-19 (01-05-67 to 07-22-67). Standing (left to right) 1. A. H. May, AO3; 2. R. E. Mylar, AN; 3. H. F. Geiss, AO2; 4. P. F. Ciadella, AMS3; 5. K. W. Ledbetter, AN; 6. J. W. Turner, SN. Kneeling (left to right) 1. J. R. Fife, AO2; 2. R. W. Daffron, AO2; 3. J. V. Stokes, AO1; 4. C. E. Sharp, ATR2. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
JAN67: VA-93 Group One. Blue Blazer Group One Men pose on the deck of United States Ship Hancock CVA-19 (01-05-67 to 07-22-67). Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
JAN67: VA-93 Group Two. Blue Blazer Group Two Men pose on the deck of United States Ship Hancock CVA-19 (01-05-67 to 07-22-67). Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
JAN67: VA-93 Officers - January 1967. VA-93 A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151038, NF-306 provides a backdrop for the Blue Blazer Officers as they began their deployment on United States Ship Hancock CVA-19 (01-05-67 to 07-22-67). Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
30 MAY 1967: NF 302, BuNo 152022, is spotted aft on the portside of the flight deck. The pilot's name CDR J. P. Mehl, the Executive Officer, is visible forward of the Skyhawk's starboard intake. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
31MAY67: Blue Bolts Skyhawk BuNo 151105, NF-313, is positioned for launch aboard the Hanna. Shrike missiles on the outboard stations and two ZUNI launchers on the centerline station. Naval Aviation News Photo.
31MAY67: Blue Bolts Skyhawk BuNo 151106, NF-302, takes a waveoff from the Hanna's LSO. Shrike missiles on the outboard stations and appears to be ZUNI launchers on the centerline. Naval Aviation News Photo.
1967: BuNo.151105 as VA-93 Air-to-Air Tanker - 1967 NF 313, with the tanker package slung on the centerline station, is being directed into the catapult gear by yellowshirts (men from V2 Division who are responsible for catapults and arresting gear). Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
1967: VA-93 Loading A Big Bomb - 1967 Gary "Flash" Larson; Harry F. Geiss, AO2; Robert W. Daffron, AO2; Darrel L. Woodside, AO3 load a 1,000 pounder on a Skyhawk. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
1967: VA-93 Launching - 1967 The yellowshirt is signaling the catapult officer, after making his final inspection and running to get clear of the catapult track, that the Blue Blazer Skyhawk is ready for launch. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
1967: Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 151106, NF-302, parked on the ramp. U.S. Navy.
1967: Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 147710, NF-310, parked on the ramp. Jim Brady.
31 MAY 1967: right front view of Blue Blazers Skyhawk BuNo 151105, NF-313, and squadron mate NF-314 on the Hanna's port and starboard cats loaded with Snakeyes. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
1967: left side view of Mighty Shrikes Skyhawk BuNo 149623, NF-415, parked on the ramp. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
1967: Blue Blazers pilot LCDR John J. Lahr climbs from his Skyhawk after returning from his 200th mission over North Vietnam. Naval Aviation News.
1967: Skyhawk NG-313 parked next to the island aboard the USS Hancock. "Boom" Powell.
1967: VA-93 Officers at End of Cruise - 1967 VA-93 A-4E Skyhawk NF-307 provides a backdrop for the Blue Blazer Officer as they wind up their United States Ship Hancock CVA-19 deployment. Standing (left to right) 1. Dave Maxwell, 2. Jerry Charest, 3. Bill O'Day, 4. Gaylord Parrett, 5. Pete Nichols, 6. Dick Selman, 7. Jack Douglass, 8. Bob Lindley, 9. Sam Scheider, 10. Jack Waeltz, 11. Harvey Eikel, 12. Mike "Wedge" Fuller, 13. Barry Karger, 14. Rich Curtis, 15. Gary Simpkins, 16. Art Keen, 17. Bill Greenwell. Kneeling (left to right) 1. Jeff Winthrope, 2. Mike Trout, 3. Don Burrows, 4. Bill Griewe, 5. Bob Wilson, Executive Officer, 6. R. S. Salin, Commanding Officer, 7. Tom Schaaf - PCO, 8. Tom Shanahan, 9. Jim Seeley, 10. David Epstein. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
Jan 1968 to Oct 1968 CVA-31 VA-93 WESTPAC CRUISE.
1967: Douglas A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154211 - side number NF-305 --- 1967. Douglas A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154211 - side number NF-305 cruises the friendly skies looking for the Bon Homme Richard. Photograph by Buck Rodgers.
1967: Douglas A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154215 - side number NF-313 --- 1967.
MAY68: Battle Damage Assessment - May 1968. Navy photographer caught a Blue Blaster flight making a battle damage assessment shortly after going "feet wet" subsequent to a strike. The bomb racks have no hung ordnance (starboard side anyway). The tailhooks are intact. No holes are visible and no liquid was streaming out. It looks as though no one in the division got to spend the evening at the Red Dog Saloon. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
Triple Centurian - May 21, 1968. Bonnie Dick Skipper Captain Dankworth presents Mike Trout with a Tripple Centurian Patch. Earlier that day Commander Trout made his 300th trap on the Bonnie Dick after a combat flight over North Vietnam. He went on to make a total of 392 traps on the United States Ship Bon Homme Richard. At the time of this trap, Mike Trout was also a Centurian (135 traps) on United States Ship Hancock. Mike also picked up another 21 traps on Midway and Enterprise. All total he had a career 548 A-4C, A-4E, or A-4F, Skyhawk traps --- of which 98 were on night flights and 243 on combat flights. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
1968: Skyhawk NF-303 is moved into position for launch from the Bonnie Dick. Naval Aviation News photo by PH1 D. Grantham.
1968: A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154996, NF-305. BLUE BLAZER NF 315 from the United States Ship Bon Homme Richard, approaching the Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan runway October 2, 1968. Black & white photograph by and from Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
1968: Lou Drendel's painting of A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154976, NF-31. Artist Lou Drendel illustrates an A-4F Skyhawk circling over United States Ship Bon Homme Richard CVA-31. This scene took place during the 1968 combat deployment, the last deployment made by VA-93 with the Skyhawk. The original painting is now owned by Commander Pat Cosgrove and this image is displayed with his permission.
JAN 1968: VA-93 Officers at Lemoore. VA-93 Blue Blazer Officers pose before A-4F Skyhawk (BuNo. 154211), NF 305 at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California before the January 27, 1968 to October 10, 1968 Bon Homme Richard WestPac combat deployment. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
JAN68: VA-93 Commanding Officer Wilson's Flight Division. VA-93 Commanding Officer and Division Leader Bob Wilson, with his flight, pose by a VA-93 A-4F Skyhawk (BuNo. 154211), NF 305 on the Bonnie Dick at the beginning of the 1968 cruise. Note: Blue Blazer Flight Division pictures were taken at different times. Commander Wilson's division picture was taken when he was commanding officer and Commander Schaaf's division picture was taken when he became commanding officer. The commanding officer's flight division is shown on the boarding ladder to A-4F Skyhawk NF 305 (BuNo. 154211). From top to bottom, they are Commander Bob Wilson, commanding officer, division leader; Lieutenant Junior Grade Sam Scheider, wingman; Lieutenant Commander Art Keen, section leader; Lieutenant Junior Grade Barry Karger, wingman. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
JAN68: VA-93 Moss Flight Division. Lieutenant Commander Dave Moss' flight division - with Dave at the top of the A-4F Skyhawk NF 305 (BuNo. 154211) boarding ladder. From Dave to the bottom are his wingman: Lieutenant Junior Grade Pete Nichols followed by the section leader, Lieutenant Rich Curtis, and his wingman, Lieutenant Junior Grade Gary Simpkins. Lieutenant Rich Curtis ejected from A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154187 on September 6, 1968. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
JAN68: VA-93 Shanahan Flight Division. Lieutenant Commander Tom Shanahan's flight division - with Tom at the top of the A-4F Skyhawk NF 305 (BuNo. 154211) boarding ladder. From Tom to the bottom are his wingman: Lieutenant Junior Grade Jerry Charest followed by the section leader, Lieutenant Commander Harvey Eikel, and wingmen Lieutenant Junior Grade Jack Douglass and Lieutenant Junior Grade Gay Parrett. Lieutenant Junior Grade Jack Douglass ejected from A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154988 on May 21, 1968.
MAY68: VA-93 Commanding Officer Schaaf's Flight Division. VA-93 Commanding Officer and Division Leader Tom Schaaf, with his flight, pose by a VA-93 A-4F Skyhawk on the Bonnie Dick flight deck late in the 1968 cruise. (Left to right): Commanding Officer Tom Schaaf and his wingman, Bob Lindley; section leader - Mike Trout and his wingman, Dick Selman. Note: Blue Blazer Flight Division pictures were taken at different times. Commander Wilson's division picture was taken when he was commanding officer and Commander Schaaf's division picture was taken when he became commanding officer. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
MAY/JUN68: The VA-93 Furrow Flight Division. When VA-93 began the cruise Division Leader Don Furrow led Section Leader Jack Welch and Wingmen Barry Karger and Gary Rodgers. After Barry was killed and Frank Fullerton reported aboard the Division was re-organized with Division Leader Don Furrow leading Section Leader Frank Fullerton and Wingmen Dave Maxwell and Gary Rodgers. When it was time to photograph the Division the guys decided to include the members of both Divisions thus a five man picture of a four man division. The picture was taken on the Bonnie Dick flight deck about June 1, 1968. The Furrow Division left to right: 1) Section Leader Lieutenant Commander Frank Fullerton 2) Wingman Lieutenant Junior Grade Gary Rodgers 3) Division Leader Lieutenant Commander Don Furrow 4) Wingman Lieutenant Dave Maxwell (LSO) 5) Section Leader Lieutenant Jack Welch. Photograph from John Goodman of VA-94.
MAY/JUN68: VA-93 Officers on Bon Homme Richard. VA-93 Blue Blazer Officers pose before A-4F Skyhawk NF 311 on the United States Ship Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) flight deck. Standing (left to right): 1. Bill O'Day, 2. David Epstein, 3. Art Keen, 4. Jerry Charest, 5. Jack Waeltz, 6. Sam Scheider, 7. Gary Rodgers, 8. Harvey Eikel, 9. Pete Nichols, 10. Rich Curtis, 11. Gaylord Parrett, 12. Jack Douglass, 13. Mike Trout. Leaning forward (left to right): 1. Dick Selman, 2. Bob Lindley, 3. Gary Simkins, 4. Don Burrows, 5. Jeff Winthrope, 6. Bill Greenwell (wearing ballcap), 7. Dave Maxwell. Kneeling (left to right): 1. Frank Fullerton, 2. Tom Schaaf, Executive Officer, 3. Robert R. Wilson, Commanding Officer, 5. Tom Shanahan, 6. Dave Moss. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout.
MAY/JUN68: VA-93 Blue Jackets on Bon Homme Richard - May - June 1968. VA-93 Bluejackets - Grp One: Front Row (Left to Right): LT J. Winthrope; AZ3 D. Dick; AZ1 Yurchick, Jr.; AZ3 R. Kubina; AN J. Baldwin; AN R. Bingaman; AT1 E. Rose; AFCM W. Stringham. 2nd Row: ADJC H. Florea; AE1 H. Schmidt; AZ3 T. Hollingsworth; ADJ1 I. Sowell; AMH1 T. Harper; ADJ2 A. Barclay; AN A. Lomonaco; AO1 L. McCloud; AK2 W. Navarro; AK1 A. Jackson; AK1 A. Jackson; AKAN R. Snyder; AN W. Hubbard; AEC R. Grisso. Official Navy photograph from Jim Lacy.
MAY/JUN68: VA-93 Blue Jackets on Bon Homme Richard - May - June 1968 Grp Two. Front Row (Left to Right): ATR3 J. Munro; ATN2 G. Monson; ATN2 C. Smith; ATN2 D. Stone. 2nd Row: ATR2 R. Painter; AE2 J. Schouboe; AE2 C. Colvin; AO2 R. Feldman; AN G. Brockman; AO3 D. McGrath; AO3 R. Mylar; AO2 S. Hurd; ATC W. Strafford.br> 3nd Row: LT W. Greenwell; ATN2 N. Newkirk; AO2 J. Fife; AO2 R. Peterman; AN G. Heim; AN A. Wright; AO1 B. Cooper; AT1 R. Buckley; LTJG W. O'Day.
MAY/JUN68: VA-93 Blue Jackets on Bon Homme Richard. Front Row (Left to Right): ADJ1 D. McMahan; AME2 R. Jung; AMH1 D. Ward; AM T. Hamet; AMS1 E. Allen; AMH2 G. Reichle; ADJ1 J. Novak. 2nd Row: AMHC J. Cash; ADJ1 O. Schnider; AMS2 G. Jones; AE2 S. Hardman; ADJ3 W. Kunze; ADJ2 B. Slinkard; ADJ3 H. Sanders; AMS3 J. Harig; ADJ2 T. Robnett; ADJ2 S. Drake; AMS2 A. Dunsworth; AMS2 F. Howe; AN A. Liberte; AMS3 M. Frangenberg; PR2 Ed Wentling; ADJ1 R. Jones; AMH2 E. Joy; LTJG R. Selman. 3nd Row: AME2 D. Busby; ADJ2 J. Dodson; AMH3 L. Nard; AME2 J. Gutierrez; ADJ3 D. Holvey; AME2 L. Williams; AN D. Eberstein. Intake: PR3 Jim Lacy. Cockpit: PR2 Emory. Official Navy photograph from Jim Lacy.
MAY/JUN68: VA-93 Blue Jackets on Bon Homme Richard. Front Row (Left to Right): CS3 M. Boot; PN1 R. Deemer; PN3 G. Rampenthal; ABH1 F. Burns; AE3 L. Sandidge; LI3 A. Traceski; AQFAN T. Hinton; SN R. Harrie. Back Row: ADJ3 J. Lukens; AN H. Locke; AMS3 G. Dispenza; PR2 R. Allen; AMSC M. Melder; CSC G. Kosciuk; AO3 R. Wyman; ADJ3 J. Graves; AN P. Sturm; AN W. Hubbard. VA-93 Blue Blazer Men pose in their Bonnie Dick spaces. Official Navy photograph from Jim Lacy.
MAY/JUN68: VA-93 Blue Jackets on Bon Homme Richard. Front Row (Left to Right): AMEAN T. Kittinger, AN G. Leshinger, ABH2 A. Rios, AN P. Zorko, AMS3 R. Lewis, AN L. Stokes. Middle Row: AN D. Meyer, AN K. Hough, ADJ3 A. Costa, ADJAN L. Harville, ATN3 W. Goin, AMS3 F. Baughman, AMH3 M. Douzart, AN G. Revere, AME1 P. Perkins. Back Row: ATRAN K. Birmelin, AMH2 R. Sieb, ADJ3 H. Miller, AN F. Ryan, AME3 A. Houser, ADJAN F. Lingenfelter, AE3 M. Rister, AN J. Vanweezel, AN R. Lazzerini, AMH3 G. Lindley, ADJ3 M. Lindher, AMS3 W. Weiss, ADJ3 Don Roen, Lieutenant J. Waeltz. VA-93 Blue Blazer Men pose in their Bonnie Dick spaces. Official Navy photograph from Jim Lacy.
1968: VA-93 Parachute Riggers 1968. PR3 Lacy, PR2 Wentling, and PR2 Emory maintain the pilot's "last chance." (Left to Right): PR3 (Parachute Rigger 3) Lacy, PR2 Wentling, and PR2 Emory pack an ejection-seat pan. PR3 Lacy packed the parachutes successfully used by Lieutenant Junior Grade Jack Douglass in his ejection from A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154988 on 21 May and by Lieutenant Rich Curtis in his ejection from A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154187 on 6 September 1968. Official Navy photograph from Jim Lacy.
09 September 1968: A crewman loads mk-82 500-pound bombs onto VA-93 Blue Blazers A-4F Skyhawk BuNo 154198, NF-302, on board USS Bon Homme Richard, CVA-31. Official U.S. Navy photo K-58650 by Paul T. Crager.
October 1968: VA-93 Ordnance Division. LTJG Bill O'Day, Division Ordnance Officer, is standing with his arms folded on the far right of the picture. Front row, kneeling and starting from the left: AO-2 Doug Ploog, AO-3 Wyman, AO-3 Richard Sigelinski, AO-2 Glen Gaddberry, AO-3 Nikolai Belanoochkin, AO-2 Richard Mylar, AO-2 Daniel McGrath. Standing and starting from the left: 6th man is AO-2 Harvey Geiss, 8th man Is AO-1 Mac McCloud, 9th man is AO-1 Don Butler, 11th man is the ordnance shop senior CPO. 12th man is AO-1 Bob Cooper. The VA-93 Blue Blazers dropped 8,007,494 pounds of bombs during the cruise. These are the men that hung those bombs on the Skyhawks. Men from the Blue Blazer Ordnance Crew load a thousand-pounder for the next launch - the old fashioned way. They lift it with steel rods ("hernia bars") and muscle. Left to right: Gary "Flash" Larson AO3; Harry F. Geiss, AO2; Robert W. Daffron, AO2; Darrel L. Woodside, AO3. Photograph from Gary Rodgers.
1968: The "Bomb Farm" during the 68 cruise aboard CV-31. Taken by Mylar, of VA-93.
1969: VA-93 aircraft on the flight deck of CVA-34 in 1969. Richard Mylar.
VA-93 A4D-2N Skyhawks BuNo 147721 NG-306 and BuNo 147743 NG-309 in-flight with VAH-6 A-3B Skywarrior BuNo 147657, NG-7, from or near NAS Fallon over Soda Lake. Photo courtesy of Bob Lawson.
1962: Our basketball team won our division on the Ranger cruise of 1962, Ed led the way having played at Vanderbilt and Eastern Kentucky before his Navy days. The only other names I remember are: 11 = Bill Robertson (Squadron Air Intelligence Officer), 3 = Ed Pogue, 9 = Larry Murphy (me), 4 = Jud Springer, pilot, 16 = Bernie Mashinski, Squadron Maintenance Officer; 13 = Yeoman Meurs; I believe number 14 is Bob Frazier, one of the pilots, but I'm not certain. Larry Murphy.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit;