VA-113 Stingers A-7E USS Ranger
Fly with the Stingers of VA-113 in this hand crafted A-7e with 1971 markings. Each model is carefully carved from wood and hand painted to provide a piece you’ll love. 18 inches
The squadron was originally established as Fighter Squadron 113 (VF-113) on 15 July 1948 at NAS San Diego, flying the F8F-1/2 Bearcat.
In March 1950, the squadron transitioned to the F4U-4B Corsair. Attached to Air Group 11, the squadron flew their first combat strikes on 5 August 1950 from USS Philippine Sea and USS Valley Forge against targets near Kunsan, Korea. In September 1950, the squadron flew combat sorties in support of the United States Marine Corps landings at Incheon. In November 1950, squadron aircraft participated in Operation Pinwheel, the docking and departing of the carrier from the pier using aircraft engine power to move the ship. Also in November 1950, during strikes on bridges crossing the Yalu River, squadron F4U-4Bs were attacked by MiG-15s, with neither side suffering any damage. On 23 June 1952, squadron aircraft, along with planes from 3 other air groups, participated in the first coordinated strikes against North Korean hydroelectric power plants. This was the first time that enemy power plants had been so heavily targeted. It also marked the first time that four carriers were on line off the coast of Korea since late 1950. VF-113 won six engagement stars as well as the Presidential Unit Citation and Navy Unit Commendations in two Korean combat tours.
The squadron moved to NAS Miramar on 15 September 1952 and transitioned to the F9F-1 Panther on 5 October 1952. In February 1954, the squadron upgraded to the F9F-2. In May 1955, the squadron again upgraded to the swept wing F9F-8 Cougar and in March 1956 was redesignated Attack Squadron One Hundred Thirteen (VA-113). In April 1957, they transitioned to the A-4 Skyhawk, flying several different Skyhawk models over the next 11 years.
While operating from USS Shangri-La in August– September 1958, the squadron was part of a task force that provided support to the Republic of China during the shelling of the Quemoy Islands by the Chinese Communists. The squadron was awarded the Battle Efficiency “E” for 1958, denoting it as the best Attack Squadron on the West Coast.
In late 1961, the squadron embarked on USS Kitty Hawk for her transit, via Cape Horn, from NS Norfolk to her new home port at NAS North Island. The Stingers also moved to a new home at NAS Lemoore on 12 December 1961.
In June 1964, squadron aircraft participated in Yankee Team operations, including aerial refuelling for RF-8A Crusaders and F-101 Voodoos, and search and rescue missions over South Vietnam and Laos. From November 1964 to October 1965, the squadron provided a detachment of personnel and A-4s for use as fighter protection for USS Bennington.
October 1965 brought the squadron back to the Western Pacific for a combat deployment aboard USS Kitty Hawk. The squadron flew numerous missions into North Vietnam against enemy lines of communications, as well as close air support in South Vietnam. In December 1965 during the squadron’s first line-period on Yankee Station, they participated in three major strikes against important North Vietnamese targets, including the Haiphong Bridge, Uong Bi Thermal Power Plant and the Hải Dương Bridge.
The squadron’s second tour in Vietnam was aboard USS Enterprise, from 19 November 1966 to 6 July 1967, earning them Navy Unit Commendation. The squadron upgraded to the A-4F in October 1967.
The squadron again deployed to South East Asia aboard USS Enterprise on 3 January 1968. En route to Yankee Station, the carrier was ordered to the Sea of Japan for operations following the seizure of the USS Pueblo (AGER-2) by the North Koreans. After return from deployment on 18 July 1968, the squadron transitioned to the A-7 Corsair II in December 1968, and was awarded the coveted Arleigh Burke Award, and the Battle Efficiency “E” award for the year.
VA-113 upgraded to the A-7E in April 1970, and returned to combat operations in Southeast Asia during November 1970 aboard USS Ranger. The squadron’s performance during this deployment earned them the Admiral Wade McClusky Award, given annually to the “Outstanding Attack Squadron in the Navy.” Additionally, VA-113 earned the Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award for Fiscal Year 1971.
VA-113 departed Alameda, California in November 1972 for its sixth combat cruise to Southeast Asia. During this deployment the squadron participated in air strikes during Operation Linebacker II and saw action over South Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam.
In May 1974 the squadron returned to WESTPAC as part of the Carrier Air Wing 2/USS Ranger team. VA-113 continued this association for the next eight years, completing four more peacetime WESTPAC deployments while compiling an accident-free safety record in the A-7E
From 15 October 1980 to 22 March 1981, under the “Swing Wing Concept” to reduce the deck multiple on Ranger, VA-113 operated as a CVW-2 Detachment from NAS Cubi Point.
In August 1982 the squadron surpassed 40,000 accident-free flight hours which represented the longest accident-free period in the entire Navy A-7 community. In recognition of superior safety awareness and operations, the squadron was presented the prestigious Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award for 1982