VA-15 Valions A-7E (1981) Model
Fly off of the USS Independence again in this A-7E model of the VA-15 Valions. Each model is carved from wood and hand painted to provide a unique piece. ~ 18 inches long.
On 1 June 1969 after the first VA-15 was disestablished, the men and equipment were merged with Attack Squadron 67 (VA-67), which had been established on 1 August 1968. On 2 June 1969, the combined squadron was redesignated VA-15 and adopted the insignia and traditions of the Valions. In August 1968, the squadron began training under VA-174 in the A-7 Corsair II.
In October–November 1973 while embarked on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, the squadron operated in the vicinity of Crete in response to the Yom Kippur War. In June–July 1976 following the assassination of the American Ambassador to Lebanon, VA-15 embarked on USS America operated in the vicinity of Lebanon in support of the evacuation of non-combatants.
In November 1980, the squadron, embarked on USS Independence were on station when the American hostages were released from Iran. In May 1981 USS Independence transited the Suez Canal and maintained station in the eastern Mediterranean due to the crisis between Israel and Syria following Israeli raids against Syrian surface-to-air missile sites in Lebanon.
In October–November 1983, VA-15 aircraft flew combat close air support and reconnaissance sorties in support of Operation Urgent Fury, the U.S. invasion of Grenada.
On December 4, 1983 in response to hostile fire against U.S. reconnaissance aircraft from Syrian positions in Lebanon, VA-15 aircraft participated in coordinated strikes against Syrian radar, communications and artillery positions overlooking the Multi-National Peacekeeping Forces. One of the squadron’s A-7E Corsair IIs, flown by the Air Wing Commander, Command Edward Andrews, was lost when it was hit by a Syrian surface-to-air missile. Commander Andrews ejected, was rescued and returned to USS Independence.
From December 1985 to June 1986 the squadron was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12M, 1st Marine Air Wing for a six-month deployment to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. This deployment was designed to test the enhanced interoperability between Marine and Navy squadrons, with emphasis on close air support for Marine ground operations and the sharing of other techniques used by both communities. The squadron participated in Operation “Team Spirit” in Korea.
In June 1986, the squadron began transition training in the F/A-18 Hornet, and on October 1, 1986, VA-15 was redesignated Strike Fighter Squadron 15 (VFA-15). The squadron accepted their first F/A-18 Hornet in January 1987.