VA-153 Blue Tails Squadron Patch – Plastic Backing
VA-153 was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. During a 1949 reorganization of the Naval Air Reserve, a Fighter Squadron at NAS New York (believed to have been VF-718) was redesignated Fighter Squadron VF-831. It was called to active duty on 1 February 1951. The squadron was redesignated as VF-153 on 4 February 1953, and finally as VA-153 on 15 December 1956. It was disestablished on 30 September 1977. The squadron’s nickname was the Blue Tail Flies from 1953 onward
VF-831 was assigned to Carrier Air Group 15 (CVG-15), aboard USS Antietam, which was deployed to Korea from 8 September 1951 to 2 May 1952.
February 1955: Squadron aircraft flew sorties in support of the evacuation of Chinese Nationalists from the Tachen Islands during the First Taiwan Straits Crisis.
23 August–9 September 1958: The squadron flew sorties in the Taiwan Straits during the Second Taiwan Straits Crisis.
January 1961: USS Coral Sea, with VA-153 embarked, operated in the South China Sea after Pathet Lao forces captured strategic positions in Laos.
2 February 1965: The squadron began participating in operations in Laos. These operations involved Yankee Team, Operation Barrel Roll and Operation Steel Tiger missions.
7 and 11 February 1965: The squadron participated in Flaming Dart I and II, reprisal strikes against targets in North Vietnam following a Viet Cong attack on the American advisors compound at Pleiku and the American billet in Qui Nhon, South Vietnam.
March 1965: The squadron participated in Operation Rolling Thunder, the bombing of military targets in North Vietnam.
13 August 1965: The squadron’s commanding officer, Commander H. E. Thomas, was killed in action over North Vietnam.
March 1968: USS Coral Sea, with VA-153 embarked, operated on station off the coast of Korea following the capture of USS Pueblo in January by North Korea.
21 November 1970: The squadron flew missions in support of Operation Ivory Coast, an attempt to rescue American prisoners of war at the Son Tay prisoner compound, 20 miles west of Hanoi.
11–22 February 1973: Following the ceasefire with North Vietnam the squadron flew combat missions in Laos until a ceasefire was signed with that country on 22 February 1973.
February 1973: Commander D. R. Weichman, the squadron’s executive officer, completed his 625th combat mission of the Vietnam War. He maintains the record for the highest number of combat missions for a Navy fixed-wing pilot during this conflict.
November 1973: USS Oriskany, with VA-153 embarked, departed from operations in the South China Sea to relieve USS Hancock on station in the Arabian Sea due to the unsettled conditions following the Yom Kippur War.