VA-55 Warhorses A-6E Model
Proudly display this 18 inch wooden model of the VA-55 Blue Blasters A-6 Intruder. Each model is carefully carved and painted by master craftsman. This is perfect for the goat locker or office and will provide a perfect aid for aviator told stories!
*Price includes weapons and brass medallion
15 Feb 1943: VGS-30 was disestablished and personnel from the squadron were used to form VT-5 and VF-1.
6–24 Jul 1943: The squadron departed Norfolk, Virginia embarked in USS Yorktown (CV-10) en route to the Hawaiian Islands via the Panama Canal.
31 Aug 1943: Embarked in Yorktown, the squadron participated in a raid on Marcus Island.
5–6 Oct 1943: The squadron participated in a raid on Wake Island.
Nov–Dec 1943: The squadron supported the Battle of Makin and the Battle of Tarawa, and flew strikes against Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands.
Jan–Feb 1944: The squadron provided air support for the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign.
16–17 Feb 1944: Squadron aircraft flew strikes against the Japanese stronghold of Truk.
22 Feb 1944: The squadron participated in a raid on the Marianas, striking targets on Saipan.
30 Mar–1 Apr 1944: Squadron aircraft struck ships and facilities at Palau in the Caroline Islands. The strike on 30 March was the first time the squadron’s TBFs were armed with torpedoes in combat.
21–23 Apr 1944: Strikes were flown against targets on Wakde Island and Hollandia in New Guinea. These operations were in support of the landings at Hollandia by General Douglas MacArthur’s forces.
29–30 Apr 1944: The squadron participated in another strike operation against Truk.
30 Apr 1944: The squadron’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Dick Upson, failed to return from a search and rescue mission to locate a downed pilot.
14 May 1944: Following a ten-month combat tour beginning in August 1943, Air Group 5 was relieved aboard Yorktown by Air Group 1 and returned to CONUS to reform on 25 June 1944.
07 Feb 1945: Embarked in USS Franklin (CV-13), the squadron departed NAS Alameda for Hawaii, arriving there on 13 February. This was the beginning of the squadron’s second major combat tour in the Pacific.
19 Mar 1945: VT-5 was preparing to launch its aircraft for an attack against the city of Kobe, Japan, when the Franklin was hit by two enemy bombs from a Japanese aircraft. Fires were ignited on the second and third decks from the first bomb and the second triggered munitions on the carrier. All VT-5’s aircraft on the flight and hangar deck were destroyed by the ensuing explosions and fire. The damage was one of the most extensive experienced by an Essex class carrier during World War II. A total of 724 men were killed and 265 wounded. VT-5’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Edmands, was lost in the action. All surviving VT-5 personnel were transferred from Franklin and returned to CONUS.
3 Jul 1950: Participated in the first combat strikes by carrier aircraft against the North Koreans. The squadron flew its AD-4 Skyraiders on strikes against airfields, supply lines and transportation facilities in and around Pyongyang, North Korea. This was also the first use of the AD Skyraider in combat.
12 Sep 1950: Pre-invasion strikes against targets in and around Inchon and Seoul, Korea, began in preparation for the Battle of Inchon.
15 Sep 1950: Strikes were flown to support the landings at Inchon.
16 May 1951: All VA-55 personnel, except 16 officers and 5 enlisted men, embarked USNS General William Weigel (TAP-119) en route to Japan for duty with Air Group 19 aboard USS Princeton (CV-37). The remainder of the personnel were airlifted to Japan on 17 May.
29 May 1951: VA-55 embarked on Princeton, replaced VA-195 in Air Group 19, and proceeded to Korea for combat operations.
Mar 1954: The squadron was deployed to the Western Pacific aboard USS Essex (CVA-9) when the carrier was ordered to operate off the coast of Vietnam during the Viet Minh’s assault against the French at Dien Bien Phu.
Jul–Sep 1957: Operated intermittently off the coast of Taiwan due to the build-up of Chinese Communist forces and the threat of a possible invasion of Taiwan or its off-shore islands.
Sep 1958: Operated in the Formosa Straits during the Chinese Communist shelling of Quemoy and Matsu.
30–31 Oct 1962: Participated in cross deck operations on HMS Victorious (R-38) in the South China Sea.
Apr 1963: USS Ticonderoga, with VA-55 embarked, deployed to the South China Sea following several defeats of neutralist forces by the Communists in Laos. After a ceasefire agreement was arranged, the ship resumed normal Seventh Fleet operations on 5 May.
Jul–Sep 1964: Participated in special Yankee Team operations involving missions over Laos and South Vietnam.
2 and 4 Aug 1964: The squadron flew air support for USS Maddox (DD-731) and USS Turner Joy (DD-951) while the destroyers were on Desoto Patrol missions (intelligence collection missions begun in 1962) off the coast of North Vietnam.
5 Aug 1964: VA-55’s Skyhawks participated in operation Pierce Arrow, retaliatory strikes against the North Vietnamese. Along with other aircraft from CVG-5, they were part of the mission that struck the Vinh oil storage facility. Ninety percent of the complex was destroyed.
Oct–Nov 1964: The squadron continued to operate from Ticonderoga off the coast of South Vietnam and participated in special Yankee Team operations, flying missions over South Vietnam.
3 Jun 1966: The squadron’s commanding officer, Commander M. J. Chewning, while on a mission over North Vietnam, lost the use of his left arm due to a shrapnel hit. He continued his mission, striking a road target, and then returned to the carrier, making a onehanded carrier landing. For his exploits he was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.
15 Jun 1966: Lieutenant Commander Theodore F. Kopfman was awarded the Silver Star, in absentia, for his actions on a mission over North Vietnam. During the sortie his aircraft was shot down and he was taken prisoner. He was released by North Vietnam and returned to the United States in 1973.
Apr 1972: The squadron participated in Operation Freedom Train, tactical air sorties against military and logistic targets in the southern part of North Vietnam. It also provided close air support for forces in South Vietnam following a massive invasion by North Vietnam.
May 1972: Participated in the early phase of Operation Linebacker I, heavy air strikes against targets in North Vietnam.
Jun 1973: Missions were flown in support of Operation End Sweep, the clearing of mines in the territorial waters of North Vietnam.
Oct 1973: With the outbreak of war between Israel, Egypt and Syria, the Hancock (CVA 19), with VA-55 embarked, was directed to leave Yankee Station and operate in the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden