VA-83 Rampagers Patch – Plastic Backing
The squadron’s first insignia was approved by CNO on 16 May 1950. Colors for the insignia were: a yellow background; black bull with brown hair around the horns; white horns with light
blue shading; the teeth, eye and smoke were white; the nose, mouth and ring around the eye were pink. A new squadron insignia was approved by CNO on 12 April 1957. Colors for
the Rampager insignia are: a light blue background outlined in gold; blue scroll outlined in
black with black lettering; white ram’s head with black markings; red eyes; and white horns with yellow, green and black markings.
Nickname: The Roaring
Rampagers, 1957 to
12 Mar 1956: VA-83, equipped with F7U-3M Cutlass aircraft and Sparrow I missiles, departed Norfolk, Virginia, embarked in Intrepid (CVA 11), for deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. This was the first overseas deployment of a naval missile squadron.
Dec 1957: The squadron was the first fleet squadron to receive the A4D-2 Skyhawk. This version of the Skyhawk was the first to be equipped with an inflight
Jul–Aug 1958: Following continued civil violence in Lebanon, VA-83 operating from Essex (CVA 9) flew sorties during the U.S. Marine Corps landings in Lebanon
to support the Lebanese government and protect American lives. During the squadron’s more than 500 sorties, two of its aircraft were hit by hostile small arms fire during road reconnaissance missions, no casualties were sustained.
Sep 1958: On 23 August 1958 the People’s Republic of China began shelling the Quemoy Islands held by the Republic of China. Essex, with VA-83 embarked, was ordered to transit the Suez Canal and augment the 7th Fleet forces in the Taiwan Straits. During September the squadron conducted flight operations while operating in the Taiwan Straits.
Aug 1962: A squadron A4D-2N Skyhawk crossdecked on the British carrier HMS Hermes.
Sep 1969: John F. Kennedy (CVA 67), with VA-83 embarked, was ordered to operate off the coast of Libya following a coup that overthrew the Libyan monarchy on 1 September 1969.
Jul–Aug 1974: The squadron operated from Forrestal (CVA 59) in the vicinity of Cyprus following a coup in that country and its invasion by Turkish forces.
May–Jun 1981: Embarked in Forrestal, VA-83 operated in the eastern Mediterranean following Israeli reprisal raids against Syrian missile batteries located in
Aug 1981: The squadron participated in a Freedom of Navigation Exercise in the Gulf of Sidra. During this exercise two F-14 Tomcats from Nimitz (CVN 68) shot down two Libyan SU-22 Fitters on 18 August. Tensions escalated and VA-83 flew reconnaissance missions over potentially hostile Libyan ships. 24 Mar 1986: Following a Libyan SA-5 missile firing against U.S. naval aircraft operating in the Gulf of Sidra during a Freedom of Navigation exercise, VA-83 aircraft participated in a retaliatory strike against the missile site at Surt, Libya. Squadron aircraft fired HARMs against the Libyan missile radar site. This was the first use of the AGM-88 HARM missile in combat.
Aug–Dec 1990: The squadron participated in Operation Desert Shield, the build-up of American and Allied forces to counter a threatened invasion of Saudi Arabia by Iraq and as part of an economic blockade of Iraq to force its withdrawal from Kuwait.