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VA-86 Sidewinders Patch – Plastic Backing

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VA-86 Sidewinders Patch – Plastic Backing VA-55 Warhorses Squadron Patch

Lineage: Reserve Fighter Squadron NINE HUNDRED TWENTY ONE (VF-921) called to active duty on 1 February 1951. Redesignated Fighter Squadron EIGHTY FOUR (VF84) on 4 February 1953. Redesignated Attack Squadron EIGHTY SIX (VA-86) on 1 July 1955. Redesignated Strike Fighter Squadron EIGHTY SIX (VFA-86) on 15 July 1987. The second squadron to be assigned the VA-86 designation and the first squadron to be assigned the VFA-86 designation.

Squadron Insignia and Nickname The squadron’s first insignia was approved by CNO on 6 August 1951. Colors for the insignia were: a blue background; red bird with black markings, yellow beak and feet outlined in black and a white eye; yellow aviator wings and anchor with black markings; and a white machine gun and missile with black markings. A new insignia was approved by CNO on 7 April 1954. Colors for the top hat and snake insignia are: a black background outlined in white and black; gold snake with black markings, white fangs, red eyes and tongue; black top hat with white markings; and a black cane outlined in white with gold markings at the top and bottom. Nickname: Sidewinders, 1955-present.

Chronology of Significant Events 29 Jun–2 Jul 1953: VF-84 was embarked in Antietam (CVA 36) and operated with the British Royal Navy, demonstrating flight operations from the carrier’s new angled deck. 7 Jan 1961: The squadron’s commanding officer, Commander J. W. Shuff, was killed in an aircraft accident while the squadron was deployed to the Mediterranean.

Apr 1961: The squadron operated from Independence (CVA 62) in an area south of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during the Bay of Pigs, the unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by American supported Cuban exiles. Nov 1962: The squadron embarked in Lexington (CVS 16) during the Cuban Missile Crisis and operated off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, on call and available for operations in the Caribbean. Apr–May 1963: The squadron provided detachments for operation aboard Randolph (CVS 15), Essex (CVS 9) and Wasp (CVS 18). The detachment’s A-4C Skyhawks were equipped with Sidewinder missiles and used to provide the ASW carriers with an antiair warfare capability. 1 Jul 1965: The squadron conducted its first combat mission, flying against targets in South Vietnam. 11 Oct 1967: Squadron aircraft and pilots participated in naval gun spotting missions in support of New Jersey’s (BB 62) shore bombardment role in Vietnam. Jul–Oct 1972: Squadron aircraft participated in Operation Linebacker I, heavy air strikes against targets in North Vietnam. Dec 1972: The squadron participated in Linebacker II operations, a more intensified version of Linebacker I operations. Jan 1980: After the U.S. Embassy staff was taken hostage in Tehran, Iran, VA-86 departed Naples, Italy, embarked in Nimitz (CVN 68), enroute to the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope. This was the beginning of 144 consecutive days at sea for the squadron. Aug 1981: Embarked in Nimitz, the squadron participated in a Freedom of Navigation Exercise in the Gulf of Sidra. During this exercise two F-14 Tomcats from Nimitz were fired upon by two Libyan SU-22 Fitters on 18 August. The F-14’s returned fire and shot down the two aircraft. Tensions escalated and VA-86 flew refueling and reconnaissance missions over potentially hostile Libyan ships. Oct 1981: Following the assassination of President Sadat of Egypt, Nimitz, with VA-86 embarked, was ordered to operate off the coast of Egypt. Feb 1983: Following hostile threats against Sudan by Libya, Nimitz, with VA-86 embarked, operated off the coast bordering Libya and Egypt. Jun 1985: Nimitz, with VA-86 embarked, was ordered to operate off the coast of Lebanon due to the hijacking of TWA flight 847 by Arab radicals. The carrier and squadron remained on station until the release of the hostages in the latter part of July. Jan–Feb 1987: VA-86, embarked in Nimitz, operated off the coast of Lebanon after three U.S. citizens were taken hostage from the American University in Beirut.

Home Port Assignments
Location Assignment Date NAS St. Louis * NAS Jacksonville 28 Mar 1951 NAS Oceana 11 Jun 1952 NAS Cecil Field 15 Mar 1966
* As a reserve squadron, it was assigned to NAS St. Louis prior to a recall to active duty in 1951.
Commanding Officers
Date Assumed Command LT L. H. Pulford 1947* LCDR Harold L. Buell Jul 1952 LCDR Herbert V. Ladley Jul 1953 CDR Chester W. Gates, Jr. May 1955 LCDR Grant Boice Sep 1956 LCDR Jack H. Robcke (acting) Sep 1957 CDR William A. Schroeder, Jr. 24 Sep 1957 CDR Rodney F. Schall 12 Mar 1959 CDR John W. Shuff, Jr. 29 Feb 1960 CDR Sam Rorex, Jr. 07 Jan 1961 CDR Richard J. McAndrew 12 Jan 1962 CDR F. B. Koch 21 Dec 1962 CDR Wilbur J. Burgin 06 Dec 1963 CDR William F. Sallada 11 Dec 1964 CDR William W. Bowers 15 Nov 1965 CDR C. R. Long 16 Nov 1966 CDR J. E. Russ 30 Nov 1967 CDR D. E. Gordon 10 Jan 1969 CDR Standley H. Block 21 Jan 1970 CDR Grant Augustine III 15 Jan 1971 CDR William D. Yonke 28 Jan 1972 CDR Benjamin F. Short 06 Dec 1972 CDR Duane O. Schumacher 14 Dec 1973 CDR Perry W. Gard III 07 Mar 1975 CDR Leighton W. Smith, Jr. 22 Apr 1976
Commanding Officers—Continued
Date Assumed Command CDR Herbert W. Taylor 02 Jun 1977 CDR Bernard J. Smith 02 Jun 1978 CDR Virgil F. Jackson, Jr. 19 Nov 1979 CDR John P. Gay 12 Feb 1981 CDR Charles S. Abbot 23 Jun 1982 CDR Ralph J. Castor 16 Jun 1983 CDR John L. Fitzpatrick 29 Jan 1985 CDR John M. Johnson 05 Jun 1986 CDR Howard A. Petrea 28 Jan 1988 CDR Ted J. Venable 1989 CDR Matthew G. Moffit 06 Nov 1990
* Lieutenant Pulford was commanding officer of VF-921 during its reserve status and continued as its commanding officer when it was called to active duty.

Type of Aircraft
Date Type First Received F4U-4 Feb 1951 F8F-2 18 Jun 1952 F9F-5 Sep 1952 F7U-3M Jun 1955 A4D-1 26 May 1957 A4D-2 24 Dec 1957 A4D-2N/A-4C* Sep 1962
Aircraft Assignment
Type of Aircraft Date Type First Received A-4E 28 Apr 1964 A-7A Feb 1967 A-7E 01 Oct 1970 A-7C Apr 1972 A-7E 14 Nov 1974 F/A-18C 18 Nov 1987
* The A4D-2N designation was changed to A-4C in 1962.

Squadron officers and their F7U-3M Cutlass in the background, November 1955. Bottom row, left to right: Lt. (jg) W. M. Austin, Ens. C. R. Hill, Ens. S. J. Kreider, Ens. D. C. Gandee, Ens. W. E. Dennison, Lt. A. L. Kivien, Lt. (jg) J. F. McNerney, Lt. (jg) G. W. Lenox. Top row, left to right: Lt. (jg) J. T. Bucy, Cdr. C. W. Gates, Jr., Lcdr. R. J. Burns, Lt. (jg) D. A. Kueth, Lt. (jg) R. C. Barron, Lt. (jg) T. B. Green, Lt. (jg) H. W. Hall, Lt. (jg) R. L. Stevenson, and Ens. G. L. Atkinson.

Major Overseas Deployments
Date of Date of Air Type of Area of Departure Return Wing Carrier Aircraft Operation 28 Nov 1951 11 Jun 1952 CVG-8 CV 40 F4U-4 Med 11 Jun 1953 21 Jul 1953 * CV 36 F9F-5 NorLant 28 Sep 1954 22 Apr 1955 CVG-8 CVA 39 F9F-5 Med 02 Sep 1958 12 Mar 1959 CVG-7 CVA 15 A4D-2 Med 04 Aug 1960 03 Mar 1961 CVG-7 CVA 62 A4D-2 Med 04 Aug 1961 19 Dec 1961 CVG-7 CVA 62 A4D-2 Med 19 Apr 1962 27 Aug 1962 CVG-7 CVA 62 A4D-2 Med 06 Aug 1963 04 Mar 1964 CVG-7 CVA 62 A-4C Med 08 Sep 1964 05 Nov 1964 CVW-7 CVA 62 A-4E NorLant/Med

Date of Date of Air Type of Area of Departure Return Wing Carrier Aircraft Operation 10 May 1965 13 Dec 1965 CVW-7 CVA 62 A-4E WestPac/Vietnam 13 Jun 1966 01 Feb 1967 CVW-7 CVA 62 A-4E Med 10 Apr 1968 16 Dec 1968 CVW-6 CVA 66 A-7A World Cruise/ Vietnam 23 Sep 1969 01 Jul 1970 CVW-15 CVA 43 A-7A WestPac/Vietnam 06 Jul 1971 16 Dec 1971 CVW-8 CVA 66 A-7E Med 05 Jun 1972 24 Mar 1973 CVW-8 CVA 66 A-7C WestPac/Vietnam 03 Jan 1974 03 Aug 1974 CVW-8 CVA 66 A-7C Med 06 Sep 1974 12 Oct 1974 CVW-8 CVA 66 A-7C NorLant 16 Jul 1975 24 Sep 1975 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E Carib/NorLant 07 Jul 1976 07 Feb 1977 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E Med 01 Dec 1977 20 Jul 1978 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E Med/NorLant 10 Sep 1979 26 May 1980 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E Med/SoLant/IO 29 Aug 1980 17 Oct 1980 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E NorLant 03 Aug 1981 12 Feb 1982 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E Med 10 Nov 1982 20 May 1983 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E Carib/Med 08 Mar 1985 04 Oct 1985 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E Carib/Med 15 Aug 1986 16 Oct 1986 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E NorLant 30 Dec 1986 26 Jul 1987 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-7E Med/SoLant/West Coast 08 Feb 1989 03 Apr 1989 CVW-1 CV 66 F/A-18C Carib/NorLant 11 May 1989 10 Nov 1989 CVW-1 CV 66 F/A-18C Med/IO 28 Dec 1990 18 Apr 1991 CVW-1 CV 66 F/A-18C Med/RedSea/ Persian Gulf
* VF-84, VC-4 and VS-27 deployed aboard Antietam (CVA 36). The carrier did not have an air group embarked.
Squadron A-4E Skyhawks at NAS Oceana in 1965. Cdr. W. W. Bowers is climbing out of the aircraft. Note the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club insignia on the forward part of the fuselage and the combat sortie mission marks on the fuselage just aft of the jet intake.

Air Wing Assignments
Air Wing Tail Code Assignment Date CVG-8 E 09 Apr 1951 ATG-181 I/AM* Jul 1955 CVG-7/CVW-7† AG 15 Jan 1958 CVW-6 AE 16 Oct 1967 CVW-15 NL 1969 COMFAIRJACKSONVILLE 01 Jul 1970
Air Wing Assignments—Continued
Air Wing Tail Code Assignment Date CVW-8 AJ Jan 1971 COMLATWING 1 01 Sep 1987 CVW-1 AB 1988
* The tail code was changed from I to AM in 1957. The effective date for this change was most likely the beginning of FY 58 (1 July 1957). † CVG-7 was redesignated CVW-7 when Carrier Air Groups (CVG) were redesignated Carrier Air Wings (CVW) on 20 December 1963.

Unit Awards Received
Unit Award Inclusive Dates Covering Unit Award NAVE 01 Jul 1962 30 Jun 1963 01 Jul 1963 30 Jun 1964 01 Jan 1982 31 Dec 1982 01 Jan 1985 31 Dec 1985 AFEM 24 Sep 1958 26 Sep 1958 15 Jun 1965 29 Jun 1965 03 Jul 1965 10 Dec 1969 11 Dec 1969 MUC 27 Oct 1969 01 Jun 1970
Unit Awards Received—Continued
Unit Award Inclusive Dates Covering Unit Award 14 Jul 1972 20 Feb 1973 04 Aug 1981 20 May 1983 NEM 19 Apr 1961 29 Apr 1961 14 Jan 1980 14 May 1980 05 Dec 1982 31 Dec 1982 21 Jan 1983 13 Feb 1983 18 Feb 1983 24 Feb 1983 19 Mar 1983 21 Mar 1983 18 Apr 1983 22 Apr 1983
Unit Awards Received—Continued
Unit Award Inclusive Dates Covering Unit Award NUC 05 Jun 1965 21 Nov 1965 12 May 1968 20 Nov 1968 23 Jan 1980 01 May 1980 17 Jan 1991 07 Feb 1991 RVNGC 21 Oct 1965 23 Oct 1965 25 Oct 1965 02 Nov 1965 09 Nov 1965 10 Nov 1965 30 May 1968 02 Jun 1968 20 Sep 1968 10 Oct 1968 12 Oct 1968 17 Oct 1968 VNSM 04 Jul 1965 09 Aug 1965 25 Aug 1965 21 Sep 1965 14 Oct 1965 12 Nov 1965 29 May 1968 28 Jun 1968 06 Jul 1968 03 Aug 1968 17 Aug 1968 12 Sep 1968

Unit Award Inclusive Dates Covering Unit Award 27 Sep 1968 30 Oct 1968 26 Oct 1969 18 Nov 1969 22 Dec 1969 19 Jan 1970 17 Feb 1970 09 Mar 1970 19 Mar 1970 11 Apr 1970 28 Apr 1970 01 Jun 1970 02 Jul 1972 04 Jul 1972 11 Jul 1972 24 Jul 1972 10 Aug 1972 28 Aug 1972 06 Sep 1972 07 Oct 1972 11 Oct 1972 12 Oct 1972 20 Oct 1972 01 Dec 1972 09 Dec 1972 27 Dec 1972 09 Jan 1973 02 Feb 1973 12 Feb 1973 16 Feb 1973 21 Feb 1973 25 Feb 1973 SASM 15 Jan 1991 03 Apr 1991 KLM 17 Jan 1991 28 Feb 1991
DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS—Volume I 357