VAL-4 Black Ponies Plaque
Fly with the Black Ponies of VAL-4 in this 14 inch carved plaque to hand in the goat locker!
Squadron Insignia and Nickname
The squadron’s first insignia was approved by CNO on 7 March 1969. Colors for the Yellow Jacket insignia were: a red
background outlined in black; a white scroll outlined in black with black lettering; black stylized aircraft with yellow
contrails; the yellow jacket had silver wings with black markings, a brown body outlined in black, the head and
stinger tail were yellow with black markings; the lightning bolt from the tail was black and the explosion was
yellow outlined in black.
On 14 July 1971 CNO approved a modification to the squadron’s insignia.Colors for the Pony insignia were: a red background outlined
in black; a white scroll outlined in black with black lettering; the stylized aircraft were black with yellow contrails;the pony was black.
Nickname: Black Ponies, 1971–1972.
In September 1968 VS-41 began training personnel scheduled for assignment to VAL-4, receiving their first OV-10A Broncos the following month. On 3 January 1969 VAL-4 was established with the mission of conducting surveillance and offensive operations in support of river patrol craft, as well as providing air support for SEALS and combined U.S. Army, Navy and South Vietnamese operations, complementing the operations of HA(L)-3.
In March 1969 VAL-4 was permanently based at the Naval Support Activity Detachment Airfield, Binh Thuy Air Base, South Vietnam, for combat operations. The squadron had two detachments, Detachment A assigned to Binh Thuy and Detachment B assigned to Vung Tau Airport.
On 19 April 1969 the squadron began combat operations, flying air support for the Mobile Riverine Force in the Mekong Delta of South Vietnam. The missions included normal patrol, overhead air cover, scramble alert and gunfire/artillery spotting. The OV-10s large payload and long endurance meant that it could provide air support to US and Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) forces throughout the delta.
From April–May 1970 VAL-4 participated in combined South Vietnamese and U.S. Riverine Force operations designed to neutralize sanctuary bases in the Mekong delta in support of the Cambodian Campaign.
On 1 July 1970 Detachment B was disestablished and all operations were concentrated at Binh Thuy.
In February 1971 VAL-4 with HA(L)-3 provided air support for Republic of Vietnam Navy supply convoys up the Mekong river to Phnom Penh.
On 31 March 1972 the squadron conducted its last combat mission prior to its disestablishment on 10 April 1972.