VFA-34 Blue Blasters F/A-18C Model
Proudly display this 18 inch wooden model of the VFA-34 Blue Blasters F/A-18C. 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!
Established as Attack Squadron THIRTY FOUR on 1 January 1970. This is the third squadron to be designated VA-34. Squadron Insignia and Nickname When VA-34 was established, it adopted the insignia and Blue Blasters nickname used by the previous squadron. Colors for the insignia are as follows: blue diamond background outlined in black, red stylized wings outlined in blue and white, black and white machine gun in the shape of a cigarette, with a yellow ammunition belt and red bullets, white skull and skeleton with black markings and outline, red teeth, and red markings on the paddles.
Three distinct US Navy squadrons have been designated VA-34. The first squadron to hold the designation was in 1948, this squadron was redesignated VA-35 in 1950. The second VA-34 was established in 1943 and disestablished in 1969. The third VA-34, established in 1970, was later redesignated VFA-34 and is the subject of this article. Officially, the US Navy does not recognize a direct lineage with disestablished squadrons if a new squadron is formed with the same designation.Often, the new squadron will assume the nickname, insignia, and traditions of the earlier squadrons.
Less than a year after disestablishment of the second VA-34, a new Blue Blaster squadron was established at NAS Oceana, Virginia, on 1 January 1970 as the Atlantic Fleet’s sixth A-6 Intruder squadron. The actual establishment ceremony was conducted at NAS Oceana on 17 April 1970.
On 18 September 1970, VA-34 embarked aboard USS John F. Kennedy as part of Carrier Air Wing One for a short at-sea period prior to its scheduled November deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. However, while en route to the Caribbean, the ship was ordered to deploy to the Mediterranean after Syria invaded Jordan. The squadron returned home in March 1971 from this unscheduled deployment, only one year old, but already in possession of the Meritorious Unit Commendation. In August 1971, VA-34 received the Battle “E” award as the Atlantic Fleet’s top A-6 squadron.
In September 1972, a squadron A-6 Intruder conducted crossdeck operations on HMS Ark Royal while operating in the Norwegian Sea. Due to the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, VA-34 and Kennedy departed the Norwegian Sea in October 1973 and re-entered the Mediterranean, conducting surveillance operations south of Crete.
The squadron’s deployment in 1990 featured integration of night vision goggles and Standoff Land Attack Missile capability into their A-6Es. In 1990, USS Dwight D. Eisenhower completed her seventh Mediterranean deployment. The deployment became a commemorative event in the worldwide ‘Dwight D. Eisenhower Centennial,’ celebrating the 100th anniversary of the late President’s birth. During D-Day anniversary ceremonies off the coast of Normandy, President Eisenhower’s son John Eisenhower and D-Day veterans embarked on the ship, while Carrier Air Wing Seven conducted a memorial flyover of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach. In August 1990, the squadron flew missions from the Red Sea in support of Operation Desert Shield, the buildup of American and Allied forces to counter a threatened invasion of Saudi Arabia by Iraq.
The squadron returned home in September 1990 and returned to Southwest Asia in September 1991. The squadron returned to NAS Oceana, on 2 April 1992. The squadron’s next deployment was from May to November 1994, embarked on USS George Washington for her maiden voyage.
In June 1994, the squadron commemorated the 50th Anniversary of D-Day with a “missing man” formation over Omaha Beach, which was televised worldwide by CNN. The squadron was awarded the Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Battle “E” for 1994 and 1995. VA-34 departed in January 1996 aboard USS George Washington for their last A-6E Intruder deployment. They flew in support of Operation Decisive Endeavor over Bosnia and Herzegovina and Operation Southern Watch over Southern Iraq. Typical missions included close air support assisting US and United Nations troops on the ground.
On September 30, 1996, Attack Squadron 34 was redesignated Strike Fighter Squadron 34 (VFA-34) and returned once again to NAS Cecil Field, Florida. The squadron immediately began the transition to the F/A-18 Hornet. In June 1998, VFA-34 deployed aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in support of Operation Deliberate Force and Operation Southern Watch. The squadron returned to NAS Cecil Field in December 1998. In March 1999, the squadron conducted a homeport shift from NAS Cecil Field to NAS Oceana.
2000s The squadron embarked on USS George Washington in June 2000 for deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf in support of Operations Southern Watch and Deliberate Forge. In December 2000, the squadron returned to NAS Oceana. Upon their return, the squadron was awarded the Rear Admiral Clarence Wade McClusky Award as the premier attack squadron in the U.S. Navy, and the Commander, Naval Air Force U.S. Atlantic Fleet Battle E Award as the finest East Coast Strike Fighter Squadron.
The squadron embarked on USS George Washington in June 2002 for another deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Southern Watch, returning to NAS Oceana in December 2002.
VFA-34 returned to USS John F. Kennedy for her last combat cruise in 2004, deploying to the Mediterranean Sea/Persian Gulf in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
In March 2005, VFA-34 became operationally attached to Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2), deploying aboard the west coast carrier USS Abraham Lincoln for Operations Valiant Shield and Foal Eagle 2006. Between 24–31 March 2006, during Foal Eagle 2006 exercises, VFA-2, VFA-34, VFA-137, and VFA-151 from (CVW-2) teamed with U.S. Air Force aircraft from the 18th Wing based at Kadena Air Base to provide combat air patrols and coordinated bombing runs via the exercise’s Combined Air Operations Center. The squadron returned home to NAS Oceana in August 2006.
In March 2008 the squadron again deployed on the USS Abraham Lincoln. Reporting to the 5th Fleet Operating Area, VFA-34 launched strikes over Iraq and Afghanistan, returning home in October 2008.
After an extended stand down period the squadron returned to the USS Abraham Lincoln for deployment back to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in 2010-11. After a short at home period the squadron returned to the Middle East aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln in 2011-12 and returning to NAS Norfolk for the USS Abraham Lincoln’s Refueling and Complex Overhaul yard period.
As the USS Abraham Lincoln would no longer be available, the squadron, along with the rest of CVW-2, became attached to the USS George Washington. In 2012 the squadron won the Battle “E” award for excellence during a period of sustained readiness and combat operations.