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Histories for VA-35 : Attack Squadron 35




Complete History of VA-35
Established as Torpedo and Bombing Squadron TWO (VT-2) on 6 July 1925. Redesignated Torpedo and Bombing Squadron TWO B (VT-2B) on 1 July 1927.* Redesignated Torpedo Squadron THREE (VT-3) on 1 July 1937. Redesignated Attack Squadron FOUR A (VA-4A) on 15 November 1946. Redesignated Attack Squadron THIRTY FIVE (VA- 35) on 7 August 1948. Disestablished on 7 November 1949. The first squadron to be assigned the VA-35 designation. Squadron Insignia and Nickname The squadron?s first insignia was a winged dragon holding the sun in its webbed foot. Several years later a bomb replaced the sun in the dragon?s foot to symbolize the squadron?s mission. The dragon?s color was red, and was spitting fire from its mouth. There are no records indicating an approval date, however, there are references to the insignia in a newspaper published by Saratoga (CV 3). A modification to the original insignia was approved sometime in 1928 or 1929. The new insignia depicted a dragon astride a bomb. Colors for the dragon were red with a green spine, yellow claws and the tip of the tail in yellow. The bomb was black. When the squadron was redesignated in 1937 it continued to use this insignia. During World War II the dragon took on a fatter, more stylized shape, however, the colors remained the same. There are no records indicating the squadron changed its insignia following its designation changes in the 1940s. Nickname: unknown Chronology of Significant Events 6 Jul 1925: VT-2 was established on board Aroostook (CM 3) at Pearl Harbor. Aroostook had been a minelayer that was refitted as an aircraft tender but continued to carry the CM minelayer designation. Aug 1926: The squadron was engaged in experimental work relating to the use of signal lights as a means of communicating between aircraft and ships. 1928: With the arrival of the T3M-2 aircraft, the squadron began the transition from water based aircraft to land planes. The squadron continued its aircraft transition from T3M-2s, which were difficult to land on the carrier, to T4M-1s. Primary mission with the T4M-1s was bombing, although they could be used for torpedo work and laying smoke screens. Jan?Feb 1929: Fleet Problem IX was the first time the Navy?s two large carriers, Saratoga (with VT-2B embarked) and Lexington (CV 2), participated in a major fleet exercise. Mar?Apr 1930: In March the squadron participated in Fleet Problem X which was conducted in the Caribbean Sea, followed by the Fleet Problem XI in April. May 1930: VT-2B?s aircraft joined with the planes from 9 other squadrons, which included the Saratoga, Lexington, and Langley Air Groups, for a three-day tour of east coast cities from Norfolk, Virginia to Boston. The flight was commanded by Captain Kenneth Whiting and consisted of 36 torpedo and bombing planes, 57 fighting planes, 24 scouting planes, 3 amphibian utility planes, 3 Ford trimotored transports 44 DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I This was the first version of the dragon insignia used by the squadron. It dates from the mid- 1920s. A more detailed version of the dragon insignia was adopted by the squadron in the late 1920s. The final version of the dragon insignia was used by the squadron during World War II and into the postwar period. * The squadron designation system was changed on 1 July 1930 by General Order 202 and Bombing was dropped from the designation Torpedo and Bombing Squadron. However, there was no change to the abbreviated squadron designation, it still remained VT. A VT-2B T3M-2 with parachutists jumping from the wing, circa 1935. and 2 staff planes. It was the largest air parade that had ever been assembled on the east coast. 1931?1934: The squadron participated in Fleet Problems XII through XV. 31 May 1934: A Fleet Review for President Franklin D. Roosevelt was held in New York Harbor. 1935?1938: The squadron participated in Fleet Problems XVI through XIX. May 1937: VT-2B participated in the celebration marking the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. Apr?May 1940: The squadron participated in Fleet Problem XXI. This was the last major Fleet Problem conducted before America?s involvement in World War II. May?Jun 1942: VT-3, consisting primarily of its pilots, flight crews and a limited number of ground crewmen, operated from Yorktown (CV 5) during the Battle of Midway. The other officers and ground crews remained ashore at NAS Kaneohe. Shortly after noon on the 4th, Lieutenant Commander Massey led a flight of 12 TBD-1 Devastors into the attack against the Japanese carriers. They were the last of the three torpedo squadrons to engage the enemy. Only two aircraft survived, both flown by enlisted pilots. The two surviving TBDs returned to the task force while Yorktown was under attack from Japanese carrier aircraft. These two TBDs were ditched and their crews picked up by ships in the task force. VT-3?s survivors from Yorktown returned to the squadron at NAS Kaneohe. 4 Jun 1942: Lieutenant Commander Massey was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross for his action during the battle. Eleven other squadron TBD pilots also were awarded the Navy Cross, they were Ensign Wesley F. Osmus, Ensign Carl A. Osberg, Lieutenant Patrick H. Hart, Enlisted Pilot Harry L. Corl, Enlisted Pilot Wilhelm G. Esders, Lieutenant (jg) Curtiss W. Howard, Ensign Leonard L. Smith, Enlisted Pilot John W. Haas, Ensign David J. Roche, Ensign Oswald A. Powers, and Lieutenant (jg) Richard W. Suesens. Aug 1942: Operating from Enterprise (CV 6), VT-3 participated in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons. Nov 1942?Jul 1943: VT-3 operated from Saratoga, flying combat missions against various Japanese held islands in the South Pacific and providing air cover for American forces operating in the Eastern Solomons. When the squadron was not operating from Saratoga it was based ashore at various places, including Fiji; Efate and Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides; Tontouta, New Caledonia, and Guadalcanal, Solomons. May 1943: The British carrier HMS Victorious joined the Saratoga task force and operated with it until the latter part of July. 31 Jul 1943: VT-3?s TBFs were transferred to Tontouta on 30 July and the following day squadron personnel embarked on HMS Victorious for transfer to CONUS to reform. This ended the air group and squadron?s association with Saratoga. 25 Sep 1943: VT-3 and Saratoga Air Group were reformed at NAS Seattle. The Saratoga Air Group was reformed as Carrier Air Group THREE (CVG-3) with VT-3 as one of the three squadrons. Nov 1944: VT-3 conducted combat operations from Yorktown (CV 10) against targets in the Philippines in support of the Leyte invasion. Dec 1944: The squadron flew combat operations from Yorktown against targets on Luzon in preparation for the invasion of the island. While retiring from the combat area Task Force 38, which included Yorktown and CVG-3, sailed through a typhoon which sank three destroyers and extensively damaged other ships in the task force. Jan 1945: Combat operations were conducted against targets in Formosa and the Philippines in support of the Lingayen Gulf landings on Luzon in early January. With Yorktown leading the way, Task Force 38 entered the South China Sea on 10 January. VT-3 struck targets near Saigon and along the Vietnamese coast, Hong Kong and Canton areas, Formosa and Okinawa. 9 Jan 1945: For actions against enemy targets on Formosa Lieutenant Frank F. Frazier was awarded the Silver Star. Feb 1945: VT-3 participated in the first carrier strikes against the Tokyo area, bombing the Tachikawa Engine Factory, 16 miles from the Imperial Palace. Following these strikes the squadron concentrated its attention on Chichi Jima and air support for the invasion of Iwo Jima. This operation was the last combat action for the squadron during World War II. In early March VT-3 transferred to Lexington (CV 16) for transit to the States. Jun?Oct 1948: During the squadron?s tour of duty in the Mediterranean the Sixth Fleet was placed on alert due to the out break of war between Israel and the Arab countries following the establishment of the state of Israel. Nov 1948: The squadron participated in cold weather operations in the Northern Atlantic. DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I 45 This is a well-known photo of the squadron?s T4M-1 making an approach on Saratoga (CV 3). Notice the squadron?s dragon insignia on the fuselage just aft of the lower wing. Home Port Assignments Location Assignment Date Aroostook (CM 2)* 06 Jul 1925 NAS San Diego Sep 1925 Ford Island (NAS Pearl Harbor) Jan 1942? NAS Kaneohe 03 Feb 1942? Efate Aug 1942? Hawaii Sep 1942? NAS Seattle Sep 1943 NAS Whidbey Island 11 Oct 1943 NAS Pasco 02 Feb 1944 NAS Alameda 05 Apr 1944? NAS Puunene 22 Apr 1944? NAS Hilo 07 Jun 1944? NAS Kahului 22 Jul 1944? NAS Seattle Mar 1945 NAAF Lewiston 07 May 1945 NAS Key West 15 Jun 1945 NAAS Oceana 15 Jul 1945 NAS Quonset Point 11 Aug 1947 NAAS Charlestown 13 Oct 1947 NAS Quonset Point 21 Mar 1949 * The ship was at NAS Pearl Harbor. ? Temporily based ashore during World War II. ? When Enterprise (CV 6) was damaged by air attacks on 24 August, during the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, VT-3?s surviving aircraft were flown to Efate. These aircraft remained at Efate while the majority of the squadron personnel went aboard Saratoga (CV 3) and returned to Hawaii in September 1942. Commanding Officers Date Assumed Command LT A. O. Rule, Jr. 06 July 1925 LT J. B. Kniep Sep 1925 LCDR M. Griffin Oct 1925 LCDR J. G. Strong 18 Jan 1926 LCDR J. B. Kniep Jun 1926 CDR Read Jul 1926 LCDR J. B. Kniep Sep 1926 LT A. P. Schneider Aug 1927 LCDR Harry R. Bogusch Feb 1928 LCDR A. E. Montgomery Jul 1929 LCDR William Masek Jul 1930 LCDR J. L. Cotton Mar 1931 LT T. C. Lonnquest (acting) Jun 1931 LCDR J. J. Ballentine Jul 1931 LCDR Theodore C. Lonnquest Dec 1932 LCDR Harold J. Brow May 1933 LCDR Herman E. Halland Jun 1934 LCDR William H. Buracker Jun 1936 LCDR Marion E. Crist Jun 1937 LCDR Frank C. Sutton 27 Jun 1938 LT Austin V. Magly 28 May 1940 LT J. C. Clark 27 Jun 1941 Commanding Officers?Continued Date Assumed Command LCDR John A. Collett Jan 1942 LT John N. Myers (acting) Jan 1942 LCDR Lance E. Massey 17 Apr 1942 LT John N. Myers (acting) Jun 1942 LCDR Charles M. Jett 20 Jun 1942 LT John N. Myers (acting) 29 Dec 1942 LT Charles H. Turner (later LCDR) Apr 1943 LT Roy S. Belcher, Jr. (later LCDR) 24 May 1945 LCDR Norman D. Johnson Jan 1948 LCDR Roy P. Gee 24 Aug 1949 Aircraft Assignment Type of Aircraft Date Type First Received DT-2* Jul 1925 SC-2 Nov 1925 SC-1 Mar 1926 CS-1 Nov 1926 T2D-1 Jun 1927 T3M-2 Aug 1927 TB-1 Sep 1927 T4M-1 Jul 1928 TG-1 Jun 1930 TG-2 Apr 1932 TBD-1 05 Oct 1937 TBF-1 Jul 1942? TBM-1C 15 Mar 1944 TBM-3E Jun 1945 TBM-3Q Jun 1946 TBM-3J May 1947 TBM-3W Sep 1947 AD-1 Apr 1949 AD-2 May 1949 * The aircraft were on loan to the squadron from NAS Pearl Harbor. ? VT-3?s shore detachment received its first TBF-1 in early May 1942. However, the squadron continued to operate the TBD-1s aboard the carrier until the latter part of July 1942 when it became an all TBF unit. 46 DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I A squadron TG-2 with its dragon insignia on the fuselage, circa mid 1930s. Major Overseas Deployment Date of Date of Air Type of Area of Departure Return Wing Carrier Aircraft Operation 15 Jan 1929 Mar 1929 Saratoga CV 3 T4M-1 Canal Zone Air Group (Pac side) 15 Feb 1930 21 Jun 1930 Saratoga CV 3 T4M-1 Canal Zone/ Air Group Carib 05 Feb 1931 15 Apr 1931 Saratoga CV 3 TG-1 Canal Zone/ Air Group Carib Feb 1932 19 Mar 1932 Saratoga CV 2/3* TG-1 Hawaii Air Group 23 Jan 1933 17 Feb 1933 Saratoga CV 3 TG-2 Hawaii Air Group 09 Apr 1934 09 Nov 1934 Saratoga CV 3/ TG-2 Canal Zone/ Air Group CV 2? Carib & East Coast of U.S. May 1935 Jun 1935 Saratoga CV 3 TG-2 Hawaii/ Air Group NorPac Apr 1936 Jun 1936 Saratoga CV 3 TG-2 Canal Zone/ Air Group Pac Apr 1937 May 1937 Saratoga CV 3 TG-2 Hawaii/Pac Air Group 15 Mar 1938 Apr 1938 Saratoga CV 3 TBD-1 Hawaii/Pac Air Group 02 Apr 1940 21 Jun 1940 Saratoga CV 3 TBD-1 Hawaii/Pac Air Group 08 Dec 1941 Jan 1942 Saratoga CV 3? TBD-1 Hawaii/Pac Air Group DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I 47 A TBD-1 with VT-3 markings and the ever-present dragon insignia on the fuselage (Courtesy Harry Gann and the Douglas Collection). 48 DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I Major Overseas Deployment?Continued Date of Date of Air Type of Area of Departure Return Wing Carrier Aircraft Operation May 1942 Jun 1942 Yorktown CV 5 TBD-1 Midway Island Air Group 15 Jul 1942 Aug 1942 Enterprise Air CV 6 TBF-1 Pacific ops Group 10 Nov 1942 Jul 1943 Saratoga CV 3? TBF-1 Pacific ops Air Group 24 Oct 1944 27 Mar 1945 CVG-3 CV 10/ TBM-1C Pacific ops CV 16** 07 Jun 1947 11 Aug 1947 CVAG-3 CV 33 TBM-3E/Q NorLant/ & TBM-3J Carib 01 Jun 1948 02 Oct 48 CVG-3 CV 33 TBM-3E/J Med & TBM-3W * The squadron?s cruise to Hawaii began aboard Lexington (CV 2) and prior to the beginning of Fleet Problem XXIII in late February it was transferred to Saratoga. ? During the squadron?s 7 month deployment in 1934 VT-2B was divided into two divisions, with division 1 aboard Saratoga and division 2 aboard Lexington. VT-2B?s division 2 operated with Lexington?s Air Group. ? The squadron was operating from Saratoga in the Hawaiian area when the ship was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine on 11 January 1942. Saratoga departed Hawaii and returned to Bremerton, Washington for repairs and VT-3 remained in Hawaii. ? The squadron and air group transferred from Saratoga to HMS Victorious in July 1943 and returned to Hawaii aboard the British carrier. Saratoga remained in the South Pacific and continued her combat operations with a different air group embarked. ** On 5 March 1945 VT-3 and CVG-3 were transferred from Yorktown to Lexington for its return to the States via Hawaii. Lexington departed Ulithi on 6 March, arriving in Hawaii on 17 March, departing on the 20th and arriving at Bremerton, Washington on 27 March. Squadron TBM-3 Avenger at NAAS Oceana in 1946 (Courtesy Robert Lawson Collection). DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I 49 A squadron AD-1 trapping aboard Leyte (CV 32), November 1950 (Courtesy Duane Kasulka Collection). Air Wing Assignments Air Wing Tail Code Assignment Date Aircraft Squadrons, 06 Jul 1925 Battle Fleet, Aroostook (CM 2) Saratoga Air Group* 09 Apr 1927 Yorktown Air Group? May 1942 Enterprise Air Group Jul 1942 Saratoga Air Group/ K? Sep 1942 CVG-3/CVAG-3/CVG-3? * CNO?s Assignment of Naval Aircraft (Naval Aeronautic Organization) for FY 27 (July 1927?June 1928) assigned VT-2B to Saratoga (CV 3) prior to the carrier?s commissioning. Evolution of the Saratoga Air Group was as follows: Saratoga (CV 3) was commissioned 16 November 1927 with squadrons previously assigned; the squadrons assigned to the carrier were known as the Saratoga Air Group. However, it was not until 1 July 1938 when the Air Group Commander billets were established that the air group became an official organization. ? Temporily assigned to Yorktown Air Group during the Battle of Midway. ? The tail code K was assigned to Kearsarge (CV 33) on 7 November 1946. Since CVG-3 was assigned to Kearsarge its squadrons used the K tail code. On 12 December 1946 the tail code K was removed from Kearsarge and assigned to CVG-3. ? Saratoga Air Group redesignated Carrier Air Group THREE (CVG- 3) on 25 September 1943. The CVG-3 designation was changed to CVAG-3 on 15 November 1946 to show the air wing?s association with an attack carrier. CVAG-3 was changed back CVG-3 on 1 September 1948 regardless of the air groups? aassignment to an attack or battle carrier. Unit Awards Unit Award Inclusive Dates Covering Unit Award PUC 11 Nov 1944 19 Nov 1944 14 Dec 1944 16 Dec 1944 03 Jan 1945 22 Jan 1945 16 Feb 1945 25 Feb 1945 Campaign Medal 23 Aug 1942 25 Aug 1942 (Asiatic-Pacific) Nov 1942 08 Feb 1943 11 Nov 1944 19 Nov 1944 14 Dec 1944 16 Dec 1944 03 Jan 1945 22 Jan 1945 16 Feb 1945 25 Feb 1945 SECOND VA-35 Lineage Established as Bombing Squadron THREE B (VB-3B) on 1 July 1934. Redesignated Bombing Squadron FOUR (VB-4) on 1 July 1937. Redesignated Bombing Squadron THREE (VB-3) on 1 July 1939. Redesignated Attack Squadron THREE A (VA-3A) on 15 November 1946. Redesignated Attack Squadron THIRTY FOUR (VA- 34) on 7 August 1948. Redesignated Attack Squadron THIRTY FIVE (VA- 35) on 15 February 1950. The second squadron to be assigned the VA-35 designation. Squadron Insignia and Nickname There is no record of official approval for the diving black panther insignia used by VB-3B. However, by mid?1935, the design appeared in Navy documents as Bombing THREE?s insignia. The diving black panther design has been carried on through the various redesignations of the squadron and is the present insignia for VA-35. It was officially approved for VA-35 by CNO on 1 October 1957. Nickname: Black Panthers. Chronology of Significant Events May 1935: Ranger (CV 4) and her embarked air group, including VB-3B, participated in Fleet Exercise XVI. This was the first time VB-3B and Ranger participated in a Fleet Exercise. 25 Nov 1935?25 Feb 1936: A detachment from VB-3B, including six BG-1s, was assigned to Ranger?s Cold Weather Test Detachment and operated aboard Ranger in Alaskan waters. Apr?Jun 1936: The squadron participated in Fleet Problem XVII. Apr?May 1937: The squadron participated in Fleet Problem XVIII. 28 May 1937: VB-3B participated in an aerial review celebrating the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge. Jul 1937: The squadron, embarked in Lexington (CV 2), participated in the search for Amelia Earhart Putnam and Fred Noonan. Sep 1937: VB-4, embarked in Ranger, visited Lima, Peru, in conjunction with the International Aviation Conference being held there. Mar?Apr 1938: The squadron participated in Fleet Problem XIX. Apr?May 1940: The squadron participated in Fleet Problem XXI. This was the last major fleet problem conducted before America?s involvement in World War II. Apr 1942: VB-3, embarked in Enterprise (CV 6), provided escort patrols for the task force which launched Colonel Doolittle?s B-25 raid against Tokyo. 4 Jun 1942: At the Battle of Midway, VB-3, embarked in Yorktown (CV 5), engaged in its first combat operations. Yorktown?s first strike included 17 SBD-3?s from VB-3 led by Lieutenant Commander Leslie. Approximately an hour after launch, VB-3?s aircraft sighted the Japanese Fleet and commenced their dive-bombing attack; the primary target was the carrier Soryu. Lieutenant (jg) Paul A. Holmberg was the first to drop his 1,000 pounder on the Soryu. His hit was followed by two more from VB-3?s SBDs. Soryu erupted into flames and eventually sank. With the Soryu in flames, the other VB-3 SBDs directed their attack against other targets. They attacked a destroyer, the Isokaze, making one hit on her fantail and ?what appeared to be a battleship,? claiming a hit on her stern. All 17 SBDs from VB-3 escaped the attack without a hit and returned to Yorktown. Prior to landing on the carrier, they were directed to leave the area due to incoming enemy aircraft. All VB-3?s SBDs landed on Enterprise except for Lieutenant Commander Leslie and his wingman, Lieutenant (jg) Holmberg. These two men, low on fuel, ditched their aircraft along side the cruiser Astoria and were picked up by the ship?s motor whaleboat. The battle was still not over for VB-3. In late afternoon, 14 of VB-3?s SBDs were launched from Enterprise as part of a strike group ordered to attack the fourth Japanese carrier, Hiryu. Lieutenant Shumway was in charge of VB-3?s formation. The strike force located Hiryu and again caught a Japanese carrier in the vulnerable position of having armed and fueled planes on deck. Direct hits from Shumway?s SBD?s resulted in a torched Hiryu and her eventual sinking. Several of VB-3?s aircraft suffered heavy damage from attacking Japanese aircraft. However, all but 50 DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I The original squadron diving panther insignia is one of the oldest squadron insignias in continuous use by a naval aviation command. The squadron?s insignia with the scroll and designation added to the original design. two of VB-3?s aircraft returned to Enterprise. Seventeen of VB-3?s pilots received the Navy Cross for their action during the Battle of Midway, they were Ensigns Benson, Butler, Campbell, Cobb, Cooner, Elder, Hanson, Isaman, Lane, Merrill and Schoegel; Lieutenant (jg)s Holmberg, Sherwood and Wiseman; Lieutenants Bottomley and Shumway; and Lieutenant Commander Leslie. Aug 1942: While operating from Saratoga in the South Pacific, the squadron participated in strikes against Guadalcanal and other enemy installations in the Solomon Islands in support of the occupation of Guadalcanal. 24 Aug 1942: VB-3 participated in the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, attacking Ryujo, a Japanese light carrier, and helping to sink her. Jan?Jul 1943: VB-3 operated in the South Pacific flying combat sorties against various Japanese-held islands and providing air cover for American forces. July 1943: VB-3 and the Saratoga Air Group were relieved by Air Group 12 and boarded HMS Victorious for transfer to CONUS to reform, arriving at San Diego on 18 August. This ended the air group and VB-3?s association with Saratoga (CV 3). Nov 1944: VB-3 conducted combat operations from Yorktown (CV 10) against various targets, including shipping, in support of the Leyte invasion. Jan 1945: Combat operations were conducted against targets in Formosa and the Philippines in support of the Lingayen Gulf landings on Luzon in early January. With Yorktown leading the way, Task Force 38 entered the South China Sea on 10 January. VB-3 struck targets near Saigon and along the Vietnamese coast, Canton and Hong Kong areas, Formosa and Okinawa. Feb 1945: VB-3 participated in the first carrier strikes against the Tokyo area, bombing the Kasumiga-ura Airfield, an air depot 25 miles north of Tokyo, and the Tachikawa Aircraft Engine Plant, located 16 miles west of the Imperial Palace. Following these strikes, the squadron concentrated its attention on air support for the invasion of Iwo Jima. This operation was the last combat action for the squadron during World War II. On 6 March, the squadron transferred from Yorktown to Lexington (CV 16) for transfer to CONUS. 11 Oct 1950: While deployed to the Korean Theater aboard Leyte (CV 32), the squadron launched its first combat mission since February 1945, striking North Korean targets. 12 Dec 1950: The squadron?s commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Bagwell, crash-landed in North Korea and was taken prisoner. Jul?Aug 1958: VA-35, along with other squadrons from CVG-3, provided support for U.S. Marines landing in Lebanon. Oct?Nov 1962: VA-35 deployed to McCalla Field, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. During December, the squadron was embarked in Saratoga (CVA 60). 4 Feb 1965: The squadron?s commanding officer, Commander Richard G. Layser, was killed in an accident. 15 Aug 1965: VA-35 transferred from CVW-3 in preparation for its transition to the A-6A Intruder. This brought to a close an illustrious career with CVW-3 that began in 1939. 26 Feb 1967: The squadron participated in the first combat aerial mining operations since World War II, when its A-6A Intruders dropped mines in the Song Ca and Song Giang Rivers of North Vietnam. 1 Oct 1967: During a weapons training deployment to NAS Yuma, Arizona, VA-35 became the first A-6A squadron to fire the AIM-9 Sidewinder missile. Jan?Feb 1968: While embarked in Enterprise (CVAN 65) and en route to Yankee Station, the carrier was ordered to the Sea of Japan for operations following the seizure of the Pueblo (AGER 2) by the North Koreans. 12 Mar 1968: The squadron?s commanding officer, Commander Kollmann, was lost in an operational accident. 17 Sep 1972: While on a mission over North Vietnam the squadron?s commanding officer, Commander Donnelly, was lost and is still listed as missing in action. 3 Jan 1980: VA-35 departed Naples, Italy, embarked in Nimitz (CVN 68), en route to the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope after the U.S. Embassy staff was taken hostage in Tehran, Iran. This was the beginning of 144 consecutive days at sea for the squadron. 26 May 1981: While on a training exercise aboard Nimitz off the coast of Charleston, S.C., an EA-6B from VMAQ-2 crashed into parked aircraft while attempting to land. VA-35 personnel provided firefighting support and assistance to the injured. There were no injuries to VA-35 personnel. Over 130 members of the squadron received awards for fighting fires and assisting the injured. Jun 1985: Nimitz and VA-35 were 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 June. Feb 1987: VA-35, embarked in Nimitz, operated off the coast of Lebanon after three U.S. citizens were taken hostage from the American University in Beirut. Jul 1988: VA-35 participated in a firepower demonstration for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and his guest, the Marshal of the Soviet Union. Sep 1988: While deployed to the North Atlantic aboard Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), the squadron conducted flight operations from the carrier while in the Vestfjord of Norway. Aug?Dec 1990: The squadron flew missions in sup- DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I 51 port of Operation Desert Shield, the build-up of American and Allied forces to counter a threatened invasion of Saudi Arabia by Iraq and part of an economic blockade of Iraq to force its withdrawal from Kuwait. Home Port Assignments Location Assignment Date NAS Norfolk 01 Jul 1934 NAS San Diego 14 Apr 1935 Ford Island (NAS Pearl Harbor)* Jan 1942 NAS Kaneohe* Feb 1942 NAS Ewa* Jun 1942 NAS Kaneohe* Sep 1942 Nandi Field, Fiji Islands* Nov 1942 Tontouta Airfield, New Caledonia* Dec 1942 NAS Sand Point Sep 1943 NAS Whidbey Island Oct 1943 NAS Pasco 02 Feb 1944 NAS Alameda* 05 Apr 1944 NAS Puunene* 22 Apr 1944 NAS Hilo* 07 Jun 1944 NAS Kahului* 22 Jul 1944 NAS Seattle 28 Mar 1945 NAS Wildwood 07 May 1945 NAAS Oceana 19 Jul 1945 NAAS Charlestown 15 Apr 1947 NAS Quonset Point 14 Aug 1947 NAAS Charlestown 01 Oct 1947 NAS Quonset Point 01 Feb 1949 NAAS Oceana* 24 Aug 1950 NAS Quonset Point 03 Feb 1951 NAAS Sanford 30 Apr 1951 NAS Cecil Field Feb 1953 NAS Jacksonville 01 Oct 1958 NAS Oceana Aug 1965 * Temporary shore base assignment during World War II. Commanding Officers Date Assumed Command LCDR George C. Fairlamb, Jr. 01 Jul 1934 LCDR Robert H. Harrell 10 Jun 1935 LCDR Paul E. Roswall 05 Jun 1937 LCDR Edgar A. Cruise Jul 1938 LCDR Robert E. Blick, Jr. 01 Jul 1939 LCDR Maxwell F. Leslie 1942 LCDR Dewitt W. Shumway 15 Jun 1942 LT Harold S. Bottomley, Jr 16 Apr 1943 LCDR John T. Lowe, Jr. 29 Sep 1943 LT Raymond S. Osterhoudt (acting) 22 Dec 1944 LT Raymond S. Osterhoudt 23 Feb 1945 LT. H. N. Murphy 07 May 1945 LCDR Heber J. Badger 04 Oct 1946 LCDR Ralph M. Bagwell 30 Nov 1948 LCDR John G. Osborn 19 Dec 1950 LCDR James W. Conger 31 Mar 1952 LCDR David G. Adams, Jr. 10 Aug 1953 CDR C. W. Johnson Nov 1954 CDR Alfred E. Brown Sep 1956 CDR Harlan W. Foote 07 Oct 1958 CDR William F. Bailey 21 Mar 1960 CDR E. C. Hastings II 28 Apr 1961 CDR W. F. Walker 29 May 1962 CDR J. R. Constantine 07 Mar 1963 CDR J. B. Allred 13 Mar 1964 CDR Richard G. Layser 22 Jan 1965 LCDR Joseph F. Frick (acting) 04 Feb 1965 CDR John W. Shute 22 Mar 1965 CDR Donald S. Ross 13 Aug 1965 CDR Arthur H. Barie 29 Jul 1966 CDR Glenn E. Kollmann 14 Jul 1967 CDR Herman L. Turk 15 Mar 1968 CDR Joseph F. Frick 29 May 1969 CDR Hugh J. Campbell 02 Jun 1970 CDR Kenneth B. Russell 12 Apr 1971 CDR Verne G. Donnelly 24 May 1972 CDR Milton D. Beach (acting) 17 Sep 1972 CDR Milton D. Beach 26 Sep 1972 CDR Gerald H. Hesse 21 Sep 1973 CDR Ronald P. Hyde 15 Aug 1974 CDR Brian K. Bryans 10 Dec 1975 CDR George D. O?Brien 31 Mar 1977 CDR James D. Joyner 23 Jun 1978 CDR John A. Pieno, Jr. 19 Jul 1979 CDR J. M. Luecke 05 Feb 1981 CDR A. H. White 24 Jun 1982 CDR Stephen A. Richmond 15 Dec 1983 CDR Ronald S. Pearson 24 Jun 1985 CDR Louis P. Lalli 24 Oct 1986 CDR James A. Bolcar 08 Apr 1988 CDR James B. Andersen 06 Sep 1989 52 DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I The BM-1 was the first type of aircraft operated by the squadron. The vertical fin of the aircraft was most likely painted willow green, indicating it was assigned to the Ranger air group. Aircraft Assignment Type of Aircraft Date Type First Received BM-1 and BM-2 Jul 1934 BG-1* Nov 1934 SB2U-2 Jan 1938 SB2U-1 Jul 1940 BT-1 Mar 1941 SBC-4 Mar 1941 SBD-3 Aug 1941 SBD-4 Apr 1943 SBD-3P Apr 1943 SBD-5 Aug 1943 SB2C-1C Dec 1943 SBW-3 Jul 1944 SB2C-4 Sep 1944 SB2C-5 Jan 1946 AD-2 24 Nov 1948 AD-2Q Feb 1949 AD-1 Feb 1949 Aircraft Assignment?Continued Type of Aircraft Date Type First Received AD-4 Oct 1950 AD-3 May 1950 AD-4L Feb 1951 AD-4B Mar 1953 AD-4N Aug 1953 AD-6/A-1H? Sep 1953 AD-5 Oct 1954 A-6A 15 Dec 1965 A-6B Jan 1968 KA-6D Dec 1970 A-6C Feb 1971 A-6E 19 Apr 1973 * The XBG-1 was received by the squadron in October 1934, followed by the BG-1 production versions in November 1934. ? AD-6 designation changed to A-1H in 1962. DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I 53 One of the squadron?s early aircraft, a BG-1, at Floyd Bennett Field, New York. Note the diving panther insignia on the fuselage. The squadron was assigned to the Ranger air group when this photo was taken. Major Overseas Deployment Date of Date of Air Type of Area of Departure Return Wing Carrier Aircraft Operation 28 Mar 1935 15 Apr 1935 Ranger CV 4 BG-1 Carib/Panama Air Group Canal/West Coast May 1935 May 1935 Ranger CV 4 BG-1 Hawaii Air Group * * * CV 4 BG-1 Alaska 27 Apr 1936 Jun 1936 Lexington CV 2 BG-1 Central Air Group America/West Coast Apr 1937 May 1937 Lexington CV 2 BG-1 Hawaii Air Group Mar 1938 Apr 1938 Ranger CV 4 BG-2 Hawaii Air Group 02 Apr 1940 21 Jun 1940 Saratoga CV 3 SB2U-2 Hawaii Air Group 08 Dec 1941 ?Jan 1942 Saratoga CV 3 SBD-3 Hawaii Air Group 54 DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I A formation of the squadron?s SB2U Vindicators. The squadron?s diving panther insignia is barely visible on the fuselage of the aircraft. Major Overseas Deployment?Continued Date of Date of Air Type of Area of Departure Return Wing Carrier Aircraft Operation Apr 1942 Apr 1942 Enterprise CV 6 SBD-3 Pacific Ops Air Group 30 May 1942 Jun 1942 Yorktown CV 5? SBD-3 Battle of Air Group Midway 07 Jul 1942 21 Sep 1942 Saratoga CV 3 SBD-3 SoPac Air Group 12 Nov 1942 26 Jul 1943 Saratoga CV 3? SBD-3 SoPac Air Group 24 Oct 1944 27 Mar 1945 CVG-3 CV 10/ SB2C-4 Pacific Ops CV 16** 07 Jun 1947 11 Aug 1947 CVAG-3 CV 33 SB2C-5 NorLant/Carib 01 Jun 1948 02 Oct 1948 CVG-3 CV 33 SB2C-5 Med 02 May 1950 24 Aug 1950 CVG-3 CV 32 AD-3 Med 06 Sep 1950 18 Sep 1950 CVG-3 CV 32 AD-3 Carib/Panama Canal/West Coast 19 Sep 1950 03 Feb 1951 CVG-3 CV 32 AD-3/4 WestPac/ Korea 03 Sep 1951 21 Dec 1951 CVG-3 CV 32 AD-4/L Med 29 Aug 1952 Feb 1953 CVG-3 CVA 32 AD-4 Med 12 Nov 1953 Sep 1954 CVG-3 CVA 40 AD-6 World Cruise 04 Nov 1955 02 Aug 1956 CVG-3 CVA 14 AD-6 Med 01 Feb 1958 01 Oct 1958 CVG-3 CVA 60 AD-6 Med 16 Aug 1959 26 Feb 1960 CVG-3 CVA 60 AD-6 Med 22 Aug 1960 26 Feb 1961 CVG-3 CVA 60 AD-6 NorLant/Med 28 Nov 1961 11 May 1962 CVG-3 CVA 60 AD-6 Med 29 Mar 1963 25 Oct 1963 CVG-3 CVA 60 AD-6 Med 28 Nov 1964 12 Jul 1965 CVW-3 CVA 60 A-1H Med 19 Nov 1966 06 Jul 1967 CVW-9 CVAN 65 A-6A WestPac/Vietnam 03 Jan 1968 18 Jul 1968 CVW-9 CVAN 65 A-6A/B WestPac/Vietnam 23 Sep 1969 01 Jul 1970 CVW-15 CVA 43 A-6A WestPac/Vietnam 06 Jul 1971 16 Dec 1971 CVW-8 CVA 66 A-6A/B/C Med & KA-6D 05 Jun 1972 24 Mar 1973 CVW-8 CVA 66 A-6A/C & KA-6D WestPac/Vietnam 03 Jan 1974 03 Aug 1974 CVW-8 CVA 66 A-6E & KA-6D Med 06 Sep 1974 12 Oct 1974 CVW-8 CVA 66 A-6E & KA-6D NorLant 16 Jul 1975 24 Sep 1975 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D Carib/NorLant 07 Jul 1976 07 Feb 1977 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D Med 01 Dec 1977 20 Jul 1978 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D Med/ NorLant 10 Sep 1979 26 May 1980 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & Med/SoLant/ KA-6D IO 29 Aug 1980 17 Oct 1980 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D NorLant 03 Aug 1981 12 Feb 1982 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D Med 10 Nov 1982 20 May 1983 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D Carib/Med DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I 55 Major Overseas Deployment?Continued Date of Date of Air Type of Area of Departure Return Wing Carrier Aircraft Operation 08 Mar 1985 04 Oct 1985 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D Carib/Med 15 Aug 1986 16 Oct 1986 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D NorLant 30 Dec 1986 26 Jul 1987 CVW-8 CVN 68 A-6E & KA-6D Med/SoLant/ West Coast 25 Aug 1988 11 Oct 1988 CVW-8 CVN 71 A-6E NorLant 30 Dec 1988 30 Jun 1989 CVW-8 CVN 71 A-6E Med 07 Aug 1990 28 Mar 1991 CVW-17 CV 60 A-6E & KA-6D Med/Red Sea * Detachments from Aircraft Squadrons, Battle Fleet, including a detachment from VB-3B, were organizated as Ranger?s Cold Weather Test Detachment and operated on a northern cruise to Alaska sometime between late November 1935 and 25 February 1936. ? The squadron was operating from Saratoga in the Hawaiian area when the ship was hit by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine on 11 January 1942. Saratoga departed Hawaii for repairs at Bremerton, Washington, and VB-3 remained in Hawaii. ? After the squadron?s first strike against the Japanese carriers, it operated from Enterprise (CV 6) for the remainder of the Midway battle. ? While deployed to the South Pacific, as part of the Saratoga Air Group, the squadron operated from Saratoga and various shore stations in New Caledonia, Fiji Islands, and Solomon Islands. ** On 5 March 1945, VB-3 and CVG-3 were transferred from Yorktown (CV 10) to Lexington (CV 16) for its return to CONUS via Hawaii. Lexington departed Ulithi on 6 March, arriving in Hawaii on 17 March, departing on the 20th and arriving at Bremerton, Washington, on 27 March. 56 DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I The squadron?s SBD Dauntlesses are in the foreground on the deck of Saratoga (CV 3), circa late 1941. In the background are F4F Wildcats and TBD Devastators from Saratoga?s air group. Air Wing Assignments Air Wing Tail Code Assignment Date Ranger Air Group* 01 Jul 1934 Lexington Air Group* Nov 1935 Ranger Air Group 01 Jul 1937 Saratoga Air Group 01 Jan 1939 Yorktown Air Group May 1942 Saratoga Air Group/ K/AC? Jun 1942 CVG-3/CVAG-3/ CVG-3/CVW-3? CVW-4 15 Aug 1965 COMFAIRNORFOLK 16 Dec 1965 CVW-9 NG 22 Sep 1966 COMFAIRNORFOLK Jul 1968 CVW-15 NL 31 Jul 1969 COMFAIRNORFOLK 01 Jul 1970 CVW-8 AJ 01 Jan 1971 CVW-17 AA 07 Sep 1989 * Ranger (CV 4) was commissioned on 4 June 1934 and VB-3B was assigned to Ranger on 1 July 1934. Squadrons assigned to the carriers prior to 1 July 1938 were part of that carrier?s air group. However, it was not until after 1 July 1938, when Air Group Commander billets were established, that the air group became an offical organization. ? The Saratoga Air Group was redesignated Carrier Air Group THREE (CVG-3) on 25 September 1943. The CVG-3 designation was changed to CVAG-3 on 15 November 1946 to show the air wing?s association with an attack carrier. It was changed back to CVG-3 on 1 September 1948 and no longer indicated the air group?s association to a particular carrier designation, such as attack or battle carrier. On 20 December 1963, all Carrier Air Groups (CVG) were redesignated Carrier Air Wings (CVW). ? The tail code K was assigned to Kearsarge (CV 33) on 7 November 1946. Since CVG-3 was assigned to Kearsarge, its squadrons used the K tail code. On 12 December 1946, the tail code K was removed from Kearsarge and assigned to CVG-3. Carrier Air Group 3?s tail code was changed from K to AC in the latter part of 1957. The effective date was most likely the beginning of FY 58 (1 July 1957). Unit Awards Received Unit Award Inclusive Dates Covering Unit Award PUC 11 Nov 1944 19 Nov 1944 14 Dec 1944 16 Dec 1944 03 Jan 1945 22 Jan 1945 NAVE 01 Jul 1971 31 Dec 1972 01 Oct 1976 30 Sep 1977 01 Oct 1978 30 Sep 1979 01 Oct 1980 31 Dec 1981 01 Jan 1983 31 Dec 1983 01 Jan 1987 31 Dec 1987 PUC 11 Nov 1944 19 Nov 1944 14 Dec 1944 16 Dec 1944 03 Jan 1945 22 Jan 1945 16 Feb 1945 25 Feb 1945 KPUC 05 Oct 1950 19 Jan 1951 NUC 09 Oct 1950 19 Jan 1951 18 Dec 1966 20 Jun 1967 22 Feb 1968 26 Jun 1968 23 Jan 1980 01 May 1980 17 Jan 1991 28 Feb 1991 MUC 27 Oct 1969 01 Jun 1970 14 Jul 1972 20 Feb 1973 01 Dec 1977 21 Dec 1979 01 Jan 1981 12 Feb 1982 AFEM 23 Jan 1968 22 Mar 1968 10 Dec 1969 11 Dec 1969 NEM 18 Oct 1962 23 Oct 1962 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 RVNGC 22 Feb 1968 24 Feb 1968 26 Feb 1968 03 Mar 1968 05 Mar 1968 08 Mar 1968 12 Mar 1968 13 Mar 1968 DICTIONARY OF AMERICAN NAVAL AVIATION SQUADRONS?Volume I 57 A squadron AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider, circa late 1950s or early 1960s. SB2C-4 Helldivers from VB-3 fly over the invasion fleet at Iwo Jima en route to bomb targets on the island, 22 February 1945. Unit Awards Received?Continued Unit Award Inclusive Dates Covering Unit Award 14 Mar 1968 16 Mar 1968 29 Mar 1968 30 Mar 1968 01 Apr 1968 05 Apr 1968 07 Apr 1968 10 Apr 1968 12 Apr 1968 14 Apr 1968 16 Apr 1968 20 Apr 1968 22 Apr 1968 23 Apr 1968 02 May 1968 01 Jun 1968 02 Jun 1968 04 Jun 1968 15 Jun 1968 16 Aug 1968 10 Sep 1968 VNSM 19 Dec 1966 17 Jan 1967 31 Jan 1967 03 Mar 1967 20 Mar 1967 18 Apr 1967 28 Apr 1967 28 May 1967 04 Jun 1967 21 Jun 1967 21 Feb 1968 17 Mar 1968 26 Mar 1968 24 Apr 1968 30 Apr 1968 21 May 1968 30 May 1968 27 Jun 1968 Unit Awards Received?Continued Unit Award Inclusive Dates Covering Unit Award 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 KLM 17 Jan 1991 07 Feb 1991 SASM 22 Aug 1990 21 Sep 1990 23 Oct 1990 09 Dec 1990 06 Jan 1991 11 Mar 1991 Campaign Medal (Asiatic-Pacific) For numerous periods during World

Posted by Mark Surkosky
Jun 09 2005 04:52:57:000AM




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