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VA-12 Flying Ubangis

VA-12 Flying Ubangis

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VBF-4 & VF-2A Bombing And Fighting - 1945
Drawn by Bud Southworth

VF-12 Kiss of Death - 1949
Drawn by Bud Southworth

VA-12 Kiss of Death - 1955
Drawn by Bud Southworth

Patch
  • The VBF-4's first patch, "Bombing And Fighting" was approved 19 DEC 1945. This patch is displayed above.
  • VF-2A used the "Bombing And Fighting" patch from 1946 to 1948.
  • VF-12 designed a new "Kiss of Death" patch which was approved September 29, 1949. The lower banner read - Fighter Squadron Twelve.
  • When VF-12 was redesignated as VA-12, in 1955, the squadron continued using the "Kiss of Death" patch but changed the banner wording to "Attack Squadron Twelve." This patch was used until VA-12 was disestablished in 1986. This patch is displayed above.
  • When VA-12 flew the A-4E in Vietnam from United States Ship Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 on 21 JUN 1966 to 21 FEB 1967 the troops used the patch displayed above.

Handle
  • 1945 to 1982: (Flying) Ubangis
  • 1982 to 1986: Clinchers

Heritage
  • 12 MAY 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron FOUR (VBF-4) established.
  • 15 NOV 1946: VBF-4 redesignated Fighter Squadron TWO A (VF-2A).
  • 02 AUG 1948: VF-2A redesignated Fighter Squadron TWELVE (VF-12).
  • 01 AUG 1955: VF-12 redesignated Attack Squadron TWELVE (VA-12).
  • -1 OCT 1986: Attack Squadron TWELVE disestablished.

Home Ports
  • 12 MAY 1945: NAS Alameda
  • 21 MAY 1945: NAAS Watsonville
  • 02 JUL 1945: NAS Wildwood
  • 09 SEP 1945: NAAS Groton
  • 18 JAN 1946: NAS Norfolk
  • 15 JUL 1946: NAS San Diego (North Island)
  • 21 FEB 1949: NAS Norfolk
  • 25 FEB 1949: NAAS Cecil Field
  • 24 MAR 1950: NAS Jacksonville
  • 25 MAR 1951: NAAS Cecil Field
  • 07 OCT 1951: NAS Jacksonville
  • 28 FEB 1952: NAAS Cecil Field
  • 16 MAY 1952: NAS Jacksonville
  • 13 OCT 1952: NAS Cecil Field

Air Wings
    Date - - - - Tail Code - - - Air Group
  • 12 MAY 1945 - - - T† - CVG-4/CVAG-1/CVG-1*
  • 20 JAN 1958 - - - AK - CVG-10
  • 05 DEC 1960 - - - AB - CVG-1/CVW-1‡
  • 25 AUG 1968 - - - AJ - CVW-8
  • 1971 - - - - - - AG - CVW-7
  • * 15 NOV 1946 - CVG-4 was redesignated CVAG-1 and 01 SEP 1948 - CVG-1.
  • † In JAN 1946 - CVG-4 assigned the tail code T when assigned to the carrier Tarawa CV 40.
  • ‡ 29 DEC 1963 Carrier Air Groups were redesignated Carrier Air Wings.

Deployments

Departure & Return - - - - - - Air Wing - - - - Carrier - - - - Aircraft - - - - - Area of Operations
  • 28 JUN 1946 to 15 JUL 1946: CVG-4 - CV 40 - F4U-4 - Transit to West Coast via Panama Canal
  • 01 AUG 1946 to 29 APR 1947: CVG-4/CVAG-1 - CV 40 - F4U-4 - Western Pacific

    CVG-1 patch from Joe Kyle
  • 01 OCT 1948 to 21 FEB 1949: CVG-1 - CV 40 - F8F-1 - World Cruise
  • 20 MAR 1951 to 06 OCT 1951: CVG-1 - CVB 43 - F2H-2 - Mediterranean
  • 24 MAY 1952 to 11 OCT 1952: CVG-1 - CV 18 - F2H-2 - Mediterranean/NorLant
  • 11 JUN 1953 to 02 DEC 1953: CVG-1 - CVA 42 - F2H-2 - Mediterranean
  • 27 DEC 1954 to 14 JUL 1955: CVG-1 - CVA 41 - F2H-2 - World Cruise
  • 02 SEP 1958 to 12 MAR 1959: CVG-10 - CVA 59 - A4D-2 - Mediterranean
  • 06 SEP 1960 to 20 SEP 1960: CVG-10 - CVA 38 - A4D-2 - NorLant
  • 14 NOV 1960 to 27 NOV 1960: CVG-10 - CVA 38 - A4D-2 - Caribbean
  • 15 JAN 1961 to 28 AUG 1961: CVG-1 - CVA 42 - A4D-2 - Mediterranean
  • 19 NOV 1961 to 20 NOV 1961: CVG-1 - CVA 42 - A4D-2 - Caribbean
  • 14 SEP 1962 to 22 APR 1963: CVG-1 - CVA 42 - A4D-2N - Mediterranean
  • 28 MAR 1964 to 02 DEC 1964: CVW-1 - CVA 42 - A-4C - Mediterranean
  • 28 JUN 1965 to 17 DEC 1965: CVW-1 - CVA 42 - A-4E - Mediterranean
  • 21 JUN 1966 to 21 FEB 1967: CVW-1 - CVA 42 - A-4E - Western Pacific/Vietnam
  • 24 AUG 1967 to 19 MAY 1968: CVW-1 - CVA 42 - A-4C - Mediterranean
  • 07 JAN 1969 to 29 JUL 1969: CVW-8 - CVA 38 - A-4C - Mediterranean
  • 05 MAR 1970 to 17 DEC 1970: CVW-8 - CVS 38 - A-4C - Western Pacific/Vietnan
  • 16 SEP 1971 to 16 MAR 1972: CVW-7 - CVA 62 - A-7E - NorLant/Mediterranean
  • 21 JUN 1973 to 19 JAN 1974: CVW-7 - CVA 62 - A-7E - Mediterranean
  • 19 JUL 1974 to 21 JAN 1975: CVW-7 - CV 62 - A-7E - Mediterranean
  • 15 OCT 1975 to 05 MAY 1976: CVW-7 - CV 62 - A-7E - NorLant/Mediterranean
  • 31 MAR 1977 to 21 OCT 1977: CVW-7 - CV 62 - A-7E - Mediterranean
  • 16 JAN 1979 to 13 JUL 1979: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - Mediterranean
  • 14 APR 1980 to 22 DEC 1980: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - IO
  • 20 AUG 1981 to 07 OCT 1981: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - NorLant
  • 05 JAN 1982 to 13 JUL 1982: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - Mediterranean
  • 27 APR 1983 to 02 DEC 1983: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - Mediterranean
  • 08 MAY 1984 to 20 JUN 1984: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - NorLant
  • 10 OCT 1984 to 08 MAY 1985: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - Mediterranean

Aircraft
Commanding Officers Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
  • 12 MAY 1945: LTJG Joseph F. Simpson (acting)
  • 15 MAY 1945: LTJG John S. Tyler (acting)
  • 19 MAY 1945: LCDR John H. Lackey
  • 06 Oct 1945: LCDR William L. Conley
  • 1947: LCDR Richard H. Guinn 21 Jun
  • 07 MAY 1948: LCDR W. H. Kilgore (acting)
  • 02 JUL 1948: LCDR Ronald W. Hoel
  • 1949: LCDR Albert W. Newhall, Jr.
  • 1950: CDR Brainard T. Macomber
  • 1951: LCDR John L. Carter
  • 1952: LCDR John M. Breen
  • 1953: LCDR Hamilton McWhorter
  • 1954: CDR Frederick G. Kidd
  • AUG 1955: CDR Paul H. Durand
  • Jan 1957: CDR Marshall P. Deputy, Jr.
  • 10 JAN 1958: CDR Charles A. Pendleton, Jr.
  • 22 JAN 1959: CDR William B. Barrow
  • MAR 1960: CDR Richard J. Deprez
  • 18 JUN 1961: CDR John E. Hansen
  • 14 JUN 1962: CDR Robert E. Oechslin
  • 14 JUN 1963: CDR Max E. Malan
  • 15 JUN 1964: CDR Burton E. Berglund
  • 30 APR 1965: CDR James D. Whyte
  • APR 1966: CDR Robert C. Frosio
  • 18 NOV 1966: CDR Gerald P. Barnett
  • 12 NOV 1967: CDR Austin C. O'Brien, Jr.
  • NOV 1968: CDR Richard M. Fletcher
  • 30 SEP 1969: CDR Walter R. Petersen
  • 10 JUL 1970: CDR Daniel H. L. Gholson
  • 16 JUN 971: LCDR Henry E. Nelson
  • 30 JUN 1972: CDR Anthony A. Less
  • OCT 1973: CDR John F. Calhoun
  • 1975: CDR James M. Hickerson
  • 14 FEB 1976: CDR Gary W. Mau
  • 10 MAY 1977: CDR David R. Edwards
  • 26 JUL 1978: CDR Richard B. Curtis
  • 01 NOV 1979: CDR Robert A. Maier
  • 26 FEB 1981: CDR Audrey B. Whitten
  • 19 MAY 1982: CDR James M. Gill
  • 01 OCT 1983: CDR Michael W. Samuels
  • 21 MAY 1985: CDR Harry M. Conner

Events
  • 12 MAY 1945:
    Bomber-Fighter Squadron FOUR (VBF-4) was established and initially assigned the Grumman F6F Hellcat. A few days later the Flying Ubangis were upgraded to the Chance Vought & Goodyear F4U-1/1D & FG-1/1D Corsairs. In September the squadron was further upgraded to the Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair.

  • 05 OCT 1945:
    VBF-4 participated in an aerial parade over Washington, D.C., in honor of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. It also engaged in several other air parades and exhibition flights during the month of October.

  • 05 OCT 1945:
    VBF-4's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Lackey, was killed during a training flight in a North American SNJ training aircraft.

  • 21 AUG to 19 SEP and NOV through DEC 1946:
    The squadron operated from Kobler Field, Saipan. Conducted training and preparations for special fleet exercises while shore based.

  • 15 NOV 1946:
    VBF-4 was redesignated Fighter Squadron TWO A (VF-2A).

  • MAY 1947:
    The Flying Ubangis were assigned two new aircraft. The new Grumman F8F-1/1B Bearcat and the trusty old Grumman F6F-5P Hellcat.

  • 02 AUG 1948:
    VF-2A was redesignated Fighter Squadron TWELVE (VF-12).

  • SEP 1950:
    Fighter Squadron TWELVE was assigned a new jet aircraft the McDonnell F2H-1 Banshee. In December the squadron received the Banshee upgrade the F2H-2.

  • 26 APR 1952:
    The squadron was embarked in United States Ship Wasp CV 18 en route to the Mediterranean when the carrier collided with the United States Ship Hobson (DMS 26) which sank along with her 176 men. There were no injuries to squadron personnel. The squadron's F2H-2s remained aboard until Wasp entered dry dock at New York to repair her catapults which were damaged in the collision.

  • 19 AUG 1953:
    While operating from United States Ship Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 in the Mediterranean Sea, VF-12's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Breen, was lost at sea.

  • FEB 1955:
    VF-12 supported the evacuation of Chinese Nationalist civilians and military personnel from the Tachen Islands which were being bombarded by Red China.

  • 01 AUG 1955:
    VF-12 was redesignated Attack Squadron TWELVE (VA-12).

  • DEC 1955:
    After redesignation as VA-12 the squadron was assigned the Chance Vought F7U-3 Cutlass and the squadron's mission changed from jet intercept to special weapons attack.

  • APR 1957:
    Attack Squadron TWELVE was assigned the new Douglas A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk. In January 1958, VA-12 got the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk.

  • March 25, 1958:
    Lt(jg). John Wahl ejected safely following an engine failure at 20,000 feet. A4D-2 BuNo 142677 crashed in Doctor's Inlet.
    Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, 1940-2000: An Illustrated History, By Ronald M. Williamson.

  • APR 1958:
    VA-12 Has Another Record -Makes First Jet Landing on Ranger. Attack Squadron 12 chalked up another "first" in its history by making the first jet landing aboard the USS Ranger (CVA-61). During a shake-down cruise in Caribbean waters, Cdr. M.P. Deputy, squadron skipper, became the first Naval Aviator to land a jet aboard the new carrier. VA-12 received their A4D's last year. After a training period. the squadron returned to Cecil Field following a successful cruise. The "Flying Ubangis" tour aboard the USS Ranger makes it the first squadron under ComNavAirLant to deploy A4D Skyhawks for an extended period aboard an aircraft carrier.
    Naval Aviation News April 1958, Provided by John Gabbard.

  • October 8, 1958:
    Lt(jg) Thomas J. Davis was lost at sea in A4D-2 BuNo 142691 during CVA-59 (USS Forrestal) flight operations.

  • January 7, 1959:
    Cdr. John R. Sullivan perished in A4D-2 BuNo 142686 during CVA-59 (USS Forrestal) flight operations.

  • June 2, 1959:
    Lt(jg). Marshall W. Zinner was killed when his A4D-2 BuNo 142696 crashed in Nassau county about 25 miles north of Jacksonville. Observers stated that the plane was headed for a group of four houses when it suddenly pulled up then exploded after it cleared the houses.
    Ocala, FL, Ocala Star Banner, Wednesday, June 3, 1959.

  • 14 NOV to 27 NOV 1960:
    VA-12, aboard United States Ship Shangri-La CVA 38, was part of the task force ordered to the coast of Central America to counter the infiltration of Cubans into Guatemala and Nicaragua.

  • 21 NOV to 27 NOV 1961:
    VA-12, embarked on United States Ship Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42, operated off the coast of the Dominican Republic to support the newly established government.

  • JAN 1962:
    VA-12 received a newer version of the Scooter, the Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk.

  • APR 1962:
    VA-12 was selected by CNO to conduct "Operation Trap," a test firing of Bullpup missiles to evaluate their usefulness to the Navy.

  • JUL and AUG 1963:
    A-4C detachments from the squadron operated aboard United States Ship Essex CVS 9 and United States Ship Intrepid CVS 11 as fighter support for antisubmarine exercises. These operations were also used to help develop and evaluate ASW tactics and doctrine.

  • MAY 13, 1964:
    LCdr Andrew Pullar ejected safely when A4C #401 BuNo 149491 crashed into the sea about five miles off the front quarter at 1642 while the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt was en-route from Pollensa Bay to Barcelona, Spain. Pilot was recovered by the ships helo in good condition and the plane sank in 1,500 fathoms.
    USS Franklin D. Roosevelt deck log.

  • 08 AUG to 29 AUG 1964:
    United States Ship Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 and air wing were ordered to operated in the vicinity of Cyprus after fighting escalated between Turkish and Greek forces on the island.

  • 26 JUN 1966 to 21 FEB 1967:
    VA-12 flying the A-4E Skyhawk, aboard United States Ship Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 - - - first of two Western Pacific/Vietnam combat cruises.

    VA-12 Kiss of Death - 1966
    Patch from Joe Kyle

  • AUG 1966:
    VA-12 flew its first combat sortie since establishment 21 years earlier. The squadron completed its Vietnam deployment in December 1966 without a combat loss.

  • NOV 1966:
    VA-12's Commanding Officer, Commander Robert C. Frosio, and another VA-12 pilot were lost at sea in a non-combat accident during flight operations from United States Ship Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42. The two Skyhawks lost were: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 155051 and A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150048.

  • DEC 1966:
    VA-12 Commanding Officer Commander Barnett, was awarded the Silver Star for leading a 42-plane Alpha Strike against a heavily defended target in North Vietnam.

  • 12 FEB 1969:
    LTJG Frank Peter Neuman was killed during recovery into a setting sun. LTJG Newuman caught the #2 wire, but at such an angle his aircraft proceeded to go over the side. He ejected, but by the time the sequence completed, he was ejected almost on a parallel path to the water. Apparently when he hit the water at that much of an angle, he broke his neck. HC-2 could not cut him loose from his chute and the body was never recovered. The aircraft was held by the wire with its' nose just touching the water.
    The memorial service was held onboard the Shang on 15 Feb 69.
    Bob Fossum
    Atkron 12 Newsletter, Volume IV, Issue 1, March, 2005

  • 05 MAR 1970 to 17 DEC 1970:
    VA-12 flying the A-4C Skyhawk, aboard United States Ship Shangri-La CVA 38 - second of two Western Pacific/Vietnam combat cruises. The squadron completed its second Vietnam deployment in December 1970 without a combat loss.

    VA-12 Kiss of Death - 1970
    Patch drawn by Bud Southworth

  • 28 APR 1970:
    Unable to refuel, A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147803 ran out of fuel and was lost. Lt(jg) Finose ejected safely and was rescued by USS Ranger (CVA-61) HC-7 Seadevils Det. 110 SH-3A Sea King.

  • 19 JUL 1970:
    VA-12 United States Ship Shangri-La CVA 38 fly-off to Naval Air Station Atsugi.

  • 06 AUG 1970:
    A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 149553 side number 401 was lost in a non-combat accident. Lt. Denny Flynn was rescued after the bridle hook failed on launch.. Photograph by Masaaki Hayakawa.

  • APR 1971:
    The Flying Ubangis were assigned the Chance Vought A-7E Corsair II.

  • OCT to DEC 1973:
    United States Ship Independence CV 62 and VA-12 took station southeast of Crete after the outbreak of war between Israel, Egypt and Syria on October 6, 1973. During this period of operations the squadron conducted surveillance flights against a large Soviet fleet that had sortied from the Black Sea.

  • AUG 1974:
    As a result of the crisis on Cyprus, United States Ship Independence CV 62, with VA-12 aboard, was stationed off the coast of Crete. The squadron flew surveillance of Greek, Turkish and Soviet naval and merchant activity in the area.

  • 15 APR 1980:
    VA-12 deployed aboard United States Ship Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69 to the Indian Ocean in response to the Iran-American Embassy hostage situation. The squadron was at sea for 254 days with only one port call during the entire eight and one-half month deployment.

  • 1982:
    VA-12 discarded the "Flying Ubangis" name and adopted the name "Clinchers."

  • JUN, AUG and SEP 1983:
    VA-12 operated from United States Ship Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69 off the coast of Lebanon. The squadron flew in support of the multi-national peacekeeping force stationed in Beirut.

  • 01 OCT 1986:
    VA-12 was disestablished, bringing to a close the long history of the squadron and its motto "Kiss of Death."


Awards


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