Skip to Content

VA-212 Rampant Raider

VA-212 - Rampant Raiders

Point of Contact - Squadron Duty Officer (SDO)

Refer to the CONTACT LIST under "THE ASSOCIATION" drop down menu.


Rampant Lion - 1956
Bud Southworth

"Boom" Powell

"Boom" Powell

This page is dedicated to
Captain Homer L. Smith, United States Navy.

Please read about him below.


Patch
Handle
  • 1956, Rampant Raiders.

Heritage
  • June 20, 1955, Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VF-212) established.

  • April 1, 1956, VF-212 redesignated Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VA-212).

  • December 12, 1975, Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE disestablished.

Home Ports
  • Date - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Location:
  • June 20, 1955 - - - - - - Naval Air Station Moffett Field
  • September 15, 1961- - - - Naval Air Station Lemoore

Air Wings
  • Date - - - - - - - - - - - - Tail code - - - - - - - Air Wing
  • July 1, 1955 - - - - - - G/NP* - - - - - CVG-21/CVW-21†
  • October 1, 1967 - - - - - NF - - - - - - CVW-5
  • November 1, 1968- - - - - NP - - - - - - CVW-21
  • * The tail code was changed from G to NP in 1957.
  • † CVG-21 was redesignated CVW-21 when Carrier Air Groups (CVG) were redesignated Carrier Air Wings (CVW) December 20, 1963.

Deployments
  • Departure & Return - - - - - - - - Air Wing - Carrier -Aircraft - - Area of Operations:
  • 08-16-56 to 02-28-57 - CVG-21 - CVA 31 - F7U-3- - WestPac
  • 07-14-58 to 12-19-58 - CVG-21 - CVA 16 - FJ-4B- - WestPac
  • 04-26-59 to 12-02-59 - CVG-21 - CVA 16 - FJ-4B- - WestPac
  • 10-29-60 to 06-06-61 - CVG-21 - CVA 16 - FJ-4B- - WestPac
  • 02-02-62 to 08-24-62 - CVG-21 - CVA 19 - A4D-2- - WestPac
  • 06-07-63 to 12-16-63 - CVG-21 - CVA 19 - A-4B - - WestPac
  • 10-21-64 to 05-29-65 - CVW-21 - CVA 19 - A-4E - - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 11-10-65 to 08-01-66 - CVW-21 - CVA 19 - A-4E - - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 01-26-67 to 08-25-67 - CVW-21 - CVA 31 - A-4E - - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 01-27-68 to 10-10-68 - CVW-5- - CVA 31 - A-4F - - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 08-02-69 to 04-15-70 - CVW-21 - CVA 19 - A-4F - - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 10-22-70 to 06-03-71 - CVW-21 - CVA 19 - A-4F - - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 01-07-72 to 10-03-72 - CVW-21 - CVA 19 - A-4F - - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 05-08-73 to 01-08-74 - CVW-21 - CVA 19 - A-4F - - WestPac/IO
  • 03-18-75 to 10-20-75 - CVW-21 - CV 19- - A-4F - - WestPac


Aircraft
Commanding Officers
  • Date Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
  • Jun 1955 - - - - - - LCDR D. R. Hagood
  • Feb 1957 - - - - - - LCDR T. H. Cooper
  • Apr 1958 - - - - - - CDR G. W. Staeheli
  • Jun 1958 - - - - - - LCDR L. Krupp (acting)
  • Jun 1958 - - - - - - CDR Jack C. Stuart
  • Dec 1959 - - - - - - CDR Meryl A. Iiams
  • Jul 1961 - - - - - - CDR Emmett B. Boutwell
  • Jun 1962 - - - - - - CDR N. J. Gambrill
  • Jun 1963 - - - - - - CDR Frank T. Hemler
  • Jul 1964 - - - - - - CDR W. B. Muncie
  • Jun 1965 - - - - - - CDR K. L. Shugart
  • Jun 1966 - - - - - - CDR Holmer L. Smith
  • May 1967 - - - - - - CDR Marvin M. Quaid
  • Jul 1968 - - - - - - CDR Richard R. Allmann
  • Feb 1969 - - - - - - CDR David C. Coe, Jr.
  • Dec 1969 - - - - - - CDR Edwin D. Shropshire
  • Nov 1970 - - - - - - CDR Thomas M. Corkhill
  • Dec 1971 - - - - - - CDR Henry H. Strong, Jr.
  • May 1972 - - - - - - CDR Robert W. Peacher
  • May 1973 - - - - - - CDR Milton R. Gorham
  • May 1974 - - - - - - CDR James M. Curtin

Events
  • June 20, 1955:
    Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VF-212) was established at Naval Air Station Moffett Field, California and assigned the Chance Vought F7U Cutlass

  • April 1, 1956:
    Fighter Squadron 212 was redesignated Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VA-212).

  • August 16, 1956 to February 28, 1957:
    VA-212 Rampant Raiders with CVG-21 deployed to WestPac aboard United State Ship Bon Homme Richard CVA 31 flying the F7U-3 Cutlass.

  • April 1957:
    Attack Squadron 212 was assigned the Grumman F9F-8B Cougar.

  • July 19, 1957:
    The Rampant Raiders were assigned the North American FJ-4B Fury.

  • June 6, 1958:
    The Rampant Raider's Commanding Officer, Commander G. W. Staeheli, was killed in an aircraft accident.

  • July 14, 1958 to December 19, 1958:
    VA-212 under CVG-21 deployed to WestPac aboard United State Ship Lexington CVA 16 and flying the FJ-4B Fury.

  • August and September 1958:
    VA-212 Rampant Raiders embarked on United State Ship Lexington CVA 16, operated in the Formosa Straits due to the Chinese Communist shelling of the Quemoy Islands.

  • April 26, 1959 to December 2, 1959:
    The Rampant Raiders deployed on United State Ship Lexington CVA 16 to WestPac flying the FJ-4B Fury.

  • April 1959:
    VA-212 became the first operational squadron to deploy with the Bullpup air-to-ground missile.

  • October 29, 1960 to June 6, 1961:
    VA-212 Rampant Raiders with CVG-21 deployed on United State Ship Lexington CVA 16 to WestPac flying the FJ-4B Fury.

  • March 1961:
    United State Ship Lexington CVA 16, with VA-212 Rampant Raiders embarked, was ordered to operate off the coast of Thailand as a result of the deteriorating position of Laotian government forces against the Communists. Units of Lexington's air group flew reconnaissance missions over Laos while on station.

  • June 20, 1961:
    The VA-212 Rampant Raiders were assigned the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk.

  • September 15, 1961:
    VA-212 Rampant Raiders moved to Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.

  • February 2, 1962 to August 24, 1962:
    The Rampant Raiders with CVG-21 deployed on United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 to WestPac with the A4D-2 Skyhawk.

  • April 15, 1962:
    VA-212, embarked in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19, operated off the coast of South Vietnam during the arrival of the first USMC advisory unit in the Republic of Vietnam.

  • May 16 through 20, 1962:
    Following the continued successes of the Pathet Lao forces against Laotian government forces, particularly along the border with Thailand, the Thai government requested United States support. A unit of the United States Marines landed in Bangkok and moved by air to Udorn. VA-212, along with other units of CVG-21, embarked in Hancock, operated in the area and were available to provide air support for the Marines if required.

  • June 7, 1963 to December 16, 1963:
    VA-212 with CVG-21 deployed in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 to WestPac flying the A-4B Skyhawk.

  • September 1963:
    VA-212, embarked in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19, operated off the coast of Taiwan due to increased tensions between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China.

  • November 1963:
    United State Ship Hancock, with VA-212 embarked, operated off the coast of South Vietnam following the coup that overthrew President Diem.

  • January 2, 1964:
    The VA-212 Rampant Raiders were assigned the Douglas A-4E Skyhawk.

  • October 21, 1964 to May 29, 1965:
    The Rampant Raiders with CVW-21 deployed in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 to WestPac/Vietnam flying the A-4E Skyhawk. The VA-212 assigned side number was NP 2xx during this cruise. This was VA-212's first of eight Vietnam combat cruises.

  • February 7, 1965:
    Following the shelling of an American advisors' compound at Pleiku by the Viet Cong, VA-212 participated in reprisal attacks against targets in North Vietnam. During the strikes, named Flaming Dart I, VA-212's Skyhawks struck the Dong Hoi Barracks.

  • February 11, 1965:
    VA-212's Skyhawks participated in Flaming Dart II operations, reprisal attacks against the barracks at Chanh Hoa.

  • March through May 1965:
    The Rampant Raider Skyhawks participated in special operations in Southeast Asia, including the Rolling Thunder campaign, strikes against designated military targets in North Vietnam.

  • March 26, 1965:
    VA-212 Commanding Officer CDR K. L. Shugart in Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150130, was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. CDR Shugart was rescued.

  • April 19, 1965:
    Lieutenant Junior Grade James Paul Shea of VA-215 flying a Douglas A-1H Skyraider BuNo. 139818, was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. Lieutenant Junior Grade Shea was Killed in Action.

  • November 10, 1965 to August 1, 1966:
    VA-212 Rampant Raiders with CVW-21 deployed in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 to WestPac/Vietnam flying the A-4E Skyhawk. The VA-212 assigned side number was NP 2xx during this cruise. This was VA-212's second of eight Vietnam combat cruises.

  • March 1966:
    Rampant Raider aircraft participated in Operation Jackstay, providing combat air support for amphibious operations that cleared the Rung Sat zone southeast of Saigon.

  • March 24, 1966:
    Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150128, was lost in an accident. The pilot was rescued.

  • April 6, 1966:
    Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 152052, was lost in an accident. The pilot was killed.

  • May 1, 1966:
    Lt. R. H. Mansfield in Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151179, his own rocket exploding prematurely shot down NP 228. Lt. Mansfield was rescued.

  • June 27, 1966:
    Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150000, was lost in an accident. The pilot was rescued.

  • June 30, 1966:
    Commander Homer L. Smith, the squadron's Commanding Officer, was awarded the Silver Star for leading an air strike against the Bac Giang, North Vietnam POL facility.

  • October and November 1966:
    During the training cycle, VA-212 aircraft were modified to incorporate the Walleye weapons system thus becoming the first fleet unit equipped with the Walleye.

  • January 26, 1967 to August 25, 1967:
    VA-212 Rampant Raiders with CVW-21 deployed in United State Ship Bon Homme Richard CVA 31 to WestPac/Vietnam flying the A-4E Skyhawk. The VA-212 assigned side number was NP 2xx during this cruise. This was VA-212's third of eight Vietnam combat cruises.

  • March 11, 1967:
    The Rampant Raider's commanding officer, Commander Homer L. Smith, conducted the first Walleye combat attack, striking the Sam Son Army Barracks. Commander Homer Smith (center) in a post flight Bon Homme Richard Flight Deck Debrief --- Left to right: Back to camera, F-8 Crusader pilot; Red ball cap - Paul Spear; VA-212 commanding officer Homer Smith; Guy to right - unknown.
    Photograph by and courtesy of Speedy Gonzalez.

  • April 25, 1967:
    LTJG A. R. Crebo in Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151102, side number NP 225 was shot down by a North Vietnamese surface to air missile. LTJG Crebo was rescued.

  • May 1, 1967:
    Lcdr Ted R. Swartz of the VA-76 Spirits flying A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148609, side number NP 685 shot down a MiG-17.

  • May 20, 1967:
    Commander Homer L. Smith was awarded the Navy Cross for his action during strikes on the Bac Giang Thermal Power Plant on 19 and 20 May.
    CDR Smith in Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149652, side number 233 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. CDR Smith was captured, made a Prisoner of War and was tortured and murdered by the North Vietnamese while in captivity.

  • May 31, 1967:
    LCDR A. R. Chauncy in Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151113, side number NP 223 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. LCDR Chauncy was made a Prisoner of War and was tortured by the North Vietnamese while in captivity.

  • May 31, 1967:
    LTJG M. T. Daniels in Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151183, side number NP 229 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. LTJG Daniels was rescued.

  • July 12, 1967:
    LCDR J. H. Kirkpatrick in Rampant Raider A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151181, side number NP 228 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. LCDR Kirkpatrick was rescued.

  • October 1967:
    The VA-212 Rampant Raiders were assigned the Douglas A-4F Skyhawk.

  • January 27, 1968 to October 10, 1968:
    VA-212 Rampant Raiders with CVW-5 deployed in United State Ship Bon Homme Richard CVA 31 to WestPac/Vietnam flying the A-4F Skyhawk. VA-212 was assigned side number NF 5xx during this cruise. This was VA-212's fourth of eight Vietnam combat cruises.

  • February and March 1968:
    Rampant Raiders aircraft flew combat air support missions for the Marines under siege at Khe Sahn.

  • May 22, 1968:
    LCDR R. S. Thomas in Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154974, side number NF 502 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. LCdr. Thomas ejected safely and was rescued by USS Halsey (DDG-97) HC-7 Seadevils UH-2A Seasprite, 16 miles 355⁰ from Vinh, 0.5 miles off shore.

  • May 28, 1968:
    Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154982, was lost in an accident. Lt(jg) Hugh Durden experienced engine loss or perhaps fire during a night combat sortie en route to control by "Moonbeam", the orbiting command post C-130 which assigned FAC control missions to Yankee Station aircraft. He ejected off the coast of North Vietnam and was rescued after several hours in his life raft.

  • May 30, 1968:
    Lt. J.E. Killian ejected safely from A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154174 and was rescued by USS Halsey (DDG-97) HC-7 Seadevils Det. 110 SH-3A Sea King 38 miles, 72⁰ from Vinh, 30 miles off shore, engine ingested rocket debris.

  • April 24, 1969
    Researching Lt j.g. Leon A. Linkey, USN, reportedly killed in explosion of A4F flying in a group of 4 out of NAS Lemoore enroute PMTC. Newpaper report in Fresno Bee Republican 25 Apr 1969 states the pilot was missing, no chute observerd, after Skyhawk exploded at 2,000 feet. Aircraft went down in water "8 miles west of Point Agruello, Ca". I can find no matching record of this incident or date in the Aircraft accident reports. Do you have any additional information on this incident, or could you direct me to a more informative source?
    Frederic R Ross, Pensacola, FL

    I do not have any information that directly ties to this accident. However, VA-212 lost A-4F Skyhawk BuNo 155016 on 24 April 1969.
    Gary Verver
    The Argus, Saturday, April 26, 1969.

  • August 2, 1969 to April 15, 1970:
    The Rampant Raiders with CVW-21 deployed in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 to WestPac/Vietnam flying the A-4F Skyhawk. VA-212 was assigned side number NP 3xx during this cruise. This was VA-212's fifth of eight Vietnam combat cruises.

  • February 9, 1970:
    Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 155005, was lost in an accident. The pilot was killed.

  • March 8, 1970:
    Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154994, was lost in an accident. The pilot was rescued.

  • March 15, 1970:
    LCDR R. W. Hunter in Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 155044, side number NP 307 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti aircraft fire over Laos. LCDR Hunter was rescued.

  • October 22, 1970 to June 3, 1971:
    VA-212 with CVW-21 in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 deployed to WestPac/Vietnam flying the A-4F Skyhawk. VA-212 was assigned side number NP 3xx during this cruise. This was VA-212's sixth of eight Vietnam combat cruises.

  • January 7, 1972 to October 3, 1972:
    VA-212 with CVW-21 in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 deployed to WestPac/Vietnam flying the A-4F Skyhawk. VA-212 was assigned side number NP 3xx during this cruise. This was VA-212's seventh of eight Vietnam combat cruises.

  • April 1972:
    With the North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam, the Easter Offensive, the squadron concentrated its strikes in the area of An Loc, South Vietnam. It provided combat air support for United States and South Vietnamese ground forces defending the city.

  • May 1972:
    VA-212 participated in Operation Linebacker I, heavy air strikes against targets in North Vietnam.

  • May 25, 1972:
    The squadron's commanding officer, CDR H. H. Strong in Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 155045, side number NP 301 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire during a strike near Vinh, North Vietnam. CDR Strong was Killed in Action.

  • July 9, 1972:
    CDR F. C. Green in Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 154972, side number NP 312 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. CDR Green was Killed in Action.

  • September 6, 1972:
    Lt. W. F. Pear in Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 155021, side number NP 304 was shot down by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire. Lt. W.F. Pear rescued by USS Gridley (DLG-21/CG-21) HC-7 Sea Devils Det. 110 HH-3A Sea King 15 miles, 154⁰ from Thanh Hoa, five miles off shore, Hwy 1A.

  • March 12, 1973:
    Lt. Frank Schwab ejected safely before his A-4F BuNo 155020 crashed into a farmer’s field 5 miles NE of Merced Monday while on a maintenance check flight.
    Merced, CA, Merced Sun-Star, Monday, March 12, 1973.

  • May 8, 1973 to January 8, 1974:
    VA-212 with CVW-21 in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 deployed to WestPac/Vietnam flying the A-4F Skyhawk. VA-212 was assigned side number NP 3xx during this cruise. This was VA-212's eighth and last Vietnam combat cruise.

  • October and December 1973:
    With the outbreak of war in the Middle East between Israel, Syria and Egypt and the initiation of the Arab oil embargo, United State Ship Hancock, with VA-212 embarked, was ordered to enter the Indian Ocean and operate in the Arabian Sea.

  • July 12, 1974:
    Capt. John Pryor Emmett Jr. was killed when his A-4F BuNo 155032 crashed 12 miles east of Hawthorne, NV. The A-4F based at NAS Lemoore was temporarily assigned the NAS Fallon for training.
    Bakersfield, CA The Bakersfield Californian, Tuesday, July 16, 1974.

  • March 18, 1975 to October 20, 1975:
    VA-212 with CVW-21 in United State Ship Hancock CVA 19 deployed to WestPac flying the A-4F Skyhawk.

  • September 15, 1975:
    Lt(jg) Bruce Carrier was killed when A-4F BuNo 154185 crashed into the South China sea 60 miles SW of Cubi Point after a hydraulics failure.
    Fremont-Newark, CA The Argus article
    (North Adams, MA)(?) The Transcript article

  • December 12, 1975:
    Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VA-212) was disestablished at Naval Air Station Lemoore.

Awards


page | by Dr. Radut