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VA-46 Clansmen

The VA-46 Clansmen

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Provided by Dave Dollarhide

Conquer or Die - 1960
Provided by Harry S. Gann

Patch
  • VA-46's insignia was approved by CNO on 25 November 1960. The circular insignia had a blue field outlined by two concentric black lines; the McDougal clan tartan, drawn from the heritage of the squadron's first commanding officer, had dark blue and white lines on a red background, interspaced with green squares; the crest was white, outlined in black with the Latin words Vincere Vel Mori, meaning to conquer or to die; a white stylized aircraft outlined in black; and the banner was white with the designation VA 46 in black.

  • Squadron aircraft historically used a variety of paint schemes, most using variations of tartan over the years. The painting of tartan on the Clansmen aircraft was complicated and time consuming, requiring several layers of masking tape and colors of paint. Unlike the squadron insignia, which remained the same, aircraft tartan was subject to the interpretations of many squadron painters over the years. It was an evolutionary process.

  • The McDougal tartan was first used, which was a close match to the squadron insignia design. In 1963, CDR McKensie became the Commanding Officer and the aircraft tartan was modified to more closely represent his family tartan, a darker design with black instead of blue stripes. In 1966, as A-4Es were assigned to the squadron for a Vietnam cruise, the squadron attempted to return to the McDougal plaid, but without the "corporate knowledge" of previous painters, it took on it's own unique look, with much more red and green displayed. During transition to the A-7, the 3M company provided decals, using the original McDougal tartan, which was used for a few years. It's difficult to reconstruct the variety of aircraft tartan in subsequent years. In fact, due to changing Navy directives concerning aircraft paint, it disappeared completely during the last eight years of the Clansmen's existence.


Handle
  • 1955 - 1991 CLANSMEN

Heritage
  • May 24, 1955 established as Attack Squadron FORTY SIX (VA-46)
  • June 30, 1991 - VA-46 disestablished.


Home Ports
    Date - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Location:
  • May 24, 1955 - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida

Air Wings
  • Date - - - - - - - - - Tail code - - - - Air Wing
  • May 24, 1955 - - F - - - - CVG-4
  • Jul 0?, 1955 - - X/AQ* - - ATG-202
  • Feb 15, 1958 - - AB- - - - CVG-1
  • Jan 13, 1959 - - AF- - - - CVG-6
  • Aug 30, 1959 - - AB- - - - CVG-1
  • Dec 05, 1960 - - AK- - - - CVG-10/CVW-10†
  • Jan 01, 1966 - - AC- - - - CVW-3
  • Jan 01, 1967 - - AA- - - - CVW-17
  • Jan 01, 1968 - - AC- - - - CVW-3
  • Feb 12, 1970 - - AB- - - - CVW-1
  • Oct 01, 1986 - - AG- - - - CVW-7
  • Sep 0?, 1988 - - - - - - - COMLATWING 1‡
  • Mar 01, 1989 - - AC- - - - CVW-3
  • * ATG-202's tail code was changed from X to AQ in the latter part of 1957,
    probably the beginning of FY 58 (1 July 1957).
  • Carrier Air Groups were redesignated Carrier Air Wings
    December 20, 1963, thus, CVG-10 became CVW-10.
  • The squadron was detached from CVW-7 and came under
    the operational and administrative control of Commander Light Attack Wing 1.

Deployments
  • Departure & Return - - - - - - - - Air Wing - Carrier - Aircraft - - Area of Operations:
  • 07/14/56 - 02/19/57 - ATG-202 - CVA 15 - F9F-8- - Mediterranean
  • 02/13/59 - 08/30/59 - CVG-6 - - CVA 11 - A4D-2- - Mediterranean
  • 01/28/60 - 08/24/60 - CVG-1 - - CVA 42 - A4D-2- - Mediterranean
  • 02/02/61 - 05/15/61 - CVG-10- - CVA 38 - A4D-2N - Mediterranean
  • 02/07/62 - 08/28/62 - CVG-10- - CVA 38 - A4D-2N - Mediterranean
  • 10/01/63 - 05/23/64 - CVG-10- - CVA 38 - A-4C - - Mediterranean
  • 02/10/65 - 09/20/65 - CVG-10- - CVA 38 - A-4C - - Mediterranean
  • 03/11/66 - 10/26/66 - CVG-3 - - CVA 60 - A-4C - - Mediterranean
  • 06/06/67 - 09/15/67 - CVW-17- - CVA 59 - A-4E - - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 07/09/69 - 01/22/70 - CVW-3 - - CVA 60 - A-7B - - Mediterranean
  • 09/14/70 - 03/01/71 - CVW-1 - - CVA 67 - A-7B - - Mediterranean/NorLant
  • 12/01/71 - 10/06/72 - CVW-1 - - CVA 67 - A-7B - - Mediterranean/NorLant
  • 04/16/73 - 12/01/73 - CVW-1 - - CV 67- - A-7B - - Mediterranean/NorLant
  • 06/28/75 - 01/27/76 - CVW-1 - - CV 67- - A-7B - - Mediterranean
  • 09/02/76 - 11/09/76 - CVW-1 - - CV 67- - A-7B - - NorLant
  • 01/15/77 - 08/01/77 - CVW-1 - - CV 67- - A-7B - - Mediterranean
  • 06/29/78 - 02/08/79 - CVW-1 - - CV 67- - A-7E - - Mediterranean
  • 08/04/80 - 03/28/81 - CVW-1 - - CV 67- - A-7E - - Mediterranean
  • 08/23/82 - 10/30/82 - CVW-1 - - CV 66- - A-7E - - NorLant/Mediterranean/Carib
  • 12/08/82 - 06/02/83 - CVW-1 - - CV 66- - A-7E - - Mediterranean/IO
  • 04/24/84 - 11/14/84 - CVW-1 - - CV 66- - A-7E - - Carib/Mediterranean/IO
  • 08/24/85 - 10/09/85 - CVW-1 - - CV 66- - A-7E - - NorLant
  • 03/10/86 - 09/10/86 - CVW-1 - - CV 66- - A-7E - - Mediterranean
  • 02/29/88 - 08/29/88 - CVW-7 - - CVN 69 - A-7E - - Mediterranean
  • 08/15/90 - 03/28/91 - CVW-3 - - CV 67- - A-7E - - Mediterranean/Red Sea


Aircraft
Commanding Officers
  • Date Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
  • May 24, 1955 - - - - Lieutenant Charles L. Marshall (acting)
  • Jun 22, 1955 - - - - Commander Clifford A. McDougal
  • 1957 - - - - - - - - Commander A. R. Hawkins
  • 1958 - - - - - - - - Commander Kent L. Lee
  • 1959 - - - - - - - - Commander Alfred J. Hall, Jr.
  • 1960 - - - - - - - - Commander Hugh J. Tate
  • 1961 - - - - - - - - Commander S. W. Callaway, Jr.
  • 1962 - - - - - - - - Commander W. H. Sells
  • 1963 - - - - - - - - Commander R. P. McKenzie
  • 1964 - - - - - - - - Commander M. P. Mead
  • 1965 - - - - - - - - Commander R. L. Lawler, Jr.
  • 1966 - - - - - - - - Commander Fred S. Dunning, Jr.
  • 1967 - - - - - - - - Commander Jack F. O'Hara
  • 1968 - - - - - - - - Commander Alan G. Murdoch
  • 1970 - - - - - - - - Commander Fred J. Withers
  • 1971 - - - - - - - - Commander Marvin D. Reynolds
  • 1972 - - - - - - - - Commander Dale Lewey
  • 1973 - - - - - - - - Commander Jeremy D. Taylor
  • 1974 - - - - - - - - Commander Ronald R. Boyle
  • 1975 - - - - - - - - Commander Edward F. Bronson
  • 1976 - - - - - - - - Commander David A. Page
  • 1978 - - - - - - - - Commander James T. Matheny
  • 1979 - - - - - - - - Commander Phillip J. Rooney
  • 1980 - - - - - - - - Commander Morris M. Kemple, Jr.
  • 1981 - - - - - - - - Commander Thomas R. Mitchell III
  • 1982 - - - - - - - - Commander John W. Peterson
  • 1984 - - - - - - - - Commander Dean M. Hendrickson, Jr.
  • 1986 - - - - - - - - Commander Robert C. Kolsterman
  • 1987 - - - - - - - - Commander Tommy H. Van Brunt
  • 1988 - - - - - - - - Commander Edward J. Fahy, Jr.
  • 1990 - - - - - - - - Commander Mark Fitzgerald

Events
  • May 24, 1955:
    Established as Attack Squadron FORTY SIX (VA-46) and assigned to fly the Grumman F9F-5 Panther

  • June 1955:
    The Clansmen were assigned an upgraded Panther with swept wings - the Grumman F9F-8 Cougar

  • July 14, 1956:
    VA-46 departed the United States aboard United States Ship Randolph CVA 15 for deployment to the Mediterranean, equipped with Sidewinder missiles. This was the first overseas deployment of the Sidewinder.

  • October through November 1956:
    VA-46, along with other units of ATG-202, provided air support for the evacuation of foreign nationals from Alexandria, Egypt, during the Suez War.

  • March 1958:
    The Clansmen were assigned a light attack aircraft, the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk.

  • April 1961:
    VA-46 fires Live "Bullpups", becoming the first jet attack squadron in the Fleet Air Jacksonville area to fire live Bullpup air-to-surface guided missiles.
    LT W.H. Byng Sets Highest Mark

  • October 1962
    In the (VA-46) deployments (above), I see no reference to a deployment during the Cuban Blockade ordered by President Kennedy in the fall of 1962.
    I was in the Squadron at that time. We were part of the blockade and spent time at Gitmo during the quarantine. We had just completed a Med cruise aboard the Shangri La in August 1962. The Shang, went to the yards in September 1962 . VA-46 deployed aboard another ship, a CVS U believe, but I cannot recall which ship it was.
    Martin Treu
    UPDATE 08JUN11: Further research reveals my memory is not what it once was. VA-46, with its A4D-2N, was not in Gitmo during the Cuban missile Crisis of 1962; we didn't get there until early 1963. Here's what I discovered:
    VA-46 and VA-106 (both flying A4D-2Ns) and perhaps other squadrons from CAG-10 loaded aboard the Lexington at Mayport, FL shortly after the carrier's return from the Brooklyn Navy Yards. According to her deck log the Lex arrived at Mayport on 2 November 1962. We engaged in a period of Car/Quals, the duration of which I can not determine until I receive the ships deck log for December 1962, for which I am currently waiting.

    AN Joe Fink arrived at Cecil Field, FL to join VA-46 on 23 Feb 1963 and his journal notes provide the following: 20 March 1963 to 26 May 1963 VA-46 and VA-106 (as part of CAG-10) boarded the USS Shangri La, at Mayport, FL, for a shakedown cruise to the Caribbean and Jamaica; 23 June 1963 to August 1963 they made a midshipman cruise to New York City and Canada 1 October 1963 to April 1964 they made a Med. cruise.
    Martin Treu

  • December 26, 1962:
    Ens. W. L. Randolph ejected from his crippled A4D-2N BuNo 147751, was recovered but suffered burns to his neck and hands
    Abilene, TX The Abilene Reporter-News article

  • March 15, 1963
    Lt. Cmdr. Jack Tholl was killed when his A-4C BuNo 148523 crashed and burned during night field carrier landing practice after a touch-and-go.
    Carroll, IA Carroll Daily Times Herald article
    Austin, MN Austin Daily Herald article

  • Feburary 15 through September 30, 1965:
    The Clansman, flying A-4C Skyhawks, participated on a Med cruise aboard CVA-38 USS Shangri La.

  • March 18, 1965:
    Lt(jg) L.J. Conaway ejected (Lat. 37-05.6N, Long. 16-10.3E) from A-4C BuNo 150582 and was rescued by helo.


  • April 7, 1965:
    Lt Cmdr Freddie Jerrel Thwentt perished when his USS Shangri-La based A-4C BuNo 147766 crashed and burned five miles north of Aviano Air Base shortly after noon while taking part in a NATO exercise.
    US Armed Forces The Stars and Stripes article
    US Armed Forces The Stars and Stripes article


  • April 8, 1965:
    Lcdr Moss, while taxiing A-4C NuNo 147760 rolled off the starboard side. Moss was rescued uninjured.


  • August 1965:
    VA-46 and other units of the air wing aboard United States Ship Shangri-La CVA 38 operated off the coast of Cyprus in response to a crisis in that country between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

  • 1966
    CAG-3 LSOs group photo on the platform of USS Saratoga in 1966.

  • July 8, 1967 through August 22, 1967:
    VA-46 Clansmen flying the Douglas A-4E Skyhawk from the from United States Ship Forrestal CVA 59, deployed for their only WestPac/Vietnam combat cruise.

  • July 29, 1967:
    While aircraft were being prepared for the second launch of the day against targets in Vietnam, a fire broke out on the flight deck of United States Ship Forrestal CVA 59. Flames engulfed the fantail and spread below decks touching off bombs and ammunition. Heroic efforts by VA-46 personnel, along with other members of CVW-17 and ship's company, brought the fires under control. Damage to the carrier and aircraft was severe and the casualties included 132 dead, two missing and presumed dead and 62 injured. LCDR Fred White, in the aircraft that was struck by a Zuni rocket, was one of those killed.

    A total of eleven A-4E Skyhawks were lost in the fire. Those lost by VA46 were: BuNo.152070 dressed up as BuNo.149996
    • 149996 (AA416)
    • 150064 (AA405)
    • 150068 (AA407)
    • 150084 (AA410)
    • 150115 (AA412)
    • 150118 (AA414)
    • 150129 (AA417)
    Other Skyhawks lost were:
    • BuNo. 152018
    • BuNo. 152024
    • BuNo. 152036
    • BuNo. 152040

  • January 24, 1968:
    LCdr. Thomas A. Brownsley perished A-4B BuNo 144869 in a crash on a desolate Hopi Indian reservation, about 90 miles northeast of Flagstaff, AZ while enroute from NAS Fallon, NV, to Albuquerque, NM.
    Long Beach, CA Independent article
    Reno, NV Nevada State Journal article

  • February 28, 1968
    A-4B BuNo. 144997 was destroyed in 1968 when LT. Dave Dollarhide ejected following an engine failure. The "Clansmen" were flying A-Bs due to the loss of their "E"s in the Forrestal Fire.

  • May 4 through November 15, 1968:
    VA-46 transitioned to the Vought A-7B Corsair II.

  • September 17, 1970:
    While enroute to the Caribbean for training exercises, United States Ship John F. Kennedy CVA 67 with VA-46 and other units of CVW-1 embarked, received emergency orders to deploy immediately to the Mediterranean due to the Jordanian Crisis and the hijacking of four airliners by Arab terrorists. They remained on station off the coast of Israel until November.

  • October 1973:
    Due to the outbreak of war between Israel and Egypt and Syria, United States Ship Kennedy and her air wing, while operating in the North Atlantic after just completing a Mediterranean deployment, were ordered back to the Mediterranean. During the latter part of October through mid November, VA-46 conducted flight operations while the carrier was on station south of Crete.

  • November 22, 1975:
    During night operations United States Ship Kennedy collided with United States Ship Belknap CG 26 causing major damage to the cruiser. Eight VA-46 personnel received awards for their heroism and devotion to duty as a result of their actions following the collision.

  • September 17 through 19, 1985:
    VA-46, along with other units of CVW-1, were the first to conduct flight operations from a carrier operating inside a fjord. United States Ship America CV 66 operated in Vestfjord, Norway, during this evolution.

  • April 14, 1986:
    Because of terrorist activities linked to Lybia, American forces struck targets in that country. During that action, VA-46 provided air-to-surface Shrike and Harm missile strikes against Libyian radar missile sites.

  • September through October 1990 and December 1990 through January 1991:
    The squadron participated in Operation Desert Shield, the build up of American and Allied forces to counter a threatened invasion of Saudi Arabia by Iraq and as part of an economic blockade of Iraq to force its withdrawal from Kuwait.

  • January 17, 1991:
    Operation Desert Storm, combat operations to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait, was launched. The squadron's A-7E Corsair IIs participated in the first combat strike against Iraqi targets in Baghdad.

  • June 30, 1991:
    Attack Squadron FORTY SIX Disestablished.

Awards


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