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VA-95 Green Lizards

VA-95 Green Lizards

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VT-20 - 1944
Provided by John Gabbard

VT-20 - 1945
Provided by John Gabbard

Skyknights
Jerry Geer

VF-95 Green Lizards - 1972
Patch courtesy of Thomas M. Tye

Patch
  • March 21, 1944, Torpedo Squadron TWENTY created the Vulture patch.
    Vulture patch had a light blue background with an inner circle of white and a black outer circle. The Vulture was pearl gray with white highlights and outlined in black; leg and ruff of feathers around the neck were white with blue markings; head, neck and feet a drab yellow; the beak was black. The torpedo was shades of gray with a white, black and yellow streak and was outlined in black. The torpedo nose was black with blue and white streaks emanating from the nose.

  • January 16, 1957, Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE Skyknights created a Knight's Helmet patch.
    The knight's helmet had a black / silver background. Black on left hand half and silver on the right half of the circular design. The background was outline with silver on the left and black on the right. The mace was silver and sword black. The left side of the helmet was silver with green and black markings; the right side of the helmet was green with silver markings. The helmet plume was red. The patch scroll was silver, outlined in black with green lettering.

Handle
  • 1944 - 1946, - Vultures.
  • 1957 - 1963, - Skyknights.
  • 1963 - 1970, - Green Lizards.
  • 1972 - present, - Green Lizards.

Heritage
  • October 15, 1943, Torpedo Squadron TWENTY (VT-20) established.

  • November 15, 1946, VT-20 redesignated Attack Squadron TEN A (VA-10A).

  • August 12, 1948 VA-10A redesignated Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE (VA-95).

  • November 30, 1949, Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE disestablished.

  • March 26, 1952, Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE (VA-95) established.

  • April 1, 1970, Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE disestablished.

  • April 1,1972, Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE (VA-95) established.

Home Ports
  • Date - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Location:
  • October 15, 1943 - - - - - - - Naval Air Station San Diego
  • April 21, 1944 - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Barbers Point *
  • June 17, 1944- - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Puunene *
  • February 23, 1945- - - - - - - Naval Air Station San Diego
  • April 16, 1945 - - - - - - - - Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Lewiston
  • June 1945- - - - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Edenton
  • November 2, 1945 - - - - - - - Naval Auxiliary Air Station Elizabeth City
  • March 21, 1946 - - - - - - - - Naval Auxiliary Air Station Charlestown
  • March 26, 1952 - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Alameda
  • March 8, 1962- - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Moffett Field
  • April 1, 1963- - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Lemoore
  • August 4, 1968 - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Alameda
  • April 1, 1972- - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Whidbey Island
  • * Temporary shore assignment while the squadron conducted training in preparation for combat deployment.

Air Wings
  • Date - - - - - - - - - - - - Tail code - - - - - - - Air Wing
  • October 15, 1943 - - - - - PS/D† - - - - - CVG-20/CVAG-9CVG-9*
  • March 26, 1952 - - - - - - N/NG**- - - - - CVG-9/CVW-9†
  • October 2, 1965- - - - - - - - - - - - - - COMFAIRALAMEDA
  • February 1, 1966- - - - - - AK - - - - - - CVW-10
  • October 1967- - - - - - - - AJ - - - - - - CVW-8
  • August 26, 1968- - - - - - - - - - - - - - COMFAIRALAMEDA
  • February 1969 - - - - - - - AB - - - - - - CVW-1
  • March 2, 1970- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - COMFAIRALAMEDA
  • 1972- - - - - - - - - - - - NL - - - - - - CVW-15
  • July 1, 1978- - - - - - - - NH - - - - - - CVW-11
  • * Established as CVG-20 on October 15, 1943. Redesignated CVAG-9 on November 15, 1946. CVAG-9 redesignated CVG-9 on September 1, 1948. CVG-9 was disestablished on December 1, 1949.
  • ** The tail code was changed from N to NG in 1957. The effective date for this change was July 1,1957.
  • † The tail code PS was assigned to United States Ship Philippine Sea CV 47 and CVG-9 in 1946. In 1948 the tail code for CVG-9 was changed to D.
  • †† CVG-9 was redesignated CVW-9 when Carrier Air Group (CVG) designations were redesignated Carrier Air Wings (CVW) on December 20, 1963.

Deployments
    Departure & Return - - - - - - - - Air Wing - Carrier - Aircraft - - Area of Operations:
  • 08-16-44 to 11-23-44 - CVG-20 - CV 6* -- TBM-1C - Pacific
  • 11-23-44 to 02-02-45 - CVG-20 - CV 16† - TBM-1C - Pacific
  • 02-09-48 to 06-26-48 - CVAG-9 - CV 47 -- TBM-3E - Carib/Mediterranean
  • 12-15-52 to 08-14-53 - CVG-9 -- CVA 47 - AD-4/L/NA - Korea
  • 05-11-54 to 12-12-54 - CVG-9 -- CVA 12 - AD-6 - World Cruise
  • 02-11-56 to 06-13-56 - CVG-9 -- CVA 34 - AD-6 - WestPac
  • 09-16-57 to 04-25-58 - CVG-9 -- CVA 14 - AD-7 - WestPac
  • 02-06-60 to 08-30-60 - CVG-9 -- CVA 61 - AD-7 - WestPac
  • 08-11-61 to 03-08-62 - CVG-9 -- CVA 61 - AD-7 - WestPac
  • 11-09-62 to 06-14-63 - CVG-9 -- CVA 61 - AD-6/7 - WestPac
  • 08-05-64 to 05-06-65 - CVW-9 -- CVA 61 - A-1H/J - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 04-04-66 to 11-21-66 - CVW-10 - CVS 11 - A-4B - WestPac/Vietnam
  • 11-15-67 to 08-04-68 - CVW-8 -- CVA 38 - A-4B - Mediterranean
  • 04-05-69 to 12-21-69 - CVW-1 -- CVA 67 - A-4C - Mediterranean
  • 04-09-73 to 11-08-73 - CVW-15 - CVA 43 - A-6A/B, KA-6D - WestPac
  • 12-05-74 to 07-02-75 - CVW-15 - CVA 43 - A-6A, KA-6D - WestPac
  • 02-15-77 to 10-05-77 - CVW-15 - CV 43 -- A-6E, KA-6D - WestPac
  • 03-13-79 to 09-22-79 - CVW-11 - CV 66 -- A-6E, KA-6D - Mediterranean
  • 04-14-81 to 11-12-81 - CVW-11 - CV 66 -- A-6E, KA-6D - Mediterranean/IO
  • 09-01-82 to 04-28-83 - CVW-11 - CVN 65 - A-6E, KA-6D - NorPac/WestPac/IO
  • 05-30-84 to 12-20-84 - CVW-11 - CVN 65 - A-6E, KA-6D - WestPac/IO
  • 01-15-86 to 08-12-86 - CVW-11 - CVN 65 - A-6E, KA-6D - World Cruise
  • 10-25-87 to 11-24-87 - CVW-11 - CVN 65 - A-6E, KA-6D - NorPac
  • 01-05-88 to 07-03-88 - CVW-11 - CVN 65 - A-6E, KA-6D - WestPac/IO
  • 09-17-89 to 03-16-90 - CVW-11 - CVN 65 - A-6E, KA-6D - World Cruise
  • 09-25-90 to 11-20-90 - CVW-11 - CVN 72 - A-6E, KA-6D - East Coast to West Coast cruise via Cape Horn
  • * November 20, 1944, Torpedo Squadron TWENTY cross-decked from United States Ship Enterprise CV 6, to United States Ship Lexington CV 16, and remained deployed in the pacific war.


Aircraft
Commanding Officers
  • Date Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
  • October 1943 - LCDR David E. Dressendorfer
  • December 1943- LCDR Samuel L. Prickett
  • 1945 - - - - - LCDR James N. Howell, Jr.
  • 1947 - - - - - LCDR J. J. Maechtlen
  • 1949 - - - - - LCDR Charles C. Ainsworth
  • 1952 - - - - - LCDR Samuel B. Berrey
  • 1953 - - - - - LT L. Wilson (acting)
  • 1953 - - - - - CDR David L. Berrey
  • 1954 - - - - - CDR John C. Allman
  • 1955 - - - - - CDR Donald L. Irgens
  • 1956 - - - - - CDR Martin J. Stack
  • 1958 - - - - - CDR F. L. Brady
  • 1958 - - - - - CDR Rollin E. Gray, Jr.
  • 1959 - - - - - CDR Carl Weisse
  • 1960 - - - - - CDR R. R. Renaldi
  • 1961 - - - - - CDR Stanley F. Abele
  • 1962 - - - - - CDR H. G. Silliman
  • 1963 - - - - - CDR Harold J. Zenner
  • 1964 - - - - - CDR Dwight E. DeCamp
  • 1965 - - - - - CDR G. E. Jacobssen, Jr.
  • 1966 - - - - - CDR F. E. O'Connor, Jr.
  • 1967 - - - - - CDR W. E. Ohlrich, Jr.
  • 1968 - - - - - CDR M. A. Benero, Jr.
  • 1969 - - - - - CDR J. K. Hassett
  • 1972 - - - - - CDR G. E. Wales
  • 1973 - - - - - CDR W. D. Zirbel
  • 1974 - - - - - CDR Van F. Westfall
  • 1974 - - - - - CDR Jerry W. Rogers
  • 1976 - - - - - CDR Robert M. McEwen
  • 1978 - - - - - CDR Ken G. Craig
  • 1979 - - - - - CDR Richard J. Toft
  • 1980 - - - - - CDR Patrick C. Hauert
  • 1981 - - - - - CDR Richard C. Wolter
  • 1983 - - - - - CDR Raymond T. Wojcik
  • 1984 - - - - - CDR John S. McMahon, Jr.
  • 1986 - - - - - CDR Jeremy C. Rosenberg
  • 1987 - - - - - CDR William H. Miller
  • 1988 - - - - - CDR John F. Schork
  • 1990 - - - - - CDR John R. Worthington

Events
  • October 15, 1943:
    Torpedo Squadron TWENTY (VT-20) established at Naval Air Station San Diego, California.

  • November 1943:
    Torpedo Squadron TWENTY Vultures were assigned the TBF-1/TBM-1 Grumman Avenger.

  • August 16, 1944:
    Torpedo Squadron TWENTY flying the TBM-1C Grumman Avenger aboard United States Ship Enterprise CV 6, embarked to the South Pacific for combat with Japan.

  • September 1, 1944:
    The Vulture's first combat action involved strikes against shore installations on Chichi Jima in the Bonin Islands.

  • September 1944:
    VT-20 Avengers participated in strikes against Palau Islands in preparation for and support of the landings on Peleliu Island.

  • October 1944:
    VT-20 participated in strikes against Okinawa, Formosa and Luzon in preparation for and support of the landings on Leyte.

  • October 15, 1944:
    Lieutenant Edward B. Holley, flying a squadron TBM, shot down a Zero, Mitsubishi A6M fighter, over Luzon.

  • October 24, 1944:
    VT-20 Vultures participated in the Battle for Leyte Gulf. VT-20's TBM-1Cs flew sorties against a powerful Japanese surface force in the Sibuyan Sea. These attacks contributed to the sinking of the mighty Musashi, one of the two largest battleships in the world. The following squadron Naval Aviators were awarded the Navy Cross for their action against the Japanese task force:
    • Ensign W. T. Ross
    • Ensign W. J. Schaller
    • Ensign G. Swint III
    • Lieutenant Junior Grade M. Throwbridge
    • Lieutenant C. H. H. Dickey
    • Lieutenant E. B. Holley
    • Lieutenant R. E. McHenry
    • Lieutenant Commander S. L. Prickett
  • October 25, 1944:
    VT-20 Vulture Avengers were part of the Fast Carrier Task Force that attacked the Japanese carrier force in the Battle of Cape Engano. Four Japanese carriers were sunk during this engagement. The following squadron Naval Aviators were awarded the Navy Cross for their action during the Battle of Cape Engano:
    • Ensign T. E. Armour
    • Ensign J. L. Baxter
    • Ensign M. H. Krouse
    • Ensign C. D. Leeper
    • Lieutenant Junior Grade P. H. Bradley
    • Lieutenant Junior Grade C. F. Schlegel
    • Lieutenant J. H. Howell, Jr.,
    • Lieutenant M. L. Leedom
    • Lieutenant E. E. Rodenburg
    • Lieutenant R. J. Savage

  • November 20, 1944 to February 2, 1945:
    Torpedo Squadron TWENTY Vultures cross decked from United States Ship Enterprise CV 6, to United States Ship Lexington CV 16, and remained deployed in the South Pacific war.

  • November 1944:
    VT-20 participated in strikes against a Japanese troop convoy in Ormoc Bay, Leyte and enemy positions on Luzon.

  • December 1944:
    Vulture strikes were flown against Luzon in preparation for the landings at Lingayan Gulf, Luzon.

  • January 1945:
    VT-20 aircraft flew strikes against Luzon, Formosa, Hong Kong, Japanese convoys in South China Sea and along coast of French Indochina, and Okinawa.

  • January 12, 1945:
    Lieutenant J. N. Howell, Jr. and Lieutenant Junior Grade M. Throwbridge were awarded the Silver Star Medal for their action against a Japanese cruiser that was protecting a convoy off the coast of French Indochina. Their attacks contributed to sinking of the cruiser.

  • February 2, 1945:
    Torpedo Squadron TWENTY aboard United States Ship Lexington CV 16, returned to the United States of America from the South Pacific war.

  • November 15, 1946:
    VT-20 was redesignated Attack Squadron TEN A (VA-10A).

  • August 12, 1948:
    VA-10A redesignated AS Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE (VA-95).

  • August 1949:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE assigned the AD-1 Douglas Skyraider

  • November 30, 1949:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE disestablished.

  • March 26, 1952:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE (VA-95) established at Naval Air Station Alameda, California.

  • April 1952:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE assigned the Skyknights Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat

  • May 1952:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE assigned the Douglas AD-1 Skyraider

  • November 9, 1962 to June 14, 1963:
    VA-95 flying the AD-6/7 Skyraider and aboard United States Ship Ranger CVA 61, cruise to WestPac.

  • January 1963:
    The Green Lizards participated in cross deck operations with the British carrier HMS Hermes while operating in the western Pacific.

  • April 1, 1963:
    VA-95 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.

  • May 1963:
    Following the military losses of Lao neutralists to the Pathet Lao in the Plaine de Jarres, Laos, United States Ship Ranger CVA 61, transited to the South China Sea to support possible operations in Laos.

  • August 5, 1964 to May 6, 1965:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE flying the A-1H Douglas Skyraider from United States Ship Ranger CVA 61, combat cruise to WestPac/Vietnam.

  • November 1964 through April 1965:
    The squadron participated in support for photo-reconnaissance missions and conducted strikes against targets in Laos.

  • February 7, 1965:
    Following a Viet Cong attack against the American advisors compound at Pleiku, South Vietnam, the President ordered a reprisal strike against North Vietnam, named Flaming Dart I. The squadron's target was the Vit Thu Lu Barracks. However, the strike turned back due to poor weather conditions.

  • February 11, 1965:
    Squadron aircraft participated in Flaming Dart II, retaliatory strikes against the Chanh Hoa military barracks near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam.

  • March 1965:
    The squadron participated in Rolling Thunder strikes against the Phu Qui ammunition depot in North Vietnam.

  • July 1965:
    VA-95 assigned the Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk.

  • April 4, 1966 to November 21, 1966:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE flying the A-4B Douglas Skyhawk from United States Ship Intrepid CVS 11, combat cruise to WestPac/Vietnam. The Intrepid Air Wing CVW-10 was composed only of attack squadrons.

  • April 10, 1967:
    Lt. Cmdr. Walker W Lambert perished 10 miles east of NAAS Fallon, NV in A-4B BuNo 145037, while as an observer on a night bombing exercise.
    Oakland, CA Oakland Tribune article

  • June 14, 1969:
    An unidentified pilot ejected safely and was rescued after he parachuted into the Bay of Naples when A-4C BuNo 147739 crashed at sea after takeoff from the USS John F. Kennedy.
    US Armed Forces The Stars and Stripes article

  • September 1969:
    Following a coup that overthrew the Libyan monarchy United States Ship Kennedy CVA 67, cut short its visit to Cannes, France, and departed for operations in the Ionian Sea. The United States later extended diplomatic recognition to the new Libyan government.

  • April 1, 1970:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE disestablished.

  • April 1, 1972:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE (VA-95) established. The squadron was assigned the Grumman A-6A Intruder.

  • April 1973:
    The squadron provided support for Operation End Sweep, the clearing of mine fields along the coast of North Vietnam.

  • April 1975:
    Squadron aircraft participated in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of American personnel from Saigon. The squadron provided armed escort flights over the Saigon area for protection of the helos conducting the evacuation.

  • May 15, 1975:
    VA-95 participated in the recovery of the American merchant ship SS Mayaguez following its capture by Cambodian gunboats. The Green Lizards flew sorties in support of the Marine landings on Koh Tang Island and retaliatory strikes against Cambodian targets. Squadron Intruders struck the airfield and naval facility at Ream, Cambodia; meanwhile Green Lizard KA-6D aircraft were used to provide tanker support for the combat sorties.

  • April 18 and 19, 1988:
    Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE participated in Operation Praying Mantis, retaliatory strikes against Iran after United States Ship Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) struck an Iranian mine in international waters. Green Lizard Intruders from United States Ship Enterprise CVN 65, struck Iranian Boghammar speedboats, using Rockeye cluster bombs. Green Lizard Intruders sunk one Boghammar and damaged another.
    Later in the day, the Iranian frigate Sahand fired missiles at two of the Green Lizard's Intruders while they were flying a surface combat air patrol for United States Ship Joseph Strauss (DDG 16). The aircraft evaded the missiles and returned fire with two Harpoons and four laser-guided Skipper bombs. A Harpoon firing from Joseph Strauss followed this attack. The attack against the Sahand left her blazing. Eventually the fires reached her magazines, and the final explosions lead to her sinking.
    Following this action the sister ship of the Sahand, the Sabalan, left port and engaged several VA-95 Intruders, firing a missile at them. One of the squadron's Intruders responded with a laser-guided bomb that hit Sabalan, and she went dead in the water. The Sabalan was taken in tow by an Iranian tug, her fantail partially submerged. VA-95's aircraft were then given a wimpy order not to continue the attack. The squadron continued flying combat but no other action resulted.

  • October and November 1990:
    During the United States Ship Abraham Lincoln's CVN 72, cruise from the East to West Coast via Cape Horn, Attack Squadron NINETY-FIVE participated in joint exercises with the Argentinean, Chilean, and Ecuadorian Armed Forces.

Awards


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