Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). See FAQ/Research/Contact link under [SA] in the menu.
This Skyhawk Association website page is posthumously dedicated to:
Cdr. Smith began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia off the aircraft carrier USS Hancock (CVA-19) in December 1965, took command of VA-212 in June 1966 and finished his first tour in July 1966. He returned for his second tour in February 1967 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31.) Cdr. Smith was forced to eject over North Vietnam on May 20, 1967 (his 200th combat mission) while leading an Alpha strike on the Bac Giang thermal power plant near Phu Lang Thuong, about 25 miles NE of Hanoi. Cdr. Smith was captured and was tortured to death by his North Vietnamese captors on May 21, 1967, and his remains were returned to the United States on March 13, 1974. He was buried at the U.S. Naval Academy Cemetery in Annapolis, MD. Cdr. Smith was posthumously promoted to the rank of Captain and awarded the Navy Cross, the Navy's highest combat award, for extraordinary heroism. By his inspiring and courageous devotion to duty, Captain Smith upheld the finest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Capt. Smith is remembered on "The Wall," Panel 20E, Line 68.
VA-212 Rampant Raiders - 1956
VA-212 Walleye Smart Bombers 1967
VA-212 Rampant Raiders
The Rampant Raider patch was created September 4, 1956.
The Succulent Six Smart Bombers patch was created in 1967 by the six core members of VA-212 that deployed the Walleye in SEA. I believe the six were Homer Smith, Mike Cater, Dick Thomas, Bill Greene, Steve Briggs and Rex Wacowitz who were joined by Tom Brown from VX-5, China Lake. As for inspiration... "we were sitting around in the bar one night looking for a name and designing a patch and that’s what we came up with." The missile in the middle with a big eye on it represented the Walleye.
1956, Rampant Raiders.
June 20, 1955, Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VF-212) established.
April 1, 1956, VF-212 re-designated Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VA-212).
December 12, 1975, Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE disestablished.
Date - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Location:
June 20, 1955 - - - - - - Naval Air Station Moffett Field
September 15, 1961- - - - Naval Air Station Lemoore
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
July 1955 - - - - - - - - - - - - Chance Vought F7U-3M Cutlass
April 1957- - - - - - - - - - - - Grumman F9F-8B Cougar
July 1957 - - - - - - - - - - - - North American FJ-4B Fury
June 1961 - - - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
January 1964- - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk *
October 1967- - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A-4F Skyhawk
* November 30, 1962
The A4D-2 designation was changed to A-4B
The A4D-5 designation was changed to A-4E
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
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 re-designated CVW-21 when Carrier Air Groups (CVG) were re-designated Carrier Air Wings (CVW) December 20, 1963.
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
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
Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:
15 Aug 1958 through 17 Aug 1958
27 Aug 1958 through 16 Sep 1958
14 Sep 1958
26 Sep 1958 through 15 Oct 1958
02 Oct 1958
06 Oct 1958
10 Nov 1958 through 15 Nov 1958
27 Nov 1958 through 28 Nov 1958
28 Jun 1959 through 02 Jul 1959
11 Jul 1959 through 16 Jul 1959
17 Oct 1959 through 19 Oct 1959
15 Dec 1960 through 24 Dec 1960
01 Jan 1961 through 08 Jan 1961
10 Mar 1962 through 14 Mar 1962
14 Apr 1962 through 16 Apr 1962
16 May 1962 through 18 May 1962
04 Nov 1963 through 10 Nov 1963
07 Dec 1964 through 04 May 1965
04 May 1968 through 07 May 1968
30 Oct 1969
03 Jan 1970 through 08 Jan 1970
22 Feb 1970 through 25 Feb 1970NUC
06 Dec 1965 through 25 Jul 1966
21 Feb 1968 through 13 Sep 1968
08 Feb 1972 through 14 Sep 1972MUC
21 Aug 1969 through 31 Mar 1970
20 Nov 1970 through 07 May 1971RVNGC
26 Dec 1965
28 Dec 1965 through 31 Dec 1965
02 Jan 1966 through 04 Jan 1966
09 Jan 1966
15 Jan 1966 through 19 Jan 1966
25 Feb 1966 through 26 Feb 1966
28 Feb 1966 through 05 Mar 1966
01 Apr 1966 through 02 Apr 1966
25 May 1966
24 Jun 1966
27 Jun 1966 through 29 Jun 1966
28 Feb 1967
07 Mar 1967
11 Mar 1967
13 Mar 1967
16 Mar 1967
20 Mar 1967 through 21 Mar 1967
29 Apr 1967 through 01 May 1967
16 May 1967 through 18 May 1967
21 Feb 1968 through 25 Feb 1968
27 Feb 1968 through 07 Mar 1968
12 Mar 1968 through 18 Mar 1968
22 Mar 1968 through 23 Mar 1968
25 Mar 1968
06 Apr 1968 through 11 Apr 1968
13 Apr 1968 through 14 Apr 1968
17 Apr 1968 through 20 Apr 1968
13 May 1968 through 14 May 1968
26 May 1968 through 27 May 1968
04 Jul 1968
02 Aug 1968 through 18 Aug 1968
27 Aug 1968 through 14 Sep 1968
30 Mar 1972 through 15 Jul 1972
17 Dec 1965 through 23 Jan 1966
11 Feb 1966 through 06 Mar 1966
21 Mar 1966 through 10 Apr 1966
27 Apr 1966 through 09 Jul 1966
25 Feb 1967 through 21 Mar 1967
17 Apr 1967 through 07 May 1967
01 Jun 1967 through 18 Jun 1967
27 Jun 1967 through 31 Jul 1967
20 Feb 1968 through 25 Mar 1968
06 Apr 1968 through 20 Apr 1968
09 May 1968 through 30 May 1968
04 Jun 1968 through 05 Jun 1968
13 Jun 1968 through 07 Jul 1968
21 Jul 1968 through 18 Aug 1968
27 Aug 1968 through 14 Sep 1968
31 Aug 1969 through 25 Sep 1969
03 Oct 1969 through 28 Oct 1969
23 Nov 1969 through 18 Dec 1969
17 Jan 1970 through 12 Feb 1970
07 Mar 1970 through 27 Mar 1970
18 Nov 1970 through 08 Dec 1970
29 Dec 1970 through 15 Jan 1971
23 Jan 1971 through 20 Feb 1971
09 Mar 1971 through 15 Mar 1971
17 Mar 1971 through 10 Apr 1971
17 Apr 1971 through 04 May 1971
07 Feb 1972 through 09 Mar 1972
25 Mar 1972 through 02 May 1972
11 May 1972 through 01 Jun 1972
12 Jun 1972 through 14 Jul 1972
24 Jul 1972 through 17 Aug 1972
27 Aug 1972 through 14 Sep 1972PUC
26 Feb 1967 through 30 Jul 1967
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 re-designated 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 USS 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 USS Lexington CVA 16 and flying the FJ-4B Fury.
August and September 1958: VA-212 Rampant Raiders embarked on USS 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 USS 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 USS Lexington CVA 16 to WestPac flying the FJ-4B Fury.
March 1961: USS 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 USS Hancock CVA 19 to WestPac with the A4D-2 Skyhawk.
April 15, 1962: VA-212, embarked in USS 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 USS Hancock CVA 19 to WestPac flying the A-4B Skyhawk.
September 1963: VA-212, embarked in USS 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: USS 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.
June 24, 1964:Lt(jg). Barry Gastrock, 27, ejected safely from his VA-212 A-4E Skyhawk (BuNo 150133) when it crashed and burned about 5 miles NW of the NAS Lemoore runway starting a fire that burned two to three acres of stubble before being brought under control. The Fresno Bee, Thursday, 25 June 1964.
October 21, 1964 to May 29, 1965: The Rampant Raiders with CVW-21 deployed in USS 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: Cdr. K.L. Shugart ejected (BuNo. 150130) after his aircraft was hit on his 2nd run dropping SNAKEYE bombs on the Vinh Son radar site. The aircraft caught fire and suffered an electrical failure and he ejected about 10 miles offshore and was rescued by a USAF helicopter.
April 19, 1965: Lt(jg). 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 USS 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 27, 1966: LCdr. V.G. Donnelly ejected and was rescued, lost to flame-out. 1704 A4 Bureau No. 150128 of VA-212, Pilot LCdr. Donnelly, crashed into the sea bearing 280 deg. T 11 miles latitude 8-29.5N longitude 107-06.0E and sank in 21 fathoms of water. Pilot recovered by helicopter. 1713 Recovery complete. 2116 received injury report at 1700 this date while ejecting from his aircraft LCdr. V.G. Donnelly, 545128 received contusions of upper 2nd anterior portion of left shoulder. Treatment administered by medical officer. Disposition: Duty. USS Hancock deck log, Sunday, 27 March 1966.
April 6, 1966:Lt. Dennis Philip Cook killed, cat malfunction. 0534 A4E Bureau No. 152052, VA-212, Pilot Lt. Dennis Phillip Cook, crashed into the sea off the ships bow at latitude 17-56.0N, longitude 108-11.0E and sank in 50 fathoms of water. 0534 maneuvered to avoid aircraft. All engines stopped. 0539 c/s to 19 knots. USS Hancock deck log, Wednesday, 06 April 1966.
May 1, 1966: Lt. R.H. Mansfield ejected (BuNo. 151179) and was rescued by a Navy helicopter after firing a rocket from a LAU-3 which either hit his Skyhawk or fodded the engine while attacking a truck convoy 10 mile S of Vinh.
June 27, 1966: Lt. Gary Thiele ejected safely when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150000) caught fire on his way to a target in South Vietnam. 1109 received report of downed pilot position 11-00.0N, 108-34.0E, ships helo detached to proceed to area of downed pilot. 1205 A4E pilot Lt. Gary Thiele was recovered from the water and returned to Than Rang Air Field. USS Hancock deck log, Monday, 27 June 1966.
June 30, 1966: Cdr. 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 USS 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, Cdr. 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.
April 25, 1967: Lt(jg). Al R. Crebo ejected and was rescued after an SA-2 missile exploded close to his A-4E Skyhawk BuNo 151102 , NP 225 during an attack on an ammo depot on the outskirts of Haiphong. After flying out to sea on manual control he ejected near a Bon Homme Richard escort destroyer when the engine flamed out.
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.
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: Cdr. Homer Leroy Smith (CO) ejected and was captured when his Skyhawk (BuNo 149652, NP 233) was hit by AAA and caught fire during a strike on the Bac Giang thermal power plant. Cdr. Smith died after a few days in captivity. 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.
May 31, 1967: LCdr. Arvin Roy Chauncey ejected and was captured when his Skyhawk (BuNo 151113, NP 223) was hit by intense AAA about 20 mile NE of Kep. His aircraft was hit in the engine, caught fire and lost power.
May 31, 1967: Lt(jg). M.T. Daniels ejected and was rescued by the SAR Destroyer's Seasprite helicopter after his Skyhawk (BuNo 151183, NP 229) was hit by AAA about eight miles NE of Kep. He headed out to sea in search of a tanker but couldn't rendezvous as his radio was inop. Unable to refuel he found a SAR destroyer and ejected when the engine flamed out.
July 12, 1967: LCdr. J.H. Kirkpatrick ejected and was rescued by a Navy SAR helicopter after his Skyhawk (BuNo 151181, NP 228) was hit in the port wing and fuselage by ground fire on his way to a strike on the railway at Mai Truong.
July 20, 1967: Cdr. Fredrick H. Whittmore (XO) ejected over the sea 60 miles east of Hon Gay and was rescued after his Skyhawk (BuNo 151119, NP 222) was hit by AAA during a strike on the My Xa POL storage site.
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 USS 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 ejected safely (BuNo 154974, NF 502) and was rescued by USS Halsey (DDG-97) HC-7 Seadevils UH-2A Seasprite, 16 miles 355⁰ from Vinh, 0. 5 miles off shore, lost to AAA.
May 28, 1968: Lt(jg). Hugh Durden (BuNo. 154982) 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. From Steve Gray.
May 30, 1968: Lt. J.E. Killian ejected safely (BuNo 154174, NF 513) 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: Lt(jg). Leon A. Linkey was killed... An A4 Skyhawk (BuNo 155016) from NAS Lemoore crashed into the sea eight miles west of Pt. Arguello in Southern California. The Argus, Saturday, April 26, 1969. A search for the body of Navy Lt. Leon A. Linkey, presumably killed when his Navy jet crashed into the sea off Point Arguello Thursday night, has been called off. His plane crashed about 6:40 p.m. Thursday when he was returning from a missile firing exercise over the Pacific. According to another pilot in the formation, Linkey’s aircraft appeared to explode in the air. Searchers later found an oil slick and some debris but the body of the pilot has not been located. Lompoc Record, Tuesday, April 29, 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". Frederic R Ross, Pensacola, FL.
August 2, 1969 to April 15, 1970: The Rampant Raiders with CVW-21 deployed in USS 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: Lt. John Arthur Griner was killed when he ejected as his Skyhawk (BuNo 155005, NP 307)) veered off the runway when he diverted to Da Nang with hung ordnance after a strike mission, 09 February 1970. 1700 Held Memorial Service for Lt. John A. Griner, VA-212. USS Hancock deck log, 12 February 1970. I recall that CAG mandated we divert to Da Nang if we had hung bombs rather than jettisoning the TER. Westpac had a shortage of the triple ejector racks. John complied. At touchdown the aircraft started to leave the runway and John ejected into an arresting gear stanchion as the aircraft rolled. From Kip Burton, 27 February 2016. It was his second hop of the day. He blew a main tire on the cat stroke. He had a hung bomb and diverted to Da Nang, but didn’t execute a field arrestment with the blown tire and on touchdown the aircraft left the runway and headed for the arresting gear unit. It appears that he did not initiate ejection until he hit the arresting gear installation because the airplane was inverted and the seat took him into the ground or into the arresting gear unit itself. From Roger Shinkle, 28 February 2016. The Skyhawk was repaired at Atsugi and sent to VA-127 on 24 Nov. 1971 almost two years after the accident.
March 8, 1970: Lt. Gary B. Smith ejected safely when A-4F BuNo 154994 exploded and crashed into the sea off the starboard bow at latitude 18-08.0N and longitude 107-48.9E and sank into the sea in 44 fathoms of water at 0835. Pilot recovered by helo 005 with no apparent injuries at 0907. USS Hancock deck log - 8 March 1970.
March 15, 1970: LCdr. R.W. Hunter ejected (BuNo 155044, NP 307) and was rescued by Hancock's helicopter about 90 miles NE of Dong Hoi after his Skyhawk was hit by 37mm AAA on a daylight Steel Tiger strike on a section of road near Ban Topen. 1435 A-4 in the water off the starboard beam at (130 deg.) at five (5) miles. Ships position 17-51.9W 107-50.9E. Water depth 43 fathoms. 1441 Pilot out of water. 1503 Received information on Pilot Name: LCdr Hunter. Plane side number 307. Plane BuNo 505044 (sic). Squadron VA-212. Medical report Pilot alright scratched knee taking X Rays. Weather condition clear sky with visibility of five (5) miles Sea temp 75 Air temp 77 with three foot seas aircraft downed by enemy fire and could not be controlled. USS Hancock deck log, Sunday, 15 March 1970.
October 22, 1970 to June 3, 1971: VA-212 with CVW-21 in USS 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 USS 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: Cdr. Henry Hooker Strong (VA-212 CO) was killed during a strike on the Ben Thuy road bridge three miles S of Vinh. His aircraft (BuNo 155045, NP 301) was last seen by his wingman as he rolled in on the target. There wasn't any sign of wreckage or an ejection and was most likely lost to AAA.
July 9, 1972: Cdr. Frank Gifford Green (BuNo 154972, NP 312) was killed when he flew into the ground while attacking a truck on a road near Dam Khanh, 50 miles S of Hanoi in a light haze at night.
September 6, 1972: Lt. W. F. Pear in Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo 155021, 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, 27, ejected safely when his NAS Lemoore based A4 Skyhawk (BuNo 155020) developed engine trouble while on a routine post maintenance check flight Monday. The plane crashed into a farmer's field 5 miles NE of Hanford and Schwab, attached to VA-212 at Lemoore, walked to a house and phoned the base to report the crash. He was picked up by a helicopter and returned to Lemoore. Bakersfield Californian, Wednesday, 14 March 1973.
May 8, 1973 to January 8, 1974: VA-212 with CVW-21 in USS 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, USS 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 Skyraider (sic) (BuNo 155032 ) crashed in a big ball of flame 12 miles east of Hawthorne, NV Friday. The A-4F based at NAS Lemoore was temporarily assigned to NAS Fallon for training. Redlands Daily Facts, Saturday, July 13, 1974 and Bakersfield Californian, Tuesday, July 16, 1974. A young pilot with about 800 hours was scheduled for a low level navigation exercise flight of two A-4 Skyhawks and assigned as safety pilot and observer flying in the chase position while the other pilot was the flight leader. During the brief the chase pilot was instructed to keep the lead pilot in sight at all times and to ensure the safety of the flight. When told to maintain the same altitude as the lead he said something to the effect that "you'll probably see me below you." The lead pilot maintained an altitude of 200-400 feet and observed the chase pilot below him on several occasions. At one of the checkpoints the chase pilot acknowledged the leads radio transmission, but there was no visual sighting. Six minutes later at the next checkpoint there was no acknowledgment of the leads radio transmission and the lead pilot climbed in an attempt to gain visual or radio contact without success. Lead then began to retrace the route and requested SAR assistance and the crash site of the chase aircraft was located about two-thirds of the way up the side of a small hill where it had impacted at high speed in a slightly nose high attitude killing the pilot instantly. NAN, Pettibone, April 1975.
March 18, 1975 to October 20, 1975: VA-212 with CVW-21 in USS Hancock CVA 19 deployed to WestPac flying the A-4F Skyhawk.
September 15, 1975: Lt(jg). Bruce Carrier, 25, (VA-212) was killed when his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 154185) crashed into the South China sea 50 miles SW of Cubi Point and three miles from the USS Hancock. Carrier was assigned to VA-212 aboard the USS Hancock. The Argus, Fremont - Newark, CA, Thursday, September I9, 1975 and The Transcript, Friday, September 19, 1975.
December 12, 1975: Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED TWELVE (VA-212) was disestablished at Naval Air Station Lemoore.
1961-62: Black Diamonds Skyhawk BuNo 148442, NP-694, waiting its turn behind BuNo 149583 on the port cat. VA-212 NP-228 is in the foreground behind Black Diamonds BuNo 147835, NP-684. G. Bragg.
1962-63: BuNo 142832, NP-213, and BuNo 142850, AH-200 about 1963-63. U.S. Navy photo via Tom Bispo.
JAN64: Catapault Officer gives the go sign to Rampant Raiders LTJG Gilvertson in Skyhawk BuNo 150137, NP-212, aboard the Hanna. Naval Aviation News Photo.
Circa 1965-66: BuNo 149652 over Patuxent River. Note it is labeled as a "YA-4E", and served with NATC as a "Service Test" aircraft from 01 APR 1965 to 15 AUG 1966 when it went to NAS Lemoore.
1966: U.S.S. Hancock: Rampant Raiders Skyhawk BuNo 150000, NP-222, being guided across the deck of the Hanna by a plane handler using a tillie bar. Photographer unknown.
20DEC66: Briteye parachute flares on Rampant Raiders Skyhawk BuNo 150006, NP-230, aboard the Bonnie Dick. U.S. Navy photo.
1966-67: Black Diamonds Skyhawk BuNo 148442, NP-694, manned and ready aboard the Hanna. VA-212 BuNo 152044, NP-231, is between 694 and VF-211 Crusader NP-101. G. Bragg.
MAR67: Unknown VA-212 Rampant Raiders A-4E Skyhawk launches from the USS Bon Homme Richard. Official U.S. Navy photo.
11MAR67: BuNo.149971. "1st Walleye flight over Vietnam" is what the photo lab caption says. It's VA-212 A-4E BuNo 149971 NP-232 on the deck of the Bonne Homme Richard dated 11 March 1967. The name on the plane looks like Lt Wiley Decarli. Official U.S. Navy from Gary Verver Collection. "Pilot on the left is Tom Taylor, who was TAD from China Lake. The pilot on the right is Homer Smith, VA-212 CO at the time," per Wiley Decarli.
MAY67: CDR Homer L. Smith boards NP-200 of VA-212. MAY67 NAN.
1967: U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard: NP-231, BuNo.150003, flown by VA-212 off the U.S.S Bon Homme Richard during the 1967 WestPac Cruise vents fuel from a large hole in the right wing. (first of 4 photos) Ray Powell. BuNo.150003, NP-231, 2 of 4 photos of NP-231, BuNo.150003, flown by VA-212 off the U.S.S Bon Homme Richard during the 1967 WestPac Cruise. Fuel venting from the right wing. Ray Powell. BuNo.150003, NP-231, 3 of 4 photos of NP-231, BuNo.150003, flown by VA-212 off the U.S.S Bon Homme Richard during the 1967 WestPac Cruise. Fuel venting from the right wing has stopped. The bird is running on the fuselage tank and best be getting back to the nest very soon. The Driver has dropped his gear and tailhook, and it looks possible that the bird might make it home. Ray Powell. BuNo.150003, NP-231, 4 of 4 photos of NP-231, BuNo.150003, flown by VA-212 off the U.S.S Bon Homme Richard during the 1967 WestPac Cruise. This shot clearly shows the extent of the combat damage to the right wing. Fuel venting from the right wing has stopped. Ray Powell.
25 April 1967 BuNo151102 receives fatal combat damage. LTJG A.R. Crebo is recoverd.
14JUN67: First in a sequence of photos of Walleyes being loaded and launched. VA-212 A-4E's being loaded with Walleyes on board U.S.S. Bonne Homme Richard on 14 June 1967. BuNo 151113, NP-223, with ordies loading a Walleye on the #2 external wing rack. U.S. Navy Photograph from Gary Verver Collection. Second in a sequence of photos of Walleyes being loaded and launched. VA-212 A-4E's being loaded with Walleyes on board U.S.S. Bonne Homme Richard on 14 June 1967. BuNo 151113, NP-223, with ordies making the wing rack connections. U.S. Navy Photograph from Gary Verver Collection. Third in a sequence of photos of Walleyes being loaded and launched. VA-212 A-4E's being loaded with Walleyes on board U.S.S. Bonne Homme Richard on 14 June 1967. BuNo 151113, NP-223, with ordies attaching the Walleye fins. U.S. Navy Photograph from Gary Verver Collection. Fourth in a sequence of photos of Walleyes being loaded and launched. VA-212 A-4E's on board U.S.S. Bonne Homme Richard on 14 June 1967. (l-r) BuNo 149652 NP-233, BuNo 151113 NP-223 and BuNo 149959 NP-232, each armed with a Walleye. U.S. Navy Photograph from Gary Verver Collection. Fifth and last in a sequence of photos of Walleyes being loaded and launched.
1967: A-4E Skyhawk landing on the Bonnie Dick. Rampant Raider Skyhawk as seen from the USS Bon Homme Richard's starboard catapult track - looking aft in 1967. Photograph by and courtesy of Speedy Gonzalez.
1967 SE Asia: Rampant Raiders Skyhawk BuNo 151102, NP-225, parked on the ramp. F-8E Crusaders BuNo 150660 and BuNo 150917 tail code DB in the background. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
MAR67: VA-212 BuNo 151154. USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) - Catapults an A-4 "Skyhawk" attack plane, during operations off Vietnam, March 1967. Photographed by JOC R.D. Moeser, USN. Official U.S. Navy Photograph - Photo #: USN 1142110. From Gary Verver.
1967: 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; Pilot to right - unknown.
18SEP67: VA-212 Skyhawk and Walleye over Vietnam. U.S. Navy photograph, Gary Verver Collection. VA-212 Skyhawk and Walleye over Vietnam. Cropped shot of the previous. U.S. Navy photograph, Gary Verver Collection.
1967: VA-212 A-4Es over Vietnam. USN Navy via Ray Powell.
1967: VA-212 A-4E over Vietnam. USN Navy via Ray Powell.
1967: BuNo.149652 in Sept. 67 while being refueled by VAH-4 KA-3B Skywarrior BuNo 142654. Gary Verver Collection.
1967: VA-212 A-4E BuNo 151191, NP-220, and BuNo 151154, NP-221 in-flight with MERS and iron bombs. From Verver Collection.
1968: BuNo 154983 on the far left, with two squadron mates loaded for a mission. 154983 will survive combat and later become a Blue Angel. Photo from Richard Mylar.
Circa 1968: Right front view of VA-212 Rampant Raiders A-4F Skyhawk BuNo 155012, NP-306, on the ramp next to VA-212 A-4F BuNo 155043, NP-310, NAS Lemoore. Name below the canopy is LT Tim Bauer. Copyright R.W. Harrison.
20MAY68: A-4F BuNo.154991 on the way to Vinh Son, the pilot in the plane is LTJG Terry Rieder. Photo taken by, and provided by, LCDR Pete Reed, VA-212 1967 - 1969.
1968: Unknown VA-212 A-4F plugged in on the deck of CV-31, U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard sometime in 1968. Photo provided by LCDR Pete Reed, VA-212 1967 - 1969.
MAY69: Rampant Raiders Skyhawk BuNo 154618, NP-521, parked on the line next to an A-7 Corsair. J. Geer.
AUG 1969: Rampant Raiders Skyhawk BuNo 155064, NP-302, parked on the ramp next to NP-303. Nick Williams.
Circa 1969: Left front view of VA-212 Rampant Raiders TA-4F Skyhawk BuNo 154618, NP-521, on the ramp, location unknown. Copyright R.W. Harrison.
SEP 1969: VA-55 Warhorses, VA-212 Rampant Raiders and VA-164 Ghost Riders A-4F Skyhawks (l-r: NP-310, NP-308, NP-315, NP-501, NP-512, NP-406 and NP-412), USS Hancock, September 1969. VF-211 Checkmates F-8J Crusader BuNo 148710, NP-103, in the foreground.
09 February 1970: A-4F BuNo 155005, NP-307, diverted to Da Nang with a hung bomb and blown main tire, veered off the runway on touchdown and rolled over. Photo from Doug Cooper.
May 1970 : A-4F BuNo 155045, NP-301, parked in the hangar with a pair of drop tanks, iron bombs and ZUNI's. Name on the side is CDR E D Shropshire, Eagle One. Probably an Armed Forces Day Open House. Gary Verver Collection.
1970: The "Hancock" - 1970 USS Hancock CVA-19, with the VA-212 Rampant Raiders cruises the tropical Yankee Station waters. Photograph from Doug Cooper.
1970: A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 155012. VA-212 A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 155012, side number NP 306 assigned to USS Hancock CVA-19, cruising the friendly skies. Please note the double bubble tanks as opposed to a combat configuration of a single centerline tank. Sometime in 1970 possibly between Hancock cruises. Photograph from Doug Cooper.
1970 DaNang: Rampant Raiders Skyhawk BuNo 155047, NP-311, parked on the ramp next to F-8 Crusader, NP-103. "Boom" Powell.
1970: Sunset Skyhawk - 1970. A VA-212 Rampant Raider A-4F cruises at sundown. Photograph from Doug Cooper.
Dec 1970: Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-303 in flight with Mt Fuji in the background. Photo from Jim Polen.
1970: A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 155043. Rampant Raider A-4F Skyhawk BuNo. 155043 side number NP 310 from the USS Hancock, dirty and ready to land at Naval Air Station Atsugi, December 21, 1970. Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
1970-71: USS Hancock at Hong Kong. VA-164 Ghost Riders Skyhawk NP-414 on deck (left), VA-212 Rampant Raiders Skyhawk (middle) & VA-55 Warhorses Skyhawk (right) on deck while docked in Hong Kong. Photo by Jim Polen.
1970-71: SS Hancock Rampant Raiders flight deck trouble shooter AE-3 Jim Polen during pre-launch. Photo by Jim Polen.
1970-71: 1970-71 USS Hancock Skyhawk NP-301, deck crew & pilot during pre launch. Photo by Jim Polen.
1970-71: 1970-71 USS Hancock Skyhawk NP-300 ready for cat shot. Photo by Jim Polen.
1970-71: 1970-71 USS Hancock Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-301 & pilot ready for launch. Photo by Jim Polen.
1970-71: 1970-71 USS Hancock Skyhawk NP-310 & pilot during pre launch. Photo by Jim Polen.
1970-71: 1970-71 USS Hancock Rampant Raiders Skyhawk going down the stbd cat. Photo by Jim Polen.
1970-71: 1970-71 USS Hancock Rampant Raiders Skyhawk tanker NP-304 being positioned forward after recovery. Photo by Jim Polen.
1970-71: 1970-71 USS Hancock Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-314 on deck at right while docked in Hong Kong. Photo by Jim Polen.
1971-72: A-4F Skyhawks in the hangar bay of CVA-19.
1972: An A-4F Skyhawk of Attack Squadron (VA) 212 NP-305 passes by a Landing Signal Officer (LSO) on its way to trapping on board the carrier Hancock (CVA 19) off Vietnam.
BuNo 155045, VA-212 NP-301, on the ramp.
1972: Rampant Raiders Skyhawks spotted forward, on station in the Gulf of Tonkin. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Rampant Raiders Skyhawk spotted by the Hancock's island forward of a VAW-111 Willy Fudd. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 USS Hancock Hangar Bay 2 looking forward, Ghost Riders Skyhawk NP-405 in foreground and Rampant Raiders Skyhawk in the background. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 USS Hancock hangar bay 1 looking aft, VA-164 Ghost Riders Skyhawk NP-414 at right. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 USS Hancock Rampant Raiders ordies arming a squadron Skyhawk with Mk-82 500 lb bombs. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 VA-164 Ghost Riders AE3 Kem "Moe" Muller, AE flight deck troubleshooter in front of Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-302. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-305 assigned to LT Lee Lewis readies for launch with LTJG Turk. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-306 aft of the stbd cat waiting for its turn to launch. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-310 being moved into positon on the stbd cat for the next launch. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-302 at full power and ready for the cat shot. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Rampant Raiders UNREP ammo party breaking down skids of 500 lb bombs so they can be put in roll away carts. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Rampant Raiders Skyhawk NP-314 spotted aft of the stbd JBD awaiting its turn for launch. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 USS Hancock - Rampant Raiders AO3 Kistler carting two 500 lb bombs across the deck. AB-314 and other Rampant Raider Skyhawks lined up at left. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Rampant Raiders Skyhawk at full power on the port cat awaiting launch. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Raiders Skyhawk launches from the port cat. Photo by Jim Polen.
1972: 1972 Skyhawk launched from the port cat and is airborn. Photo by Jim Polen.
April 1973: BuNo 154975, NP-307, and Warhorses Skyhawk BuNo 155000, NP-511, parked on the flight line at NAS North Island. Doug Siegfried via Tailhook Association.
Circa 1973: aboard Hancock, CVA-19, one of VA-212's tankers with attached dummy missile parked out in the open for the Russians to photograph. Bill Pope of VA-55.
Circa 1973?: An air-to-air right side view of two RF-8 Crusader aircraft being refueled by two A-4 Skyhawk aircraft. At top VFP-63 RF-8G BuNo 144607, NP-613 and VA-212 A-4F BuNo 155xxx, NP-314. At bottom VFP-63 RF-8G BuNo 146853, NP-611 and VA-212 A-4F BuNo 155xxx, NP-312. U.S.N.
Circa 1973: BuNo 154997, NP-300, parked on the ramp with a pair of drop tanks and TER's. Perhaps Lemoore? Gary Verver Collection
1971-1975: VA-212 Rampant Raiders A-4F Skyhawk BuNo 155039, NP-305, with a Shrike missile and MER's with Mk-81's. Official U.S. Navy photo.
JUN75: BuNo.154970 June, 1975. Photo by Isamu Yatsuhashi and courtesy of Masaaki Hayakawa.
1975: likely NAF Atsugi BuNo 155030, NP-303, taxies. Gary Verver Collection.
1970-71: VA-212 maintenance crew aboard CVA-19 enjoying time off-duty. Jim Polen picture.
"Cubi Bar" in Pensacola.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit: