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Drawn by Bud Southworth
li>194? - - Reserve Fighter Squadron XXX (unknown).
1961 - - Reserve Attack Squadron XXX (Unknown).
1968 - - Reserve Attack Squadron VA XXX (Unknown).
August 31, 1970 - - Reserve Attack Squadron VA-204 River Rattlers patch pictured above was approved.
1991 - - Reserve Fighter Attack Squadron VFA-204 River Rattlers used the established patch revising only the VA to VFA wording on the scroll.
Harry S. Gann
Unknown- - - - - - 194? - Reserve Fighter Squadron VF-XXX
Unknown- - - - - - 1961 - Reserve Attack Squadron VA-XXX
Unknown- - - - - - 1968 - Reserve Attack Squadron VA-XXX
River Rattlers - - July 1, 1970 - Reserve Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VA-204).
River Rattlers - - May 1, 1991 to the present - Reserve Strike Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VFA-204).
194x - - Reserve Fighter Squadron XXX (VF-XXX) established at Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee.
1961 - - Reserve Fighter Squadron XXX (VF-XXX) was redesignated as Reserve Attack Squadron XXX (VA-XXX) at Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee.
1968 - - Reserve Attack Squadron XXX (VA-XXX) was redesignated as Reserve Squadron VA-XXX at Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee.
July 1, 1970 - - Reserve Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VA-204) River Rattlers established at Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee, using Reserve Attack Squadron VA-XXX assets.
October 1, 1989 - - Reserve Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VA-204) River Rattlers redesignated as Strike Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VFA-204) River Rattlers at Naval Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana.
194x - - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee.
1970 - - - - - - - - - Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
January 1978 - - - - - Naval Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana.
July 1, 1970 - - - - - - AF - - - - - - CVWR-20
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
194X - - - - - - - - - Grumman F6F Hellcat.
194X - - - - - - - - - Chance Vought F4U Corsair.
1950's - - - - - - - - Grumman F9F-6 Cougar.
1961 - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk *
1960's - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
July 1, 1970 - - - - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk *
August 1970- - - - - - Douglas A-4L Skyhawk.
March 15, 1978 - - - - Vought A-7B Corsair II.
June 1986- - - - - - - Vought A-7E Corsair II.
April 1991 - - - - - - Boeing FA-18 Hornet.
* November 30, 1962
1983: ransition to A-7E ??-
The A4D-1 designation was changed to A-4A
The A4D-2 designation was changed to A-4B
The A4D-2N designation was changed to A-4C
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
No info yet
July 1970 - - - - - - - CDR A. R. Scharff, Jr.
July 1972 - - - - - - - CDR Theodore B. Hannah
January 1974- - - - - - CDR Sidney C. Dabbs
July 1975 - - - - - - - CDR Kenneth C. Juergens
February 1977 - - - - - CDR James S. Greenwood
September 1978- - - - - CDR Norris J. Flagler
March 1980- - - - - - - CDR James A. Cook
October 1981- - - - - - CDR Edwin R. Phelps III
January 1983- - - - - - CDR Joseph A. Chronic
April 1984- - - - - - - CAPT Kenneth A. McCluskey
March 1985- - - - - - - CDR Donald R. Roesh
September 1986- - - - - CDR Robert O. Buschmann
March 1988- - - - - - - CDR Douglas R. Fischer
July 1989 - - - - - - - CDR Keith R. LaFlair
July 1990 - - - - - - - CDR Ronald J. Roshelli
July 1991 - - - - - - - CDR D. L. Kloeppel
January - December 1984
No additional info
194x: About 1948 a Reserve Fighter Unit XXX (VF-XXX) was established at Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee. The Reserve Fighter Unit was probably assigned the Grumman F6F Hellcat (Whistling Outhouse) for its first aircraft. Sometime during the Korean War (about 1950) the Squadron was probably assigned the Chance Vought F4U Corsair. After the Korean War (about 1954) the Squadron was probably assigned the Grumman F9F-6 Cougar.
1961: The Reserve Fighter Unit XXX (VF-XXX) was probably redesignated as Reserve Attack Squadron XXX (VA-XXX) at Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee. The Squadron was probably assigned the Douglas A-4A (A4D-1) Skyhawk.
1968: Reserve Attack Squadron XXX (VA-XXX) was probably redesignated as Reserve Squadron XXX (VA-XXX) at Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee. Reserve Squadron XXX (VA-XXX) was probably assigned the Douglas A-4B (A4D-2) Skyhawk.
July 1, 1970: The Navy Reserve Force concept was implemented and Reserve Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VA-204) River Rattlers were established at Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee, using assets of Reserve Attack Squadron XXX (VA-XXX). For Skyhawk Association purposes Reserve Squadron VA-XXX was redesignated VA-204 when Naval Air Reserve Units were combined into a newly established Carrier Air Wing 20 (East Coast AF) and Carrier Air Wing 30 (West Coast ND). The new VA-204 was assigned the Douglas A-4L Skyhawk and some Douglas A-4C Skyhawks. About 100 A-4C Skyhawks were remanufactured into the hot-rod A-4L.
February 7, 1971: LCdr. Sid C. Dabbs ejected safely and his A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 149579 crashed into a field about six miles from its base at NAS Memphis while on a landing approach.
May 1972: VA-204 River Rattlers participated in exercise Exotic Dancer V, designed to test multi-service operations under a unified command organization.
April 7, 1974: A-4C BuNo 149539 -A single-engine Navy jet fighter crashed and burned at the Anniston-Calhoun County Airport Sunday, but the pilot walked away unhurt from the burning aircraft. A spokesman at Ft. McClellan said today Lt. Cmdr. Paul E. Burke, Jr. was on a training flight from Memphis Naval Air Station. The spokesman said the A-4 fighter lost power about 10,000 feet over Cheaha (AL) and made a crash landing at the (Anniston, AL) airport. Burke was taken to Noble Army Hospital where he was released after treatment for minor back injuries. According to eye witnesses, the plane “fell out of the sky” and crashed just short of the runway. One Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) official said there was no radio contact with the pilot before the crash. Another FAA official said the plane skidded about 250 feet down the runway engulfed in flames. “I thought that man would be a ball of coal, but then the plane stopped and he was slumped over in the cockpit for a minute and then he just got up and walked out. The flames were all around him.” Four fire trucks from Anniston and Oxford were sent to the scene and according to firemen the fire was extinguished in about three minutes. The airport was closed from the time of the crash at 2:14 p.m. until 7:15 p.m.
March 6, 1975: Lt. Gary Carver was killed and LCdr. James S. Greenwood, 35, ejected safely following a mid-air collision with 147843 south of Batesville Thursday while on a routine training flight from NAS Millington. Hope (AR) Star, Friday, March 7, 1975. Lt. Gary Carver, 32, was killed and LCdr. James S. Greenwood, 35, ejected safely following a mid-air collision between their Skyhawks. The planes crashed about four miles west of Pleasant Plains in Independence County at about 4 p.m. LCdr. Greenwood said the jets were maneuvering into formation for a return flight to NAS Millington. "We had just finished some air tactics around Heber Springs ranging anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 feet. We were rendezvousing for the return flight when we had a mid-air." El Dorado News-Times, Saturday, 08 March 1975.
"For those of you who were not part of the squadron at that time, LT Gary Carver was killed at about 1700 on March 6, 1975 in an A4 mid air collision with LCDR Jim Greenwood over the tactical operating area in eastern Arkansas. It happened on a Thursday just before the March drill weekend.
Since drill weekend was in two days Gary's funeral was scheduled for 1 PM on Sunday in Bowling Green. Jim Cook, who was the OinC at that time, arranged with the VR Reserve squadron at Memphis to fly all of the VA-204 officers to and from Bowling Green for the funeral. Two things that I remember about the funeral very well. First was the great eulogy that Sid Dabbs, who was the CO, delivered. Second was when the funeral procession passed by, everyone got out of their car and bowed their heads I'm not sure if that was because they knew a veteran had passed away or because that is the custom for funerals in that area.
REST IN PEACE GARY -- WE'VE MISSED YOU
To complete the story about the accident from Jim's point of view that he related to me recently.
(This was Jim's second ejection as he ejected from a damaged F-4 in Viet Nam over the Gulf of Tonkin but near the shoreline. Jim's RIO was captured by the Viet Cong and spent many years as a POW. Because of the ejection sequence and delay between the rear seat firing and front seat firing Jim was far enough out that he was not captured but rescued by a helo.)
June 11, 1975: The pilot of an A-4L Skyhawk BuNo 147723 parachuted to safety Tuesday night when his plane began to burn as it approached a runway at the Memphis Naval Air Station at Millington, a base spokesman said. Lt. Comm. Norris Flagler of Overland Park. Kan., escaped unhurt after he heard an explosion and saw flames coming from the fighter as he prepared to land, the spokesman said.
August 23, 1975: A-4L BuNo 148530
January 1978: Reserve Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VA-204) River Rattlers moved to Naval Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana.
March 15, 1978: Reserve Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VA-204) River Rattlers were assigned the Vought A-7B Corsair II.
Feb 1980: VA-204 River Rattlers participated with a combined NATO force in exercise Safe Passage conducted near Naval Air Station Bermuda.
May 1, 1991: Reserve Attack Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VA-204) River Rattlers were redesignated as Strike Fighter Squadron TWO HUNDRED FOUR (VFA-204) River Rattlers at Naval Air Station New Orleans, Louisiana. The Squadron was assigned the Boeing FA-18 Hornet.
Webmaster note: Prior to 1970, reserve aircraft belonged to the local NARTU or Reserve Naval Air Station. Except for those squadrons on active duty, as in Korea, no reserve squadron "owned" their aircraft, as they were assigned to the NARTU/Station. In 1970, during that reorganization of the reserves into the "Reserve Force" concept, each new squadron was made independent of NARTU (later called NAR), and assigned either to CVWR-20 or CVWR-30. All squadrons were then made in the image of active duty units, with the reserve unit Commanding Officer owning the aircraft and reporting to the CAG.
Circa 1970-78: A-4L of VA-204, probably at NAS Cecil Field, FL. Forrest Thibeault photo provided by Scott Turchin.
1971: VA-204 BuNo 147723 aboard the JFK, CVA-67. From Gary Verver.
Terci Pelos Skyhawk, BuNo unknown, AF-405, on target for the three wire. Photo from Dave Dollarhide.
Terci Pelos Skyhawk, BuNo unknown, AF-407, drags out the arresting wire. Photo from Dave Dollarhide.
204 deploys to NAAS Fallon for training. Bob Grumpright.
1973: BuNo.147736 and 147768 in the air near NAAS Fallon during 204's 1973 deployment. Bob Grumpright.
VA-204 Line Division, probably at NAAS Fallon. Bob Grumpright.
VA-204 IT Training Class. Bob Grumpright.
SEP73: Skyhawks BuNo 147843, AF-403, and BuNo 149583, AF-404, on the flight elevator. Naval Aviation News via Tom Bispo.
Terci Pelos Skyhawk BuNo 148487, AF-406, parked on the ramp. Rob Mignard.
1974: BuNo 149640, AF-401, parked on the line. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
Terci Pelos Skyhawk BuNo 150598, AF-413, parked on the line with an empty MER. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
Circa 1976-77: Enroute to bomb Arkansas Ft. Chaffee range from NAS Memphis. Summer 1976 or 1977.
BuNo 150598, VA-204 AF-413, on the ramp.
20 JUN 1976: Left rear view of VA-204 Terci Pelos A-4L Skyhawk BuNo 150598, AF-413, on the ramp, Richards-Gebour AFB. Copyright R.W. Harrison.
VA-204 A-4L 148611 on the ramp.
Date unknown: BuNo 148611, AF-400. Gary Verver.
JUL75: BuNo 148490, AF-403. Gary Verver.
Date unknown: BuNo 149593 AF-415. Gary Verver.
1976: : BuNo 145077, AF-410, parked. Gary Verver.
1977: BuNo 150598, AF-413 on the ramp. Gary Verver
Date unknown: BuNo 150598 and 148586, A-4L AF-413 and A-4L AF-414. Gary Verver
VA-204 Basketball Team, possibly 1973. Bob Grumpright.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to VA-204: