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Commander Kenneth B. Russell
Commander Kenneth B. Russell, age 76, of East Boothbay, Maine, passed away at Radius Healthcare Center in Danvers, Massachusetts, on Sunday, May 24, 2009, following a courageous battle with Parkinsons disease Cdr. Russell was born February 2, 1933, in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, to the late Winslow and Francis Russell. He graduated from Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine in 1950. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and was commissioned to the U.S. Navy. In 1958, he received his wings and toured as a naval fighter pilot with the AJ Savages, the A-4 Skyhawks, and flew with VA-86 until 1962 aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Independence. He spent two years at the Navy Postgraduate School earning a Masters degree in Operations Analysis, followed by two years working in the Pentagon. In March 1966, Cdr. Russell returned to flying A-4s, making a Vietnam deployment aboard the USS Roosevelt in VA-12 and a Mediterranean deployment aboard the USS Shangrila in VA-81. After transitioning to the A-6 Intruder fighter jet, he was assigned as Commanding Officer of VA-35 in 1971. In 1974, Cdr. Russell reported to the Navy Recruiting District Boston and became Commanding Officer in 1975. By that time, he had moved to Acton, Massachusetts, with his wife and love of his life, Tudy, whom he married on April 20th, 1974, at the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia Cdr. Russells final tour was four years as Executive Officer and Director of Undergraduate Training at the NROTC Unit at M.I.T. in Boston, MA. Following retirement in 1980, he spent ten years teaching NJROTC at Athol High School in central Massachusetts, followed by nine years in industry at the Haartz Corporation in Acton, Massachusetts. Cdr. Russell retired to East Boothbay, Maine (previously his summer residence) in 1999 Cdr. Russell will best be known for his deeply unconditional love of his family, his unwavering support for his country, his pride of his military service, and his dedication and commitment to the communities in which he has lived. He was a pillar of strength and care for strangers as well as loved ones, and took great pride in always doing everything in the most proper, respectful, and efficient manner. From sailing his sailboats, to cheering on the local high school football teams, to singing his grandchildren lullabies, he was an eternally captivating and spirited man who made each person feel important and loved. Cdr. Russell is survived by his wife Tudy; his son Ken and wife Amy; his son Greg and wife Jen; his daughter Betsy; his daughter Heather and husband Rick, and his daughter Dana and husband Evan; his ten grandchildren, and his brother Win. He is pre-deceased by his younger brother Peter, who died in combat on May 25th, 1969.
VBF-4 & VF-2A - 1945
VF-12 Kiss of Death - 1949
Drawn by Bud Southworth
VA-12 Kiss of Death - 1955
The VBF-4's first patch, "Bombing And Fighting" was approved 19 DEC 1945. This patch is displayed above.
VF-2A used the "Bombing And Fighting" patch from 1946 to 1948.
VF-12 designed a new "Kiss of Death" patch which was approved September 29, 1949. The lower banner read - Fighter Squadron Twelve.
When VF-12 was re-designated as VA-12, in 1955, the squadron continued using the "Kiss of Death" patch but changed the banner wording to "Attack Squadron Twelve." This patch was used until VA-12 was disestablished in 1986. This patch is displayed above.
When VA-12 flew the A-4E in Vietnam from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 on 21 JUN 1966 to 21 FEB 1967 the troops used the patch displayed above.
Some Page Sources:
Dallas H. Willingham Jr.
Harry S. Gann
1945 to 1982: (Flying) Ubangis
1982 to 1986: Clinchers
12 MAY 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron FOUR (VBF-4) established.
15 NOV 1946: VBF-4 re-designated Fighter Squadron TWO A (VF-2A).
02 AUG 1948: VF-2A re-designated Fighter Squadron TWELVE (VF-12).
01 AUG 1955: VF-12 re-designated Attack Squadron TWELVE (VA-12).
-1 OCT 1986: Attack Squadron TWELVE dis-established.
12 MAY 1945: NAS Alameda
21 MAY 1945: NAAS Watsonville
02 JUL 1945: NAS Wildwood
09 SEP 1945: NAAS Groton
18 JAN 1946: NAS Norfolk
15 JUL 1946: NAS San Diego (North Island)
21 FEB 1949: NAS Norfolk
25 FEB 1949: NAAS Cecil Field
24 MAR 1950: NAS Jacksonville
25 MAR 1951: NAAS Cecil Field
07 OCT 1951: NAS Jacksonville
28 FEB 1952: NAAS Cecil Field
16 MAY 1952: NAS Jacksonville
13 OCT 1952: NAS Cecil Field
Date - - - - Tail Code - - - Air Group
12 MAY 1945 - - - T† - CVG-4/CVAG-1/CVG-1*
20 JAN 1958 - - - AK - CVG-10
05 DEC 1960 - - - AB - CVG-1/CVW-1‡
25 AUG 1968 - - - AJ - CVW-8
1971 - - - - - - AG - CVW-7
* 15 NOV 1946 - CVG-4 was re-designated CVAG-1 and 01 SEP 1948 - CVG-1.
† In JAN 1946 - CVG-4 assigned the tail code T when assigned to the carrier Tarawa CV 40.
‡ 29 DEC 1963 Carrier Air Groups were re-designated Carrier Air Wings.
Date Type First Received - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
MAY 1945: Grumman F6F Hellcat
May 1945: North American SNJ Trainer
SEP 1945: Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair
MAY 1947: Grumman F8F-1/1B Bearcat
MAY 1947: F6F-5P Grumman Hellcat
SEP 1950: McDonnell F2H-1 Banshee
DEC 1950: McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee
DEC 1955: Chance Vought F7U-3 Cutlass
li>APR 1957: Douglas A4D-1 Skyhawk (A-4A)*
JAN 1958: Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk(A-4B)*
JAN 1962: Douglas A4D-2N Skyhawk (A-4C)*
MAR 1965: Douglas A-4E Skyhawk
MAR 1967: Douglas A-4C Skyhawk
* November 30, 1962
A4D-1 Skyhawk designation changed to A-4A.
A4D-2 Skyhawk designation changed to A-4B.
A4D-2N Skyhawk designation changed to A-4C.
APR 1971: Chance Vought A-7E Corsair II
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
Departure & Return - - - - - - Air Wing - - - - Carrier - - - - Aircraft - - - - - Area of Operations
28 JUN 1946 to 15 JUL 1946: CVG-4 - CV 40 - F4U-4 - Transit to West Coast via Panama Canal
01 AUG 1946 to 29 APR 1947: CVG-4/CVAG-1 - CV 40 - F4U-4 - Western Pacific
CVG-1 patch from Joe Kyle
01 OCT 1948 to 21 FEB 1949: CVG-1 - CV 40 - F8F-1 - World Cruise
20 MAR 1951 to 06 OCT 1951: CVG-1 - CVB 43 - F2H-2 - Mediterranean
24 MAY 1952 to 11 OCT 1952: CVG-1 - CV 18 - F2H-2 - Mediterranean/NorLant
11 JUN 1953 to 02 DEC 1953: CVG-1 - CVA 42 - F2H-2 - Mediterranean
27 DEC 1954 to 14 JUL 1955: CVG-1 - CVA 41 - F2H-2 - World Cruise
02 SEP 1958 to 12 MAR 1959: CVG-10 - CVA 59 - A4D-2 - Mediterranean
06 SEP 1960 to 20 SEP 1960: CVG-10 - CVA 38 - A4D-2 - NorLant
14 NOV 1960 to 27 NOV 1960: CVG-10 - CVA 38 - A4D-2 - Caribbean
15 JAN 1961 to 28 AUG 1961: CVG-1 - CVA 42 - A4D-2 - Mediterranean
19 NOV 1961 to 20 NOV 1961: CVG-1 - CVA 42 - A4D-2 - Caribbean
14 SEP 1962 to 22 APR 1963: CVG-1 - CVA 42 - A4D-2N - Mediterranean
28 MAR 1964 to 02 DEC 1964: CVW-1 - CVA 42 - A-4C - Mediterranean
28 JUN 1965 to 17 DEC 1965: CVW-1 - CVA 42 - A-4E - Mediterranean
21 JUN 1966 to 21 FEB 1967: CVW-1 - CVA 42 - A-4E - Western Pacific/Vietnam
24 AUG 1967 to 19 MAY 1968: CVW-1 - CVA 42 - A-4C - Mediterranean
07 JAN 1969 to 29 JUL 1969: CVW-8 - CVA 38 - A-4C - Mediterranean
05 MAR 1970 to 17 DEC 1970: CVW-8 - CVS 38 - A-4C - Western Pacific/Vietnan
16 SEP 1971 to 16 MAR 1972: CVW-7 - CVA 62 - A-7E - NorLant/Mediterranean
21 JUN 1973 to 19 JAN 1974: CVW-7 - CVA 62 - A-7E - Mediterranean
19 JUL 1974 to 21 JAN 1975: CVW-7 - CV 62 - A-7E - Mediterranean
15 OCT 1975 to 05 MAY 1976: CVW-7 - CV 62 - A-7E - NorLant/Mediterranean
31 MAR 1977 to 21 OCT 1977: CVW-7 - CV 62 - A-7E - Mediterranean
16 JAN 1979 to 13 JUL 1979: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - Mediterranean
14 APR 1980 to 22 DEC 1980: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - IO
20 AUG 1981 to 07 OCT 1981: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - NorLant
05 JAN 1982 to 13 JUL 1982: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - Mediterranean
27 APR 1983 to 02 DEC 1983: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - Mediterranean
08 MAY 1984 to 20 JUN 1984: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - NorLant
10 OCT 1984 to 08 MAY 1985: CVW-7 - CVN 69 - A-7E - Mediterranean
Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
12 MAY 1945: LTJG Joseph F. Simpson (acting)
15 MAY 1945: LTJG John S. Tyler (acting)
19 MAY 1945: LCDR John H. Lackey
06 Oct 1945: LCDR William L. Conley
1947: LCDR Richard H. Guinn 21 Jun
07 MAY 1948: LCDR W. H. Kilgore (acting)
02 JUL 1948: LCDR Ronald W. Hoel
1949: LCDR Albert W. Newhall, Jr.
1950: CDR Brainard T. Macomber
1951: LCDR John L. Carter
1952: LCDR John M. Breen
1953: LCDR Hamilton McWhorter
1954: CDR Frederick G. Kidd
AUG 1955: CDR Paul H. Durand
Jan 1957: CDR Marshall P. Deputy, Jr.
10 JAN 1958: CDR Charles A. Pendleton, Jr.
22 JAN 1959: CDR William B. Barrow
MAR 1960: CDR Richard J. Deprez
18 JUN 1961: CDR John E. Hansen
14 JUN 1962: CDR Robert E. Oechslin
14 JUN 1963: CDR Max E. Malan
15 JUN 1964: CDR Burton E. Berglund
30 APR 1965: CDR James D. Whyte
APR 1966: CDR Robert C. Frosio
18 NOV 1966: CDR Gerald P. Barnett
12 NOV 1967: CDR Austin C. O'Brien, Jr.
NOV 1968: CDR Richard M. Fletcher
30 SEP 1969: CDR Walter R. Petersen
10 JUL 1970: CDR Daniel H. L. Gholson
16 JUN 971: LCDR Henry E. Nelson
30 JUN 1972: CDR Anthony A. Less
OCT 1973: CDR John F. Calhoun
1975: CDR James M. Hickerson
14 FEB 1976: CDR Gary W. Mau
10 MAY 1977: CDR David R. Edwards
26 JUL 1978: CDR Richard B. Curtis
01 NOV 1979: CDR Robert A. Maier
26 FEB 1981: CDR Audrey B. Whitten
19 MAY 1982: CDR James M. Gill
01 OCT 1983: CDR Michael W. Samuels
21 MAY 1985: CDR Harry M. Conner
01 Jul 1964 to 30 Jun 1965
06 Jun 1983 to 14 Jun 1983
27 Jul 1983 to 30 Aug 1983
01 Sep 1983 to 19 Oct 1983
27 Oct 1983 to 20 Nov 1983
11 Apr 1970 to 06 Nov 1970
29 Apr 1980 to 16 Jul 1980
22 Jul 1980 to 08 Dec 1980
25 May 1983 to 27 May 1983
29 Apr 1980 to 10 Dec 1980
21 Jul 1983 to 20 Nov 1983
30 Jul 1966
09 Aug 1966 to 12 Sep 1966
01 Oct 1966 to 03 Oct 1966
19 Oct 1966 to 14 Nov 1966
24 Nov 1966 to 28 Dec 1966
20 Jan 1967 to 21 Jan 1967
10 Apr 1970 to 02 May 1970
12 May 1970 to 29 May 1970
13 Jun 1970 to 04 Jul 1970
28 Jul 1970 to 19 Aug 1970
30 Aug 1970 to 30 Sep 1970
20 Oct 1970 to 07 Nov 1970
21 Oct 1966
12 MAY 1945: Bomber-Fighter Squadron FOUR (VBF-4) was established and initially assigned the Grumman F6F Hellcat. A few days later the Flying Ubangis were upgraded to the Chance Vought & Goodyear F4U-1/1D & FG-1/1D Corsairs. In September the squadron was further upgraded to the Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair.
05 OCT 1945: VBF-4 participated in an aerial parade over Washington, D.C., in honor of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. It also engaged in several other air parades and exhibition flights during the month of October.
05 OCT 1945: VBF-4's commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Lackey, was killed during a training flight in a North American SNJ training aircraft.
21 AUG to 19 SEP and NOV through DEC 1946: The squadron operated from Kobler Field, Saipan. Conducted training and preparations for special fleet exercises while shore based.
15 NOV 1946: VBF-4 was re-designated Fighter Squadron TWO A (VF-2A).
MAY 1947: The Flying Ubangis were assigned two new aircraft. The new Grumman F8F-1/1B Bearcat and the trusty old Grumman F6F-5P Hellcat.
02 AUG 1948: VF-2A was re-designated Fighter Squadron TWELVE (VF-12).
SEP 1950: Fighter Squadron TWELVE was assigned a new jet aircraft the McDonnell F2H-1 Banshee. In December the squadron received the Banshee upgrade the F2H-2.
26 APR 1952: The squadron was embarked in USS Wasp CV 18 en route to the Mediterranean when the carrier collided with the USS Hobson (DMS 26) which sank along with her 176 men. There were no injuries to squadron personnel. The squadron's F2H-2s remained aboard until Wasp entered dry dock at New York to repair her catapults which were damaged in the collision.
19 AUG 1953: While operating from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 in the Mediterranean Sea, VF-12's commanding officer, LCdr. Breen was lost at sea.
FEB 1955: VF-12 supported the evacuation of Chinese Nationalist civilians and military personnel from the Tachen Islands which were being bombarded by Red China.
01 AUG 1955: VF-12 was re-designated Attack Squadron TWELVE (VA-12).
DEC 1955: After redesignation as VA-12 the squadron was assigned the Chance Vought F7U-3 Cutlass and the squadron's mission changed from jet intercept to special weapons attack.
APR 1957: Attack Squadron TWELVE was assigned the new Douglas A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk. In January 1958, VA-12 got the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk.
March 25, 1958: Lt(jg). John Wahl, 24, ejected and parachuted safely to an inlet 15 miles south of Jacksonville after staying with his crippled jet (BuNo 142677) until it cleared a heavily populated area. Wahl was at an altitude of 20,000 feet when his A4D developed engine trouble. Another plane at his side and the control tower guided him southward out of the built-up area before the engine quit and the plane crashed in St. John's inlet. The Courier News, 26 March 1958. Lt(jg). John Wahl ejected safely when his Cecil Field based VA-12 A4D (BuNo 142677) crashed in Doctor's inlet 25 March 1958 after an engine failure at 20,000 feet. Divers and salvage crews from NAS Jacksonville recovered everything except the engine which couldn't be found NAS Jacksonville, Florida, 1940-2000: An Illustrated History, By Ronald M. Williamson.
APR 1958: VA-12 Has Another Record -Makes First Jet Landing on Ranger. Attack Squadron 12 chalked up another "first" in its history by making the first jet landing aboard the USS Ranger (CVA-61). During a shake-down cruise in Caribbean waters, Cdr. M.P. Deputy, squadron skipper, became the first Naval Aviator to land a jet aboard the new carrier. VA-12 received their A4D's last year. After a training period. the squadron returned to Cecil Field following a successful cruise. The "Flying Ubangis" tour aboard the USS Ranger makes it the first squadron under ComNavAirLant to deploy A4D Skyhawks for an extended period aboard an aircraft carrier. Naval Aviation News April 1958, Provided by John Gabbard.
October 8, 1958: Lt.(jg) Thomas J. Davis was lost at sea during flight operations from the USS Forrestal (CVA-59). 0800 plane crashed into water off port quarter. Aircraft identified as A4D Skyhawk, tanker BuNo 142691, piloted by Lt.(jg) Thomas J. Davis of VA-12, the Flying Ubangis. Crash site Lat. 33 degrees 17’N; Long. 25 degrees 11.7’E and sank in 1,200 fathoms of water. 0802 Captain Shinn has the conn. All engines back full. 0803 starboard engine ahead standard, port engine stop. 0804 all engines stop. Rudder amidships. Maneuvering while attempting to recover downed pilot. 0805 port lifeboat in water. 0835 port lifeboat aboard. 0840 OOD LTjg. A.L. Mayfield has the conn. 0841 speed 15 knots. 0843 Search negative, no sight of LTjg. Thomas J. Davis. USS Forrestal deck log, 08 October 1958.
January 7, 1959: Cdr. John R. Sullivan perished in A4D-2 BuNo 142686 during CVA-59 (USS Forrestal) flight operations. 2110 detached USS John W. Weeks DD-701 to search for possible downed aircraft from Forrestal. Position Lat. 39 degrees 30’ N. Long. 05 degrees 45’ E. 2136 completed recovery of aircraft. 2138 USS Haynsworth (DD-700), USS Willard Keith (DD-775), USS Dupont (DD-941), USS Ault (DD-698) and USS Waldron (DD-699) were detached to proceed to crash area of possible downed aircraft. 2232 speed 10 knots. 2346 aircraft lost has been confirmed as having crashed into sea. An A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo. 142686 of VA-12 the Flying Ubangis, piloted by Cdr. John Sullivan in 1,500 fathoms of water. Pilot not recovered. USS Forrestal deck log, 07 January 1959. Steaming in company with Task Unit 60.1.2, operating within area Summit presently conducting search for downed pilot Cdr. John Sullivan. Destroyers USS John W. Weeks DD-701, USS Haynsworth DD-700, USS Willard Keith DD-775, USS Dupont DD-941, USS Ault DD-698 and USS Waldron DD-699 are assisting in search for Cdr. Sullivan. 0735 commenced launching aircraft. 0816 maneuvering on various courses and speeds at crash area. 0846 lying to in wind at datum. 0902 object sighted off starboard side, maneuvered to launch lifeboat. 1010 recovered lifeboat. Results negative. UUSS Forrestal deck log, 08 January 1959. The Fifty-Niner, and the entire crew of the USS FORRESTAL, offer their deepest regret and sympathy to the family and friends of Commander John Sullivan, USN of attack Squadron TWELVE, who lost his life in aircraft accident at sea on 7 January 1959.
April 1959 NavAirNews: THE DOUGLAS Skyhawk, with 300-gallon external wing tanks and in-flight refueling capability, has particularly adapted itself to carrier life as, of course, it was designed to do. During recent months, the A4D-2 has been fully evaluated and tested by Attack Squadron 12 aboard the USS Forrestal in the Mediterranean. The increased range and staying power afforded by the configuration helped account for better than four hour simulated strike flights. For a single engine, single piloted aircraft, these routine operations broke endurance records for jets. Most encouraging of all, was the relatively small decrease in performance due to replacing the 15O-gallon standard equipment by the larger tanks. In-flight refueling was instituted on an operational basis by VA-12 on all long navigational flights. The Operations Officer, LCdr. W. H. Sells had pioneered in one other facet of this art - qualifying all pilots in night air- to-air refueling. The progress from buddy store malfunctions on almost every flight, which were recorded right after the squadron had embarked in July, was dramatically demonstrated on 7 October 1958. During the NATO Exercise Crescent Hinge, seven out of seven buddy stores performed their functions without a hitch. This reliability continued. Aboard the Forrestal, VA-12 also helped inaugurate the standby tanker, ready to be shot off with a full fuel load to aid an unfortunate cohort sweating out his Charlie time because of a low-fuel state. But the bread-and-butter operations were the long-range flights. As the world's smallest carrier-borne aircraft, the "mighty mite" more than holds its own, in the specialized light attack field, states the squadron CO, Cdr. C. A. Pendleton. It's the little bird's ease of handling in the air as well as on the flight deck that has evoked sharp praise from pilots and plane handlers alike. Simplicity of design and an on the ball maintenance crew accounted for availability approaching 80% during VA-12s recent deployment as part of CVG-10. However, extra effort usually pays off. During the same month that 705 flight hours were recorded during 16 operating days, the squadron received an AirLant commendation for an above average re-enlistment rate.
June 2, 1959: Lt.(jg) Marshall W. Zinner was killed when his A4D-2 BuNo 142696 crashed in Nassau County about 25 miles north of Jacksonville. Observers stated that the plane was headed for a group of four houses when it suddenly pulled up then exploded after it cleared the houses Ocala, FL, Ocala Star Banner, Wednesday, June 3, 1959.
August 26, 1960: LCdr. Charles F. Knighten was killed . . . 2202 A4D BuNo 142689 of VA-12, pilot LCDR Charles F. Knighten, crashed into ramp. Pilot and portion of aircraft were lost overboard at lat. 30-51N, long. 78-40.5W. USS Rush (DD-714) and USS Fiske (DD-842) commenced search for pilot. Small pieces of wreckage and a JP-5 slick were reported. 2203 Sounded fire quarters. 2210 Mustered crew on stations. No absentees other than those already reported before the crash. 2215 c/c to 050, c/s to 20 knots and proceeded back to the scene of the accident. 2218 Aircraft crash induced fire put out. 2227 Search results negative. USS Shangri-La deck log, Friday, 26 August 1960.
14 NOV to 27 NOV 1960: VA-12, aboard USS Shangri-La CVA 38, was part of the task force ordered to the coast of Central America to counter the infiltration of Cubans into Guatemala and Nicaragua.
November 14, 1961: LCdr. Gordon L. Engel stationed at Cecil Field was killed near Jacksonville, FL, when his A4D Skyhawk (A4D 142719) crashed shortly after takeoff from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Pittsburgh Press, Wednesday, 15 November 1961. 1230 A4D-2 BuNo 142719 of VA-12, pilot LCdr. Gordon R. Engel, crashed into the sea after being catapulted from the Port catapult. The aircraft sank in 18 fathoms of water at Latitude 29-43N, Longitude 80-33.5W. Helicopter 61 and 62 commenced search. Results: negative. 1230 Right full rudder followed by left full rudder to avoid crash. Sounded six (6) short blasts on ships whistle. USS Franklin D. Roosevelt deck log, Tuesday, 14 November 1961.
21 NOV to 27 NOV 1961 VA-12, embarked on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42, operated off the coast of the Dominican Republic to support the newly established government.
JAN 1962 VA-12 received a newer version of the Scooter, the Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk.
APR 1962 VA-12 was selected by CNO to conduct "Operation Trap," a test firing of Bullpup missiles to evaluate their usefulness to the Navy.
June 22, 1962: 0908 Received report that LCdr. George E. Kinnear, VA-12, ejected app. six (6) miles astern of this vessel due to a/c fire; damage to a/c BuNo 148550, strike. Position of accident: Lat. 30-20N, Long. 80-48.5W in 18 fathoms of water. 0916 Helo sighted pilot bearing 238 deg. range 11 miles from this vessel. 0918 Helo recovered pilot; to be brought aboard and taken to sick bay. USS Franklin D. Roosevelt deck log, Friday, 22 June 1962.
JUL and AUG 1963 A-4C detachments from the squadron operated aboard USS Essex CVS 9 and USS Intrepid CVS 11 as fighter support for antisubmarine exercises. These operations were also used to help develop and evaluate ASW tactics and doctrine.
November 08, 1963: Lt. Robert J. Kelly ejected safely when the RPM unwound, and the plane (BuNo 147758) settled when rotating off the USS Intrepid's bow after launch and was rescued by the ships helicopter. Adm. Robert J Kelly collection. 1211 A4DC aircraft bureau number 147758 of VA-12 was catapulted and crashed into the sea off the starboard bow and sank at position 36-50N, 74-56.6W. 1219 Pilot LT J.R. Kelly recovered by helicopter and returned aboard. Injuries: Submersion, non-fatal and abrasions, right lower jaw. Treated by Medical Officer. Disposition: Admitted to sick bay. USS Intrepid deck log, Friday, 8 November 1963.
May 01, 1964: Cdr. Robert A. Kornoroff was killed the night of May 8 when his A-4C Skyhawk (BuNo 149597) crashed into the sea 10-15 miles from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt which was operating near Bermuda. His body was recovered the following morning. Newport Daily News, Tuesday, 12 May 1964. 2350 Received report that at 2333 CIC lost contact with A-4C side number AB409, BuNo 149597, pilot Cdr. Robert A. Komoroff. 2334 LSO had reported sighting a flash in water approximately 10 miles astern. Position estimated as 31-40N, 64-10W. 2351 c/c 230 cs 27kts to return to crash datum. 0050 commenced maneuvering on various courses and speeds while searching for downed aircraft in company with the USS Long Beach (CGN-9), USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25), USS Lawrence (DDG-4) and two Roosevelt Helos. 04-08 maneuvering at various courses and speeds in vicinity of datum. Other ships in company conducting expanding square search. 0523 Report received from helicopter of sighting body in water. USS Lawrence designated to recover body by small boat. 0630 Body of Commander Komoroff delivered on board by helicopter. USS Franklin D. Roosevelt deck log, Saturday, 2 May 1964.
May 13, 1964: LCdr. Andrew Pullar ejected safely while the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt was enroute from Pollensa Bay to Barcelona, Spain. 1642 One A4C, #401, BuNo 149491 of VA-12, piloted by LCdr. Andrew (N) Pullar crashed into the sea about five miles off the front quarter at LAT 39-29.8W LONG 06-01.1. Pilot ejected and was recovered by this ship's helo in good condition. A/C sank in 1500 fathoms. USS Franklin D. Roosevelt deck log, Wednesday, 13 May 1964.
August 8 to August 29, 1964: USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 and air wing were ordered to operate in the vicinity of Cyprus after fighting escalated between Turkish and Greek forces on the island.
June 26, 1966, to February 21, 1967: VA-12 flying the A-4E Skyhawk, aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42 - - - first of two Western Pacific/Vietnam combat cruises.
August 1966: VA-12 flew its first combat sortie since establishment 21 years earlier. The squadron completed its Vietnam deployment in December 1966 without a combat loss.
November 12, 1966: VA-12's CO Cdr. Robert Clarence Frosio and Lt.(jg) James G. Jones were killed in a mid-air collision in the final stages of approach 1.5 miles astern as Frosio was leading Jones back to the ship due to TACAN failure. 1009 Received information that at 0344 A4E Bureau No. 150051 of VA-12, pilot Cdr. Robert C. Frosio and A4E BuNo 150048 of VA-12, pilot Lt.(jg) James G. Jones, collided in the air and crashed into the sea about four miles astern at latitude 18-37.0N, longitude 107-11.0E and sank in 37 fathoms of water. Both pilots are missing and presumed dead. USS Thomas (DD-833) and helicopter immediately commenced search for pilots. USS Franklin D. Roosevelt deck log, Saturday, 12 November 1968.
December 1966: VA-12 CO Cdr. Barnett, was awarded the Silver Star for leading a 42-plane Alpha Strike against a heavily defended target in North Vietnam.
March 7, 1968: LCdr. John Baals ejected from A-4C BuNo 149513 off the port quarter of USS Franklin D Roosevelt and was recovered by helo uninjured. 1801 A-4 A/C in water off port quarter. 1804 recovered pilot LCdr. John Baals, CVW-1, by helo. no injuries. USS Franklin D. Roosevelt deck log, Thursday, 07 March 1968.
February 12, 1969: Lt.(jg) Frank Peter Neuman was killed during recovery into a setting sun. Lt.(jg) Newuman caught the #2 wire, but at such an angle his aircraft proceeded to go over the side. He ejected, but by the time the sequence completed, he was ejected almost on a parallel path to the water. Apparently when he hit the water at that much of an angle, he broke his neck. HC-2 could not cut him loose from his chute and the body was never recovered. The aircraft was held by the wire with its' nose just touching the water The memorial service was held onboard the Shang on 15 Feb 69 Bob Fossum Atkron 12 Newsletter, Volume IV, Issue 1, March 2005. 1813 A-4C BuNo 149566 VA-12 Pilot Lt.(jg) Frank P. Neuman came in on normal approach, caught #4 wire to port of centerline. Plane went over the port side of angled deck, suspended by #4 wire. Pilot ejected from A/C at LAT 38-11.8N LONG 01-37.1E. Helo #25 commenced attempts to recover pilot. USS Conyngham (DDG-17) and USS Fred T. Berry (DD-858) proceeding to scene from their stations in screen. Pilot not sighted, believed to have been dragged under surface by deployed parachute. 1813 maneuvering to lessen drag effect on A4C suspended by #4 wire to port. 1829 Severed #4 wire, casting A4C adrift at LAT 38-10.8N LONG 01-35.2E. A/C floated in inverted position astern. 1835 Directed USS Berry (DD-858) to break off and take station astern as rescue destroyer. Helo #25 and USS Conyngham continuing search for pilot. 1838 USS Byrd (DDG-23) directed to leave screening station, report to OTU 60.2.5 (embarked on USS Conyngham) as unit of SAR, directed to sink wreckage. USS Shangri La (CVA-38) deck log, Wednesday, 12 February 1969.
March 5, 1970 to 17 DEC 1970 VA-12 flying the A-4C Skyhawk, aboard USS Shangri-La CVA 38 - second of two Western Pacific/Vietnam combat cruises. The squadron completed its second Vietnam deployment in December 1970 without a combat loss.
April 28, 1970: Unable to refuel, A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147803 ran out of fuel and was lost. Lt.(jg) Filose ejected safely and was rescued by USS Ranger (CVA-61) HC-7 Seadevils Det. 110 SH-3A Sea King. Nothing in the Ranger deck log. 0300 commenced launching and recovering A/C received distress signal pilot is in the water bearing 167 range 61 miles detached USS Paul Jones (DDG-32) to effect rescue. 0306 Completed launch of 9 A/C received word that USS Ranger's helo enroute to SAR scene, our E-1B and various other A/C orbiting downed pilot. Received word that pilot is okay. 0355 Received word that pilot aboard helo and helo returning to USS Ranger (CVA-61). 0415 Downed pilot is Lt.(jg) John Filose, VA-12, crashed aircraft was A-4C BuNo 147803. USS Shangri-La deck log, 28 April 1970.
July 19, 1970: VA-12 USS Shangri-La CVA 38 fly-off to Naval Air Station Atsugi.
August 6, 1970: A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 149553 side number 401 was lost in a non-combat accident. Lt. Denny Flynn was rescued after the bridle hook failed on launch. Photograph by Masaaki Hayakawa. - Lt. D.B. (Denny) Flynn ejected when A-4 aircraft BuNo 149553 suffered collapsed nose gear on takeoff from port catapult and hit water 100 feet forward of ship at 1959. Helo recovered pilot, no apparent injuries at 2001 USS Shangri-La deck log, 06 August 1970.
April 1971: The Flying Ubangis were assigned the Chance Vought A-7E Corsair II.
OCT to DEC 1973 USS Independence CV 62 and VA-12 took station southeast of Crete after the outbreak of war between Israel, Egypt and Syria on October 6, 1973. During this period of operations, the squadron conducted surveillance flights against a large Soviet fleet that had sortied from the Black Sea.
August 1974: As a result of the crisis on Cyprus, USS Independence CV 62, with VA-12 aboard, was stationed off the coast of Crete. The squadron flew surveillance of Greek, Turkish and Soviet naval and merchant activity in the area.
April 15, 1980: VA-12 deployed aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69 to the Indian Ocean in response to the Iran-American Embassy hostage situation. The squadron was at sea for 254 days with only one port call during the entire eight and one-half month deployment.
1982 VA-12 discarded the "Flying Ubangis" name and adopted the name "Clinchers."
JUN, AUG and SEP 1983 VA-12 operated from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower CVN 69 off the coast of Lebanon. The squadron flew in support of the multi-national peacekeeping force stationed in Beirut.
October 1, 1986: VA-12 was disestablished, bringing to a close the long history of the squadron and its motto "Kiss of Death."
VF-12 F7U-3 In December 1955 VF-12 got the "Last" Chance Vought F7U-3 "Gutless" Cutlass for the nuclear delivery mission. U.S. Navy photograph from John Martin.
11 FEB 1957: BuNo 142178, AB-303, as she comes aboard the Ranger during carquals. U.S. Navy
APR59: VA-12 over the "Boat". NavAirNews - provided by John Gabbard.
VA-12 Officers in 1959. Attack Squadron 12, headed by Cdr. W. B. Barrow, was the NavAirLant jet light attack entry at the 1959 Naval Air Weapons Meet. Lts. Joseph Malec and Richard G. Daly took first and second place individual honors. VA-12 came in second as a team. It will deploy next summer aboard the U.S.S. Forrestal equipped with the new A4D-2N Skyhawks. Official U.S. Navy photo provided by John Gabbard.
AUG 1959: BuNo 142716, AK-307, moves into position on the cat while the launch officer is still obscured by steam from the previous launch. Naval Aviation News
1959: VA-12 Flying Ubangis A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142693, AK-310, MCAAS Yuma, 03 December 1959. Name below the canopy rail is LTJG Tom Scott. Photo by W.L. Swisher.
1960: BuNo 142711, AK-501, tied down topside. Name below the canopy rail is VA-12 CO Cdr. Dick Deprez. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza
Flying Ubangis officers pose in front of Skyhawk BuNo 142711, #501, after scoring an even 100 Navy E's in fiscal year 1960 for what the squadron thinks is a NavAirLant record. John Gabbard.
1959: USS Forrestal (CVA-59) Enters port at Naples, Italy. Mount Vesuvius is in the distance. Aircraft visible on deck include VAH-5 Savage Sons A3D-2 Skywarriors in the foreground, VF-102 Diamondbacks F4D-1 Skyrays AK-109, AK-110, AK-112, AK-104 (BuNo 134923), AK-102 (BuNo 134929) and AK-113 at left and AK-106 at right, and VA-12 Flying Ubangis A4D-2 Skyhawks AK-301, AK-311 (BuNo 142694), AK-312, and AK-310 (BuNo 142693) at right. Official U.S. Navy photo.
1959: CDR Willaim B. Barrow, C.O. of VA-12 standing atop of a A4D-2 aboard CVA-59. FEB60 NAN photo.
Circa 1960: BuNo 142129, VA-12 AK-508, tied down on the deck of U.S.S. Shangri-La during an open house. Photographer unknown.
Circa 1960: BuNo 142126, AK-502, parked on the ramp. Name below the canopy rail is LCDR. Harlan Williams. Navy photo.
Circa 1960: Flying Ubangis Skyhawk BuNo 142126, AK-302, and squadron pilots prior to their conversion to A4D-2n's and deployment aboard the USS Forrestal the following summer. Naval Aviation News Photo
APR60 NAN photo of a VA-12 formation. APR60 NAN
JUN 1960: BuNo 142693, AK-310, takes off from NAS Cecil Field, FL, to join his flight in a local bombing exercise Naval Aviation News
JUN60 NAN photo of VA-12 pilot McCarthy. preflighting his a/c.
MAR 1962: A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147823 VA-12 Flying Ubangis A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147823, side number AB 405 baking in the sun. Photo by Thomas "TW" Smith.
A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148552 and friend - 1960 Flying Ubangis A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148552, side number AB 415 and A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147785, side number AB 413 get ready to deploy on USS Shangri-La CVA 38 in 1960. U.S. Navy photograph from John Martin.
1961 Flying Ubangis Skyhawk BuNo 142719, AB-402, at left and BuNo 142693 at right are manned and ready to go as the line division clears the area of starter probes and the boarding ladder. Naval Aviation News photo, Gary Verver.
1961 Flying Ubangis Skyhawk BuNo 142719, AB-402, is manned and ready to go as the line division clears the area of starter probes and the boarding ladder. Naval Aviation News photo, Gary Verver.
1961-62: right rear view of Flying Ubangis Skyhawk BuNo 142679, AK-503, waiting its turn as BuNo 142694, AK-511, is hoisted aboard the Shang. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza
04 MAY 1963: Four A4C's attached with VA 12 fly high above the clouds. The BuNo's from top to bottom are 149491, 147823, 149513 & 149548 & carry USS Roosevelt on the side. From Gary Verver Collection. Official U.S. Navy Photograph - USN 1074748 4/5/63
1964: USS Franklin D. Roosevelt and CVW-1 (AB) aircraft in 1964. The Air Group squadrons/aircraft were VF-14 Tophatters (F-4B Phantom), VF-11 Red Rippers (F-8E Crusader), VA-172 Blue Bolts (A-4C Skyhawk), VA-12 Ubangis (A-4E Skyhawk), VA-15 Valions (A-1H Skyraider), VAH-11 Checkertails (A-3B Skywarrior), VAW-12 Bats (E-1B Tracer), VFP-62 Eyes of the Fleet (RF-8A Crusader) and HU-2 Det. (UH-2A Seasprite)
Circa 1964: Three VA-12 A-4Cs, middle right is BuNo147823; and VA-172 A-4C middle left is probably BuNo149537 AB-302. Most likely 1964 MED cruise aboard the FDR. Stan Martin
1964 CVA-42 MED: VA-12 Tanker providing fuel to F-8 Crusader of VF-11, AB-206. Tom Meyers.
1964 CVA-42 MED: left in-close is VA-172 AB-305 BuNo 148305, in the background on the left is an VA-172 AB-310 BuNo 14xxxx. Plugged into the tanker is VA-172 AB-300 BuNo 149563 and providing the fuel is VA-12 AB-402 BuNo 149499. Photo taken from a VFP-61 DET F-8 by Tom Meyers during the 1964 FDR MED Cruise. Tom Meyers
VA-12 A-4E BuNo 150023 (AB-404), VF-32 F-4B Phantom II (AB-201) and VF-14 F-4B Phantoms BuNo 151018 (AB-109) and 152318 on board the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA 42) as an unknown A-4E Skyhawk returns after completing a strike over North Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Bob Lawson.
1966: Left wing damage to an unknown Skyhawk during the FDR cruise to WestPac JUN 1966 to FEB 1967. Aboard were VA-12 flying the A-4E, VA-72 flying the A-4E, and VA-172 flying the A-4C. In the background is BuNo 150023 of VA-12 and 150048 of VA-12. Basket-ball size AAA damage in the unknown a/c's left wing didn't keep her from coming back and coming aboard. Contact is Joe Turpen.
SEP 1966: BuNo 150001, AB-413, from the USS Roosevelt parked on the Danang ramp. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza
SEP 1966: BuNo 150001, AB-413, from the USS Roosevelt parked on the Danang ramp. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza
A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150015 - 1966. A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150015, side number AE 405 strapped to the deck of USS Franklin D. Roosevelt CVA 42. The Flying Ubangis June 1966 through February 1967 FDR combat tour to Vietnam was with Carrier Air Group 1. Photograph from Joe Kyle.
VA-12 Formation of "Charlies" taken 14/15 July 1968, vicinity of Cecil Field, FL. #1 is in Buno 149600, #2 is in Buno 149564, #3 is in Buno 147806, and #4 is in Buno 149565. Photo by Lt Dave Shuggerud, a RF-8 pilot with VFP-62. It was retouched and digitally enhanced by Stephen Mudgett who does aviation art. Photo and information provided to the Association by Austin O'Brien, VA-12 SDO on 30MAR2003
AUG 1968: BuNo 149585, AB-404, parked on the ramp. F. MacSorely
SEP 1968: BuNo 150596 takeoff at NAS Brunswick. Aircraft destroyed 8 May 1973 while assigned to VMA-131, modex QG-03. From Ron Picciani, photo taken by Frank J. Klaiss
JAN 69 - JUL69: BuNo 147845, AJ-412, parked on the flightline. Nick Williams.
12FEB69: A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 149566, AJ-404, suspended over the port side with its’ nose just touching the water after catching the #2 wire at such an angle
SEP 1969: BuNo 149564, AJ-401, assigned to CDR R.W. Fletcher parked on the ramp at Scoot AFB. Photo from Wible.
1970: Skipper's A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148536 and friend. Flying Ubangis A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148536, side number AJ 400 and A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147734, side number AJ 413 approach a formation landing at Naval Air Station Atsugi July 16, 1970. Photograph by Masaaki Hayakawa.
10JUL70: On July 10, 1970, Masaaki Hayakawa photographed VA-12 Flying Ubangis BuNo. 147681 side number AJ 402 after AJ 402 had landed at Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan. 147681 stayed until July 24, 1970 when she went back to Yankee Station for more combat. Note: The USS Shangri-La, CVS 38, came to Yokosuka July 11, 1970 to exchange a damaged screw. The day before, CVW-8 planes flew off the Shang to NAS Atsugi and stayed at Atsugi until July 24, 1970.
July 21, 1970 - VA-12 Flying Ubangis A-4C BuNo. 148536 side number AJ 400 --- CAG's Skyhawk comes in for a landing at Naval Air Station Atsugi. USS Shangri-La CVS 38 came to Yokosuka July 11, 1970 to exchange a damaged screw. The day before, CVW-8 planes flew off the Shang to Naval Air Station Atsugi and stayed at Atsugi until July 24, 1970. Photos are from a/c watcher Masaaki Hayakawa. July 10, 1970 VA-12 fly-off aircraft were: A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148536 side number 400 - CAG's Skyhawk - comes in for a landing at NAS Atsugi
A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147681 AJ 402 was a veteran workhorse. In a previous life with VA-94 Mighty Shrike Commanding Officer Cdr. Otto Krueger is pictured standing on 147681, side number NF 401 at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. This U.S. Navy picture was taken in July or August 1966, after return from the USS Enterprise CVAN 65 Vietnam combat cruise.
Later Mighty Shrike A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147681, side number NF 401 is photographed by Harry S. Gann at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, on September 12, 1966, after return from the Enterprise Vietnam combat cruise. Please note the bomb mission tally painted on the fuselage aft of the Mighty Shrike logo. VA-12 photographs by Masaaki Hayakawa
A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148609 - 1970 AJ 414 from the USS Shangri-La CVA-38, cleaned up after takeoff from NAS Atsugi, July 24, 1970. Black and white photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan
A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148590 - 1970 Ernie Shuldhiess snapped this picture of A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148590, side number AJ 404. Picture by Ernie Shuldhiess
A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147734 - 1970 Ernie also snapped a picture of A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 147734, side number AJ 413 approaching the Shang's round down during the 1970 cruise. Picture by Ernie Shuldhiess
JUL 1971: Flying Ubangis Skyhawk BuNo 148536, AJ-400, gear and flaps down and speed brakes out. Nick Williams.