Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). See FAQ/Research/Contact link under [SA] in the menu.
This Skyhawk Association website page is dedicated to Capt. Harry T. Jenkins
Jenkins term as a POW included barbarous torture and other inhuman treatment, yet his spirit was unbroken. One of his first public statements after his release from captivity in 1973 was a buoyant: "I feel great. When do I get command of a ship?" Promoted to the rank of Captain in absentia while he was a POW, Jenkins subsequently served successful assignments as Commanding Officer of USS Duluth (LPD-6) and as Commander, Amphibious Squadron Five. He retired from active duty in June 1978.
| Capt. Jenkins loved to fly and, in post-retirement civilian life in Southern California, spent several years constructing and flying his own experimental private aircraft, a kit-built Ruttan "Long EZ." Jenkins was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association and regularly flew his aircraft to the association's convention-air show held each summer at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. On August 2, 1995, while returning from his seventh visit to the Oshkosh event, Capt. Jenkins was killed when his Long EZ crashed on take-off from the Prescott, AZ airport. His memorial service, held in Spreckles Park in his hometown of Coronado, CA, was attended by more than 300 of his friends and admirers from around the United States. His son Chris, a passenger, survived the crash.
Standing in the Hall of Fame at the Pensacola National Museum of Naval Aviation, one is reminded that Harry Jenkins was one of the more highly decorated Flying Midshipmen. He had been awarded four Silver Star Medals, the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, four Bronze Star Medals, thirteen Air Medals, two Purple Heart Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, several foreign decorations and numerous area and campaign ribbons and medals. “Jenks” loved to fly and was an aviator’s aviator whose flying career began in biplanes, progressed to jets and continued on with light civil aircraft. Quoting VAdm. Jim Stockdale, “Harry was a great man to go to sea with. Morale soared around him. High spirited pilots are more effective pilots. And they like to see their boss in the cockpit, where you could always find Harry.” Capt. Wynn Foster, TAILHOOK Association Officer, remarked, “Harry loved to bag traps and he had lots of them. But he was scrupulously fair in insisting that the serious fun of flying off and on the carrier deck was equally spread among the pilots of his squadron. His high-time, high-trap record in the Skyhawk resulted from a double tour as XO when he flew with the “Saints”. As squadron skipper, Harry never asked his pilots to fly missions that he wasn’t ready, willing and able to do himself.
He was born in Washington, D.C. 24 July 1927, and was reared, the oldest of three brothers, in rural Maryland. He enlisted in the Navy in May, 1945, age 17, attended Newberry College and the University of South Caroling in the V-5 Program. By scrunching down during his physical exam, he just made the maximum height requirement of 6’4”. He completed his requisite two years of college by the end of August,1946, and progressed through Selective flight training to solo in the Stearman “Yellow Peril” then to Pre-flight at Ottumwa, Iowa, where he became an Aviation Midshipman. Designated a Naval Aviator on 19 Aug 1948, he joined the fleet as a Flying Midshipman and was commissioned Ensign in December, 1948.
VA-163 Saints original art 1961
VA-163 SAINTS patch was established on January 31, 1961. It was conceived by Ens. Joe Zieman and designed by ADJAN Ernest Jessen and AN John Langlinias, in shades of blue, gray, and gold the patch or Crest of the VA-163 "Saints" depicted the squadron's all-weather, day and night capability to deliver nuclear weapons over land and sea. Ironically, the design carried no hint of the conventional weapons delivery that was to occupy the squadron during half of its active life span.
Harry S. Gann
The Saints -- 1960 to 1971.
Unofficial Squadron Anthem: "When the Saints Go Marching In".
September 1, 1960, Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE - VA-163 was established at Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.
April 1, 1969, (April Fool's Day), VA-163 was placed on inactive status.
July 1, 1971, Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE was dis-established.
September 1, 1960 - - - - - Naval Air Station Cecil Field
September 26, 1961- - - - - Naval Air Station Lemoore
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
October 3, 1960 - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
March 1964- - - - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk *
4 March 1968- - - - - - - - - - - - Douglas TA-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
September 1, 1960 - - - - - - AH - - - - - CVG-16 / CVW-16*
March 1, 1968 - - - - - - - - NP - - - - - CVW-21
Departure / Return - Air Wing - Carrier - Aircraft - - Area of Operations:
06-07-62 to 12-17-62 - CVG-16 - CVA 34 - A4D-2 - - WestPac
08-01-63 to 03-10-64 - CVW-16 - CVA 34 - A-4B- - - WestPac
04-05-65 to 12-16-65 - CVW-16 - CVA 34 - A-4E- - - Vietnam-Combat
05-26-66 to 11-16-66 - CVW-16 - CVA 34 - A-4E- - - Vietnam-Combat
06-16-67 to 01-31-68 - CVW-16 - CVA 34 - A-4E- - - Vietnam-Combat
07-18-68 to 03-03-69 - CVW-21 - CVA 19 - A-4E- - - Vietnam-Combat
Date Assumed Command - - - - - - - Commanding Officer
September 1, 1960 - - - - - CDR Jack M. Manherz
September 19, 1961- - - - - CDR Daniel V. Marshall, Jr.
October 14, 1962- - - - - - CDR Merton D. Short
January 22, 1964- - - - - - CDR Jarl J. Diffendorfer
December 30, 1964 - - - - - CDR Harry T. Jenkins, Jr.
November 13, 1965 - - - - - CDR Wynn F. Foster
July 30, 1966 - - - - - - - CDR Ronald H. Caldwell
July 10, 1967 - - - - - - - CDR Bryan W. Compton, Jr.
July 10, 1968 - - - - - - - CDR Elbert D. Lighter.
Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals:
09-05-63 to 09-13-63
11-03-63 to 11-08-63
05-07-65 to 06-02-65
06-10-65 to 07-03-65
09-17-65 to 09-18-65
12-02-68 to 12-04-68
Navy Unit Commendation:
05-10-65 to 12-06-65
06-12-66 to 11-01-66
07-14-67 to 01-12-68
08-01-68 to 02-22-69
Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citations:
11-11-65 to 11-12-65
07-06-66 to 07-07-66
10-09-68 to 10-11-68
11-07-68 to 11-08-68
11-10-68 to 11-11-68
11-13-68 to 11-19-68
11-21-68 to 11-26-68
12-21-68 to 12-24-68
12-26-68 to 12-28-68
01-01-69 to 01-03-69
01-07-69 to 01-14-69
01-31-69 to 02-08-69
Vietnam Service Medal
07-04-65 to 07-18-65
08-09-65 to 09-11-65
09-30-65 to 10-19-65
10-28-65 to 11-27-65
06-29-66 to 07-29-66
08-06-66 to 09-08-66
09-23-66 to 10-26-66
07-13-67 to 08-08-67
08-17-67 to 09-30-67
10-04-67 to 11-03-67
11-19-67 to 12-17-67
12-30-67 to 01-13-68
08-21-68 to 09-04-68
09-13-68 to 10-15-68
10-23-68 to 11-28-68
12-20-68 to 01-15-69
01-29-69 to 02-10-69
During the Saint's four Vietnam War combat deployments, VA-163 was awarded;
six Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals,
three Navy Unit Commendations,
22 Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citations, and
17 Vietnam Service Medals
September 1, 1961: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE was established at Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Florida, moved cross-country to its new home base at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. The Saints were assigned the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk
December 6, 1961: Lt(jg). Henry E. Kramer, 25, ejected safely from his A4D-2 Skyhawk (BuNo 144879) before it crashed in a field six miles west of NAS Lemoore Wednesday. Humboldt Standard, Eureka, CA, Thursday, December 7, 1961.
June 7, 1962: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE deployed on board the USS Oriskany CVA-34, for thier first WestPac cruise (06-07-62 to 12-17-62), flying the A4D-2 Skyhawk.
August 22, 1962: Lt(jg). Alva Ernest Kemmer, 24, was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 144883) developed engine trouble and crashed in the western Pacific. Videlle Messenger, August 234, 1962. 1628 A4D BuNo 144883 with LTJG A.E. Kemmer as pilot crashed into the sea bearing 170 distance 3 miles and sank in 2270 fathoms of water. Latitude 31-59.0 north, longitude 135-38.6 east. 1629 c/c to 165. 1632 c/s 12 knots. 1634 launched helicopter No. 27. LTJG A.E. Kemmer was recovered from the sea and returned on board by helicopter No. 26. LTJG A.E. Kemmer's condition unknown. 1650 LTJG A.E. Kemmer was pronounced dead on board by the Medical Officer as a result of the airplane crash. USS Oriskany deck log, 22 August 1962.
December 16, 1962: VA-163 participated in a massive fire power demonstration in honor of a visit by President John F. Kennedy to the Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake, California.
August 8, 1963: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE deployed on board the USS Oriskany CVA-34, for their second WestPac cruise (08-01-63 to 03-10-64), flying the A-4B Skyhawk.
September 10, 1963: VA-163 pilot (LCdr. Michael A. Zibilich) was killed during a training flight Tuesday when his A4D Skyhawk (BuNo 142867) crashed on Luzon Island 20 miles south of Lingayen Gulf. The pilot attempted to eject from the plane at low altitude. Pacific Stars & Stripes, Tuesday, September 17, 1963. LCdr. Michael A. Zibilich, VA-163 Ops Officer, was killed in an operational accident in 1963. From the 1952 Lucky Bag.
November 1963: Deployed to WestPac on board the Oriskany, the Saints operated in the South China Sea during the governmental crisis that saw the overthrow of South Vietnam President Diem.
January 13, 1964: Ens. D.B. Small was rescued when VA-163 A-4B BuNo 144982/314 rolled off the starboard side of the flight deck forward of the island into the sea at latitude 27-54N and longitude 134-56E at 1028. Helicopter and USS Phillip (DD-498) commenced search for pilot. Recovered helicopter with rescued pilot onboard at 1035. USS Oriskany deck log, 13 January 1964.
March 1964: The Saints were assigned the Douglas A-4E Skyhawk
April 5, 1965: The Saints departed San Diego on board USS Oriskany CVA 34, for third WestPac cruise and its first combat deployment (04-05-65 to 12-16-65) in the Vietnam War.
June 1965: Cdr. Harry T. Jenkins, VA-163 Skipper, led the first major strike of the war in Skyhawks against the Dam Dinh, North Vietnam POL storage facility.
July 18, 1965: Lt. Malcom Arthur "Art" Avore was killed when his engine failed as his Skyhawk was catapulted off the Oriskany for a mission over South Vietnam. The aircraft sank within seconds and he was unable to escape. This accident occurred on the last day of the line period for the Oriskany. 0922 launched the helicopter. 0932 An A4E aircraft Bureau No. 151089 piloted by Lt. Malcom A. Avore crashed (cont) into the sea approximately 300 yards on the starboard bow following launch from the starboard catapult. The plane sank in 75 fathoms of water. Position 09-20.0N - 108-51.0E. The pilot was not found. Maneuvered to avoid aircraft and continue aircraft operations. 1032 Recovered the helicopter. USS Oriskany deck log, 18 July 1965.
September 9, 1965: Cdr. (later VAdm.) James B. Stockdale, Commander Air Wing 16, ejected (BuNo 151134, AH 352) and was captured when he was hit by 57mm AAA during an attack on railway sidings about 15 miles S of Thanh Hoa. Cdr. Stockdale spent 7+ years as a Prisoner Of War until his release in early 1973.
November 7, 1965: LCdr. Charles G. Wack ejected 12 miles off the coast and was rescued by a USAF HU-16 piloted by 1st Lt. J. Kirby when he was hit by ground fire as he rolled in on a SAM site 10 miles SW of Nam Dinh. Although his Skyhawk was badly damaged by antiaircraft fire he pressed his attack and successfully completed his mission before being forced to eject
November 13, 1965: Cdr. Harry Jenkins ejected (BuNo 151067, AH 340) and was captured after he was hit by 37mm AAA during an armed recce mission over Route Package 1. Cdr. Jenkins spent 7+ years as a Prisoner of War. Commander Jenkins was released in February 1973. Returning POW Harry Jenkins shares a Banana Split with his wife Marge.
November 17, 1965: LCdr. Roy Howard H. "Hap" Bowling was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 151083, AH 350) was shot down by AAA during an Alpha strike against the Hai Duong bridge between Hanoi and Haiphong.
11 April 1966: Ens. Daniel S. Kapner, 25, Brooklyn, NY, was killed yesterday when his A4 Skyhawk (A-4E BuNo 150137) crashed during a practice strike mission at the Chocolate Mountain range in Imperial County, the Navy reported. Oakland Tribune, Tuesday, 12 April 1966. - A Navy pilot from Brooklyn, NY, was identified as a victim of a plane crash at the Chocolate Mountain target range east of the Salton Sea. Killed in the crash of his A4 Skyhawk jet was Ens. Daniel S. Kapner, 25, who was a member of an attack squadron based at NAS Lemoore. The Post- Standard, Syracuse, NY, Wednesday, April 13, 1964. Crashed on bombing range Chocolate Mountains, CA during simulated Alpha strike from Oriskany. Dan Kapner killed. From Capt. Hook's book p151-2.
May 26, 1966: The VA-163 Saints departed San Diego on board USS Oriskany CVA 34, for fourth WestPac cruise and its second combat deployment (05-26-66 to 11-16-6) in the Vietnam War.
June 10, 1966: LCdr John I. Miles ejected from A-4E BuNo 151085 en-route from NAS Cubi Point to Vietnam - engine fire following refuel.
July 23, 1966: Cdr. Wynn Foster (CO) ejected after his Skyhawk (BuNo 152100) was hit by 57mm AAA at 12,000 feet as he crossed the coast N of Vinh. The shrapnel severed his right arm just below the shoulder. He managed to fly 20 miles out to sea and ejected near the SAR destroyer USS Reeves (DLG-24) which picked him up and he was rapidly transferred to the Oriskany. Cdr. Foster was awarded the Silver Star for his actions.
August 27, 1966: Lt(jg). Schroder ejected safely from VA-163 150079 when it crashed into the sea. 0356 A4E 150079 of VA-16, pilot LTJG Schroeder, crashed into the sea at 18-46N 106-37. 0357 USS Buck (DD-761) commenced search for pilot. 0510 A4E BuNo 152092 of VA-168 (sic VA-164) pilot Ens. B.T. Wood crashed into the sea bearing 350 T15 miles from Oriskany. 0511 helicopter #47 launched to search for pilot. 0520 USS Buck recovered downed pilot. 0603 helicopter #47 recovered downed pilot and returned to ship. USS Oriskany deck log, 27 August 1966.
October 23, 1966: Cdr. R.H. Caldwell ejected safely from VA-163 A-4E BuNo 150072 crashed into the sea, estimated position 18-55N and 107-08E at 0120. Detached USS Buckley to proceed to scene of accident. 0142 detached USS Hamner to investigate red flare sighted bearing 040 from Oriskany. 0213 Cdr. Caldwell recovered by USS Hamner, USS Oriskany deck log, 23 October 1966. mid-air collision with another A-4
October 26, 1966: A major fire, resulting from mis-handling of a Mk-24 illumination flare, occurred on-board USS Oriskany while the ship was conducting strike operations from Yankee Station in the Tonkin Gulf. Forty-four men lost their lives, including twenty-four Air Wing pilots. Four VA-163 pilots; LCdr. Clem Morisette, Lt. Dale Miller, Lt(jg) Tom Spitzer and Lt(jg) Ron Tardio were casualties of the fire. Several squadron personnel received meritorious awards for heroic actions during the fire. VA-163 A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151075 was lost in the fire. Oriskany was withdrawn from combat and returned to the United States in November. Fire USS Oriskany deck log, 26 October 1966. Casualties USS Oriskany deck log, 27 October 1966
June 26, 1967: After Oriskany's damages were repaired, the VA-163 Saints deployed with their A-4E Skyhawks for their fifth WestPac cruise and third Vietnam War combat deployment cruise (06-16-67 to 01-31-68) as part of Air Wing 16. This cruise provided heavy combat losses -- between June and January Oriskany lost twenty pilots either MIA or KIA.
July 12, 1967: Lt. D.M. Wood ejected safely from A-4E BuNo 150102 when it crashed off the starboard bow (bad cat shot) at latitude 17-39N and longitude 116-10E and sank in 2,150 fathoms of water at 1002. Pilot was picked up by helo in good condition. USS Oriskany deck log, 12 July 1967.
July 17, 1967: LCdr. Marvin Reynolds earned the Navy Cross for leading and coordinating a dangerous, complex, and successful rescue of a pilot downed in North Vietnam.
July 20, 1967: Lt. Russ W. Kuhl ejected near the northern SAR destroyer about 45 miles S of Hon Gay after his Skyhawk (BuNo 150097, AH 312) was hit by light flak approaching the coast for a strike on the My Xa POL storage site.
July 25, 1967: LCdr. Donald Vance Davis (BuNo. 149961 AH 304) was killed when he was either shot down or flew into the ground during a night attack under flares on a truck convoy near Ha Tinh.
August 4, 1967: Lt(jg). Ralph Campion Bisz was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150052, AH 313) was hit by a SA-2 missile as he approached a POL storage site at Luc Nong. Four SA-2 missiles were seen to be fired from a site near the target. Lt. Biscz put his aircraft into a climb, was hit at about 10,500 feet and became a mass of flames.
20 JUNE 2008: The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a U.S. serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. He is LCdr Ralph C. Bisz, U.S. Navy, of Miami Shores, FL. His funeral arrangements are being set by his family.
In 1988, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) repatriated to the United States human remains from Hai Hung Province, which they attributed to Bisz on the basis of their historical records of the shoot-down as well as documentation of his burial.
August 21, 1967: Squadron Commander, Cdr. Bryan Compton, and LCdr. James Busey earned Navy Crosses for leadership and coordination skills in an attack strike over North Vietnam that resulted in destruction of the Hanoi thermal power plant.
August 31, 1967: Lt(jg). David Jay Carey ejected and was captured after his Skyhawk (BuNo 152058, AH 315) was hit by a SA-2 missile which also brought down LCdr. Stafford as he approached the railway bridge target at Vat Cach Thuong.
August 31, 1967: LCdr. Hugh Allan Stafford ejected, was badly injured and captured after his Skyhawk (BuNo 149975, AH 310) was hit by a SA-2 missile at about 16,000 feet which blew him out of the cockpit still strapped to his seat as he approached the railway bridge target at Vat Cach Thuong.
September 10, 1967: Lt. Dale Landroth ejected and was rescued. 0800 one A-4 type aircraft (BuNo 150047) crashed in water on the bow. Pilot ejected. Pilot recovered by helo #39. 0827 received medical report of A-4 pilot: no injuries. USS Oriskany deck log, 10 September 1967. The Skyhawk was configured as a tanker. Lt. Landroth, a last minute replacement on the tanker for LCdr A. Adeeb, lost power immediately on launch from the stbd cat, ejected and came down in the water on the stbd side. The HC-2 Det. 34 UH-2, piloted by Lt(jg.) L.W. Livermore and Lt(jg.) J.H. Fraser, moved in to pick him up as soon as he was clear of the ship and settled in the water as it had a full load of fuel. It struggled back into the air, dumped fuel and returned for the pickup. The hoist operator, AN John B. Miller, and swimmer, AN Albert E. Barrows, effected the rescue. From Dale Landroth.
October 20, 1967: Lt(jg). Denny Earl, with both legs shattered by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire, successfully lands his A-4 "Skyhawk" attack plane aboard the Oriskany in the Gulf of Tonkin.
October 22, 1967: Lt(jg). James Edward Dooley was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150116, AH 306 ) was hit by ground fire during a strike on Haiphong's railway yard. As he began to pull up after releasing his bombs his Skyhawk began to stream fuel, made a gentle descending turn and at the mouth of the Cua Cam River.
October 24, 1967: Lt(jg). Ralph Eugene "Skip" Foulks ejected after his Skyhawk (BuNo 149963, AH 311) was hit by AAA at 6,500 feet south of Haiphong during an attack on the Haiphong railway yard. He was rescued three miles off the coast by a US Navy helicopter 10 minutes after ejecting.
October 25, 1967: Lt. Jeffery Martin Krommenhoek was presumed killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150086, AH 315 ) went missing during an attack on the Phuc Yen airfield. His aircraft was last seen by his squadron just prior to rolling in on the target. Declared KIA 10 years later.
October 26, 1967: LCdr. John Sidney McCain III ejected when his Skyhawk (BuNo 149959, AH 300) was hit by an SA-2 during a strike on a thermal power plant at Hanoi. The explosion blew most of the stbd wing off and he ejected over Hanoi and was captured.
January 5, 1968: Lt(jg). Ralph Eugene Foulks was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150131, AH 303) was either hit by AAA or flew into
1967 tour summary: The 1967 Oriskany deployment subjected Air Wing 16 pilots to some of the heaviest air-to-ground combat that occurred during the Vietnam War. The VA-163 Saints lost eight pilots. Shot down and made Prisoners Of War: LCdr. Al Stafford, LCdr. John McCain (later Senator from Arizona) and LT(jg). David Carey. Killed In Action: LCdr. Don Davis, LT(jg). Ralph Bisz, LT(jg). James Dooley, LT(jg). J. M. Krommenhoek, and LT(jg). R. E. "Skip" Foulks.
Thesis by LCdr. Peter Fey U.S.N. on events JUN 1967 to JAN 1968. Members see the Ready Room. The "Military Channel" has aired a program that covers the actions of the USS Oriskany during the above time frame. It is titled "Hugging the Deck".
July 18, 1968: The VA-163 Saints deployed with their A-4E Skyhawks for their sixth and final WestPac cruise and their fourth Vietnam War combat deployment (07-18-68 to 03-03-69), as part of Air Wing 21 on board USS Hancock CVA-19.
July 25, 1968: LCdr. William Rankin was killed in route to Vietnam, off Hawaii immediately after a night cat shot. No one is sure, but the radar package may have come out of the instrument panel with the shot, impeding movement of the stick. It happened later to other pilots, so we removed the damn thing from all our planes. I trained Bill during our four month turn-a -round. He was a good friend, pilot, officer and a gentleman. From Ed Chadwick. 2340 A-4 aircraft Bureau Number 150006 with LCDR Rankin as pilot crashed in the water 000 relative, 1000 yds from ship. Maneuvered to avoid pilot and plane. 2341 Passed wreckage abeam to starboard. 2352 USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) is in area searching for pilot. Helo number 38 is over wreckage searching for pilot. 0011 USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) has lowered its lifeboat and is searching the wreckage. 0017 USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) has recovered an empty ejection seat. 0038 USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) has recovered empty pilots helmet. 0133 USS Brinkley Bass (DD-887) reports that her lifeboat has picked up part of inside of the pilots helmet, several classified documents, and some electronic gear. 0141 US Coast Guard C-130 has joined search and will illuminate the area with flares. USAF plane is proceeding to join search. 0148 USAF plane joined search. Launched helicopter #88 to assist in search operations. 0655 Completed search for A-4E aircraft. No further wreckage sighted. Pilot was not recovered. USS Hancock deck log, 25 & 26 July 1968.
April 1, 1969 (April Fool's Day): VA-163 was placed on inactive status.
July 1, 1971: Attack Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE - was dis-established.
1960-61: "While stationed at Cherry Point NC with VMGR 252, somehow I picked up a couple of photos, one is of an A-4 nose number 301 with the name Jack Manherz on the side. On the back it says Hank Kramer in the shot with "Ace" Kemmer." Lt.Col. Mitchell Bell
18 FEB 1961: Saints Skyhawk AH-302 draws a crowd of Boy Scouts. Joe Zieman is doing the emergency flare demonstration. Ed Copher.
13MAR61: Saint XO Bert Creighton's bicycle-built-for-two which he occasionly rode to the Cecil Field hanger. BuNo 142136, AH-301, is CO Manherz's plane. Note CAG-16 tail flash, but 163 insignia decals had not arrived. VA-163 Ordnance shack in background. Joe Ziemian on rear seat. Photo from Joe Ziemian.
06JUN61: Saints Skyhawk BuNo 142136, AH-301, parked on the ramp next to a Curtiss Pusher prop replica. Photo from Ed Copher.
06JUN61: Saints Skyhawk BuNo 144914, AH-304, next to a Dam Buster from the RAF Vulcan Bomber 617 Squadron at the 50th Anniversary of Naval Aviation demonstrating the biggest and smallest delta wing nuclear capable bombers. Naval Aviation News Photo via Ed Copher.
22AUG61: Skyhawk AH-311 draws a crowd as the Saints host the Boys Ranch members. Joe Zieman at right and plane captain kneeling at the top of the ladder. Ed Copher.
FEB62: The Saints in February, 1962. (image date of 08feb61 incorrect?) Picture of Initial Compliment of 163 pilots. Photo taken NAS Lemoore. To arrive yet were Bill McGowen, Spear, Hewitt, Northwang, and Daniels in time for 1st West Pac deployment in June 62. Pilots dressed in Survival & Safety gear as required by BUAER. Picture compliments of Joe Ziemian.
VA-163 Saints say goodby to one of their own. Detachment of Lt. Sandy Gadsby from VA-163 while steaming on CVA-34 off P.I. (Aug '62). Gadsby was detaching from the Saints and leaving Navy to attend Harvard Law School, when ship was operating in Philippine area. Due to delay in arranging transport home, Sandy flew from PI to Hong Kong on R&R flight and met the Oriskany when we pulled in for visit. He joined Reserves during school and drilled at Quonset Point R.I. where he flew A-4's. From Left-(back) Dupler, Spear, Simmons, Warnock (behind Gadsby), Sample, Ziemian, Unkown Hat, Cunningham, Norton. Front- Gadsby and Saints CO Marshall. Photo from Joe Ziemian.
1962-63: BuNo.142128. Navy photo via Tom Bispo.
Circa 1962: VA-163 BuNo 142827, AH-305; VA-163 AH-304; VA-163 BuNo 142139 and VA-164 BuNo 144904. Aboard the U.S.S. Oriskany during a WestPac Cruise. From Lt.Col. Mitchell Bell.
07JUN63: VA-163 A-4Bs weapons drop, Sept. 28, 1964 at China Lake. Photo U.S. Navy from Gary Verver Collection.
07JUN63: VA-163 A-4Bs weapons demo for President JFK at China Lake, Jun 7, 1963. Photo U.S. Navy from Gary Verver Collection.
07JUN63: 2nd shot of VA-163 A-4Bs weapons demo for President JFK at China Lake, Jun 7, 1963. Photo U.S. Navy from Gary Verver Collection.
1964: Saints Skyhawk formation trails Skywarrior BuNo 138959, ZB-10. From the top BuNo 142914, AH-307, BuNo 144914, AH-304, BuNo 142917, AH-301, BuNo 142775, AH-305 and BuNo 142826, AH-306. Naval Aviation News Photo.
1965: VA-163 Pilots during the 1965 cruise. Tom Herold.
09SEP65: VA-163,BuNo 151134, AH352, was lost in Viet Nam when CDR James B. Stockdale was shot down and taken prisoner on 09 SEP 1965.
1965: VA-163 White Hats during the 1965 cruise. Tom Herold.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151074, AH-343, and BuNo 151134, AH-349, on the ramp, NAS Lemoore. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151052, AH-353, on the ramp, NAS Lemoore. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151052, AH-353, being started - takes two - air and electric, NAS Lemoore. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151074, AH-343, starting up with a huffer and NC-5, NAS Lemoore. Name under canopy is LCdr. HAP Bowling, and Plane Captain name is Smith. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151065, AH-341, CO Cdr. Harry T. Jenkins, Jr. final check before taxing out, NAS Lemoore. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151065, AH-341, undergoing maintenance, NAS Lemoore. T. Prezorski (right) was killed when he was blown overboard during the up-coming WestPac on the USS Oriskany, CVA-34. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151052, VA-163 AH-353, with Plane Captain Bill Tomkow in the cockpit, USS Oriskany, CVA-34. Name under canopy is Lt(jg). Dave Small. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: VA-163 A-4E Skyhawks, USS Oriskany, CVA-34, in the Tonkin Gulf. L to R: BuNo unknown, BuNo 151055, AH-351, BuNo 151086, AH-345, BuNo 151168, AH-346, and AH-35x. AH-351 is having external power removed after start-up. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151067, AH-340, (007's CAG bird when he flies with VA-163) with Plane Captain Yanness, USS Oriskany, CVA-34. Name under the canopy is Cdr. Jim Stockdale. Next to AH-340 is VMF(AW)-212 F-8E Crusader BuNo 150665, WD-106. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: VA-163 A-4E, Skyhawk pilot J. Shore checking his dumb bombs with an AO, USS Oriskany, CVA-34, in the Tonkin Gulf. Photo from Bill Tomkow.
1965: A-4E BuNo 151074, AH-343, and BuNo 151087, AH-344, being manned by their pilots, USS Oriskany, CVA-34, 1965. Note Bullpup missiles on the outboard wing stations. Photo from Bill Tomkow. Pic 1 Pic 2
From "Vulture's Row", a good shot of a skyhawk in the landing pattern. Note the "Plane Guard" escort following CVA-34, ready to pick up anyone that goes for a swim.
1966: CDR Foster leading a formation of Saints Skyhawks.
1966: A VA-164 A-4E over the ramp of CVA-34. Pictures from Wayne Cypress.
1966: BuNo 151134, AH-352, BuNo 151055, AH-351 and BuNo 151086, AH-345. U.S. Navy photo via Tom Herold.
VA-163 Saints Skyhawk AH-343 ready for launch. U.S. Navy via Tom Bispo.
VA-163 Saints Skyhawk AH-348 assigned to Lt. Dick Tulley on the cat. U.S. Navy via Tom Bispo.
1967: Saints Skyhawk BuNo 150116, AH-306, parked on the ramp. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
Pre-23JUL66: Believed to be BuNo 152100, the last A-4E built, this Skyhawk is about to trap. On 23 JUL 1966 BuNo 152100, AH-301, was lost when VA-163 CO Wynn Foster was struck by AAA over Vietnam, injuring him and damaging the aircraft. Foster, his right arm severely damaged, made it "feet-wet" and punched out. BuNo 152100 went to a waterly grave and Foster, with the loss of his right arm, changed his call-sign to "Captain Hook".
VA-163 A-4E BuNo 152100 flown by Cdr. Wynn Foster, the CO of the squadron. It was the last A-4E off the production line. Cdr. Foster was flying it when it was later bagged by "AAA". BuNo 152100 went deep six in the Gulf of Tonkin on July 23, 1966; after Cr. Foster was forced to eject due to the lose of his right arm. Photo from Wynn "Captain Hook" Foster.
Captain Hook was a major player in the formation and growth of the Skyhawk Association. A "Plank Owner", he contributed in many areas, his most visible contribution being the "Skyhawks on Display" page. Here is Wynn Foster leading a flight. BuNo 152100. NOTAM 5-2013 (Wynn Foster)
Captain Wynn F. Foster, USN (Ret), Golden Eagle Emeritus:
Capt. Wynn F. Foster was a gentleman of the first order, a man who never complained about his fate, a man determined to serve his country as long as he was able, and a man to whom the honorable way was never out of focus. We have lost another member of the Greatest Generation. He will be missed. In sadness, Fred Lewis-Pilot.
Captain Wynn F. Foster, USN: Dec. 6, 1926 - June 9, 2013.
OCT66: BuNo 149998, AH-310, with port wingtip damage after an arrested wheels-up landing. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
26OCT6: U.S.S. Oriskany burns. Photo from Tom Herold, VA-163 White Hat.
26 OCT 1966: VA-163 Saints Skyhawks in the aftermath of the 1966 fire. U.S. Navy via Tom Bispo.
26 OCT 1966: Heavily damaged VA-163 Saints and VA-164 Ghostriders A-4E Skyhawks including AH-316, AH-404, AH-405 and AH-415 after a tragic fire on board the Oriskany. Also visible are a VA-52 Aces A-1H Skyraider and VF-162 Hunters F-8E Crusader AH-200.
Scorched VA-163 Saints Skyhawk AH-306 at O&R in the aftermath of the 1966 fire.
Scorched VA-163 Saints Skyhawk AH-306 at O&R in the aftermath of the 1966 fire.
1967: USS Oriskany (CVA-34) enroute to the western pacific with aircraft from CVW-16 (AH) including VF-111 Sundowners F-8C Crusaders, VF-162 Hunters F-8E Crusaders, VA-163 Saints A-4E Skyhawks, VA-164 Ghost Riders A-4E Skyhawks, VA-152 Fighting Aces A-1H/J Skyraiders, VAH-4 Fourrunners Det. 34 KA-3B Skywarriors, VFP-63 Eyes of the Fleet Det. 34 RF-8G Crusaders, VAW-111 Early Elevens E-1B Trackers and HC-1 Fleet Angels Det. G UH-2A/B Seasprites, 23 June 1967.
20OCT67: LTJG Denny Earl, with both legs shattered by North Vietnamese anti-aircraft fire, engages the barricade as he lands Saints Skyhawk BuNo 149959, AH-300, aboard the Oriskany. a href="/sites/default/files/images-buno-149647-150600/149959b.jpg">Pic2. U.S. Navy Photo by PHC Neal Crowe. U.S. Navy photos via "Boom" Powell.
AUG68: Saints Skyhawk BuNo 149972, NP-302, lands in the barricade aboard the Hanna.
Saints Skyhawk BuNo 149972, NP-302, following a landing into the barricade aboard the Hanna.
Circa 1967: VA-163 A-4E BuNo 149998, AH-310, and VA-152 A-1H Skyraider BuNo 137610, AH-513, from USS Oriskany (CVW-16) fly close together during an air strike somewhere over North Vietnam. Photo courtesy of Bob Lawson.
VA-163 A-4B BuNo 142917, AH-301, in formation with a VAH-4 A-3A Skywarrior BuNo 138959, ZB-10, from USS Oriskany (CV-31). Photo courtesy of Bob Lawson.
1968: The maintenance/material control department of VA-163 aboard CVA-19, the USS Hancock. "Left to right they are; AK1 Pippin, AZ2 Carter, AN Harman, ADTC Hall, AMCS Gallaher, AZ1 Wheeler and AZ3 Bedgood. My picture mentions that AZ3 Blythe was absent from the picture. I was assigned to the Saints in September of 1967 after San Diego boot camp, marriage and “A” school in Millington, Tennessee. The squadron was deployed on the USS Oriskany and I was flown to Cubi point where I initially was billeted in the transient barracks. Once the squadron “found” me I was assigned to the beach detachment until the ship returned to Subic Bay and picked-up the detachment in route to Hong Kong and then San Francisco. I had nice accommodations; I think they had to come down to our space to check the black oil and we had two fire alarms on the way to Hong Kong!! (a lot of “Z” fittings to get out of there)
1968: VA-164s (red boomerang) birds are on the port and you’ll note that they all have the electronics hump behind the cockpit. "This picture of the Hancock shows me with my arms stretched out over my head between the 2nd and 3rd A4 on the starboard bow." Donald Franklin Bedgood VA-163.
1968: Newspaper Clipping from April 1968 of the "Saints". Provided by Ed Copher.
A "zoom in" shot of "163". Larry Neff, with the white 'T' shirt on, is shown standing just left of the nose of the left aircraft. Provided by Ed Copher.
14JAN69: VA-163 A-4E Skyhawk January 14, 1969. This is probably the last A-4E of VA-163 to visit Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan. A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 149982, side number NP-314, from the United States Ship Hancock, approaches touchdown at Atsugi. Please notice the open speedbrake. The wingman, (not in picture), was flying A-4E BuNo. 150026, side number NP-305. Photograph by and courtesy of Masaaki Hayakawa.
VA-163 A-4E Skyhawk at Pensacola. BuNo 149656 hangs in the Pensacola Museum dressed in VA-163 colors. She did not actually serve with VA-163, spending most of her time at the Navy Fighter Weapons School at NAS Miramar. Photo by John Shore.
Jim Taylor Memorial: ..we put Jim away in a style fitting for a Sailor, Officer and Gentleman. The proceedings were a short service at the Southern Nevada Veterans Cemetery, then a reception ..... Ed Chadwick, Bill Tomko, John Weber, Fred Mitchell and myself in attendance. A number of stories were told of happenings in Jim’s life. The family was appreciative of our support.... a few photos below in the attachment section of the family, Life Celebration Program and VA -163 Saints. Wife Judy, son Gary and daughter Mary Anne. Hubert Cook.
Former Saint, Bill Tomko, has provided images of the Oriskany cruise during 1965. See the attachment section at the bottom of the page, and also the photo section.
2003 VISIT TO NAS LEMOORE: Mister Ed (Ed Copher, VA-163 SDO) On Veterans Day , I spent the night at the Navy Lodge on Lemoore. The whole Base is practically brand new. Base housing is one year old, made of stucco and has red tile roofs….very elegant looking. The Navy Lodge is three years old and very nice rooms with full kitchens…..it won an award as the best in the Navy last year .
Off Duty shots of Art Janson and shipmates, 1962: Off duty Pic1; Off duty Pic2; Off duty Pic3; Off duty Pic4; Off duty Pic5; Off duty Pic6. Images from Wayne Cypress via Ed Copher upon the death of Art Hanson.
1966: The long straight street on the left side is "Palm Street" on North Island, and leads SE away from the Carriers CVA-64 and CVA-34.
VA 163/VA-164 Reunion in Pensacola Nov 16/17/18, 2007
Saints Reunion 2014: Hello Saints! We just want to say what a wonderful time we had at the Saints Reunion 2014! We had 38 Saints in attendance plus some wives and friends. We had an opportunity to visit with our lone remaining Saints Commanding Officer, Skipper Bryan Compton and that was a treat.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit