Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO). See FAQ/Research/Contact link under [SA] in the menu.
Provided by Puresome
Hotrodus Supersonicus - 1961
Provided by Puresome
VA-36 Roadrunners - 1987
VF-102's first patch, the Winged Wolf, was in use by October 1952. The patch included: a blue circular design with a black winged wolf leaping diagonally from left to right in front of a yellow moon and over a red lightning bolt; and a blue sea depicted in the lower part of the circle. The wolf, lightning bolt, blue sea and circular insignia were outlined in yellow.
VF-102 Junior Officers also had an unofficial Roadrunner patch they wore on their flight jackets during the 1950s, the patch corresponded with the squadrons nickname of Road Runners which was adopted in 1949 and was probably linked to the popular movie cartoon introduced during that time.
After VF-102 was re-designated VA-36 in 1956 the Roadrunner patch was the patch of choice; and VA-36 officially adopted the Roadrunner patch after receiving its first A-4 Skyhawks in September 1958. One of the nicknames for the A-4 was "Heinemann's Hot Rod" and the "Supersonicus" logo on the patch is a play on the nickname and the Roadrunner movie cartoon. This patch is shown above.
After VA-36 was re-established a modified Roadrunner patch was approved April 6, 1987. The modified patch depicted a bird with a snake clutched in its talons.
Harry S. Gann
Roadrunners, 1949 to 1994.
May 1, 1952, Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWO (VF-102) established.
July 1, 1955, VF-102 re-designated as Attack Squadron THIRTY SIX (VA-36).
August 1, 1970, Attack Squadron THIRTY SIX (VA-36) disestablished.
March 6, 1987, Attack Squadron THIRTY SIX (VA-36) re-established.
April 1, 1994, Attack Squadron THIRTY SIX (VA-36) disestablished.
Date - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Location:
May 1, 1952 - - - - Naval Auxiliary Air Station Cecil Field
July 1955 - - - - - Naval Air Station Jacksonville
April 1956- - - - - Naval Air Station Cecil Field
March 6, 1987 - - - Naval Air Station Oceana
Date - - - - - - - - - - - - Tail code - - - - - - - Air Wing
May 1, 1952- - - - - - P- - - - - - CVG-10
November 1953- - - - - K- - - - - - CVG-3
September 1954 - - - - P- - - - - - CVG-10
May 1955†- - - - - - - J/AP*- - - - ATG-201
January 15, 1958 - - - AQ - - - - - ATG-202
March 14, 1958 - - - - AL - - - - - CVG-17
October 11, 1958 - - - AC - - - - - CVG-3/CVW-3‡
September 22, 1965 - - NG - - - - - CVW-9
July 15, 1966- - - - - AJ - - - - - CVW-8
September 1, 1966- - - AE - - - - - CVW-6
October 16, 1967 - - - AK - - - - - CVW-10
August 1, 1969 - - - - AA - - - - - CVW-17
September 1987 - - - - AJ - - - - - CVW-8
* The tail code J was assigned to ATG-201 on July 24, 1956 and changed to AP in the latter part of 1957. The effective date for the change was most likely the beginning of FY 58 (July 1, 1957).
† The specific date the squadron was assigned to Air Task Group 201 (ATG-201) has not been verified. However, it probably was in May 1955, the date the squadron deployed aboard Bennington (CVA 20) for a shakedown cruise to Guantanamo Bay.
‡ Carrier Air Groups were re-designated Carrier Air Wings on December 20, 1963, hence, CVG-3 became CVW-3.
May 1952 - - - - - - - - - - - - - Goodyear FG-1D Corsair I
October 1952 - - - - - - - - - - - Grumman F9F-5 Panther *
November 2, 1956 - - - - - - - - - Grumman F9F-8 & F9F-8T Cougar *
April 14, 1957 - - - - - - - - - - Grumman F9F-8T Cougar * **
July 25, 1958- - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-1 (A-4A) Skyhawk **
January 10, 1958 - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk **
March 21, 1961 - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk **
September 28 1967- - - - - - - - - Douglas A-4E Skyhawk
May 1987 - - - - - - - - - - - - - Grumman A-6E Intruder
* The F9F through the F9F-5 Panther have straight wings; The F9F-6 through the F9F-8 Cougar have swept wings.
** November 30, 1962
The F9F-8T designation changed to TF-9J
The A4D-1 designation changed to A-4A
The A4D-2 designation changed to A-4B
The A4D-2N designation changed to A-4C
The A4D-5 designation changed to A-4E
† The squadron began its transition to A-4Es in October 1967 and in November 1967 transitioned back to A-4Cs.
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
Departure & Return - - - - - - - - Air Wing - Carrier - Aircraft - - Area of Operations:
11-53 to 09-54 - - - - CVG-3 - - CVA 40 - - F9F-5- - World Cruise
10-31-55 to 04-16-56 - ATG-201 - CVA 20 - - F9F-5- - WestPac
08-15-59 to 02-26-60 - CVG-3 - - CVA 60 - - A4D-2- - Mediterranean
08-22-60 to 02-26-61 - CVG-3 - - CVA 60 - - A4D-2- - NorLant/Mediterranean
07-05-61 to 08-22-61 - CVG-3 - - CVA 60 - - A4D-2N - Caribbean
11-28-61 to 05-11-62 - CVG-3 - - CVA 60 - - A4D-2N - Mediterranean
12-03-62 to 12-21-62 - CVG-3 - - CVA 60 - - A4D-2N - Caribbean
03-29-63 to 10-25-63 - CVG-3 - - CVA 60 - - A-4C - - Mediterranean
11-28-64 to 07-12-65 - CVW-3 - - CVA 60 - - A-4C - - Mediterranean
10-26-65 to 06-21-66 - CVW-9 - - CVAN 65- - A-4C - - WestPac/Vietnam
01-10-67 to 09-20-67 - CVW-6 - - CVA 66 - - A-4C - - Mediterranean
06-04-68 to 02-08-69 - CVW-10- - CVS 11 - - A-4C - - Pacific/Vietnam
12-02-69 to 07-08-70 - CVW-17- - CVA 59 - - A-4C - - Mediterranean
08-25-88 to 10-11-88 - CVW-8 - - CVN 71 - - A-6E - - NorLant
12-30-88 to 06-30-89 - CVW-8 - - CVN 71 - - A-6E - - Mediterranean
12-28-90 to 06-28-91 - CVW-8 - - CVN 71 - - A-6E - - Mediterranean/IO
03-11-93 to 09-08-93 - CVW-8 - - CVN 71 - - A-6E - - Mediterranean/IO
Date Assumed Command - - - - - - - CMDR Officer
May 1, 1952- - - - - - - CMDR R. B. Dalton
1953 - - - - - - - - - - CMDR R. A. Clarke
September 10, 1954 - - - CMDR L. A. Menard, Jr.
May 31, 1956 - - - - - - CMDR Thad T. Coleman, Jr.
July 26, 1957- - - - - - CMDR Hugh M. Garvey
July 22, 1958- - - - - - CMDR A. L. Detweiler
January 30, 1960 - - - - CMDR P. D. Davidson
April 28, 1961 - - - - - CMDR G. L. Ayers, Jr.
May 29, 1962 - - - - - - CMDR E. J. Carroll
May 18, 1963 - - - - - - CMDR H .K. Matthes
May 1, 1964- - - - - - - CMDR R. W. Somers
April 22, 1965 - - - - - CMDR J. E. Marshall
April 2, 1966- - - - - - CMDR T. F. Rush
May 19, 1967 - - - - - - CMDR A. R. Cunningham
May 24, 1968 - - - - - - CMDR E. H. Brooks
May 29, 1969 - - - - - - CMDR N. H. Rose
March 30, 1970 - - - - - CMDR W. C. Nix
March 6, 1987- - - - - - CMDR T. Lamar Willis
December 1, 1988 - - - - CMDR Daniel J. Franken
May 4, 1990- - - - - - - CMDR T. Ladson Webb, Jr.
August 27, 1991- - - - - CMDR Thomas M. Deyke
September 3, 1992- - - - CMDR Mark T. McNally
September 23, 1993 - - - CMDR Mark J. Himler
Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:
July 1958 to June 1959
01 January 1967 to 30 June 1968
03 December 1962 to 20 December 1962
07 July 1961 to 19 August 1961
02 December 1965
11 December 1965
21 December 1965
24 December 1965
26 December 1965 to 30 December 1965
01 January 1966 to 02 January 1966
04 January 1966 to 14 January 1966
04 February 1966
09 February 1966
23 February 1966
27 March 1966 to 28 March 1966
30 March 1966 to 31 March 1966
02 April 1966
11 April 1966
29 April 1966
01 October 1968 to 01 November 1968
02 December 1965 to 14 January 1966
04 February 1966 to 23 February 1966
16 March 1966 to 12 April 1966
22 April 1966 to 14 May 1966
23 May 1966 to 06 June 1966
11 July 1968 to 12 July 1968
14 July 1968 to 15 July 1968
23 July 1968 to 22 August 1968
14 October 1968 to 14 November 1968
03 December 1968 to 27 December 1968
06 July 1968 to 16 January 1969
17 January 1991 to 07 February 1991
14 January 1991 to 20 April 1991
05 April 1991 to 16 July 1991
01 March 1993 to 01 August 1993
May 1, 1952: Established as Fighter Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWO (VF-102). The first aircraft assigned to the Roadrunners was the Goodyear FG-1D Corsair I.
October 1952: Fighter Squadron 102 was assigned a new aircraft, the Grumman F9F-5 Panther. The Panther had straight wings. You may see the Panther featured in the movie "The Bridges at Toko-Ri" starring William Holden, Mickey Rooney, B. S. Bully, Fredric March and Grace Kelly. This movie based on James Michener's book is the source of the famous quote: "--- where do we get such men?"
November 1953 to September 1954: During the squadron's world cruise aboard USS Tarawa CVA 40, VF-102 visited fourteen different ports in ten foreign countries and transited the Suez and Panama Canals.
July 1, 1955: Fighter Squadron 102 was re-designated Attack Squadron THIRTY SIX (VA-36).
November 2, 1956: VA-36 was assigned a new aircraft, the Grumman F9F-8 & F9F-8T Cougar. The Cougar was a Panther with swept wings that were forty percent larger and a hundred mile an hour speed increase.
September 11, 1958: VA-36 was assigned a new aircraft, the Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk.
June 29, 1960: Lt.(jg) William D. Lewis was killed . . . Jacksonville: The Navy said today two pilots are missing after two plane crashes yesterday - one of them at sea. The wreckage of the Skyhawk (BuNo 142681) was found today on the edge of Georges Lake 27 miles south of Cecil Field. No trace of the pilot was found. His name was not released. Fort Lauderdale News, Wednesday, 29 June 1960. Two Navy pilots were listed as missing and believed killed in separate crashes in NE FL, Wednesday. One plane, a single engine A4D Skyhawk went down in a swampy area of NW Putnam County, about 10 miles NW of Palatka. The Highway Patrol said searchers found the plane scattered over a quarter-mile area but there was no sign of the pilot. His name was withheld. . . A Putnam County farmer reported Tuesday night he heard a crash and saw billowing smoke. The Navy began an aerial search at dawn and spotted the wreckage near Lake George. The search continued for the missing pilot. He was attached to VA-36 at NAS Cecil Field, Jacksonville. The Miami Herald, Thursday, 30 June 1960. The Navy called off a search Thursday for a pilot believed killed when his single engine jet crashed near Palatka Tuesday night. The pilot was identified Thursday as Lt.(jg) William D. Lewis of Canton, OH. Searchers found the wreckage of the plane scattered over a quarter-mile area Wednesday morning. But there was no sign of the pilot. A Navy spokesman said Lewis is presumed dead. The Miami Herald, Friday, 01 July 1960.
December 14, 1960: LCdr. Carl Meredith of Jacksonville is presumed dead after his plane (A4D-2 BuNo 142418) crashed into the stern of the USS Saratoga while attempting to land on the carrier in the Mediterranean. The Newark Advocate, Fri., Dec. 16, 1960. 2024 A4D BuNo 142418 of VA-36, pilot LCDR Merideth, crashed into the stern after no taking a wave-off. Aircraft slid forward on angle deck and exploded before falling into the sea off the port side at approximately frame 120 at latitude 39-34.6 N., longitude 12-13E., and sank in 1800 fathoms of water. USS Bristol (DD-857) directed to proceed to scene of crash. 2306 USS Corry (DDR-817) and USS Stickell (DDR-888) were detached to proceed at best speed and rendezvous with USS Bristol (DD-857) to assist in search for pilot of crashed airplane. USS Saratoga deck log, Wednesday, 14 December 1960.
November 5, 1961: Lt.(jg) Richard O. Benoit successfully ejected at an altitude of 300' when his Skyhawk developed engine problems, crashed and exploded in flames, during an approach to NAS Cecil Field. The News Journal, Monday, November 6, 1961. Lt.(jg) Richard O. Benoit successfully ejected at an altitude of 300' when his Skyhawk developed engine problems crashed and exploded in flames near Jacksonville. Benoit was enroute from the USS Saratoga. Delaware County Daily Times, Chester, PA., Tuesday, November 7, 1961.
July 5 through August 22, 1961: While deployed on a training cruise aboard USS CVA 60, in the Caribbean, the Roadrunners were diverted to Cuba for the Bay of Pigs invasion.
November 28, 1964, to July 12, 1965: VA-36 deployed With A4D-2N Skyhawks aboard USS Saratoga CVA 60, in the Mediterranean.
December 3, 1962, to December 21, 1962: VA-36 deployed with A-4C Skyhawks aboard USS Saratoga CVA 60, in the Caribbean.
July 24, 1963: Capt. J.H. Metz (USAF) pilot of A-4C NR-606 (BuNo 148551) reported to have ejected at 270 (T), 59 miles from this ship at 1103. Proceeding to scene of downed pilot at 1107. OIC reported Capt. Metz had been picked up in good condition by USS Perry (DD-844) at 1250. USS Saratoga Deck Log, Wednesday, 24 July 1963.
March 29, 1963, to October 25, 1963: VA-36 deployed With A-4C Skyhawks aboard USS Saratoga CVA 60, in the Mediterranean.
August 15, 1963: An F-3B piloted by LCdr. Keneth E. Cornell crashed on the flight deck of the USS Saratoga, plowed into several parked planes and burst into flames. Cornell was not injured. Killed were AMS3 J.A. Sherrill and Airman D.W. Cors. Stars and Stripes, 15 August 1963. 2214 An F-3B BuNo 146716 piloted by LCDR K.E. Cornell of VF-31, having been recovered by engaging number two deck pendant, crashed into A4C BuNo 148554 which was being taxied through the landing area. As a result of this crash, it appears that both aircraft caught fire. GQ was ordered. The fire on the deck appears to have spread to aircraft in the vicinity of the after part of the island. Commenced a left turn and slowed to five knots in order that the wind would be positioned so that damage by this fire could be minimized. Position at the time of the crash is 38-43N; 06-41E. 2219 Steady on course 290 speed 5 Kts. The nineteen aircraft that are airborne have been diverted to Decimomannu, Sardinia. Initial report of injuries show: two dead: AMS3 Jack Augusta Sherrill (V-1). ADJAN Donald William Cors (VA-36) and six injured as follows: ABE2 Richard Charles Kinzig (V-2), ABEC Richard Daniel Evans (V-2), AN Larry Dennis Sowers (V-2), Lt. Robert (n) Dvorak (cat officer), AN Charles O'Neal Jr. (V-1) and AN Theodore Joseph Arsenault (VA-34). 2250 All fires having been reported out and reflash watches having been set, secured from GQ and directed all repair parties to remain on station. As a result of the crash and subsequent fire it appears that seven aircraft have suffered damage. USS Saratoga Deck Log, Thursday, 15 August 1963. In addition to the colliding aircraft the ensuing fire destroyed VA-34 A-4C BuNo 148476, VA-34 A-4C BuNo 149592, VAW-12 E-1B BuNo 147216, and damaged VF-31 F-3B BuNo 143476 and VF-32 F-8D BuNo 147917. Two sailors were killed Thursday and seven others injured when an F-3B "Demon" fighter piloted by LCdr. Kenneth E. Cornell crashed on the flight deck in the Mediterranean, plowed into several parked airplanes and burst into flames. Cornell was not injured. Killed were AM3 J.A. Sherrill of Hapeville, GA, and AN D.W. Cors of Indianapolis, IN. Both were standing near the parked planes when the fighter crashed. European Stars and Stripes, Monday, August 19, 1963. An F-3B all-weather fighter piloted by Ohioan LCdr. Kenneth E. Cornell of Hilliard crashed into a parked plane while making a night landing in the USS Saratoga, two deaths resulted. Seven men also were injured including AN W. Macklin from Ohio, the Navy reported Monday when it disclosed the mishap had occurred in the Mediterranean last Thursday. Lancaster. OH, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, Tuesday. August 20, 1963
I remember it well. I was an LSO hunkered down in the catwalk below the LSO platform when the accident occurred. There was an A-4 with engine running just above us, and the tailpipe was over the platform keeping us in the catwalk. The launch had been cancelled, and the deck was being pulled forward to get ready for the recovery. Something went awry in pri-fly, and someone turned the deck lights on before the landing area was clear. All hell broke loose when that Demon landed into the still moving pack. There had been a lot of live ammo in the planes on the deck which hadn't been removed after the previous recovery, so rockets were cooking off and some other ordinance was flying all around the place. Worst chaos I have ever seen. I thought we were going to lose the ship when I saw that wall of burning JP spreading over the deck. I think there were 11 or 12 planes pushed over the side by Tilly because they were nothing but burnt-out hulls. A night to forget, but the memory lingers on. Ray Yenchko.
March 09, 1964: Lt(jg). W.R. Alcorn, 24, based at NAS Cecil, ejected safely when his A-4C Skyhawk (BuNo 148574) caught fire and crashed into a wooded area 3 1/2 miles north of U.S. 90 near Jacksonville, FL. Indiana Evening Gazette, Wed., March 11, 1964.
November 28, 1964, to July 12, 1965: VA-36 deployed with A-4C Skyhawks aboard USS Saratoga CVA 60, in the Mediterranean.
July 13, 1965, to October 25, 1965: We returned from the Med cruise aboard the Saratoga in July 65 so only had about 3 mos. at home and they were filled with SERE, China Lake with Alcorn to learn Shrike, and then car quals on the Enterprise. Barely time to catch our breath!! Ted "Bear" Langworthy. USS Enterprise CVAN 65, deployed for their first of two WestPac/Vietnam combat cruises.
December 2, 1965: The squadron conducted its first combat operations, flying from USS Enterprise CVAN 65, on Dixie Station in the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam. This marked the first time a nuclear-powered ship had engaged in combat.
December 1965 to June 1966: During this period of combat operations squadron personnel were awarded over 170 Air Medals.
December 22, 1965: Lt.(jg) Wendell Reed Alcorn ejected and was captured when his aircraft was hit in the cockpit and his oxygen mask caught fire just after releasing his bombs on the Uong Bi power plant. On his 28th combat missions over North Vietnam on Dec. 20, 1965, his A‐4 Skyhawk was shot down on a strike against a power plant complex outside of Haiphong, a major port city. “We went in at 50 feet,” he wrote. “We had flights of four in tight formation and we all dropped when the leader dropped. Ours was the third flight through. Just as I was dropping my bombs, I was hit in the cockpit, a shell went through my oxygen mask, a shell hit me in the side of the neck and the oxygen mask blew up. I was temporarily blinded. At 500 mph, 50 feet and unable to see, I had to make a quick decision. “I’ll always live with the question of whether I made the right decision because in a matter of seconds I could see again. But by that time, I had ejected and was standing on the ground.” Interview Transylvania (Pennsylvania) Times.
January 14, 1966: Lt.(jg) S.B. Jordan ejected near the USS Enterprise after he came in too low and hit trees just after releasing a Snakeye on his fifth pass attacking a bridge 35 miles N of Saravan. Despite the loss of a foot off each wingtip, partially torn off slats, damaged ailerons and main landing gear doors he made it back to the carrier. 1653 Pilot from A/C 713, A4C, VA-36, ejected stbd side 10 miles from this ship. Pilot recovered by helo. 1735 Received report pilot of A/C 713, Lt.(jg) Jordan ejected because A/C disabled by enemy fire. USS Enterprise deck log, 14 January 1966.
March 20, 1966: Cdr. James Alfred Mulligan (A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 148313, NG-703) ejected and was captured when an explosion in the forward engine compartment forced him to eject three miles short of the coast after a Rolling Thunder strike against a road bridge near Lang Dong. Cdr. J.A. Mulligan successfully ejected and was captured and made Prisoner of War.
May 23, 1966: Ens. Karl W. Leuffen (A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 147762, NG-712) ejected at 350 feet near the Enterprise and was rescued when his engine failed after he was hit by ground fire during a run on the DongKhe railway bridge. 1158 A-4C went in water off stbd beam, position 18-29.4 N 107-50.6 E Side number 712 of VA-36, pilot Ens. Lueffen. Cause attributed to a flame out. 1200 Pilot recovered by helicopter and delivered onboard USS Enterprise CVA(N)-65. Injuries to pilot none apparent. USS Enterprise deck log, 23 May 1966.
May to June 1967: VA-36, embarked on USS America CVA 66, was on station in the eastern Mediterranean during the Middle East War between Israel and Egypt and Syria. Units of America's air wing were launched to provide air cover for USS Liberty AGTR 5, when it came under attack by Israeli forces.
June 4, 1968, through February 8, 1969: VA-36 flying the A-4C Skyhawk from the from USS Intrepid CVS 11 deployed for their second of two WestPac/Vietnam combat cruises. The Road Runners had no combat losses this cruise.
August 20, 1968: Lt.(jg) Richard T. Holden ejected and was rescued ... 0424 ... received report of mid-air collision, commenced emergency full forward to recover a/c, launched one helo. 0449 emergency full forward complete, commenced recovering a/c recovered one a/c involved in mid-air collision. 0520 A4C Bureau # 148470 of VA-36, pilot LTJG Richard T. Holden crashed into the sea dead ahead at latitude 17-40.5N, longitude 107-11.5E and sank in 30 fathoms of water. Received report that pilot of A-4C Bureau # 148470 ejected. 0522 USS Hanson (DD-832), USS Preston (DD-795) and helo commenced search for pilot. 0531 Recovered on helo. Pilot recovered by helo and delivered on board USS Intrepid (CVS-11). Injuries to pilot minor. Search for pilot concluded. USS Intrepid deck Log, Deck Log (cont.), Tuesday, 20 August 1968. Another account states that Lt. DeFilippo in A-4C BuNo 148470 collided with VA-36 CO Cdr. E. H. Brooks while returning from a strike over North Vietnam. Both made it back to the Intrepid where Cdr. Brooks made a barrier recovery. Lt. DeFillipo stooged about and after losing hydraulics and electronics and with the engine coming apart ejected ten miles in front of the Intrepid. Cdr. Brooks Skyhawk was scrapped for parts.
July 31, 1969: LCdr. Alan Everest Hospes (A-4C BuNo 149538) was on a practice dive bombing mission at Pinecastle in central Florida when his engine quit, and he had to eject. The ballistic spreader failed, his chute didn't open, and he fell to his death. From Bob Hall & Ken Olsen. A Navy Skyhawk crashed and exploded in Graham Swamp, NW of Flagler Beach, Thursday afternoon. The body of the pilot, LCdr. Alan Hospes of Orange Park was found late Friday afternoon by searchers who had probed the dense swamp since the crash. According to the Sheriff, two boys who witnessed the crash, reported the aircraft dove into the forest and they saw the pilot eject, but never saw his chute open. The Flagler Tribune, Thursday, 07 August 1969.
1969-70 MED Cruise aboard CVA-59: I was attached to VA-36 while aboard the USS Forrestal in 1969 until its decommissioning in 1970. During this cruise, my Division Officer Lt. R.E. Kuehn was lost at sea during night ops. I am preparing a memorial for him on the TWS (Together We Served) web site. I would appreciate any and all information you can provide. Ray L. Lucas VA-36 Maintenance Control. email@example.com
January 8, 1970: Lt. Rodney E. Kuehn, was killed after his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 149519) crashed in the Mediterranean during a night exercise on Jan. 7. His plane disappeared from the radar screen while flying about four miles from the carrier USS Forrestal off the island of Sardinia. The Stars and Stripes, Wednesday, January 14, 1970 and Daily Tribune, Great Bend, KS, Tuesday, January 13, 1970. Aircraft, A-4C Skyhawk, side number 511 failed to return to Forrestal. USS Sampson, USS Cone, and two HS-11 helicopters are searching the area around Lat. 39 degrees 28’ N, and Long. 11 degrees 11’ E. Pilot of aircraft #511, identified as LT. Rodney E. Kuehn of squadron VA-36. Helicopter sighted belly tank in water bearing 328 range 28 miles from Forrestal’s present position. 2101 helicopter sighted debris in water near wing tank. 2016 pilot’s helmet sighted in water near wing tank. USS Forrestal historian Ken Killmeyer.
August 1, 1970: VA-36 disestablished.
March 6, 1987: Re-established as Attack Squadron THIRTY SIX (VA-36). VA-36 was assigned the Grumman A-6E Intruder.
December 30, 1988: VA-36 deployed aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN 71, for the carrier's maiden cruise to the Mediterranean Sea.
January 20 to February 28, 1991: The squadron participated in Operation Desert Storm, combat operations against Iraq.
April to June 1991: The squadron participated in Operation Provide Comfort, a multi-national operation providing relief and aid for Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq.
March to September 1993: The squadron, along with other units of CVW-8, deployed aboard USS Teddy Roosevelt CVN 71, in a new approach to joint operations to test the Navy's ability to project a wide range of power and mobility from the sea. The composition on the carrier during the deployment included the regular air wing, minus an F-14 and S-3 squadron, and a special Marine Air-Ground Task Force consisting of a Marine Corps fixed-wing and helo squadron and a company of Marines. The mix of units provided the carrier with the ability to project air and ground striking power ashore from a single deck.
June 1993: The squadron, along with other units embarked on USS Theodore Roosevelt CVN 71, operated in the Red Sea in support of a strike on the Iraqi Intelligence Service headquarters building in Baghdad in response to Iraq's attempt on the life of former President Bush while on a visit to Kuwait in April. During this time, the squadron also participated in Operation Southern Watch missions, enforcing the United Nations no-fly zone within southern Iraq.
April 1, 1994: VA-36 Road Runners disestablished.
Jun-AUG 1960: A-36 A-4B traps aboard CVA-60. Photo courtesy of Tail Hook Association.
1961: VA-36 Roadrunners A4D-2 Skyhawks BuNo 142871, AC-601, and BuNo 142870, AD-607, in-flight while assigned to the USS Saratoga, 1961. Official U.S. Navy photo.
JUN62: LCDR J.H. Wynn, III, poses in front of Roadrunners Skyhawk BuNo 142868, AC-606, after logging his 400th carrier landing, his 300th aboard the Saratogaa & his 1,000th hour in the Skyhawk in a span of three days. Naval Aviation News photo, Gary Verver.
1962: USS Saratoga (CVA-60) with aircraft from CVW-3 (AC) including VF-31 Tomcatters F3H-2 Demons, VF-32 Swordsmen F8U-1E Crusaders, VA-34 Blue Blasters A4D-2 Skyhawks, VA-35 Panthers AD-6 Skyraiders, VAH-9 Hoot Owls A3D-2 Skywarriors, VA-36 Roadrunners A4D-2 Skyhawks, VFP-62 Eyes of the Fleet Det. F8U-1P Crusaders, VAW-12 Det. WF-2 Trackers, VAW-33 Det. 41 and HU-2 Det. HUP-2 Retrievers, 1961-1962.
1962-64: Road Runners Skyhawk BuNo 148543, AK-611, over Athens, Greece. "Bear" Langworthy
15DEC63: VA-36 Roadrunners A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 148571, AC-605, USS Randolph, CVS-15. Official U.S. Navy photo.
1963: NAN picture of CVA-60 and VA-36 in a MED port. 1963 NAN
1964: U.S.S. Saratoga: Roadrunners LT Benoit checks the missile target on Skyhawk AK-2 that he will be firing as other carrier pilots pursue. Naval Aviaton news photo.
APR66: NAN photo of VA-36 A-4C aboard the Enterprise, CVN-65. APR 1966 NAN
1964: The finishing touches are put on the missile target on Roadrunners Skyhawk AK-2 as it is readied for launch. Naval Aviaton news photo.
1964: Left side in-flight view as Road Runners Skyhawk BuNo 147809, NG-7xx, operating from the USS Enterprise refuels from a Skywarrior tanker. "Bear" Langworthy.
1965: Roadrunners Skyhawk BuNo 149569, NG-701, freshly painted for change of command. "Bear" Langworthy.
1965: Left side view of VA-36 Roadrunners A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 149634, AE-312, ready to launch from (CVA-66) USS America in the Med. USS America CVA66 Cruise Book from Jack R. Hansen.
1965: Right rear view of VA-36 Roadrunners A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 149634, AE-312, behind the jet blast deflector (JBD) on USS America (CVA-66) as two A-4C Skyhawks launch simultaneously from the forward cats. VF-33 Tarsiers F-4B Phantom II, AE-211, at right. USS America CVA66 Cruise Book from Jack R. Hansen.
1966: Right side view as VA-36 Roadrunners A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 149524, AE-305, climbs away from the USS America (CVA-66) with the speed brakes in and the tailhook down. USS America CVA66 Cruise Book from Jack R. Hansen.
1966: Left side view of VA-36 Roadrunners A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 149520, NG-705, aboard the USS Enterprise with a bit of battle damage. Dave Dollarhide via Gary Shreffler.
1966: USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) with aircraft from CVW-9 (NG) on deck including VF-92 Silver Kings F-4B Phantoms, VF-96 Falcons F-4B Phantoms, VA-36 Roadrunners A-4C Skyhawks, VA-76 Spirits A-4C Skyhawks, VA-93 Blue Blasters A-4C Skyhawks, VA-94 Mighty Shrikes A-4C Skyhawks, VAH-4 Fourrunners Det M A-3B Skywarriors, RVAH-7 Peacemakers RA-5C Vigilantes, VAW-11 Early Elevens Det M E-1B Tracers, HC-1 Fleet Angels Det M UH-2A/B Seasprites, VQ-1 Det EA-3B Skywarriors and VAP-61 World Recorders Det RA-3B Skywarriors, circa 1965-1966.
21jun66: From l to r, bottom to top; 147724 VA-36 NG-714, 147807 VA-76 NG-5xx, 149629 VA-76 NG-503, 149498 VA-76 NG-515, 148610 VA-76 NG-501, 147696 VA-36 NG-7xx, 147747 VA-36 NG-711, 148484 VA-36 NG-707, 147678 VA-36 NG-715, 147764 VA-36 NG-710, 148520 VA-36 NG-713, 147709 VA-36 NG-716, 149520 VA-36 NG-705, 147809 VA-36 NG-704, and at the point a unknown VA-36 Road Runner NG-7xx. Willam Larkins
1967: U.S.S. America, 1967 Med Cruise. Photo by Ted "Bear" Langworthy
1967: U.S.S. America with a "Whale" over her ramp, June 1967 Med cruise. Photo by Ted "Bear" Langworthy.
1967: VA-36 Ready Room, CVA66 Med Cruise, l to r; LT Bill Collins, CDR Frank Rush, LT Jim Cook, LT "Bear" Langworthy, LT Don Dollar. Photo from "Bear" Langworthy.
1967: Flight Deck in the MED on the 1967 U.S.S. America Cruise. Photo by Ted "Bear" Langworthy
1967: Duel A-4Cs on the flight deck in the MED on the 1967 U.S.S. America Cruise. Photo by Ted "Bear" Langworthy.
1967: Lt. Al Gates over the MED 1967 U.S.S. America Cruise. Photo by Ted "Bear" Langworthy
1967: USS Amercia gets a new "Bow Ornament". United States Navy Photograph. Story by Captain Hook from the Fall 1997 Skyhawk Newsletter.
Three over 500! U.S.S. America 1967, LT.'s Roger Kisiel, Steve Jordan, Bear Langworthy (all 3 with over 500 total landings each before end of first tour in VA-36). Photo from "Bear" Langworthy.
1967: BuNo.148562 serves as a backdrop for a squadron photo. Photo from "Bear" Langworthy.
1967: BuNo.148556 and 148516 off the southern coast of Sicily during the 1967 U.S.S. America MED Cruise. Photo by Ted "Bear" Langworthy
1968-69 SE Asia: Road Runners Skyhawk BuNo 148610, AK-510, as she lands. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza
1968-69: Road Runners Skyhawk BuNo 148528, AK-512, assigned to LTJG Charlie Roach parked on the flight-line. Jim Brady.
1970: BuNo.148587, left in the picture, on board CVA-95 U.S.S. Forrestal during 1970 Med Cruise. Photo from Joe Turpen.
1970: A-4C, on board U.S.S. Forrestal during 1970 Med Cruise. Photo from Joe Turpen.
JAN70: Jan 1970 BuNo 149642, AA-319, and BuNo 148516 parked near the island aboard the USS Forrestal off the coast of Spain during a Med cruise. Photo by W.A. Gabbard via John Gabbard.
Admin. Ashore - Valencia 1967 America Med Cruise.
VA-36 "troops" 1967 America Med Cruise.
Grecian Ern" Laib flew Skyhawks for VA-36, and later served as the Skyhawk Association Treasurer.
Ernest E. Laib passed away at his home on August 4, 2005. He is survived by his three children. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery on August 31, 2005 at 9:00am with Military Honors.
"Ernie started out as a white hat near the end of WW II. Turns out we both served on the Ticonderoga at different times but he was a plank-owner. I believe he said he reported aboard in early 1945. They set sail for the Pacific and operated in support of the island landings. He was aboard the day they were hit by 2 Kamikazes. He said those are the pictures you usually see on the History channel. One of them hit the bridge and killed the skipper plus most of the folks up there with him. I remember seeing a large bronze plaque on the island in rememberance of this event. Skipper's name was Dixie Lee Ray best I recall. I think Ernie said he had to wait almost 10 years before he was selected for flight training. Eventually, he became skipper of a squadron but I can't recall which aircraft. F-8's ?"
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to VA-36: