Attack Squadron 52 (ATKRON 52)

VA-52 ‘Knightriders’

 

va-52 knightriders insignia crest patch badge attack squadron atkron us navy

attack squadron va-52 knightriders atkron us navy a-6 intruder

 

STATUS:

established as Fighter Squadron 884 (VF-884), a reserve unit, on November 1, 1949
called to active duty on July 20, 1950

redesignated Fighter Squadron 144 (VF-144) on February 4, 1953
redesignated Attack Squadron 52 (VA-52) on February 23, 1959

disestablished in March 1995

AIRCRAFT:

Vought F4U-4 Corsair (Aug 1950)
Grumman F9F-5 Panther (Apr 1953)
Grumman F9F-4 and F9F-6 Panther (a few operated in the mid 1950's)
Grumman F9F-8B Cougar (Apr 1956)
Grumman F9F-8 Cougar (Aug 1956)
Douglas AD-5 (A-1E) Skyraider (Dec 1958)
Douglas AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (Dec 1958)
Douglas AD-7 (A-1J) Skyraider (Mar 1959)
Grumman A-6A Intruder (Nov 1967)
Grumman A-6B Intruder (Oct 1970)
Grumman KA-6D Intruder (1971)
Grumman A-6E Intruder (Jul 1974)

 

images

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6e intruder nas north island california

A-6E Intruder of VA-52 at NAS North Island, California - 1990

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder atkron

a damaged A-6E Intruder of VA-52 was carried away for repairs with a CH-53E helicopter at NAS North Island, California - 1990

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1989 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders atack squadron ka-6d intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1988 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1988 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinso cvn 70 atkron

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1987 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1987 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6e intruder cvw-15

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1987 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack suadron va-52 knightriders a-e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1987 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1987 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron ka-6d intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1986

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruders (VA-52 / CVW-15) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1986

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1986

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1986

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) refuels an EA-6B Prowler - 1986

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1986 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1986 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6e intruder barrier emergency landing uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1986 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1985

 

va-52 knightriders atkron a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1985

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder cvw-15

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1984

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1980’s

 

va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder cvw-15

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) refueling a F-14 Tomcat of VF-51 - 1984

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss carl vinson cvn 70

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) - 1984 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - early 1980’s

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron ka-6d intruder cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - early 1980’s

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1980 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1980 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron ka-6d intruder cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1980 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1980 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders atkron a-6e intruder cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss kitty hawk cv 63

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1979 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - circa 1978 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1978 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1978 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1977 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

a-6e intruder va-52 knightriders attack squadron cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1977 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron ka-6d intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

KA-6D Intruders (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) during inflight refueling - 1976

 

va-52 knightriders atkron ka-6d intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) refueling two S-3 Viking of VS-33 - 1976

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1976 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6e intruder atkron cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6E Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1976 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6 intruder carrier air wing cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6 & KA-6D Intruders (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1975 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder carrier air wing cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

KA-6D Intruders (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1975 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

KA-6D Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1974 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6b intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63 refueling ka-3b skywarrior vah-10

A-6 Intruders (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) with a KA-3B Skywarrior of VAH-10 - 1974 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6b intruder cvw-11

A-6 Intruders (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1974 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-6b intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6B Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1972 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

atkron 52 a-6b intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6B Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1972 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6a intruder carrier air wing cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6A Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - circa 1970 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6a intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6A Intruders (VA-52 / CVW-11) flying over USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - circa 1970 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6a intruder carrier air wing cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cv 63

A-6A Intruders (VA-52 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) - 1970 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-6a intruder cvw-15 uss coral sea cv 43

A-6A Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Coral Sea (CV 43) - 1969 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-6a intruder carrier air wing cvw-15 uss coral sea cv 43

A-6A Intruder (VA-52 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Coral Sea (CV 43) - 1969 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders ka-6d intruder

KA-6D Intruder of VA-52 - undated (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

 

va-52 knightriders a-1h skyraider carrier air wing cvw-19 uss ticonderoga cva 14

A-1H Skyraider (VA-52 / CVW-19) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1966/67 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-1h skyraider cvw-19 uss ticonderoga cva 19

A-1H Skyraider (VA-52 / CVW-19) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1966/67 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders attack squadron a-1h skyraider carrier air wing cvw-19 uss ticonderoga cva 14

A-1H Skyraider (VA-52 / CVW-19) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1966/67 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

a-1h skyraider va-52 knightriders atkron cvw-19 uss ticonderoga cva 14

A-1H Skyraider (VA-52 / CVW-19) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1966/67 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

atkron 52 knightriders  va-52 a-1h skyraider cvw-19 uss ticonderoga cva 14

A-1H Skyraider (VA-52 / CVW-19) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1966/67 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders a-1h skyraider cvw-19 uss ticonderoga cva 14

A-1H Skyraider (VA-52 / CVW-19) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1966/67 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders a-1h skyraider cvw-19

A-1H Skyraider (VA-52 / CVW-19) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1966/67 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders cvw-19 us ticonderoga cva 14

A-1H Skyraider (VA-52 / CVW-19) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1966/67 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders ad-6 skyraider cvg-5 uss ticonderoga cva 14

AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (VA-52 / CVG-5) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1960’s (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders ad-6 skyraider carrier air group cvg-5 uss ticonderoga cva 14

AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (VA-52 / CVG-5) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1960’s (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

ad-6 skyraider va-52 knightriders cvg-5 uss ticonderoga cva 14

AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (VA-52 / CVG-5) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1960’s (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders ad-6 skyraider cvg-5

AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (VA-52 / CVG-5) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1960’s (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders ad-6 skyraider cvg-5 uss ticonderoga cva 14

AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (VA-52 / CVG-5) embarked on USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) - 1960’s (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

va-52 knightriders atkron ad-6 skyraidr cvg-5 uss lexington cva 16

AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (VA-52 / CVG-5) embarked on USS Lexington (CVA 16) - 1962 (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

attack squadron va-52 knightriders ad-6 skyraider cvg-5

AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (VA-52 / CVG-5) - 1960’s (courtesy of the National Naval Aviation Museum)

 

 

history

va-52 knightriders attack squadron deployments carrier

 

 

Chronology of significant events:


20 Jul 1950: VF-884 called to active duty as a result of the Korean conflict.


28 Jul 1950: Squadron reported for active duty at NAS San Diego.

Mar 1951: In the later part of March, VF-884 aircraft conducted their first combat operations, flying close air support missions on Korea’s eastern coast.

24 May 1951: VF-884’s first Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander G. F. Carmichael died after parachuting from his F4U which had been hit by enemy ground fire.

4 Oct 1952: Lieutenant E. F. Johnson was attacked and shot down by enemy MIG aircraft. This was the first VF-884 and CVG-101 aircraft shot down by enemy aircraft.

8 Nov 1952: Lieutenant Commander Bowen, VF-884’s third Commanding Officer, was listed as missing in action when his aircraft crashed near Pyongyang, North Korea.

4 Feb 1953: VF-884 was redesignated VF-144 during its second combat tour in Korea. In this change, the reserve squadron number was replaced by an active squadron number.

21 Feb 1953: VF-144 completed the last line period of its second combat tour in Korea. Its primary missions had been close air support of ground troops, interdiction of enemy main supply routes, and the destruction of military supplies, vehicles and troops.

18 Aug 1958: The squadron returned to NAS Miramar following Ranger’s (CVA 61) first major deployment. The cruise took the squadron from Virginia to California, via Cape Horn, transferring Ranger from the Atlantic to the Pacific Fleet.

23 Feb 1959: The squadron’s mission was changed to attack and it was redesignated VA-52.

13 Jul–1 Aug 1964: VA-52 aircraft participated in Yankee Team operations in South Vietnam and Laos, involving aerial reconnaissance to detect Communist military presence and operations. Other missions included weather reconnaissance and SAR.

2–4 Aug 1964: During a Desoto Patrol mission (intelligence collection missions begun in 1962), Maddox (DD 731) was attacked by three motor torpedo boats on 2 August off the coast of North Vietnam. Following this incident the squadron flew 44 sorties in support of the destroyers on the Desoto Patrol.

4 Aug 1964: During the night, two destroyers on Desoto Patrol, Turner Joy (DD 951) and Maddox (DD 731), believing themselves under attack by North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats, called for air support. Several A-1H Skyraiders from the squadron, along with several F-8s, were launched from Ticonderoga (CVA 14). Commander George H. Edmondson and Lieutenant Jere A. Barton reported gun flashes and bursts of light at their altitude which they felt came from enemy antiaircraft fire.

5 Aug 1964: Four Skyraiders from VA-52, piloted by Commander L. T. McAdams, Lieutenant Commander L. E. Brumbach and Lieutenant (jg)s R. E. Moore and P. A. Carter, participated in “Pierce Arrow,” retaliatory strikes against the North Vietnamese. Along with other aircraft from CVG-5, they struck the Vinh oil storage facilities and destroyed about ninety percent of the complex. The four aircraft returned with no battle damage.

6–29 Oct 1964: The squadron conducted rescue combat air patrols missions in support of “Yankee Team” operations.

7 Feb 1966: Lieutenant (jg) Harvey M. Browne was awarded the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity during rescue missions in the Republic of Vietnam.

13 Apr 1966: Commander John C. Mape was killed in action, becoming the third VA-52 commanding officer to be lost in combat action.

21 Apr 1966: The squadron completed its second combat tour of duty in Vietnam, having participated in Rolling Thunder operations designed to interdict the enemy’s lines of communication into Laos and South Vietnam.

9 Mar 1967: Commander John F. Wanamaker received the Silver Star for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity during operations against North Vietnam.

27 Apr 1967: This was the last day of line operations for VA-52 and the completion of her third combat tour to Vietnam. During this deployment squadron operations included rescue combat air patrol missions, coastal reconnaissance, Steel Tiger missions and Sea Dragon operations. Steel Tiger involved concentrated strikes in southern Laos. Sea Dragon operations involved spotting for naval gunfire against waterborne cargo and coastal radar and gun battery sites.

7 Sep 1968: VA-52 deployed aboard Coral Sea (CVA 43). This was the first A-6 Intruder deployment aboard a Midway Class carrier.

8 Dec 1970–23 Jun 1971: During this period VA-52’s main emphasis was on operations in Laos against the enemy’s lines of communication and their transportation networks.

23 Nov 1971: Commander Lennart R. Salo became the first Naval Flight Officer to command an A-6 Intruder squadron.

3 Apr 1972: VA-52 commenced line operations from Yankee Station a few days earlier than scheduled as a result of the North Vietnamese invasion across the DMZ in South Vietnam on 30 March. During this line period heavy air raids were conducted against North Vietnam. These were the first major heavy air raids into North Vietnam since October 1968 and became known as operation Freedom Train.

16 Apr 1972: VA-52 conducted strikes in the Haiphong, Vinh, and Thanh Hoa as part of operation “Freedom Porch.”

9 May 1972: Operation Pocket Money, the mining of Haiphong harbor, was launched. VA-52’s Intruders took part in a diversionary attack at Phu Qui railroad yard while aircraft from Coral Sea conducted the actual mining.

10 May 1972: Linebacker I operations began and involved concentrated air strikes against targets in North Vietnam above the 20th parallel. During these operations VA-52’s aircraft flew armed reconnaissance, Alpha strikes (large coordinated attacks), mine seeding operations, tanker operations, and standard arm sorties (use of antiradiation missiles to destroy missile radar sites).

1–27 Jun 1972: VA-52 flew special single aircraft night missions designated Sneaky Pete as part of Linebacker I operations.

23 Nov 1973: VA-52 deployed with CVW-11 aboard Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as part of the first CV concept air wing on the west coast. VA-52’s Intruders were equipped with new ASW electronic equipment, the Multi-Channel Jezebel Relay pods.

24–28 Jul 1979: VA-52 and other elements of CVW-15, participated in search and assistance operations to aid Vietnamese boat people. A total of 114 people were rescued through the efforts of the air wing and Kitty Hawk. These operations continued during August.

27 Oct 1979: South Korea’s President Park Chung Hee was assassinated and Kitty Hawk immediately departed the Philippine Sea for the southwest coast of Korea, where they remained until 4 November.

29 Dec 1979: During operations off Kitty Hawk, the squadron’s commanding officer, Commander Walter D. Williams, was lost at sea in a KA-6D.

3 Dec 1979–23 Jan 1980: After the assault on the American Embassy in Tehran and the taking of hostages on 4 November 1979, Kitty Hawk entered the Indian Ocean and operated in the Arabian Sea throughout this period.

19 May 1981: While transiting the South China Sea VA-52 aircraft spotted a small boat with 47 Vietnamese refugees on board and reported their location for rescue operations.


10–12 Oct 1983: Carl Vinson (CVN 70), with CVW-15 and VA-52, were kept on station in the Sea of Japan after the attempted assassination of South Korea’s president.

14–31 Aug 1986: VA-52 participated in the first carrier operations in the Bering Sea since World War II. Most of the squadron’s 400 hours and 200 sorties were made under adverse weather conditons.

20–31 Jan 1987: VA-52 conducted its second period of operations in the Northern Pacific and Bering Sea. At one point the most effective means of clearing snow and ice from Carl Vinson’s flight deck was the jet exhaust from the squadron’s aircraft.

23 Sep 1987: During night operations off Carl Vinson the squadron’s Commanding Officer, Commander Lloyd D. Sledge, was lost at sea.

Aug 1988: The squadron flew sorties in support of Earnest Will operations, the escorting of reflagged Kuwait tankers in the Persian Gulf.

 

> more history wanted ...

 


Squadron’s nickname: Bitter Birds, 1951-circa 1959 / Knightriders, circa 1960-1995


Home Port Assignments:
(Location / Date of Assignment)
NAS Olathe (Nov 1949)
NAS San Diego (Jul 1950)
NAS Miramar (Mar 1953)
NAS Moffett Field (Jan 1962)
NAS Alameda (Aug 1963)
NAS Whidbey Island (Jul 1967)

 

patches

 

va-52 knightriders cruise patch attack squadron atkron     attack squadron va-52 knightriders cruise patch

va-52 knightriders attack squadron patch crest insignia badge us navy

 

 

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