Attack Squadron 85 (ATKRON 85)

VA-85 ‘Black Falcons’

 

va-85 black falcons crest insignia patch badge attack squadron us navy

va-85 black falcons attack squadron us navy a-6e intruder ad-6 a-1h skyraider

 

STATUS:

established as Reserve Squadron VA-859

VA-859 activated on February 1, 1951

VA-859 redesignated VA-85 on February 4, 1953

VA-85 disestablished on September 30, 1994

AIRCRAFT:

Douglas AD-4 Skyraider (1953-54)

Douglas AD-6 (A-1H) Skyraider (1954-64)

Grumman A-6A Intruder (Feb 1964-71)

Grumman A-6E Intruder (1971-94)
Grumman KA-6D Intruder (1970-92)

 

 

DEPLOYMENTS:

April 1953 - October 1953 with CVG-8 aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA 43)

September 1954 - April 1955 with CVG-8 aboard USS Lake Champlain (CVA 39)

March 1956 - September 1956 with CVG-8 aboard USS Intrepid (CVA 11)

October 1957 - December 1957 with CVG-8 aboard USS Ranger (CVA 61)

March 1958 - May 1958 with CVG-8 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

January 1960 - August 1960 with CVG-8 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

February 1961 - August 1961 with CVG-8 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

August 1962 - March 1963 with CVG-8 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

October 1965 - June 1966 with CVW-11 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63)

November 1966 - June 1967 with CVW-11 aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63)

April 1968 - December 1968 with CVW-6 aboard USS America (CVA 66)

August 1969 - May 1970 with CVW-14 aboard USS Constellation (CVA 64)

January 1971 - July 1971 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

September 1972 - July 1973 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

March 1974 - September 1974 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

March 1975 - September 1975 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CVA 59)

April 1978 - October 1978 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59)

November 1979 - May 1980 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59)

March 1981 - September 1981 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59)

June 1982 - November 1982 with CVW-17 aboard USS Forrestal (CV 59)

April 1983 - July 1983 with CVW-3 aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67)

September 1983 - May 1984 with CVW-3 aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67)

August 1985 - April 1986 with CVW-17 aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60)

June 1987 - November 1987 with CVW-17 aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60)

March 1988 - May 1988 with CVW-1 aboard USS America (CV 66)

August 1988 - October 1988 with CVW-17 aboard USS Independence (CV 62)

February 1989 - April 1989 with CVW-1 aboard USS America (CV 66)

May 1989 - November 1989 with CVW-1 aboard USS America (CV 66)

December 1990 - April 1991 with CVW-1 aboard USS America (CV 66)

August 1991 - October 1991 with CVW-1 aboard USS America (CV 66)

December 1991 - June 1992 with CVW-1 aboard USS America (CV 66)

August 1993 - February 1994 with CVW-1 aboard USS America (CV 66)

 

images

 

attack squadron va-85 black falcons a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-1 uss america cv 66

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-1) embarked on USS America (CV 66) - 1994

 

va-85 black falcons a-6e intruder cvw-1 uss america cv-66

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-1) embarked on USS America (CV 66) - 1993

 

a-6e intruder va-85 black falcons uss america cv 66

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-1) embarked on USS America (CV 66) - 1993

 

attack squadron va-85 black falcons a-6e intruder cvw-1 uss america cv-66

A-6E Intruders (VA-85 / CVW-1) embarked on USS America (CV 66) - January 1992

 

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-1) embarked on USS America (CV 66) - 1991

 

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-1) embarked on USS America (CV 66) - 1991

 

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-1) embarked on USS America (CV 66) - 1991

 

va-85 black falcons attack squadron a-6e intruder cvw-1 homecoming operation desert storm shield 1991 nas oceana

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-1) embarked on USS America (CV 66) - homecoming after Operation Desert Storm / Shield - 1991

 

va-85 black falcons a-6e intruder cvw-17 uss saratoga cv 60

KA-6D Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60) - 1986

 

va-85 black falcons ka-6d intruder cvw-17 uss saratoga cv-60

KA-6D Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60) - 1986

 

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60) - 1986

 

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60) - 1986

 

KA-6D Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60) - 1986

 

KA-6D Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60) - 1986

 

KA-6D Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60) - 1986

 

KA-6D Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) aboard USS Saratoga (CV 60) - 1986

 

attack squadron va-85 black falcons a-6e intruder carrier air wing cvw-3 uss john f. kennedy cv 67

A-6E Intruders (VA-85 / CVW-3) embarked on USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) - 1983-84

 

va-85 black falcons a-6e intruder agm-78 standard arm missile

A-6E Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Forrestal (CV 59) with an AGM-78 Standard ARM missile loaded - 1978 (NNAM)

 

va-85 black falcons ka-6d intruder cvw-17 uss forrestal cv 59

KA-6D Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-17) embarked on USS Forrestal (CV 59) - 1971-73 (NNAM)

 

attack squadron va-85 black falcons a-6a intruder cvw-14 uss constellation cva 64

A-6A Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-14) embarked on USS Constellation (CVA 64) - 1970

 

attack squadron va-85 black falcons a-6a intruder cvw-14 uss constellation cva-64 1969-70

A-6A Intruder (VA-85 / CVW-14) embarked on USS Constellation (CVA 64) - 1969-70

 

va-85 black falcons a-6a intruder cvw-11 uss kitty hawk cva 63

A-6A Intruders (VA-85 / CVW-11) embarked on USS Kitty Hawk (CVA 63) - 1966

 

 

va-85 black falcons a-1h skyraider cvg-8 uss forrestal cva-59

A-1H Skyraider (VA-85 / CVG-8) embarked on USS Forrestal (CVA 59) - 1963

 

 

history

May 1958: As part of an Atlantic Fleet training exercise (LANTRAEX 1-58), two of the squadron’s AD-6 Skyraiders, flown by Lieutenant (jg)s Strang and Woods, flew nonstop from Forrestal (CVA 59), operating off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida, to NAS North Island. The flight was conducted below 1000 feet to demonstrate the low level and long range capability of the squadron. Two days later the aircraft returned, nonstop, to Forrestal.

5 Feb 1963: The squadron’s commanding officer, Commander C. H. Mundt, was killed in an air crash.

22 Dec 1965: The squadron’s commanding officer, Commander B. J. Cartwright, and his bombardier/navigator, Lieutenant Ed Gold, failed to return from a strike into North Vietnam and are listed as missing in action, presumed dead.

21 Apr 1966: The squadron’s commanding officer, Commander J. E. Keller, and his bombardier/navigator, Lieutenant Commander E. E. Austin, were killed in action during a mission over North Vietnam.

27 Apr 1966: While serving with VA-85 as a bombardier/ navigator in an A-6A, Lieutenant (jg) Brian E. Westin was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism during a combat mission over North Vietnam when he risked his own life to save that of his wounded pilot, Lieutenant W. R. Westerman.

6 Sep 1968: The squadron’s commanding officer, Commander K. L. Coskey, was shot down over North Vietnam. His bombardier/navigator, Lieutenant Commander R. G. McKee, was rescued but Commander Coskey became a POW. He survived the internment at Hanoi and was released on 14 March 1973.

Jul 1974: Following a coup that overthrew the government of Cyprus, VA-85 operated from Forrestal in the vicinity of Cyprus and provided air cover for the evacuation of Americans and foreign nationals from the island.

May–Jun 1981: Following increased military action and Israeli reprisal raids against Syrian missile positions in southern Lebanon, Forrestal was ordered to the eastern Mediterranean. VA-85 operated from the carrier while on station off the coast of Lebanon.

Jul 1982: Following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June and the siege of west Beirut, Forrestal operated off the coast of Lebanon with VA-85 prepared to provide air support for a possible evacuation of Americans.

Aug–Sep 1982: Forrestal and its embarked squadrons provided air cover for the landing of 800 U.S. Marines in Beirut, Lebanon. The Marines became part of the multi-national peacekeeping force in that country.

4 Dec 1983: During Kennedy’s operations off the coast of Lebanon in support of the Multi-national Peacekeeping Force, several of the carrier’s F-14 reconnaissance aircraft received hostile fire from Syrian surface- to-air missile and anti-aircraft positions on 3 December. A retaliatory strike was flown by elements of CVW-3 and aircraft from Independence (CV 62) against the Syrian antiaircraft positions near Hammana, Lebanon. One of the squadron’s A-6Es was lost in the attack, its pilot, Lieutenant Mark Lange, was killed and the NFO, Lieutenant Robert Goodman, was captured by the Syrians. He was released 4 January 1985.

Jul 1984: The squadron operated in the Caribbean and off the coast of Central America to assist the Coast Guard with drug interdiction operations.

10 Oct 1985: The squadron’s KA-6D tanker aircraft refueled F-14s from Saratoga (CV 60) en route to their intercept of an Egyptian 737 airliner that was carrying Arab terrorists who had hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro on 7 October and murdered an American citizen. The F-14s forced the airliner to land at NAS Sigonella, Sicily, leading to the capture of the terrorists.

24 Mar 1986: Libyan missiles were fired at U.S. Naval forces operating in the Gulf of Sidra. This action precipitated a retaliation against Libya by squadrons from Saratoga (CV 60), America (CV 66) and Coral Sea (CV 43). VA-85’s A-6Es conducted a follow-up attack with Rockeye bombs on a Libyan Combattante II G-class fast attack missile craft that had been hit by a Harpoon missile fired by a VA-34 aircraft. The attack resulted in the sinking of the Combattante II. VA-85 aircraft also attacked a Nanuchka II class missile corvette with Rockeyes, damaging the corvette.

25 Mar 1986: VA-55 attacked a Nanuchka with Rockeyes, damaging but not stopping the corvette. A VA-85 aircraft then launched a Harpoon against the corvette which resulted in its sinking.

6 Sep 1989: Squadron aircraft flew missions in support of the evacuation of personnel from the American Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, due to the unstable situation in that country.

17 Jan–28 Feb 1991: The squadron participated in Operation Desert Storm, combat strikes against targets in Iraq and the Kuwaiti theater of operations. During this period of combat the squadron flew 585 combat sorties, consisting of 1,700 flight hours and expended over 850 tons of ordnance.

Aug 1993: Squadron aircraft flew missions over Bosnia-Hercegovina in support of U. N. Operation Deny Flight.

Nov 1993: Squadron aircraft flew sorties over Mogadishu, Somalia, in support of U. N. Operation Continue Hope.

Dec 1993: Squadron aircraft provided support for reconnaissance missions over southern Iraq, part of Operation Southern Watch.

 

patches

 

va-85 black falcons patch insignia crest badge attack squadron us navy   attack squadron va-85 black falcons insignia crest patch badge atkron a-6 intruder

va-85 black falcons crest insignia patch us navy intruder  

 

 

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