VA-22 Fighting Redcocks Squadron History

VA-22 Fighting Redcocks

VA-22 Fighting Redcocks Photo Album
Official VFA-22 Fighting Redcocks Homepage - leaving this site
Official VFA-22 Fighting Redcocks History - leaving this site

VA-22 was originally VF-63 which was formed on July 27 1948 at NAS Norfolk Va. The first CO was LCDR M.W. Cagle. They flew F4U Corsairs and operated from the USS Midway, FDR, and Coral Sea.

In Aug 1950, VF-63 became part of the newly organized Air Group 2. The Air Group was moved to NAS Alameda Ca and operated off the USS Boxer which was shortly deployed to Korea. In Oct 1950, Boxer returned to Alameda but, with only a month rest. CAG 2 was recalled to action aboard USS Valley Forge, which sailed immediately to Korea. VF-63 flew air support missions for Army and Marine units escaping the Chosin Reservoir entrapment.

In March 1951, the Air Group was transferred to Philippine Sea while still deployed in WestPac. In June 1951 orders were received to return to Conus for a well-earned rest. VF-63 had flown 1,874 sorties over enemy territory. It had been in the combat theater 3 times for a total of 20 months.

In August 1953, Air Group 2 deployed to WestPac onboard the USS Yorktown. By March 1954, VF-63 was back in Alameda transitioning to the F9F-6. Seven months later the Group deployed onboard the USS Essex. During the cruise, VF-63 flew 299 sorties in support of the evacuation of the Tachen Islands. In June 1955, Essex returned to Alameda and the group reorganized. Cdr H. B. Eddy assumed command of the squadron, which was now assigned the F9F-8 Cougar. In September, VF-63 was selected for a non-stop cross-country flight in conjunction with the commissioning of the USS Forrestal in Norfolk. SecNav wired ComAirPac his congratulations and a "well-done" was passed on to all involved.

IN March 1956, VF-63 was redesignated VA-63. Training at NAS Fallon, China Lake and El Centro, as an attack squadron, the pilots learned the single engine atomic delivery maneuver, which is still in use today. During the Suez crisis, the Air Group deployed onboard USS Shangri La. As the crisis blew over, the ship and Group enjoyed a normal WestPac deployment with port calls in all the usual places. May 20 1957, ship and Group returned to Alameda. June 17 1957, LCDR Wm. Chapman relieved Cdr. Eddy and during the reorganization and training period the squadron was assigned the FJ-4B Fury, a versatile fighter/attack vehicle capable of atomic delivery. After carquals aboard USS Kearsarge they were ready to deploy. On August 16 1958 Air Group 2 sailed for WestPac onboard USS Midway. Because of the Communist China activities around the island of Quemoy, USS Midway suspended training activity in Hawaii and sailed directly to WestPac. Air Ops consisted mostly of fight sweeps down the Formosa Straits. President Chiang Kai Shek boarded the USS Midway to witness a fire power display by the Air Group. In March 1959, Cdr. John Lobdell assumed command and on 1 July the squadron was re-designated VA-22. The squadron, part of Air Group 2 deployed onboard the USS Midway in the summer of '59. It was during this deployment, while tied up at NAS Cubi Point that a nearly disasterous fire broke out in a HEAF pump room. After several hours, the fire was brought under control under the direction of the ship's captain Capt. Jim Mini.

Patch and history courtesy of LCDR Bob Whitegiver

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