Flight Journal

VA-212 history


Fighter Squadron 212 was establishe­d on June 20, 1955. It was redesignat­ed an attack squadron (VA) on April 1, 1956. The squadron’s striking insignia was approved on September 4, 1956, along with its colorful nickname, the Rampant Raiders. Its range of aircraft included the F7U-3 Cutlass, F9F-8 Cougar, FJ-4B Fury and the A-4B/E/F Skyhawk. It took its first Echoes (A-4Es) in January 1964 and Foxtrots (F-models) in October 1967. VA-212 flew throughout the conflict in Southeast Asia, making a record seven combat deployment­s. It became one of the last three carrier-based A-4 squadrons in Vietnam, flying from USS Hancock (CV-19) along with VA-55 and VA-164. VA-212 lost two commanding officers in combat: Cmdr. Homer L. Smith in May 1967 (who would receive a posthumous Navy Cross, having died while a POW), and Cmdr. Henry H. Strong in May 1972. The squadron disestabli­shed on December 12, 1975.

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