VA-12 (U.S. Navy)
|Attack Squadron 12|
|Active||12 May 1945 – 1 October 1986|
|Branch||United States Navy|
|Motto||Kiss of death|
A-7 Corsair II
VA-12, Attack Squadron 12 (ATKRON 12) was an attack squadron of the United States Navy that was active during the Cold War. Nicknamed the "Flying Ubangis," they were based out of Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida. The squadron flew two combat tours during the Vietnam War. VA-12 was deactivated on October 1, 1986.
The squadron was established on May 12, 1945 as Bomber-Fighter Squadron VBF-4. It was redesignated Fighter Squadron VF-2A on 15 November 1946, Fighter Squadron VF-12 on 2 August 1948, finally Attack Squadron VA-12 on 1 August 1955.
In 1960, VA-12 was part of airwing of the USS Shangri-La when that carrier was deployed to counter Cuban infiltration into Guatemala and Nicaragua. The next year, the squadron returned to the area aboard USS Franklin D. Roosevelt to support the government of the Dominican Republic.
In 1963 the squadron was deployed in detachments to the USS Essex and USS Intrepid for anti-submarine warfare exercises. In August of the next year, the squadron was again on board the Roosevelt when the carrier was deployed to the eastern Mediterranean in response to trouble between Greeks and Turks on the island of Cyprus.
The squadron saw combat in Vietnam twice, in 1966 and 1970. Later in 1971, the unit relinquished the A-4 for the A-7 Corsair. 1973 and 1974 saw further trouble in the Mediterranean. 1973 saw the Yom Kippur War and 1974 the assassination of the American ambassador to Cyprus. During the 1970s the squadron's home base was at Cecil Field Naval Air Station near Jacksonville, Florida. In 1980, the Iranian hostage crisis saw the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower with the squadron on board. The ship remained at sea for 254 days continuously. Trouble in Lebanon flared in 1983, and the squadron supported the peacekeeping force in the country.
On 1 October 1986, the squadron was disestablished, ending 31 years of service as an attack unit, and ten years prior to that as a fighter unit.
The squadron was assigned the following aircraft as of the dates shown:
- F6F: 23 May 1945
- F4U-1/-1D, FG-1/-1D: 23 May 1945
- F4U-4: 30 September 1945
- F8F-1/-1B: May 1947
- F2H-1/-2: 1 September 1950
- F7U-3: 3 December 1955
- A4D-1: 1 April 1957
- A4D-2: 2 January 1958
- A4D-2N (A-4C): 8 January 1962 (the A4D-2N was redesignated the A-4C in 1962)
- A-4E: 8 March 1965
- A-4C: 9 March 1967
- A-7E: 1 April 1971
Squadron Air Wing assignment
The squadron was assigned to the following Air Wings as of the dates shown:
- CVG-4: 12 May 1945 (tail code "T"), redesignated
- CVAG-1: 15 November 1946 (tail code "T"), redesignated
- CVG-1: 1 September 1948 (tail code "T")
- CVG-10: 20 January 1958 (tail code "AK")
- CVG-1: 5 December 1960 (tail code "AB"), redesignated
- CVW-1: 20 December 1963 (tail code "AB")
- CVW-8: 25 August 1968 (tail code "AJ")
- CVW-7: 1971 (tail code "AG")
- History of the United States Navy
- List of inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons
- List of United States Navy aircraft squadrons
- Grossnick, Roy A. (1995). Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons, Volume 1, Chapter 2, Section 1: Attack Squadron Histories for VA-1E to VA-23. Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. Retrieved 2014-02-06.