VF-92 (1952–74)

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Fighter Squadron 92
Active 23 March 1952 – 22 December 1974
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
Role Fighter aircraft
Part of Inactive
Nickname Silver Kings
Aircraft flown
Fighter F-4U-4 Corsair
F9F-2 Cougar
F2H Banshee
F3H Demon
F-4B/J Phantom II

Fighter Squadron 92, or VF-92 Silver Kings was an aviation unit of the United States Navy in service from 1952 to 1974.

History[edit]

The VF-92 designation enjoyed a brief outing from 12 August 1948 after redesignation from VF-10A, shich was redesignated VF-74 on 15 January 1950.[citation needed][clarification needed]

F4U-4s of VF-92 on the USS Valley Forge in 1953

VF-92 was re-established on 23 March 1952 at Naval Air Station Alameda flying the F4U-4 Corsair. The squadron first deployed on the USS Valley Forge, deploying to Hawaii and Yokosuka Japan. It then began ground attack operations off the coast of Korea on 20 November 1952. These attacks continued until 25 June 1953.[1] In July 1953 the squadron returned to Alameda to transition to the F9F-2 Panther. In January 1954 the squadron was embarked on the USS Philippine Sea on a WestPac cruise. The Korean Cease Fire occurred while the carrier was transiting from Pearl Harbor and Yokosuka, Japan. It was decided to determine the effect of hot weather on jet operations and the carrier on which the squadron was embarked was directed to Manila Bay and conduct operations in the South China Sea. The tour was extended 3 months when the USS Boxer lost a propeller shaft on sea trials coming out of repairs. Ens. James Christensen was lost off the coast of Japan training flight because of a flame out in level flight.[citation needed]

An F2H-3 of VF-92 in flight in 1959
An F-3B of VF-92 in 1963

In mid-1959 the squadron transitioned to the F3H Demon. In December 1959 the squadron deployed on the USS Ranger as part of Carrier Air Wing Nine and departed for a WestPac cruise.[citation needed] In 1963 the squadron transitioned to the F-4B Phantom II and deployed on the USS Ranger (CVA-61) from 5 August 1964 to 6 May 1965[2]

Vietnam[edit]

An F-4B of VF-92 landing on USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) in 1968

The squadron deployed from Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego on the USS Enterprise from 26 October 1965 to 21 June 1966.[2] On 29 December 1965, F-4B #151412 was hit by enemy fire during Operation Barrel Roll and crashed in Mu Gia Pass. The Pilot, CDR Edgar A. Rawsthorne[3] (Commander, VF-92), and his radar intercept officer, LT Arthur S. Hill,[4] were both killed; their bodies were not recovered.[5][6] On 18 February 1966, F-4B, #152297 was hit by enemy fire and crashed in Thanh Hóa Province, the pilot LTJG James Ruffin[7] was killed while the radar intercept officer LTJG Larry H. Spencer was taken prisoner.[8] On 20 March 1966 F-4B #151410 was hit by enemy fire while conducting an armed reconnaissance mission, the plane flew out to sea and both crewmen ejected successfully, the pilot Lieutenant James S. Greenwood was rescued while the radar intercept officer Lieutenant (jg) Richard R. Ratzlaff was captured.[8]

The squadron deployed on the USS Enterprise again from 19 November 1966 to 6 July 1967.[2] On 4 April 1967 F-4B 3152984 collided with another jet and crashed, killing the pilot Lieutenant Edward Szeyller[9] and the radar intercept officer Ensign David Martin[10]

The squadron deployed on the USS Enterprise again from 3 January 1968 to 18 July 1968.[2] On 7 May 1968 F-4B #151485 was hit by an SA-2. Both crewmen ejected successfully over water and were rescued.[8] On 2 June 1968 F-4B #150453 suffered mechanical failure while on a barrier combat air patrol. Both crewmen ejected successfully and were rescued.[8] On 7 June 1968 F-4B #150994 suffered mechanical failure on launch. Both crewmen ejected successfully and were rescued.[8]

An F-4J of VF-92 hitting barrier on USS America (CVA-66) in 1970
An F-4J of VF-92 in flight in 1971-2

The squadron transitioned to the F-4J and deployed again on the USS Enterprise (CVN-65) from 6 January 1969 to 2 July 1969[2]

The squadron deployed on the USS America from 10 April 1970 to 21 December 1970.[2] On 25 July 1970 F-4J #155789 suffered control problems over the Gulf of Tonkin. The radar intercept officer Lieutenant j.g. W Harding ejected successfully and was rescued but the pilot Lieutenant Paul Gregory was killed.[11]

The squadron deployed on the USS Constellation from 1 October 1971 to 30 June 1972[2][12] On 10 May 1972, F-4J #157269 flown by Lieutenant Commander James McDevitt and Lieutenant Curt Dose shot down a Vietnam People's Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 with an AIM-9 Sidewinder.[13] The squadron again deployed on the USS Constellation from 5 January 1973 to 11 October 1973[2] and from 21 June 1974 to 22 December 1974.[2]

The squadron was disestablished on 12 December 1975.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Carrier, carrier-based squadrons and non-carrier-based squadron deployments during the Korean War". Naval Historical Center. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Order of battle for carriers and carrier-based squadrons in the Western Pacific (WestPac) and Vietnam 1964-1975". Naval Historical Center. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "CDR Edgar Arthur Rawsthorne". The Virtual Wall. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ "LT Arthur Sinclair Hill". The Virtual Wall. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Unaccounted-For from the Vietnam War Prisoners of War, Missing in Action and Killed in Action/Body not Recovered (Sorted by Name)". Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office. 6 June 2012. 
  6. ^ CDR Rawsthorne had also served in VF-92 during the Korean War, when it was flying F4U-4 Corsairs.
  7. ^ "James Ruffin, LCDR". The Virtual Wall. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Enterprise". Naval Historical Center. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "LT Edward Phillip Szeyller". The Virtual Wall. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "ENS David Earl Martin". The Virtual Wall. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  11. ^ "Paul Gregory, LT". Virtualwall.org. Retrieved 30 April 2013. 
  12. ^ "VF-92 Silver Kings". Silverkings. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  13. ^ Elward, Brad (2012). US Navy F-4 Phantom II MiG Killers 1972-73. Osprey. ISBN 9781782006596. 

External links[edit]