Third VA-95 (U.S. Navy)
|Attack Squadron 95|
VA-95 A-6Es in 1981
|Active||1 April 1972 - 31 October 1995|
|Branch||United States Navy|
Operation Praying Mantis
The third VA-95, nicknamed the Green Lizards, was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. It was the third squadron to bear that designation. The squadron was established on 1 April 1972, and disestablished on 31 October 1995.
- April 1973: The squadron provided support for Operation End Sweep, the clearing of mine fields along the coast of North Vietnam.
- April 1975: Squadron aircraft participated in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of American personnel from Saigon. The squadron provided armed escort flights over the Saigon area for protection of the helicopters conducting the evacuation.
- 15 May 1975: The squadron participated in the recovery of the American merchant ship SS Mayaguez following its capture by Cambodian gunboats. The squadron flew sorties in support of the Marine landings on Koh Tang Island and retaliatory strikes against Cambodian targets. Squadron aircraft struck the airfield and naval facility at Ream, Cambodia. The squadron’s KA-6D aircraft were used to provide tanker support for the combat sorties.
- 18–19 April 1988: The squadron participated in Operation Praying Mantis, retaliatory strikes against Iran after USS Samuel B. Roberts struck an Iranian mine in international waters. Squadron aircraft attacked Iranian Boghammar speedboats, using Rockeye cluster bombs. They sunk one and damaged another. Later in the day, the Iranian frigate Sahand' fired missiles at two of the squadron’s aircraft while they were flying a surface combat air patrol for USS Joseph Strauss. The aircraft evaded the missiles and returned fire with two Harpoons and four laser-guided Skipper bombs. This attack was followed by a Harpoon firing from Joseph Strauss. The attack against the Sahand left her blazing. Eventually the fires reached her magazines, and the final explosions lead to her sinking. Following this action the sister ship of the Sahand, the Sabalan, left port and engaged several of the squadron’s aircraft, firing a missile at them. One of the squadron’s A-6s responded with a laser-guided bomb that hit Sabalan, and she went dead in the water. The Sabalan was taken in tow by an Iranian tug, her fantail partially submerged. VA-95’s aircraft were ordered not to continue the attack. The squadron continued to fly combat sorties during 19 April but no other action resulted.
- October–November 1990: During the USS Abraham Lincoln's cruise from the East to West Coast via Cape Horn, the squadron participated in joint exercises with the Argentinean, Chilean, and Ecuadorian Armed Forces.
Home port assignments
The squadron first received the following aircraft on the dates shown:
- VA-95 (U.S. Navy)
- Second VA-95 (U.S. Navy)
- Attack aircraft
- List of inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons
- History of the United States Navy
- Grossnick, Roy A. (1995). "Third VA-95" (pdf). Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons. Naval Historical Center. 1. Washington, DC: Department of the Navy. p. 162.
- Polmar, Norman (2005). The Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet (18 ed.). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 372. ISBN 1591146852. Retrieved 2014-03-06.