This VA-34, nicknamed the Blue Blasters, was an Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. Established on 1 January 1970 and based at NAS Oceana, Virginia, it was the third squadron to bear the VA-34 designation.
- 17 Apr 1970: VA-34’s establishment ceremony was conducted at NAS Oceana.
- 18 Sep 1970: The squadron boarded Kennedy (CVA 67) and departed on 14 September for final training and an Operational Readiness Inspection prior to its scheduled November deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. However, while en route to the Caribbean, the ship was ordered to deploy to the Mediterranean after Syria invaded Jordan.
- Sep 1972: A squadron A-6 Intruder conducted crossdecking operations on HMS Ark Royal while operating in the Norwegian Sea.
- Oct–Nov 1973: Due to the outbreak of war in the Middle East (Yon Kippur War), VA-34 and Kennedy departed the Norwegian Sea and reentered the Mediterranean, conducting surveillance operations south of Crete.
- Sep–Oct 1982: During the deployment to the North Atlantic, America (CV 66), with VA-34 embarked, received orders on 22 September to proceed to the Mediterranean due to the continuing crisis in Lebanon.
- Jan and May 1983: While in the Eastern Mediterranean the squadron conducted air operations from America in support of the multinational peacekeeping forces in Beirut, Lebanon.
- Sep 1985: While deployed aboard America to the North Atlantic, the squadron conducted flight operations from the carrier while it operated within Vestfjord, a Norwegian fjord.
- 24 Mar 1986: Libyan missiles were fired at U.S. Navy forces operating in the Gulf of Sidra. As a result of this hostile act retalitory strikes, known as Operation Prairie Fire, were initiated against Libya by the American naval forces in the area. VA-34’s A-6E Intruders, operating from America, attacked and damaged a Libyan Combattante II G-class fast attack missile craft with a Harpoon missile. A follow-up attack by VA-85 aircraft with Rockeye bombs resulted in the sinking of the Combattante II. The Harpoon firing was the first use of this missile in combat and the squadron’s first combat action since its establishment in 1970.
- 14 Apr 1986: Due to continued Libyan sponsorship of terrorist activity the United States initiated Operation Eldorado Canyon. VA-34 participated in this operation with its A-6Es, conducting a night, low level high speed attack against terrorists targets at the Benina airfield and military barracks in Banghazi, Libya.
- Aug 1990: The squadron flew missions in support of Operation Desert Shield, the build up of American and Allied forces to counter a threatened invasion of Saudi Arabia by Iraq and as part of an economic blockade of Iraq to force its withdrawal from Kuwait.
The squadron first received the following aircraft on the dates shown:
- A-6A Intruder – 17 Apr 1970
- A-6B Intruder – May 1970
- KA-6D Intruder – 1971
- A-6C Intruder – 1971
- A-6E Intruder – Dec 1973
- VA-34 (U.S. Navy)
- Second VA-34 (U.S. Navy)
- Attack aircraft
- List of inactive United States Navy aircraft squadrons
- History of the United States Navy
This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Grossnick, Roy A. (1995). Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons, Volume 1, Chapter 2, Section 2: Attack Squadron Histories for VA-34 to VA-38. Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. pp. 41–43. http://www.history.navy.mil/download/va-34-38.pdf. Retrieved 2014-02-23.
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