CHAPTER XXXVIII

TENTH MEDITERRANEAN SEA DEPLOYMENT

CV’s & CVN’s OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

Exercise Dasix '85, Attain Document I, II & III in the Gulf of Sidra, Libya Air Attacks against Libya (Palestinian Liberation Front hijacked the Italian luxury liner, Achille Lauro – Bomb exploded on board a Trans World Airways flight en route to Athens from Rome, killing four American citizens) Operation Eldorado Canyon,

Final Carrier launching of a Navy fleet F-4S Phantom II

Iran History & Air Arm / Iraq and Iran War

SEA TRIALS AND CARQUALS

SELECTED RESTRICTED AVAILABILITY AT NORFOLK, VA.

LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS off the Virginia Capes & Cherry Point, while visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia.

(1 January 1985 to 28 September 1987)

Part 1 – (1 January 1985 to 13 January 1986)

Part 2 – (14 January to 10 September 1986)

Part 3 – (11 September 1986 to 28 September 1987)

 

 

    “Tensions between the two countries mounted after the hijacking of a TWA airliner at Beirut in July 1985 and bombing attacks at American airline counters at Rome and Vienna in December of that year. Qadhafi was implicated in these actions through his patronage of the alleged perpetrator, the Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. The Libyans also began installing batteries of SA-5 missiles acquired from the Soviet Union in late 1985, along with associated radar, to augment their air defense capabilities. United States naval vessels continued to challenge Qadhafi's claim to the Gulf of Sidra, periodically crossing the line of Libyan territorial claim, which he came to refer to as the "line of death"

 

    Following the terrorist attacks on 27 December 1985 in the Rome and Vienna airports, a series of Freedom of Navigation operations in the Gulf of Sidra (Operations in the Vicinity of Libya, OVL) were approved. Code-named ` Operation Attain Document, the first from 26 to 30 January 1986 occurred without incident” (Ref. 1159).

 

    Captain Robert J. Spane assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) on 27 January 1986, relieving Captain Robert L. Leuschner, Jr., tenth Commanding Officer, serving from 17 June 1983 to 27 January 1986” (Ref. 329A & 1270).

 

    “While en route to Hawaii, an unidentified submarine was detected and “aggressively prosecuted until the intruder was chased out of range.” Subsequently, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) participated in BgaRem-86, a major fleet exercise involving surface, subsurface and air action culminating in an amphibious operation on Maui. A scheduled NATO Sea Sparrow firing from the starboard launcher, however, failed due to a transmitter casualty, the problem being addressed so that RIM-7Hs would be uploaded in February. Meanwhile, the ship pulled into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 29 January 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Clearing Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 2 February 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) steamed west, arriving Hawaii on 29 January 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) joined and USS Saratoga (CV-60) participated in operations, which were collectively named “Attain Document” in the Gulf of Sidra, Libya from 24 to 31 January 1986” (Ref. 43).

 

    “Steaming west from Pearl Harbor, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) entered the “Bear Box,” where intercepts by Soviet aircraft became likely, on 8 February 1986. The vigilant Russians did not disappoint Enterprise and VF-213 Tomcats intercepted two Bear Ds that day” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was inchopping into 7th Fleet on 10 February 1986, when two more Bear Ds were intercepted” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and USS Saratoga (CV-60) participated in operations, which were collectively named “Attain Document II” in the Gulf of Sidra, Libya 10 to 15 February 1986” (Ref. 43).

 

    “On 14 February 1986, a flight of one Bear D and a Bear F were intercepted using “Bear Bash” tactics. NH 205, however, an F-14A, became lost at sea and suffered fuel exhaustion nearly 500 NM northwest from the battle group, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) acting as SAR coordinator. Lieutenant Ross Sklenka, pilot, and Lieutenant Commander Thomas Lorenzo, RIO, were found “alive and well” the next morning, returning on board late that afternoon by SH-3s” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “While en route to the Philippines, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) CDC tracked “numerous” Bears, the Russians flying daily sorties from Cam Ranh Bay. Enterprise rounded the northern tip of Luzon, mooring at Cubi Point on 17 February 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) participated in amphibious exercises from 21 to 24 February 1986 off the coast of Tunisia with USS Saratoga (CV-60)” (Ref. 43).

 

    “Following the “Aquino Revolution” in the Philippines, when President Marcos was overthrown, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) came about from the South China Sea to remain in Philippine waters, dropping anchor in NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines at night in order to “demonstrate American resolve in support of the Filipino government,” 24 to 26 February 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 26 February 1986, the EA-3B and catapult No. 1 were both damaged due to a broken bridle aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65)” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Shortly after Rear Admiral Batzler, ComCarGru-3, was relieved by Rear Admiral E.W. Clexton (28 February 1986), USS Enterprise (CVN-65) visited Singapore on 2 March 1986, after a passage that had taken her just to the north of Borneo outside of Indonesian territorial waters and been lacking in the usual encounters with Bears flying out of Vietnam” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) pulled in for a port call at Singapore on 2 March 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Nimitz (CVN-68) transited the Elizabeth River to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, conducting Selected Restricted Availability (SRA-86) from 1 November 1985 to 3 March 1986, commencing Sea Trials the next day” (Ref. 372A).

 

    “On 3 March 1986, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) got underway from Norfolk, Virginia for independent type training in the western Atlantic” (Ref. 549

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) made a port call at Singapore from 2 to 5 March 1986. At Singapore, the ship was toured by U.S. Ambassador to Singapore J. Stapleton Roy and a military delegation from that country” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) completed PassEx 86-1M, transiting the Malacca Strait and entering the Indian Ocean, from 5 to 6 March 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Nimitz (CVN-68) returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 7 March 1986, conducting Sea Trials from 4 to 7 March 1986” (Ref. 372A).

 

    “On 8 March 1986, VA-94 lost an A-7E on final approach to land aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) when the Corsair II’s engine malfunctioned, the pilot being recovered” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS America (CV-66) with CVW-1 embarked, and her accompanying battle group departed NOB, Norfolk, Virginia 10 March 1986, with Captain Richard C. Allen, NAVCAD, as Commanding Officer, on her 12th Mediterranean Sea deployment, operating with the United States Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet), steaming through the North Atlantic operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea in support of the the third phase of "Attain Document," a freedom of navigation (FON) exercise in the Gulf of Sidra, beginning at the end of January and Operation Eldorado Canyon, followed by Operation Prairie Fire, NATO Exercise, "Distant Hammer" with units of the Italian and Turkish Air Forces, "Poop Deck" Exercise with Spanish and United States Air Force units off the coast of Spain and "National Week" Exercise. Reclassified CV-66 - "Multi-purpose Aircraft Carrier" on 30 June 1975 while at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, entering Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 27 November 1974, upon return from her North Sea deployment on 12 October 1974; making three Vietnam Combat cruises during the Vietnam Conflict/War operating with the 7th Fleet (receiving five battle stars). She will under go her 21st Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia on 23 January 1965, with Captain Lawrence Heyworth, Jr., in command” (Ref. 1-America, 43, 72 & 76, 324 & 824).  

 

USS America (CVA-66) with CVW-1 (AB)

(10 March to 10 September 1986)

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-102

Diamondbacks -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AB100

F-14A

VF-33

Starfighters-

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AB200

F-14A

VA-46

Clansmen -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

AB300

A-7E

VA-72

Blue Hawks -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

AB400

A-7E

VA-34

Blue Blasters -                   Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber - Tanker

AB500

A-6E / KA-6D

VAW-123

Screwtops -

Carrier Airborne Early

Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye - Electronics

600-603

E-2C

VMAQ-2 DET.Y

Playboys - Marine

Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Grumman - Prowler - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

604-607

EA-6B

HS-11

Dragon Slayers -           Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

610

SH-3H

VS-32

Maulers - Air Anti-Submarine Squadron

Lockheed - Viking -

Anti-Submarine

700

S-3A

VQ-2 Det. A

Batmen - Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye Special electronic installation

(JQ)

xx

EA-3B

 

 

    “USS Peterson (DD-969) was part of battle group” (Ref. 84A).

 

    As Enterprise and the ships of her task force neared Sri Lanka, poor weather resulted in “minimal interaction” between USS Enterprise (CVN-65) and the Indian Navy, the latter “apparently” conducting an annual training exercise west of Goa, India. Nonetheless, Enterprise was located by two Indian Il-38 Mays during the afternoon watch on 12 March 1986, the Mays passing five times near the carrier with Closest Points of Approach (CPAs) of as little as 500 yards. Bagley recovered a spent SS-N-2C Styx SSM. The next day, another Indian May reconnoitered BG Foxtrot, followed by the Russians, staging IL-38s out of al Anad, Yemen. The Soviet Mays located a “deception group” southwest of Enterprise, but (apparently) not the carrier herself” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) made a port call at Port Everglades from 8 to 12 March 1986” (Ref. 549).

 

    USS Enterprise (CVN-65) pulled in for a port call at Karachi, Pakistan on 15 March 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 17 March 1986, where the actuator on number one catapult was replaced by one installed in the USS Nimitz (CVN-68)-class ships the following day” (Ref. 549).

 

    USS Enterprise (CVN-65) made a port call at Karachi, Pakistan from 15 to 19 March 1986, where she was toured by a Pakistani delegation led by Rear Admiral M.S. Choudry, Commander, Karachi” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Clearing the port Karachi, Pakistan on 19 to 20 March 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) conducted an “air and surface demo” for key Pakistani leaders. Both the Russians and the Indians exhibited more than passing interest in the exercise, the former sending a pair of Mays from al Anad, which made one pass each in “stepped up formation,” and the latter sending an Il-38 making no less than four passes of Enterprise barely two minutes after the second Soviet pass” (Ref. 362F).

    “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) participated in amphibious exercises from 15 to 22 March 1986 off the island of Sardinia” (Ref. 43).

    USS Enterprise (CVN-65) anchored at al Masirah Island, Oman on 22 March 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 23 March 1986, while operating off coast of Libya, aircraft from USS Saratoga (CV-60), USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and USS America (CV-66) crossed what Libyan strongman Mohammar Khadafi had called the "Line of Death. In response to airport bombings at the Rome and Vienna airports that killed American citizens, Coral Sea, USS Saratoga (CV-60), recalled from the Indian Ocean, began steaming in the central Mediterranean. The U. S. blamed the airport massacres, on Libya, and at the aggressive posterings of its leader, Colonel Moammar Ghadafi. Backed by the arrival of USS America (CV-66) in March 1986, the three carriers began “Freedom of Navigation” exercises in the Gulf of Sidra off the Libyan coast.

 

    Two hours later, Libyan forces fired SA-5 surface-to-air missiles from the coastal town of Surt. The missiles missed their F-14 Tomcat targets and fell harmlessly into the water. Later that afternoon, American planes flew south of latitude 30-30 N.-the "Line of Death" proclaimed by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, turning back two Libyan MiG-25 fighter planes over the disputed Gulf of Sidra. Soon after, aircraft from the three super carriers fought back in defense.

 

    A heavily-armed A-6E Intruder fired Rockeye cluster bombs and a Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile at a Libyan missile patrol boat operating on the "Line of Death." Later that night, two A-7E Corsair II jets attacked a key radar installation at Surt. At the conclusion, three Libyan patrol boats and a radar site were destroyed by Navy aircraft” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

     “The very next day at noon, three U.S. Navy warships crossed the same 32° 30' navigational line” (Ref. 1-Saratoga & 43).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) stood out of her anchorage at al Masirah Island, Oman, on the afternoon watch on the 24 March 1986 for operations” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 24 March 1986, Rear Admiral Jonathan T. Howe, ComCruDesGru-3, was relieved by Rear Admiral Paul D. Miller” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) stood out of her anchorage at al Masirah Island, Oman, on the afternoon watch on the 24 March 1986 for operations” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 24 March 1986, USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) accompanied by two destroyers, Scott (DDG-995) and Caron (DD-970), moved south of the "Line," covered by fighter aircraft, at 0600, commencing “Attain Document III” (Ref. 43).

 

    “Libyan armed forces fired missiles at U.S. naval forces operating in the Gulf of Sidra after declaring international waters as their own. U.S. retaliation was swift and deadly, when SA-2s and 5s fired on the Americans during the mid watch on 24 March 1986, who responded with Operation Prairie Fire, sinking Waheed with two Harpoons and MK 20 Rockeye cluster bombs from A-6E Intruders of VAs-34 and 85, the first operational use of the missile in combat” (Ref. 1-Saratoga & 43).

 

    “At 0752 a Libyan missile installation near Sirte launched two Soviet-made SA-5 Gammon SAMs toward F-14A Tomcats of USS America (CV-66) VF-102 flying over the high seas in the Gulf of Sidra from a Libyan missile installation in the vicinity of Sirte on the northern Libyan coast” (Ref. 1-Saratoga, 43 & 362F).

 

    “One hour after the first patrol boat had sortied, a Soviet-built Nanuchka-type patrol craft began heading out into the Gulf of Sidra. Intruders from VA-34 and USS Saratoga (CV-60) VA-85 attacked with Rockeye cluster bombs, but the craft sought refuge alongside a neutral merchant ship and avoided destruction. Damaged, she returned to the port of Benghazi after nightfall” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “During the course of the next few hours, several surface-to-air missiles were fired at U.S. aircraft operating over the high seas. A total of six SA-5s were launched from the new missile base at Surt against American aircraft. None was hit, however, because the SA-5, with a range of 240 kilometers, could threaten high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft over the Gulf of Sidra but was relatively ineffective against high-performance jet fighters” (Ref. 1-Saratoga & 43). 

 

    “Subsequently, the missile site was put out of action by carrier-based A-6 Intruders firing High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs), that homed in on the Libyans' radar guidance signals. At approximately 3:00 p.m. (EST) these missile installations again activated their target-acquisition radars with the evident objective of firing upon U.S. aircraft, but like the first pair, they were wide of their mark.  Two HARM air-to-surface missiles were thereupon fired by a US Navy A-7 aircraft, apparently resulting in the destruction of the radars controlling the missile battery. After a short outage, the radar returned to active status and still posed a threat to U.S. forces” (Ref. 362F). 

 

    “About 1430, a Libyan missile equipped Combattante II G4ype patrol craft, sortied

from Misratah, Libya, heading for USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) and her consorts. Two Grumman A-6Es from America's VA-34 fired Harpoon missiles at the craft and sank her in the first use of the AGM-84 in combat. Shortly thereafter, when American radars detected the Libyan installation at Sirte activating its target acquisition radars, two A-7Es from USS Saratoga (CV-60) VA-81 put the site out of action with HARMs” (Ref. 1-Saratoga & 43).

 

    “At 6:47 p.m., A-7 aircraft again fired two HARM missiles at the SA-5 radar at Sirte. After another short outage, the radar returned to active status” (Ref. 362F).

 

    Libyan aircraft and SA-2s and 5s fired on the Americans during the mid watch on 24 March 1986, who responded with Operation Prairie Fire, sinking Waheed with two Harpoons and MK 20 Rockeye cluster bombs from A-6E Intruders of VAs-34 and 85, the first operational use of the missile in combat.

 

     Additional strikes sank Nanuchka II class corvette Ean Mara with a Harpoon and Rockeyes, and damaged a second corvette, while the SA-5 battery at Surt was also knocked out, by AGM-88 High Speed Antiradiation Missiles (HARMs) fired by VA-83 A-7E Corsair IIs. The SAG steamed 40 miles below the “line of death” for 75 hours without a single casualty, the air wings flying 1,546 sorties, 375 of them south of the line.

 

     The following day, 25 March, at 0200, another Nanuchka II-type patrol boat entered international waters and came under attack by Intruders from VA-85 and USS Coral Sea (CV-43) VA-55; the latter utilized Rockeye in the attack, the former then sank the craft with a Harpoon. The same squadrons then attacked and damaged a second Nanuchka-II, forcing her to put into Benghazi” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “On 25 March 1986, the final carrier launching of a Navy fleet F-4S Phantom II took place off USS Midway (CV-41) during flight operations in the East China Sea. Pilot Lt. Alan S. Cosgrove and radar intercept officer Lt. Greg Blankenship of VF-151 manned the aircraft. Phantoms were being replaced by the new F/A-18 Hornets” (Ref. 1-Midway).

 

    “Attain Document III" came to a close at 0900 on 27 March 1986, three days ahead of schedule and after 48 hours of largely unchallenged use of the Gulf of Sidra by the United States Navy. Intelligence information, however, in the wake of the strikes designed to let Colonel Gadhafi know that the United States had not only the desire but the capability to effect a response to terrorism, indicated the unstable Libyan leader intended retaliation” (Ref. 43).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) returned to anchorage at al Masirah Island, Oman, during the early morning of 26 March 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “The most serious loss for the Libyans during `Attain Document III was one of the eight Soviet-supplied Nanuchka-class missile corvettes in an attack by two A-6s shortly after midnight on 26 March 1986. The Libyan missile patrol boat equipped with surface-to-surface missiles came within missile range of US ships on the high seas well away from the Libyan coast. The U.S. commander determined, in light of the Libyan attacks on U.S. aircraft, that this vessel was hostile and therefore ordered U.S. aircraft to engage it. At approximately 2:00 p.m. (EST), U.S. Navy A-6 aircraft fired two Harpoon missiles, which struck and heavily damaged the Libyan vessel.

 

    “While anchored at al Masirah Island, Oman, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) again found herself monitored by Soviet Mays out of al Anad. Subsequently, receiving word of a downed Indian AN-32 Cline south of Karachi, Enterprise launched two SAR flights in support of the Indians (26 to 27 March 1986) and then departed, arriving in the early morning of the 26th” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “By 22 to 27 March 1986, Vice Admiral Frank B. Kelso, II, Com6thFlt, deployed TF 60, designated Battle Force Zulu, three CVBGs, USS America (CV-66), USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and USS Saratoga (CV-60), with upward of 250 aircraft, 26 ships and submarines and 27,000 sailors and marines. Undeterred, Qadhafi boarded La Combattante II G class missile boat Waheed, loudly proclaiming to media representatives that a “line of death” stretched across the gulf at 32º30’N” (Ref. 1159).

 

    “Operation Attain Document III was conducted from 23 to 29 March 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “All U.S. aircraft returned safely to their carriers, and no casualties or damage were suffered by U.S. forces” (Ref. 1159).

 

    “During Operation Attain Document III, TG 60.5, a Surface Action Group (SAG) composed of guided missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga (CG-47), guided missile destroyer USS Scott (DDG-995) and destroyer USS Caron (DD-970) crossed that line” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “While operating in the northwestern Arabian Sea, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) launched low-level flights into Oman under exercise Lightning Flash on 29 March 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    Anchoring at al Masirah Island, Oman early 30 March 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) stood out the evening of the 30th for a PassEx with British frigates Broadsword, Cardiff and Tidespring; however, the next day, 31 March, a TARPS mission over the Shu-ab anchorage, Socotra Island, revealed Soviet Kara class cruiser Tallin (CG-547), an Ugra class submarine tender, a Boris Chilikin class AOR and an International class Mertkr” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “The Russians continued their game of cat and mouse with the group, flying another May over Enterprise with barely a 1,000 yard CPA, on 1 April 1986. Arkansas, meanwhile, made a “pass-through” of the Socotra anchorage, and TARPS imagery showed the Russians still at anchor” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Returning to al Masirah Island, Oman on 2 April 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) cleared the anchorage the next morning with an Omani delegation led by Yusuf bin Abdullah, Foreign Minister, and G. Cranwell Montgomery, U.S. Ambassador, Oman, embarked for an aerial demonstration. The ship was also visited while in this area by Rear Admiral John F. Addams, Commander, Middle East Force” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS America (CV-66) steamed to Augusta Bay, Sicily (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) made a port call at Malaga, Spain on 4 April 1986, relieving USS Saratoga (CV-60) on station, and subsequently visiting Livorno, Italy on 4 April 1986” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

Libyan retaliation

 

    “On 5 April 1986, two days after a bomb exploded on board a Trans World Airways (TWA) flight en route to Athens, from Rome, killing four American citizens, a bomb exploded in the La Belle Discoteque in West Berlin, killing two American servicemen and a Turkish civilian. Another 222 people were wounded in the bombing-78 Americans among them. Col. Qaddafi threatened to escalate the violence against Americans, civilian and military, throughout the world” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    Repeated U.S. efforts to persuade the Libyan leader to forsake terrorism as an instrument of policy, including an attempt to persuade other western nations to isolate Libya peacefully, failed. Rumors of U.S. retaliation were soon followed by Gadhafi's threat to take all foreigners in Libya hostage, and use them as a shield to protect his military installations. In light of that threat, the failure to gain peaceful sanctions against Libya, and citing "incontrovertible evidence" of Libyan complicity in the recent terrorist acts, President Reagan directed that attacks on terrorist-related targets in Libya be carried out” (Ref. 43).

 

    “During the morning watch on 7 April 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) sailed from al Masirah, with a visit by Rear Admiral Hugh M. Balfour, CNO, Oman” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS America (CV-66) relieved USS Saratoga (CV-60) on station, and subsequently visited Livorno, Italy, from 4 to 8 April 1986. In the meantime, intelligence information, however, in the wake of the strikes designed to let Col. Qaddafi know that the United States had not only the desire but the capability to respond effectively to terrorism, indicated that Qaddafi intended to retaliate. Such retaliation occurred soon thereafter” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    While steaming in the Gulf of Oman, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was visited by Vice President Bush and his wife Barbara on 9 April 1986, who remained on board until the next day” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) sailed southward toward Diego Garcia, but was diverted northward toward Socotra Island on the 11 April 1986, steaming near Socotra, launching “daily sorties” and monitoring maritime traffic in the strategically vital Bab-al-Mandeb” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Operation Eldorado Canyon commenced early on the afternoon of 14 April 1986.  Consequently, at 0150 on 14 April 1986, the lead aircraft went to work on the Libyan air defense systems, jamming some radars and blasting others with HARMs and Shrikes, as tanker aircraft took off from bases in England to support the Air Force North American F-111F and EF-111 planes that soon followed them into the air and began the 3,000 mile (5,000 km) trip to the target; subsequent attacks pounded Libyan terrorist and military target areas near Tripoli, the Frogman School at Murat Sidi Bilal, the military zone at Tripoli International Airport, and Bab al-Azziziyyah Barracks; together with two targets near Bengazi, Benina Airfield and the al-Jamahiriyyah Barracks” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Qadhafi struck back with more terrorist strikes, prompting Operation El Dorado Canyon, from 14 to 15 April 1986. A joint operation, the Air Force flew 18 F-111F Aardvarks of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, and four EF-111A Ravens from the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, together with 29 tankers, all flying from England, and a round trip of nearly 6,000 miles. On the eve of battle, Rear Admiral Henry H. Mauz, Jr., Commander, TF 60, informed the sailors and marines of Battle Force Zulu that their actions were sending a message to “those who sponsor [terrorism]…that retribution will be swift and sure” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “In the early morning hours of April 15, 1986, USS Coral Sea (CV-43), well to the east of USS America (CV-66) position, launched her strike/support aircraft: eight A-6Es from VA-55 and six F/A-18 Hornets, and from America, six "Intruders" (strike aircraft) from VA-34 fully armed, joining up with air Force F-111 bombers flown from England, and six "Intruders" (strike aircraft) from VA-34 off the America. Simultaneously, conducted air-to-surface Shrike missile and HARM missile strikes against Libyan surface-to-air missile sites at Benghazi and Tripoli between 1745 and 1820, 15 April 1986. While the America’s jets and the F-111’s bombed targets in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli, Coral Sea’s eight A-6E’s from VA-55 and six F/A-18A Hornets dropped their bombs on targets in the coastal city of Benghazi. During the strikes, F/A-18’s from Coral Sea flew combat air patrols covering the two battle groups and protecting the F-111’s from counter attacks by Lybian Air Force elements. As the bombers delivered their weapons, President Ronald Regan told the American People that he had ordered the strikes on Libyan military targets because of “irrefutable evidence” of Libya’s direct involvement in both the nightclub bombing and the Rome and Vienna airport attacks. News reporters in Tripoli and Benghazi told of the cities being under attack, the night sky ablaze with futile anti-aircraft fire that came too little and to late. They told of the thundering roar as the Navy and Air Force jets passed overhead. On board Coral Sea, the ship’s Combat Centers erupted with cheers when the last A-6E Intruder reported “feet wet,” indicating it was over water, heading back to the carrier. Both carriers launched other aircraft to support the strike, providing CAP and other functions. "In a spectacular feat of mission planning and execution," the Navy and Air Force planes, based 3,000 miles apart, reached their targets on time at 1900. The F/A-I8As from Coral Sea and A-7Es from America launched air-to-surface Shrike missiles and HARMs against Libyan SAM sites at Benghazi and Tripoli. Moments later, VA-34's A-6s, roaring in at low-level in the blackness, dropped their Mk 82 bombs with near surgical precision on the Benghazi Military Barracks, reckoned to be an alternate command and control facility for terrorist activities and a billeting area for Gadhafi's elite Jamahiriyah Guard, as well as a warehouse for MiG aircraft components. VA-34's attack heavily damaged the warehouse, destroying four crated MiGs and damaging a fifth. Over the next week, the battle groups maintained a high state of readiness; although Libyan aircraft were in the air daily, they did not venture into the airspaces above the Gulf of Sidra. In the meantime, intelligence information, however, in the wake of the strikes designed to let Col. Qaddafi know that the United States had not only the desire but the capability to respond effectively to terrorism, indicated that Qaddafi intended to retaliate. Such retaliation occurred soon thereafter” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) continued her “daily sorties” and monitoring maritime traffic in the strategically vital Bab-al-Mandeb, from 14 to 15 April 1986, until being placed “on alert” on the 15th” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 16 April 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was reconnoitered by a pair of Russian Mays flying out of al Anad, the Russians swooping by the ship’s port side from bow–stern at a CPA of 1,500 yards, in the western Gulf of Aden. The area was also patrolled by the French, who maintained facilities at Djibouti, Horn of Africa (HOA)” (Ref. 362F).

 

    USS Coral Sea (CV-43) made port calls at Naples, Italy a second time on 19 April 1986 and visited Toulon, Istanbul, Catania, Palermo, Trieste before departing for Norfolk, Va. on her eleventh Mediterranean cruise” (Ref. 362F).

 

     “On 28 April 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) became the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, en route from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve Coral Sea, on station with America off the coast of Libya. The transit began at 0300 and lasted 12 hours. It was the first time in over 22 years that Enterprise was in the Mediterranean Sea” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS America (CV-66) visited Naples between 28 April and 4 May 1986, and then participated in NATO Exercise, "Distant Hammer" with units of the Italian and Turkish Air Forces, and visited Cannes upon conclusion of the evolution. In May 1986, after her originally planned six month cruise was extended to seven-and-a-half months, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) returned home to a hero’s welcome” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 19 May 1986, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) with Commander Bryon L. Duff, Commander, Carrier Air Wing 13 from November 1985 to Present, relieving Captain John P. Gay, Commander, Carrier Air Wing 13, Rear Admiral J. C. Breast, Commander Carrier Group Two and Captain G. F. Streeter, Chief of Staff, Commander Carrier Group Two embarked arrived Norfolk, Virginia, with Captain Robert Harvey Ferguson, as Commanding Officer and Captain John A. Lockard, as Executive Officer, ending her 1st Mediterranean Sea deployment, operating with the United States Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet), steaming through the North Atlantic, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea, operating with the Sixth Fleet since reassignment to the 6th Fleet from 12 September 1983 to Present, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956). Within days of arrival, an F/A-18 on a training mission left the ship as it sailed in the western Med With mid-air refuelings, the jet returned to the ship safely after the six-hour mission, demonstrating the long-range capabilities of Coral Sea/Air Wing 13 team. The quiet, uneventful cruise was altered on 27 December 1985. As the New Year, 1986, began, tensions in the Mediterranean basin would result in USS America (CV-66) sailing to deploy with the 6th Fleet one month earlier than planned. On 7 January 1986, President Ronald Reagan ordered all American citizens out of Libya, and broke off all remaining ties between the two nations. At the same time, the President directed the dispatch of a second carrier battle group to the Mediterranean Sea, and directed the Joint Chiefs of Staff to look into military operations against Libya, whose leader, Moammar Gadhafi, was strongly suspected of fomenting terrorist activity. Coral Sea had begun the year at Naples before carrying out Exercise Dasix '85 (8-9 January 1986), evolutions designed to test the effectiveness of the French Air Force and French air defense command/control structure. The Hornet flew the length of the Mediterranean and delivered its practice bombs to a target. USS Truxtun (CGN-35) and USS Arkansas (CGN-41) joined Enterprise as part of her task force. Coral Sea joined and USS Saratoga (CV-60) participated in operations, which were collectively named “Attain Document” in the Gulf of Sidra, Libya from 24 to 31 January 1986. Coral Sea and Saratoga participated in operations, which were collectively named “Attain Document II” in the Gulf of Sidra, Libya from 10 to 15 February 1986. Coral Sea participated in amphibious exercises from 21-24 February 1986 off the coast of Tunisia with Saratoga. USS Peterson (DD-969) was part of battle group. Coral Sea participated in amphibious exercises from 15 to 22 March 1986 off the island of Sardinia. On 23 March 1986, while operating off coast of Libya, aircraft from Saratoga, Coral Sea and America crossed what Libyan strongman Mohammar Khadafi had called the "Line of Death. In response to airport bombings at the Rome and Vienna airports that killed American citizens, Coral Sea, Saratoga, recalled from the Indian Ocean, began steaming in the central Mediterranean. The U. S. blamed the airport massacres, on Libya, and at the aggressive posterings of its leader, Colonel Moammar Ghadafi. Backed by the arrival of USS America (CV-66) in March 1986, the three carriers began “Freedom of Navigation” exercises in the Gulf of Sidra off the Libyan coast. Two hours later, Libyan forces fired SA-5 surface-to-air missiles from the coastal town of Surt. The missiles missed their F-14 Tomcat targets and fell harmlessly into the water. Later that afternoon, American planes flew south of latitude 30-30 N.-the "Line of Death" proclaimed by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, turning back two Libyan MiG-25 fighter planes over the disputed Gulf of Sidra. Soon after, aircraft from the three super carriers fought back in defense. A heavily-armed A-6E Intruder fired Rockeye cluster bombs and a Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile at a Libyan missile patrol boat operating on the "Line of Death." Later that night, two A-7E Corsair II jets attacked a key radar installation at Surt. At the conclusion, three Libyan patrol boats and a radar site were destroyed by Navy aircraft. The very next day at noon, three U.S. Navy warships crossed the same 32° 30' navigational line. On 24 March 1986, USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) accompanied by two destroyers, Scott (DDG-995) and Caron (DD-970), moved south of the "Line," covered by fighter aircraft, at 0600, commencing “Attain Document III. On 24 March 1986, Libyan armed forces fired missiles at U.S. naval forces operating in the Gulf of Sidra after declaring international waters as their own. U.S. retaliation was swift and deadly. At 0752 a Libyan missile installation near Sirte launched two Soviet-made SA-5 Gammon SAMs toward F-14A Tomcats of America VF-102. Later that afternoon, the Sirte installation fired additional SAMs at American planes, but like the first pair, they were wide of their mark. About 1430, a Libyan missile equipped Combattante II G4ype patrol craft, sortied from Misratah, Libya, heading for USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) and her consorts. Two Grumman A-6Es from America's VA-34 fired Harpoon missiles at the craft and sank her in the first use of the AGM-84 in combat. Shortly thereafter, when American radars detected the Libyan installation at Sirte activating its target acquisition radars, two A-7Es from Saratoga VA-81 put the site out of action with HARMs. One hour after the first patrol boat had sortied, a Soviet-built Nanuchka-type patrol craft began heading out into the Gulf of Sidra. Intruders from VA-34 and Saratoga VA-85 attacked with Rockeye cluster bombs, but the craft sought refuge alongside a neutral merchant ship and avoided destruction. Damaged, she returned to the port of Benghazi after nightfall. The following day, 25 March, at 0200, another Nanuchka II-type patrol boat entered international waters and came under attack by Intruders from VA-85 and Coral Sea VA-55; the latter utilized Rockeye in the attack, the former then sank the craft with a Harpoon. The same squadrons then attacked and damaged a second Nanuchka-II, forcing her to put into Benghazi. Attain Document III” came to a close at 0900 27 March, three days ahead of schedule and after 48 hours of largely unchallenged use of the Gulf of Sidra by ships of the U.S. Navy. Intelligence information, however, in the wake of the strikes designed to let Colonel Gadhafi know that the United States had not only the desire but the capability to effect a response to terrorism, indicated the unstable Libyan leader intended retaliation. A military response by Ghadafi resulted in A6E Intruders from Coral Sea and Saratoga attacking and sinking four Libyan gunboats and attacking surface-to-air missile sites on the Libyan coast. On 25 March 1986, the final carrier launching of a Navy fleet F-4S Phantom II took place off USS Midway (CV-41) during flight operations in the East China Sea. Pilot Lt. Alan S. Cosgrove and radar intercept officer Lt. Greg Blankenship of VF-151 manned the aircraft. Phantoms were being replaced by the new F/A-18 Hornets. Buoyed by the success of the attacks, and no U.S. losses, the three-carrier group dispersed. The most serious loss for the Libyans during `Attain Document III was one of the eight Soviet-supplied Nanuchka-class missile corvettes in an attack by two A-6s shortly after midnight on 26 March 1986. The Libyan missile patrol boat equipped with surface-to-surface missiles came within missile range of US ships on the high seas well away from the Libyan coast. The U.S. commander determined, in light of the Libyan attacks on U.S. aircraft, that this vessel was hostile and therefore ordered U.S. aircraft to engage it. At approximately 2:00 p.m. (EST), U.S. Navy A-6 aircraft fired two Harpoon missiles, which struck and heavily damaged the Libyan vessel. While anchored at al Masirah Island, Oman, Enterprise again found herself monitored by Soviet Mays out of al Anad. Subsequently, receiving word of a downed Indian AN-32 Cline south of Karachi, Enterprise launched two SAR flights in support of the Indians (26 to 27 March 1986) and then departed, arriving in the early morning of the 26th”. By 22 to 27 March 1986, Vice Admiral Frank B. Kelso, II, Com6thFlt, deployed TF 60, designated Battle Force Zulu, three CVBGs, America, Coral Sea and Saratoga, with upward of 250 aircraft, 26 ships and submarines and 27,000 sailors and marines. Undeterred, Qadhafi boarded La Combattante II G class missile boat Waheed, loudly proclaiming to media representatives that a “line of death” stretched across the gulf at 32º30’N.” Operation Attain Document III was conducted from 23 to 29 March 1986. All U.S. aircraft returned safely to their carriers, and no casualties or damage were suffered by U.S. forces. During Operation Attain Document III, TG 60.5, a Surface Action Group (SAG) composed of guided missile cruiser USS Ticonderoga (CG-47), guided missile destroyer USS Scott (DDG-995) and destroyer USS Caron (DD-970) crossed that line. While operating in the northwestern Arabian Sea, Enterprise launched low-level flights into Oman under exercise Lightning Flash on 29 March 1986. Anchoring at al Masirah Island, Oman early 30 March 1986, Enterprise stood out the evening of the 30th for a PassEx with British frigates Broadsword, Cardiff and Tidespring; however, the next day, 31 March, a TARPS mission over the Shu-ab anchorage, Socotra Island, revealed Soviet Kara class cruiser Tallin (CG-547), an Ugra class submarine tender, a Boris Chilikin class AOR and an International class Mertkr. The Russians continued their game of cat and mouse with the group, flying another May over Enterprise with barely a 1,000 yard CPA, on 1 April 1986. Arkansas, meanwhile, made a “pass-through” of the Socotra anchorage, and TARPS imagery showed the Russians still at anchor. Returning to al Masirah Island, Oman on 2 April 1986, Enterprise cleared the anchorage the next morning with an Omani delegation led by Yusuf bin Abdullah, Foreign Minister, and G. Cranwell Montgomery, U.S. Ambassador, Oman, embarked for an aerial demonstration. The ship was also visited while in this area by Rear Admiral John F. Addams, Commander, Middle East Force. America steamed to Augusta Bay, Sicily. Coral Sea made a port call at Malaga, Spain on 4 April 1986, relieving Saratoga on station, and subsequently visiting Livorno, Italy on 4 April 1986. On 5 April 1986, two days after a bomb exploded on board a Trans World Airways (TWA) flight en route to Athens, from Rome, killing four American citizens, a bomb exploded in the La Belle Discoteque in West Berlin, killing two American servicemen and a Turkish civilian. Another 222 people were wounded in the bombing-78 Americans among them. Col. Qaddafi threatened to escalate the violence against Americans, civilian and military, throughout the world. Repeated U.S. efforts to persuade the Libyan leader to forsake terrorism as an instrument of policy, including an attempt to persuade other western nations to isolate Libya peacefully, failed. Rumors of U.S. retaliation were soon followed by Gadhafi's threat to take all foreigners in Libya hostage, and use them as a shield to protect his military installations. In light of that threat, the failure to gain peaceful sanctions against Libya, and citing "incontrovertible evidence" of Libyan complicity in the recent terrorist acts, President Reagan directed that attacks on terrorist-related targets in Libya be carried out. During the morning watch on 7 April 1986, Enterprise sailed from al Masirah, with a visit by Rear Admiral Hugh M. Balfour, CNO, Oman. America relieved Saratoga on station, and subsequently visited Livorno, Italy, from 4 to 8 April 1986. In the meantime, intelligence information, however, in the wake of the strikes designed to let Col. Qaddafi know that the United States had not only the desire but the capability to respond effectively to terrorism, indicated that Qaddafi intended to retaliate. Such retaliation occurred soon thereafter. While steaming in the Gulf of Oman, Enterprise was visited by Vice President Bush and his wife Barbara on 9 April 1986, who remained on board until the next day. Enterprise sailed southward toward Diego Garcia, but was diverted northward toward Socotra Island on the 11 April 1986, steaming near Socotra, launching “daily sorties” and monitoring maritime traffic in the strategically vital Bab-al-Mandeb. Operation Eldorado Canyon commenced early on the afternoon of 14 April 1986.  Consequently, at 0150 on 14 April 1986, the lead aircraft went to work on the Libyan air defense systems, jamming some radars and blasting others with HARMs and Shrikes, as tanker aircraft took off from bases in England to support the Air Force North American F-111F and EF-111 planes that soon followed them into the air and began the 3,000 mile (5,000 km) trip to the target; subsequent attacks pounded Libyan terrorist and military target areas near Tripoli, the Frogman School at Murat Sidi Bilal, the military zone at Tripoli International Airport, and Bab al-Azziziyyah Barracks; together with two targets near Bengazi, Benina Airfield and the al-Jamahiriyyah Barracks. Qadhafi struck back with more terrorist strikes, prompting Operation El Dorado Canyon, from 14 to 15 April 1986. A joint operation, the Air Force flew 18 F-111F Aardvarks of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, and four EF-111A Ravens from the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, together with 29 tankers, all flying from England, and a round trip of nearly 6,000 miles. On the eve of battle, Rear Admiral Henry H. Mauz, Jr., Commander, TF 60, informed the sailors and marines of Battle Force Zulu that their actions were sending a message to “those who sponsor [terrorism]…that retribution will be swift and sure. In the early morning hours of April 15, 1986, Coral Sea, well to the east of America's position, launched her strike/support aircraft: eight A-6Es from VA-55 and six F/A-18 Hornets, and from America, six "Intruders" (strike aircraft) from VA-34 fully armed, joining up with air Force F-111 bombers flown from England, and six "Intruders" (strike aircraft) from VA-34 off the America. Simultaneously, conducted air-to-surface Shrike missile and HARM missile strikes against Libyan surface-to-air missile sites at Benghazi and Tripoli between 1745 and 1820, 15 April 1986. While the America’s jets and the F-111’s bombed targets in the Libyan capitol of Tripoli, Coral Sea’s eight A-6E’s from VA-55 and six F/A-18A Hornets dropped their bombs on targets in the coastal city of Benghazi. During the strikes, F/A-18’s from Coral Sea flew combat air patrols covering the two battle groups and protecting the F-111’s from counter attacks by Lybian Air Force elements. As the bombers delivered their weapons, President Ronald Regan told the American People that he had ordered the strikes on Libyan military targets because of “irrefutable evidence” of Libya’s direct involvement in both the nightclub bombing and the Rome and Vienna airport attacks. News reporters in Tripoli and Benghazi told of the cities being under attack, the night sky ablaze with futile anti-aircraft fire that came too little and to late. They told of the thundering roar as the Navy and Air Force jets passed overhead. On board Coral Sea, the ship’s Combat Centers erupted with cheers when the last A-6E Intruder reported “feet wet,” indicating it was over water, heading back to the carrier. Both carriers launched other aircraft to support the strike, providing CAP and other functions. "In a spectacular feat of mission planning and execution," the Navy and Air Force planes, based 3,000 miles apart, reached their targets on time at 1900. The F/A-I8As from Coral Sea and A-7Es from America launched air-to-surface Shrike missiles and HARMs against Libyan SAM sites at Benghazi and Tripoli. Moments later, VA-34's A-6s, roaring in at low-level in the blackness, dropped their Mk 82 bombs with near surgical precision on the Benghazi Military Barracks, reckoned to be an alternate command and control facility for terrorist activities and a billeting area for Gadhafi's elite Jamahiriyah Guard, as well as a warehouse for MiG aircraft components. VA-34's attack heavily damaged the warehouse, destroying four crated MiGs and damaging a fifth. Over the next week, the battle groups maintained a high state of readiness; although Libyan aircraft were in the air daily, they did not venture into the airspaces above the Gulf of Sidra. In the meantime, intelligence information, however, in the wake of the strikes designed to let Col. Qaddafi know that the United States had not only the desire but the capability to respond effectively to terrorism, indicated that Qaddafi intended to retaliate. Such retaliation occurred soon thereafter. Enterprise continued her “daily sorties” and monitoring maritime traffic in the strategically vital Bab-al-Mandeb, from 14 to 15 April 1986, until being placed “on alert” on the 15th. On 16 April 1986, Enterprise was reconnoitered by a pair of Russian Mays flying out of al Anad, the Russians swooping by the ship’s port side from bow–stern at a CPA of 1,500 yards, in the western Gulf of Aden. The area was also patrolled by the French, who maintained facilities at Djibouti, Horn of Africa (HOA). Coral Sea made port calls at Naples, Italy a second time on 19 April 1986 and visited Toulon, Istanbul, Catania, Palermo, Trieste before departing for Norfolk, Va. on her eleventh Mediterranean cruise. On 28 April 1986, Enterprise became the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, en route from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve Coral Sea, on station with America off the coast of Libya. The transit began at 0300 and lasted 12 hours. It was the first time in over 22 years that Enterprise was in the Mediterranean Sea. America visited Naples between 28 April and 4 May 1986, and then participated in NATO Exercise, "Distant Hammer" with units of the Italian and Turkish Air Forces, and visited Cannes upon conclusion of the evolution. In May 1986, after her originally planned six month cruise was extended to seven-and-a-half months, Coral Sea returned home to a hero’s welcome. Final Carrier launching of a Navy fleet F-4S Phantom II. 2nd Mediterranean Cruise since her reassignment to the 6th Fleet in the Atlantic upon arrival in the 5th Fleet Area, arriving on a World Cruise via the Suez Canal and Med on 12 September 1983, her 10th Med Deployment, having completed nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956) prior to her 1st conversion (25 January 1960) and now her 11th Med tour with either 6th or 7th Fleet (Attain Document I-III), while during her 10th Med Deployment she visited three ports in the 6th Fleet Area. Ports of call include: Naples, the capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy; Trieste, a city and seaport in northeastern Italy and situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy's border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city; Catania, an Italian city on the east coast of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea, between Messina and Syracuse and the capital of the homonymous province, and is the second-largest city in Sicily and the tenth in Italy; Palermo, a city in Insular Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo; Toulon, a city in southern France and a large military harbor on the Mediterranean coast, with a major French naval base, located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department in the former province of Provence and Malaga, a city and a municipality, capital of the Province of Málaga, in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain; Haifa, the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country; Istanbul (/ˌɪstænˈbl/; Turkish: İstanbul [isˈtanbuɫ]) is the largest city in Turkey, constituting the country's economic, cultural, and historical heart. Istanbul is a transcontinental city in Eurasia, with its commercial and historical centre lying on the European side and about a third of its population living on the Asian side of Eurasia; and Malaga, a city and a municipality, capital of the Province of Málaga, in the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, Spain. Squadrons: VF-154, F-4N; VF-21, F-4N; VA-97, A-7E; VA-27, A-7E; VA-196, A-6E/KA-6D; VAW-113, E-2B and HS-12, SH-3G. Completing 15 “Westpac’s” while under the direction of the 7th Fleet in the Pacific (25 January 1960 to 12 September 1983); reclassified CV-43 on 30 June 1975; involved in two Vietnam Peace Coast Patrol Cruises, ending with Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon 28 April 1975 during the evacuation of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh 12 April 1975 in Operation Eagle Pull, while her first Vietnam Peace Coast Patrol Cruises was during Operation Homecoming (9 March 1973 to 11 August 1973), following six Vietnam War Combat Cruises during the Vietnam Conflict/War (1 November 1965 to 17 July 1972), completing her 1st & 2nd Vietnam Expeditionary Force (VEF) deployments during her 1st & 2nd WestPac,” (first CVA in the Bering Sea during 12 December 1961 to 17 July 1962 deployment). Her 16th foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Wa.; upon completion of sea trials and a post-overhaul inspection and survey evaluation, commencing once recommissioned, following SCB 110A conversion (16 April 1957 to 25 January 1960), decommissioned 24 April 1957; reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. Her 27th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947 since her commission 1 October 1947 (1 October 1985 to 19 May 1986)” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35, 72, 362F, 1159, 1275Z12, 1275Z15, 1275Z11 & 1275Z12).

 

 01/10/85 – 19/05/86

AWARD OR CITATION

 AWARD DATES

    “MED

  CRUISE”

 Navy Expeditionary Service Medal for

 Gulf of Sidra ops & Libya raids

 20 Jan to 5 May 1986*F

 11th

 Navy Unit Commendation for Gulf of Sidra

 operations & Libya raids*F

 2 Oct 1985 to 19 May 1986

 23 March to 17 April 1986

 same

Reference 34, 35 & 43 reflect Chat info.

 

    USS Enterprise (CVN-65) steamed in the Mediterranean Sea from 18 to 30 May 1986, when she navigated the Strait of Bonifacio, between Corsica and Sardinia, entering Toulon, 30 May 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Clearing Toulon in French waters on 9 June 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) steamed to Augusta Bay, Sicily” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 6 June 1986” (Ref. 549).

 

     “USS Coral Sea (CV-43) entered Norfolk Naval Shipyard in June 1986 for an extensive Ship’s Restricted Availability which ended several months later” (Ref. 1275Z13).

 

     “Captain Dennis V. Mcginn became XO of USS Coral Sea (CV-43) in June 1986” (Ref. 1275ZA4).

 

    “During the passage, steaming to Augusta Bay, Sicily, Tomcats launched from USS Enterprise (CVN-65) intercepted and escorted a pair of Russian Mays flying from Libya, on 13 June 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “From 10 to 14 June 1986, four A-7Es and one EA-6B detached from USS Enterprise (CVN-65) to form a special detachment at NAS Sigonella, Sicily, in support of NATO exercise Tridente. Enterprise conducted her “turnover” with USS Forrestal (CVA-59) on the 17th, and the next day Roger Mudd, NBC News, embarked to film a documentary” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) pulled in for a port call at Augusta Bay on 23 June 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Following a visit to Augusta Bay, from 23 to 25 June 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) got underway for Australia via West Africa” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) got underway from Norfolk, Virginia on 26 June 1986, for a certification period for the AN/SPN-46 automated carrier landing system (ACLS), continued on for New York City” (Ref. 549).

 

    “During June 1986, USS America (CV-66) operated with USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and the newly arrived USS Enterprise (CVN-65), and took part in a "Poop Deck" Exercise with Spanish and United States Air Force units off the coast of Spain, arriving at Palma de Mallorca, Spain soon thereafter” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “Newport News and Drydock flooded the drydock to a depth of 25 feet on 26 June 1986, floating USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) four days later” (Ref. 383B).

 

    “Transiting the Strait of Gibraltar on 28 June 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) chopped to Com2ndFlt the next day” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Interestingly, the ships in Enterprise’s battle group were operating simultaneously in four major maritime theaters on 29 June 1986: USS Enterprise (CVN-65), USS Truxtun (CGN-35) and USS Arkansas (CGN-41) in the Atlantic, USS O'Brien (DD-975) and USS Lewis B. Puller (FFG-23) in the Pacific, USS Reasoner (FF-1063), with Captain Barthold, ComDesRon-23, embarked, USS Bagley (DD-386) and USS Sacramento (AOE-1) in the Med, and USS David R. Ray (DD 971) and USS McClusky (FFG41) in the Indian Ocean” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “Participating in a NATO Exercise "Tridente," in late June 1986, USS America (CV-66) visited Naples, Italy before she participated in a "National Week" Exercise” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “Upon completion of "National Week" Exercise, USS America (CV-66) visited Catania, Spain and operating in the central and western Mediterranean Sea” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) reached New York City on 1 July 1986” (Ref. 549).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) crossed the equator on 3 July 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 3 and 4 July 1986, over 8,000 people visited USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) while being the centerpiece for a vast international naval armada during the International Naval Review in honor of the 100th Anniversary of France’s giving the United States the Statue of Liberty to the United States and Rededication of the Statue of Liberty. President Ronald Reagan visited the ship on Independence Day” (Ref. 72, 76 & 380 & 549).

 

    “Following a Tiger Cruise from 6 to 9 July 1986, USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) returned to Norfolk, Virginia for more local operations and preparation for her next deployment” (Ref. 549).

 

    USS Enterprise (CVN-65) rounded the Cape of Good Hope on 9 July 1986, chopping to Com7thFlt” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) undocked on 12 July 1986” (Ref. 383B).

 

    “Four days later, on 13 July 1986, an EA-6B Prowler embarked aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was lost after a catapult launch, following “control malfunction.” The mission commander landed on the flight deck after ejecting, and his crew was recovered in the water. Three days later, another mishap caused tense moments for the crew of a C-2 from VRC-50 when a propeller failed on “flyoff.” The men flew the Greyhound on to Perth on a single prop, making an “uneventful landing”” (Ref. 362F).

 

    USS Enterprise (CVN-65) pulled in for a port call at Perth, Australia on 18 July 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “After USS Enterprise (CVN-65) visited Perth, Australia from 18 to 22 July 1986, she turned toward the Philippines. Negotiating Indonesian waters, she steamed northerly courses through the Makassar Strait, crossing the Celebes and Sulu Seas” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) USS Enterprise (CVN-65) pulled in for a port call, mooring at NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines on 27 July 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) made a port call, mooring at NAS Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines from 27 to 30 July 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS America (CV-66) wound up the month of July 1986 at Benidorn, Spain, before returning to sea for further operations at sea in that region” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “Following an in port period and Naval Reserve active duty training, sea trials and CarQuals off the Virginia Capes, USS Coral Sea (CV-43) underwent repairs on her boiler in one of the engine rooms and a selected restricted availability at Norfolk, Va. Naval Ship Yard on 21 July 1986” (Ref. 34).

 

    USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was inchopping to the 3rd Fleet on 3 August 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) pulled in for a port call at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 August 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “USS Enterprise (CVN-65) pulled in for a port call at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on 7 August 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    After pausing at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii from 7 to 9 August 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) embarked 665 Tigers for the journey home, the visiting dependents receiving a 21-gun salute and a sea power demonstration courtesy of USS Truxtun (CGN-35) and USS Arkansas (CGN-41). CVW-1 concluded the show with “a spectacular diamond-shaped flyby” 1986” (Ref. 362F).

 

    “On 13 August 1986, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) with CVW-11 embarked arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California, with Rear Admiral Paul D. Miller, ComCruDesGru-3 embarked, relieving Rear Admiral Jonathan T. Howe, on 24 March 1986, disembarking CVW-11 operating out of her assigned home base in Calif., with Captain Robert J. Spane, relieving Captain Robert L. Leuschner, Jr., tenth Commanding Officer, serving from 17 June 1983 to 27 January 1986, ending her second World cruise, operating with the 7th Fleet in support of BgaRem-86, a major fleet exercise involving surface, subsurface and air action culminating in an amphibious operation on Maui, Exercise Lightning Flash, PassEx 86-1M, on her 12th “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet on her 13th and 14th Indian Ocean voyage, transiting Cape of Good Hope, on her third Arabian Sea deployment operating in the Gulf of Oman, in what would turn out to be her third Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet, steaming through the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden on her 1st Suez Canal transit, en route from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, becoming the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal where she relieved USS Coral Sea (CV-43), on station with USS America (CV-66) off the coast of Libya in the Gulf of Sidra (first time in over 22 years that Enterprise was in the Mediterranean Sea) in support of a series of Freedom of Navigation operations in the Gulf of Sidra conducting “daily sorties” and monitoring maritime traffic in the strategically vital Bab-al-Mandeb (Following the terrorist attacks on 27 December 1985 in the Rome and Vienna airports) and Operations in the Vicinity of Libya, OVL, conducting “spinner ops”–attempts to provoke Libyan responses were approved, resulting from Operation Attain Document III, Operation Prairie Fire and Operation El Dorado Canyon, a joint operation, the Air Force flew 18 F-111F Aardvarks of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, and four EF-111A Ravens from the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, together with 29 tankers, all flying from England, a round trip of nearly 6,000 miles, as a result of the terrorist attacks on 27 December 1985 in the Rome and Vienna airports). Arriving to her home port, Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN compiled 23,000 flight hours and 9,000 arrested landings while conducting operations in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Ports of call include: CVW-11 Squadrons include: VF-114, Aardvarks, Fighter Squadron, Grumman, F-14A Tomcat, Jet Fighter; VF-213, Black Lions, Fighter Squadron, Grumman,  F-14A Tomcat, Jet Fighter: VA-22, Fighting Redcocks, Attack Squadron, Vought - A-7E, Corsair II , Jet Attack Aircraft; VA-94, Shrikes, Attack Squadron, Vought, A-7E Corsair II, Jet Attack Aircraft; VA-95, Green Lizards, Attack Squadron, Grumman, A-6E / KA-6D Intruder, Jet Attack Bomber, Tanker; VAW-117, Wallbangers, Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron, Grumman, E-2C Hawkeye, Electronics; VAQ-133, Wizards, Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron, Grumman, EA-6B Prowler, Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation; HS-6, Indians, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron, Sikorsky, SH-3H Sea King - Anti-submarine; VS-21, Redtails, Air Anti-Submarine Squadron, Lockheed, S-3A Viking - Anti-Submarine and VQ-1 Det., World Watchers, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron, Grumman - EA-3B Hawkeye -Special electronic installation. USS Truxtun (CGN-35) and USS Arkansas (CGN-41) joined Enterprise as part of her task force. Her 19th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission November 25, 1961 with Captain V. P. de Poix in command (13 January to 13 August 1986)” (Ref. 1-Enterprise, 72, 76 & 362F).

 

 13/01/86 to 13/09/86

AWARD OR CITATION

AWARD DATES

WEST COAST

Navy Expeditionary Service Medal (EM)

 (first star)

 

30 April to 17 June 1986

 

 

 

 

12th WestPac

2nd World Cruise

Middle East

Coast of Libya

19th FWFD

meritorious Unit Commendation

Meritorious Unit Commendation (MU)

 (3rd star)

12 January to 13 August 1986

 

 

 

19th FWFD

Ref. 1271 & 1271A

 

    “USS Nimitz (CVN-68) with CVW-8 embarked departed Norfolk, Virginia 15 August 1986, on her third North Atlantic deployment (4th voyage with one on a Med cruise) operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet, in support of NATO exercises Northern Engagement 86 and Northern Wedding 86 in the North Atlantic, both designed to test NATO’s ability and resolve to defend northern Europe against an East Bloc attack. Prior to her deployment not reported history from 5 October 1985 to 14 August 1986; ending her fifth Med cruise on her third Caribbean Sea voyage (1st on her 1st deployment); first Indian Ocean and Arabian/Persian Gulf deployment operating with the 7th Fleet, steaming through the Southern Atlantic on her way home from the Indian Ocean, operating 144 continuous days at sea during the Iran hostage crisis; ending her second Northern Atlantic voyage on her second Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet; ending her first Caribbean Sea and Northern Atlantic deployment on her first deployment; reclassified CVN-68 30 June 1975. She will under go her ninth Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since she was commissioned on 3 May 1975 by President Gerald Ford” (Ref. 371 & 72).

 

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) with CVW-8 (AJ)

(15 August to 16 October 1986)

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-41

Black Aces -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AJ100

F-14A

VF-84

Jolly Rogers -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AJ200

F-14A

VA-82

Marauders -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

AJ300

A-7E

VA-86

Sidewinders -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

AJ400

A-7E

VA-35

Black Panthers -                 Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber -Tanker

AJ500

A-6E / KA-6D

VAW-124

Bear Aces -Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye - Electronics

600-603

E-2C

VAQ-138

Yellow Jackets -

Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare

Grumman - Prowler - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

604-607

EA-6B

HS-9

Sea Griffins -                   Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

610

SH-3H

VS-24

Scouts - Air Anti-Submarine Squadron

Lockheed - Viking -

Anti-Submarine

700

S-3A

 

 

    “USS Nimitz (CVN-68) ships in company included battleship Iowa (BB-61), amphibious command ship Mount Whitney (LCC-20), South Carolina, guided missile destroyers Kidd (DDG-993) and Richard E. Byrd (DDG-23), destroyer Thorn (DD-988), guided missile frigate Doyle (FFG-39), frigates W.S. Sims (FF-1059), Moinester (FF-1097) and Truett (FF-1095), replenishment oiler Kalamazoo (AOR-6) and ammunition ship Nitro (AE-23)” (Ref. 372A).

 

    “USS America (CV-66) visited Naples, Italy from 11 to 17 August 1986” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-3 and Rear Admiral Grant A. Sharp’s flag (ComCruDesGru 2) embarked departed Norfolk, Virginia 18 August 1986, with Captain John A. Moriarty in command, on her 11th Mediterranean Sea deployment (12th voyage) operating with the 6th Fleet, participating in Display Determination 86 and Exercise Dasix with French air forces being the first carrier to deploy with the Mk. 65 Quickstrike mine in her magazines. Prior to her deployment made her Southern Atlantic voyage on her tenth Mediterranean Sea deployment with the 6th Fleet; ending her second North Atlantic deployment on her first Central and Eastern Atlantic Ocean deployment operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet participating in Exercise United Effort and a NATO exercise Ocean Safari; ending her ninth Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet participating in National Week XXXI and Daily Double, and stand by operations for the potential evacuation of American citizens from Beirut, in the wake of Israeli forces entering Lebanon in Operation Peace for Galilee on her first Indian Ocean and North Arabian Sea deployment with the 7th Fleet, hosting the first visit aboard a United States ship by a Somali head of state, and achieved its 150,000th arrested landing, arriving home via the Suez Canal, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea on her second canal transit; hosting the first visit aboard a United States ship by a Somali head of state, and achieved its 150,000th arrested landing (4 January to 14 July 1982); reclassified CV-67 on 1 December 1974; ending her second Caribbean Sea deployment, on her North Atlantic voyage operating under the direction of the 2nd Fleet participating in ReadiEx 1-82 near Puerto Rico; ending her Caribbean Sea voyage to conduct her operation readiness inspection ORI operating under the direction of the 2nd Fleet, which was slated to be a two-week training cruise in the Caribbean, on her second Mediterranean Sea deployment operating with the 6th Fleet, and her North Atlantic voyage participating in NATO exercises; ending her Shakedown cruise out of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in the Caribbean Sea operating with the United States Atlantic Command (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet. She will under go her 15th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since she was commissioned on 7 September 1968” (Ref. 72, 76, 380 & 549).

 

USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with CVW-3 (AC)

(18 August 1986 to 3 March 1987)

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-14

Top Hatters -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AC100

F-14A

VF-32

Swordsmen -

Fighter Squadron

Grumman - Tomcat -

Jet Fighter

AC200

F-14A

VA-66 DET.

Waldos -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

AC300

A-7E

VA-75

Sunday Panchers -                         Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber -Tanker

AC500

A-6E / KA-6D

VMA(AW)-533

Hawks -

Marine Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber

AC540

A-6E

VAW-126

Seahawks -                          Carrier Airborne Early

Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye - Electronics

600-603

E-2C

VAQ-140

Patriots - Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Grumman - Prowler - Jet Attack Bomber - Special electronic installation

604-607

EA-6B

HS-7

Dusty Dogs -Helicopter

Anti-Submarine Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

610

SH-3H

VS-22

Checkmates - Carrier Air Anti-Submarine Squadron

Lockheed - S-3 Viking -

Anti-Submarine

700

S-3A

 

 

   “Hurricane Gloria struck the eastern seaboard of the United States with high winds, thunderstorms and flooding on 18 August 1986, compelling USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) to prepare for a possible emergency recall, but the system passed swiftly” (Ref. 72, 76 & 380).

 

    “Having deployed to the Sixth Fleet on 10 March 1986, USS America (CV-66) was relieved by USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with Carrier Air Wing 3 (CVW-3) embarked at Rota, Spain beginning on 28 August 1986, commencing operations in the Western and central Mediterranean Sea on 18 August 1986” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “USS Nimitz (CVN-68) crossed the Arctic Circle at 2138, 66º33’N, 24º14’3”W” on 27 August 1986” (Ref. 372A).

 

    “USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) arrived Rota on schedule on 28 August 1986. After her turnover with USS America (CV-66), John F. Kennedy sailed for Benidorm, Spain, for a six-day port visit.  Proceeding thence for four days at sea, John F. Kennedy then anchored at Toulon, for a five-day port visit and planning meetings for Display Determination 86, a large-scale multi-national three-part exercise that included USS Forrestal (CV-59) and her battle group, and the French carrier Foch (R.99)” (Ref. 549).

 

    “An A-7E Corsair II crashed in the Norwegian Sea attached to CVW-8 embarked aboard USS Nimitz (CVN-68). Despite an “intensive” search the crew could not recover the pilot on 4 September 1986” (Ref. 372A).

 

    “USS Nimitz (CVN-68) completed the first of two extremely demanding safety challenges for her navigational team during this deployment by sailing in the constricted waters of Vestfjord, Norway, where she conducted anti-submarine, anti-air and anti-surface operations, as well as covered several amphibious landings from 30 August to 4 September 1986. VADM Charles R. Larson relieved VADM Henry C. Mustin, Commander, Second Fleet, on board on the 2nd. Secretary of the Navy Lehman was the principal speaker” (Ref. 372A).

 

    “On 10 September 1986, USS America (CV-66) with CVW-1 embarked arrived NOB, Norfolk, Virginia, with Captain Richard C. Allen, NAVCAD, as Commanding Officer, ending her 12th Mediterranean Sea deployment, operating with the United States Sixth Fleet (6th Fleet), steaming through the North Atlantic, operating with the U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) under the direction of the 2nd Fleet, under the direction of the 2nd Fleet to the Mediterranean Sea in support of the third phase of "Attain Document," a freedom of navigation (FON) exercise in the Gulf of Sidra, beginning at the end of January and Operation Eldorado Canyon, followed by Operation Prairie Fire, NATO Exercise, "Distant Hammer" with units of the Italian and Turkish Air Forces, "Poop Deck" Exercise with Spanish and United States Air Force units off the coast of Spain and "National Week" Exercise. On 23 March 1986, while operating off coast of Libya, aircraft from USS Saratoga (CV-60), USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and America crossed what Libyan strongman Mohammar Khadafi had called the "Line of Death. Two hours later, Libyan forces fired SA-5 surface-to-air missiles from the coastal town of Surt. The missiles missed their F-14 Tomcat targets and fell harmlessly into the water. Later that afternoon, American planes flew south of latitude 30-30 N.-the "Line of Death" proclaimed by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, turning back two Libyan MiG-25 fighter planes over the disputed Gulf of Sidra. Soon after, aircraft from the three super carriers fought back in defense. A heavily-armed A-6E Intruder fired Rockeye cluster bombs and a Harpoon anti-ship cruise missile at a Libyan missile patrol boat operating on the "Line of Death." Later that night, two A-7E Corsair II jets attacked a key radar installation at Surt. At the conclusion, three Libyan patrol boats and a radar site were destroyed by Navy aircraft. The very next day at noon, three U.S. Navy warships crossed the same 32° 30' navigational line. On 24 March 1986, USS Ticonderoga (CG-47), accompanied by two destroyers, USS Scott (DDG-995) and USS Caron (DD-970), moved south of the "Line," covered by fighter aircraft, at 0600, commencing “Attain Document III. On 24 March 1986, Libyan armed forces fired missiles at U.S. naval forces operating in the Gulf of Sidra after declaring international waters as their own. U.S. retaliation was swift and deadly. A Libyan missile installation near Surt (Sirte) launched two Soviet-made SA-5 "Gammon" surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) at 0752, toward F-14A "Tomcats" of America VF-102. Later that afternoon, the installation at Surt (Sirte) fired additional SAMs at American planes, but, like the first pair, went wide of their mark. About 1430, a Libyan missile-equipped Combattante II G-type patrol craft, sortied from Misratah, Libya, and approached USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) and her consorts. Two Grumman A-6E "Intruders" from America Attack Squadron (VA) 34 fired "Harpoon" missiles at the craft and sank her in the first use of the "Harpoon" in combat. Shortly thereafter, when American radars detected the Libyan installation at Sirte activating its target acquisition radars two A-7E "Corsairs" from USS Saratoga (CV-60) VA-81 put the site out of action with "HARMs" (high-speed anti-radiation missiles). One hour after the first patrol boat had sortied, a Soviet-built Nanuchka-type patrol craft began heading out into the Gulf of Sidra. "Intruders" from VA-34 and Saratoga VA-85 attacked with "Rockeye" cluster bombs, but the craft sought refuge alongside a neutral merchant ship, and avoided destruction. Damaged she returned to the port of Benghazi after nightfall. The following day, 25 March 1986, at 0200, another Nanuchka-II-type patrol boat entered International waters and came under attack from "Intruders" from Saratoga VA-85 and Coral Sea VA-55; the latter utilized "Rockeyes" in the attack, the former then sank the craft with a "Harpoon." The same squadrons then attacked and damaged a second Nanuchka-II, forcing her to put into Benghazi. Attain Document III" came to a close at 0900 on 27 March 1986, three days ahead of schedule and after 48 hours of largely unchallenged use of the Gulf of Sidra by the United States Navy, America steamed to Augusta Bay, Sicily and relieved Saratoga on station, and subsequently visited Livorno, Italy, from 4 to 8 April 1986. In the meantime, intelligence information, however, in the wake of the strikes designed to let Col. Qaddafi know that the United States had not only the desire but the capability to respond effectively to terrorism, indicated that Qaddafi intended to retaliate. Such retaliation occurred soon thereafter. On 5 April 1986, two days after a bomb exploded on board a Trans World Airways (TWA) flight en route to Athens, from Rome, killing four American citizens, a bomb exploded in the La Belle Discoteque in West Berlin, killing two American servicemen and a Turkish civilian. Another 222 people were wounded in the bombing-78 Americans among them. Col. Qaddafi threatened to escalate the violence against Americans, civilian and military, throughout the world. Repeated efforts by the United States to persuade the Libyan leader to forsake terrorism as an instrument of policy, including an attempt to persuade other western nations to isolate Libya peacefully failed. Rumors of retaliation by the United States were soon followed by Qaddafi's threat to take all foreigners in Libya hostage, to use them as a shield to protect his military installations. In light of that threat, and of the failure of means to gain peaceful sanctions against Libya, and citing "incontrovertible evidence" of Libyan complicity in the recent terrorist acts, President Reagan directed that attacks on terrorist-related targets in Libya be carried out. Operation "Eldorado Canyon" commenced early on the afternoon of 14 April 1986, as tanker aircraft took off from bases in England to support the Air Force North American F-111F and EF-111 planes that soon followed them into the air and began the 3,000 mile (5,000 km) trip to the target. Later that afternoon, between 1745 and 1820, F/A-18 Hornets from Coral Sea and A-7E Corsairs from America conducted air-to-surface Shrike missile and HARM missile strikes against Libyan surface-to-air missile sites at Benghazi and Tripoli on 14 April and 15 April, targets during “Operation Eldorado Canyon” which commenced the evening of 14 April 1986, as USAF tanker aircraft took off from bases in England. These support planes were soon followed by F-111Fs and EF-111As to begin the long, 3,000-mile trip to their targets. Later, shortly after midnight, America launched six "Intruders" (strike aircraft) from VA-34 and six A-7E "Corsair IIs" (strike support).  Simultaneously, Coral Sea, well to the east of America's position, launched her strike/support aircraft: eight A-6Es from VA-55 and six F/A-18A Hornets) between 1750 and 1820 conducting air-to-surface Shrike and HARM missile strikes against Libyan surface-to-air missile sites at Benghazi and Tripoli. Both carriers launched other aircraft to support the strike, providing CAP and other functions. "In a spectacular feat of mission planning and execution," the Navy and Air Force planes, based 3,000 miles (5,000 km) apart, reached their targets on time at 1900. The "Hornets" and "Corsair IIs" from Coral Sea launched air-to-surface "Shrike" missiles and "HARMs" against Libyan SAM sites at Benghazi and Tripoli. Moments later, VA-34's "Intruders," roaring in at low-level in the blackness, dropped their Mk. 82 bombs with near surgical precision on the Benghazi military barracks, reckoned to be an alternate command and control facility for terrorist activities and a billeting area for Qaddafi's elite Jamahiriyah Guard as well as a warehouse for components for MiG aircraft. VA-34's attack heavily damaged the warehouse, destroying four crated MiGs and damaging a fifth. Following that counter-terrorist strike, America pulled in for a port call at Naples, Italy between 28 April and 4 May 1986, and then participated in NATO Exercise, "Distant Hammer" with units of the Italian and Turkish Air Forces, visiting Cannes upon conclusion of the evolution. During June 1986, America operated with USS Coral Sea (CV-43) and the newly arrived USS Enterprise (CVN-65), and took part in a "Poop Deck" Exercise with Spanish and United States Air Force units off the coast of Spain, arriving at Palma de Mallorca, Spain soon thereafter. Participating in a NATO Exercise "Tridente," in late June 1986, America visited Naples, Italy before she participated in a "National Week" Exercise.” Upon completion of "National Week" Exercise, America visited Catania, Spain and operating in the central and western Mediterranean Sea. America wound up the month of July 1986 at Benidorn, Spain, before returning to sea for further operations at sea in that region. America pulled in for a port call at Naples, Italy from 11 to 17 August 1986. America spent the rest of her deployment in operations in the western and central Mediterranean Sea from 18 August 1986. Having deployed to the Sixth Fleet on 10 March 1986, America was relieved by USS John F. Kennedy (CV-67) with Carrier Air Wing 3 (CVW-3) embarked at Rota, Spain from 28 to 31 August 1986. Visited Augusta Bay, Sicily; Naples, Italy; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Naples, Italy; Catania, Spain and Benidorn, Spain; Naples, Italy and Rota, Spain. Reclassified CV-66 - "Multi-purpose Aircraft Carrier" on 30 June 1975 while at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, entering Norfolk Naval Shipyard on 27 November 1974, upon return from her North Sea deployment on 12 October 1974; making three Vietnam Combat cruises during the Vietnam Conflict/War operating with the 7th Fleet (receiving five battle stars). Squadrons: VF-102, F-14A; VF-33, F-14A; VA-46, A-7E; VA-72, A-7E; VA-34, A-6E / KA-6D; VAW-123, E-2C; VMAQ-2 Det.Y, EA-6B; HS-11, SH-3H; VS-32, S-3ª and VQ-2 Det. A, EA-3B. Her 21st Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia on 23 January 1965, with Captain Lawrence Heyworth, Jr., in command (10 March to 10 September 1986)” (Ref. 1-America, 72 & 76, 324 & 824).  

 

10/03/86 to 10/09/86

AWARD OR CITATION

 AWARD DATES

  EAST COAST

Navy Expeditionary Service Medal

http://www.gruntsmilitary.com/navexpmed.shtml

http://www.history.navy.mil/medals/nem.htm

01/03/86 to 27/06/86 – 4th award

12th Mediterranean Sea deployment

Navy Unit Commendation (NU) Navy Unit Commendation

23/03/86 to 17/04/86 – 2nd Award

same

Ref. - 24

 

CHAPTER XXXVIII

TENTH MEDITERRANEAN SEA DEPLOYMENT

CV’s & CVN’s OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

Exercise Dasix '85, Attain Document I, II & III in the Gulf of Sidra, Libya Air Attacks against Libya (Palestinian Liberation Front hijacked the Italian luxury liner, Achille Lauro – Bomb exploded on board a Trans World Airways flight en route to Athens from Rome, killing four American citizens) Operation Eldorado Canyon,

Final Carrier launching of a Navy fleet F-4S Phantom II

Iran History & Air Arm / Iraq and Iran War

SEA TRIALS AND CARQUALS

SELECTED RESTRICTED AVAILABILITY AT NORFOLK, VA.

LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS off the Virginia Capes & Cherry Point, while visiting Halifax, Nova Scotia.

(1 January 1985 to 28 September 1987)

Part 1 – (1 January 1985 to 13 January 1986)

Part 2 – (14 January to 10 September 1986)

Part 3 – (11 September 1986 to 28 September 1987)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XXXVIII

Part 2 – (14 January to 10 September 1986)

 USS CORAL SEA (CV 43)

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw, A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983)

 

A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy - Operation Evening Light And Eagle Claw -

 

Book - ISBN NO.

978-1-4276-0454-5

EBook - ISBN NO.

978-1-329-15473-5

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to Present)

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-19945-3

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA  Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA Vol. I (10 July 1944 to 31 December 1975) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54596-0

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. II (1 January 1976 to 25 August 1981) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-54790-2

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990)

 

USS CORAL SEA CV-42, CVB-43, CVA-43 & CV-43 HISTORY, AND THOSE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA DURING HER TOUR OF SERVICE Vol. III (20 August 1981 to 26 April 1990) -

 

Book ISBN NO.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

EBook ISBN NO.

978-1-329-55111-4