CHAPTER XXV

NINITH “WESTPAC” DEPLOYMENT AND

U. S. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

OVERHAUL AT HUNTERS POINT, SAN FRANCISCO, CA. & LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS

(ReTra and air wing operations)

Iran History & Air Arm

 (17 April 1971 to 27 December 1972)

Part 1 – (17 April 1971 to 28 June 1972)

Part 2 – (29 June 1971 to 27 December 1972)

 

 

    “In April 1971, USS Midway (CVA-41) began her sixteenth deployment 13,000 tons heavier than her original full pay load figure. When she arrived off the coast of Vietnam, her Airwing commenced strikes and flew over 6,000 sorties in support of allied operations” (Ref. 1181N).

 

    “USS Hancock (CVA-19) alternated with USS Ranger (CVA-61) and with USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) on “Yankee Station” until 10 May 1971 when she was relieved by USS Midway (CVA-41)” (Ref. 1-Hancock).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) C1A Detachment, known as “Easy Way Airlines” was conceived, born and in full carrier operation in less than two weeks. During Midway’s conversion, all aviation fuel tanks were converted for jet fuel only and it was planned that only the turbojet powered C2A COD aircraft would be utilized. While en route to the Western Pacific word was received that all CVA’s would be required to carry one C1A aircraft for logistics, mail and cargo flights. Midway accepted her own C1A on 12 May 1971. The original “Cod Squad” crews conducted field quals at NAS Cubi Point on 14 to 15 May 1970” (Ref. 1180M).

 

The original “Cod Squad” crews – Ref. 1180N

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 13 May 1971, ending her first line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and or other operations” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 13 May to 15 May 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her second line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) C1A Detachment, known as “Easy Way Airlines” initial carrier quals were conducted on 16 to 17 May 1971” (Ref. 1181P).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) returned to Vietnam and on 18 May 1971, after relieving USS Hancock (CV-19) on “Yankee Station”, began single carrier operations which continued until the end of the month” (Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) C1A Detachment, known as “Easy Way Airlines” flew the first scheduled logistics flight on 18 May 1970. Midway’s first day on the line, Triple zero (000) met every scheduled commitment throughout the deployment. Being based at Da Nang Air Base, RVN, careful, thorough fuel planning and management by flight crews was mandatory in conducting operations aboard ship without a fueling capability. This professional approach to airmanship was evident during every line period. Easy Way Airlines would begin displaying Midway’s flag throughout many foreign airports including Japan. Philippines, Okinawa, Taiwan, South Viet Nam, and Thailand, before C1A Triple Zero would return to San Francisco, California with Midway and will continue its operations out of NAS Alameda, California” (Ref. 1181P).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) returned to Vietnam and on 18 May 1971, after relieving USS Hancock (CV-19) on “Yankee Station”, began single carrier operations which continued until the end of the month” (Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

    “After returning to the Bay area upon completion of an overall at Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, Calif. on 1 June 1971, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) set yet another record for Alameda carriers when the crew donated more than 500 units of blood in a local drive. Work included a number of improvements in habitability, a new NTDS (Navy Tactical Data System) computer package, elevator improvements and many other innovations and repair” (Ref. 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure).

 

    “In the Japanese port city of Yokosuka in early June 1971, the “Action Group” aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) traveled to the Shunko Gakuen Orphanage where they painted and cleaned the building and its grounds. Then in keeping with the People to People intent of the program, the group headed by Chaplin Ben Mack, distributed a number of gifts, including basketballs, volleyballs, dolls, and clothing to the pleased youngsters, who were treated the following day to a tour and a fried chicken dinner aboard Midway” (Ref. 1181Q).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) departed “Yankee Station” on 5 June 1971” (Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

    “USS Bainbridge (DLGN/CGN-25) joined USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) as part of her task force” (Ref. 84A).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Yokosuka, Japan on 14 June 1971, ending possibly her second line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “Vice Admiral W. P. Mack relieved Vice Admiral M. F. Weisner as Commander Seventh Fleet on 18 June 1970 aboard USS Midway (CVA-41)” (Ref. 1180R).

 

    “Commander M. D. Cunningham relieved Captain G. E. Jacobssen Jr., as Executive Officer of USS Midway (CVA-41) from 31 January 1970 to 22 June 1971” (Ref. 1180I).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Yokosuka, Japan from 14 to 24 June 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her third line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “Captain William Lawrence Harris, Jr., USNA '46, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard USS Midway (CVA-41) on 10 July 1971, relieving Captain Eugene James Carroll, Jr., NAVCAD, 25th Commanding Officer, serving from January 31, 1970 - July 10, 1971” (Ref. 1178-G, 1180J1 & 1180J).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) conducted a succession of operations including sea trials and refresher training (RefTra) through mid-July. A fire on board on 15 July 1971 damaged cables leading to and from the main communications spaces, and extensively damaged the pipe shop” (Ref. 43).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 22 July 1971, ending her third line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and or other operations” (Ref. 405).

 

    “On 26 July 1970, a number of crew members from USS Midway (CVA-41), accompanied by Midway’s Commanding Officer, Captain William L. Harris, Jr., visited the Olongapo General Hospital in Olongapo City, Republic of the Philippines. They brought with them sheets, special soap, gowns, medical bottles, artificial limbs with personal comfort packages for the patients, A school in Rosario, another Philippine town, was chosen for the next project. Helicopters had to be used to transport men while trucks moved new school equipment over seven hours of bad roads to the town. Here the men painted furniture and constructed volleyball ad tetherball courts for the students” (Ref. 1180S).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 22 to 29 July 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her fourth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “In Vietnam, with USS Oriskany (CVA-34), USS Midway (CVA-41) and USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65)  serving intermittently on station, a total of 22 two-carrier days and nine single-carrier days resulted in a strike sortie count of 2,001 on 30 July 1971. Strike operations during the month of July were disrupted when the carriers on station evaded three different typhoons — Harriet, Kim and Jean. A slight increase in South Vietnam strike sorties occurred during the month. These were mainly visual strikes against enemy troop positions and in support of U.S. helicopter operations”  (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 18 August 1971, ending her fourth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and or other operations” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, mooring at Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point from 18 to 23 August 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her fifth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Hongkong B. C. C. on 26 August 1971, ending her fifth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and or other operations” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Hongkong B. C. C. from 26 August to 1 September 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her sixth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “During August 1971, dual carrier operations were conducted only during the first week— and, as of 16 August, USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) filled in the remainder of the month alone on station. Thus, a total of eight two-carrier days and 23 single-carrier days represented a near reversal of July's carrier mix, producing a strike sortie count for the month of 1,915” (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Yokosuka, Japan on 6 September 1971, ending possibly her sixth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

     “Captain William H. Harris assumed command of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), on 7 September 1971 at Alameda Naval Air Station pier, relieving Captain Wesley L. McDonald, 24th Commanding Officer, serving from 16 October 1970 to 7 September 1971” (Ref. 34 & 35A). 

 

USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) with CVW-15 (NL)

(September to October 1971)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) - Pacific

EastPac

CVW-15

NL

Sep  1971

Oct 1971

Training Ops

 

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-51

Screaming Eagles -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NL100

F-4B

VF-111

Sundowners -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NL200

F-4B

VA-22

Fighting Redcocks -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NL300

A-7E

VA-94

Mighty Shrikes -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NL400

A-7E

VMA(AW)-224

Marines - Bengals -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber - Tanker

NL500

A6-A/B/KA-6D

VFP-63 Det. 5

Eyes of the Fleet or Gators - Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - Reconnaissance

NL600

RF-8G

VAQ-135 Det. 3

Black Ravens - Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron or Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior - Jet Attack - Special electronic installation

NL610

EKA-3B

HC-1 Det. 6

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King  -

Anti-submarine

NL000

SH-3G

VAW-111 Det.  4

Gray Berets - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Tracer

NL010

E-1B

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 & 76

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Yokosuka, Japan from 6 to 19 September 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her seventh line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “Single carrier operations on “Yankee Station” were conducted throughout September 1971, except for one two-carrier day. The schedule had USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) flying the first four days, USS Oriskany (CVA-34), the middle of the month and USS Midway (CVA-41) completing the last four days. The single carrier posture, combined with the low intended sortie rate, produced 1,243 strike sorties during the month. Oriskany flyers participated in a joint USAF/USN protective reaction strike in southern North Vietnam on 21 September 1971” (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “With what would become a historic combat deployment, USS Constellation (CVA-64) with CVW-9 embarked, upon arrival at Yankee Station off Vietnam, began air operations with strikes against mainly logistic targets in North Vietnam and South Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “On “Yankee Station” during October 1971, single carrier operations were conducted except for the last day. USS Midway (CVA-41) completed her final line period on 10 October, with USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) taking over the next day for the remainder of the month. USS Oriskany (CVA-34) joined the last day, and together the three carriers recorded a total of 1,024 ordnance-delivering strike sorties, 30 of them in South Vietnam; the remainder in Laos” (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “The air warfare posture in North Vietnam was altered on 20 October 1971 through the deployment of six MiG aircraft south of 20º north — two each at Vinh, Quan Lang and Bai Thuong” (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Sasebo, Japan on 20 October 1971, ending her seventh line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Sasebo, Japan from 20 to 24 October 1971, departing for the West Coast” (Ref. 405).

 

    “Upon USS Midway (CVA-41) return to “Yankee Station” she completed her final line period on 31 October 1971” (Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

    “Alternating on Yankee Station, USS Constellation (CVA-64), USS Oriskany (CVA-34) and USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) provided 22 two-carrier days on the line by 1 November 1971, delivering 1,766 ordnance-bearing strike sorties, twelve and nine of them into North Vietnam and South Vietnam, respectively. Two reconnaissance missions were flown during the month, with the airfield at Vinh the mission assignment. Escort aircraft on both missions expended ordnance in a protective reaction role against firing antiaircraft artillery sites near the field. Other protective reaction strikes were executed” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “On 6 November 1971, USS Midway (CVA-41) with Rear Admiral J. L. Butts, Jr., Commander and Captain F. T. Hemer as Chief of Staff Carrier Division One, Rear Admiral J. L. Butts, Jr. and Commander  Captain R. B. Rutherford, Commander, Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) embarked arrived Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 16 April 1971, with Captain E. J. Carroll, Jr., as Commanding Officer and Captain G. E. Jacobssen Jr., as Executive Officer, ending her seventh “WestPac” deployment, operating with the Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet, her second South China Sea deployment, on her second Vietnam Combat Cruise on “Yankee Station” in the Far East. In April 1971, Midway began her sixteenth deployment 13,000 tons heavier than her original full pay load figure. When she arrived off the coast of Vietnam, her Airwing commenced strikes and flew over 6,000 sorties in support of allied operations. Midway C1A Detachment, known as “Easy Way Airlines” was conceived, born and in full carrier operation in less than two weeks. During Midway’s conversion, all aviation fuel tanks were converted for jet fuel only and it was planned that only the turbojet powered C2A COD aircraft would be utilized. While en route to the Western Pacific word was received that all CVA’s would be required to carry one C1A aircraft for logistics, mail and cargo flights. Midway accepted her own C1A on 12 May 1971. The original “Cod Squad” crews conducted field quals at NAS Cubi Point on 14 to 15 May 1970 (The original “Cod Squad” crews – Ref. 1080N). Midway made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 13 May to 15 May 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her second line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. Midway C1A Detachment, known as “Easy Way Airlines” initial carrier quals were conducted on 16 to 17 May 1971. Midway C1A Detachment, known as “Easy Way Airlines” flew the first scheduled logistics flight on 18 May 1970. Midway’s first day on the line, Triple zero (000) met every scheduled commitment throughout the deployment. Being based at Da Nang Air Base, RVN, careful, thorough fuel planning and management by flight crews was mandatory in conducting operations aboard ship without a fueling capability. This professional approach to airmanship was evident during every line period. Easy Way Airlines would begin displaying Midway’s flag throughout many foreign airports including Japan. Philippines, Okinawa, Taiwan, South Viet Nam, and Thailand, before C1A Triple Zero would return to San Francisco, California with Midway and will continue its operations out of NAS Alameda, California. Midway returned to Vietnam and on 18 May 1971, after relieving USS Hancock (CV-19) on “Yankee Station”, began single carrier operations which continued until the end of the month. In the Japanese port city of Yokosuka in early June 1971, the “Action Group” aboard Midway traveled to the Shunko Gakuen Orphanage where they painted and cleaned the building and its grounds. Then in keeping with the People to People intent of the program, the group headed by Chaplin Ben Mack, distributed a number of gifts, including basketballs, volleyballs, dolls, and clothing to the pleased youngsters, who were treated the following day to a tour and a fried chicken dinner aboard Midway. Midway departed “Yankee Station” on 5 June 1971, arriving Yokosuka, Japan on 14 June 1971, ending possibly her second line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. Vice Admiral M. F. Weisner as Commander Seventh Fleet on 18 June 1970 aboard Midway. Commander M. D. Cunningham relieved Captain G. E. Jacobssen Jr., as Executive Officer of Midway from 31 January 1970 to 22 June 1971. Midway made a port of call at Yokosuka, Japan from 14 to 24 June 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her third line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. Captain William Lawrence Harris, Jr., USNA '46, assumed command during a change of command ceremony aboard Midway on 10 July 1971, relieving Captain Eugene James Carroll, Jr., NAVCAD, 25th Commanding Officer, serving from January 31, 1970 - July 10, 1971. Midway arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 22 July 1971, ending her third line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and or other operations. On 26 July 1970, a number of crew members from Midway, accompanied by Midway’s Commanding Officer, Captain William L. Harris, Jr., visited the Olongapo General Hospital in Olongapo City, Republic of the Philippines. They brought with them sheets, special soap, gowns, medical bottles, artificial limbs with personal comfort packages for the patients, A school in Rosario, another Philippine town, was chosen for the next project. Helicopters had to be used to transport men while trucks moved new school equipment over seven hours of bad roads to the town. Here the men painted furniture and constructed volleyball ad tetherball courts for the students. Midway made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 22 to 29 July 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her fourth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin. Midway made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, mooring at Leyte Pier, NAS Cubi Point from 18 to 23 August 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her fifth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin; Hongkong B. C. C. from 26 August to 1 September 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her sixth line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin; Yokosuka, Japan from 6 to 19 September 1971, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her seventh line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and Sasebo, Japan from 20 to 24 October 1971, departing for final line period and the West Coast, completing her final line period on 31 October 1971. Midway flew the first scheduled logistics flight on 18 May 1970. Midway’s first day on the line, Triple zero (000) met every scheduled commitment throughout the deployment. Being based at Da Nang Air Base, RVN, careful, thorough fuel planning and management by flight crews was mandatory in conducting operations aboard ship without a fueling capability. This professional approach to airmanship was evident during every line period. Easy Way Airlines displayed Midway’s flag throughout many foreign airports including Japan. Philippines, Okinawa, Taiwan, South Vietnam, and Thailand. C1A Triple Zero returns to San Francisco, California with Midway and continued its operations out of NAS Alameda, California. Admiral E. R. Zumwalt, Jr.;  A. H. Meyer, United States Ambassador to Japan and the Secterary of the Navy; Souvanna Phouma, Prince of Laos, Japanese Ambassador to South Vietnam and CINCPACFLT, Admiral B. Clarey visited Mdway. On 26 July 1970, a number of crew members from Midway, accompanied by Midway’s Commanding Officer, Captain William L. Harris, Jr., visited the Olongapo General Hospital in Olongapo City, Republic of the Philippines. They brought with them sheets, special soap, gowns, medical bottles, artificial limbs with personal comfort packages for the patients, A school in Rosario, another Philippine town, was chosen for the next project. Helicopters had to be used to transport men while trucks moved new school equipment over seven hours of bad roads to the town. Here the men painted furniture and constructed volleyball ad tetherball courts for the students. With contributions from the crew to cover transportation costs, the team of men set out to the Pine Hill Babies’ Home and Clarke Orphanage at their next stop in Hong Kong. The gifts distributed in these homes included a large quantity of food besides the usual toys for the children. In their final project in Sasebo, apan, the men painted a number of rooms at the Seifuen hildrenn’s Home. Following the work, a party was held for the children and a number of gifts were handed out both for the use of the institutin and for the enjoyment of the yongsters. After 146 continuous days at sea, Midway returned home and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. Ports of calls include: Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines, U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay, a bay forming part of Luzon Sea on the west coast of the island of Luzon in Zambales, Philippines, about 100 kilometers northwest of Manila Bay and is a major ship-repair, supply, and rest and recreation facility of the United States Navy located in Olongapo, Zambales, Philippines; Yokosuka, Japan, a city in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, covering an area of 100.7 km² and is the 11th most populous city in Greater Tokyo, 12th in the Kantō region; Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines a second time; Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines a third time; Hongkong, B. C. C., situated on China's south coast and, enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea; Yokosuka, Japan a second time and Sasebo, a city in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. Squadrons: VF-161, F-4B; VF-151, F-4B; VA-93, A-7B; VA-56, A-7B; VA-115, A-6A / KA-6D, VFP-63 Det. 3, RF-8G; VAW-115, E-2B; VAQ-130 Det. 2, EKA-3B; HC-1 Det. 8, SH-3G; *HC-7 Det. 110, HH-3A and **C1A Det., HH-3A. *These squadron detachments were not aboard the carrier for the entire deployment. **During Midway’s conversion, all aviation fuel tanks were converted for jet fuel only and it was planned that only the turbojet powered C2A COD aircraft would be utilized. While en route to the Western Pacific word was received that all CVA’s would be required to carry one C1A aircraft for logistics, mail and cargo flights. Midway accepted her own C1A on 12 May 1971. The original “Cod Squad” crews conducted field quals at NAS Cubi Point on 14 to 15 May 1970. Initial carrier quals on 16 to 17 May 1970. Midway flew the first scheduled logistics flight on 18 May 1970. Midway’s first day on the line, Triple zero (000) met every scheduled commitment throughout the deployment. Her first deployment since her second recommission 31 January 1970, following completion of a four-year conversion-modernization at the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, arriving 11 February 1966, ending the year of 1965 upon arrival from her sixth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet, on her first Vietnam Combat Cruise in the Far East and first South China Sea deployment. Her first deployment since her second recommission on 31 January 1970, following completion of a four-year conversion-modernization at the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, arriving on 11 February 1966, ending the year of 1965 upon arrival from her sixth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet, on her her first Vietnam Combat Cruise in the Far East and first South China Sea deployment. Her seventh deployment since her first recommission upon completion of SCB-110 (August 1955 to 30 September 1957), decommissioning in August 1955 upon completion of her World Cruise for a five month SCB-110 modernization that included new innovations such as an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck to be installed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington; redesignated CVA-41 on 1 October 1952. Her 20th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II (16 April to 6 November 1971)” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72, 1180, 1180AA, 1180A, 1180B, 1180C, 1180D, 1180D1, 1180D2, 1180E, 1180F, 1180G, 1180H, 1180I, 1180J, 1180J2, 1180J3, 1080K, 1180L, 1180M, 1180N, 1180O, 1180P, 1180Q, 1180R, 1180S, 1180T, 1180U, 1180V, 1180W, 10180X, 1180Y & 10181N).

 

USS Midway (CV-41) Air Wing: Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW)-5 - Ref. 406A

 

DEPLOY.

DATES

K

I

A

M

I

A

P

O

W

PLANES LOST

LINE DAYS

LINE PERIODS

WESTPAC

 

CVW-5 (NF)

16/04/71 to 06/11/71

 

 

 

 

 

*7

7th WestPac

2nd SCS

Air Combat Victories (?) – Ref. – 406A

Combat Losses (?)

Operational Losses (?)

In-chop/out-chop:

EQNEEDF note: Best Guess based on port of calls and distance and steaming periods between port periods.

Ref. -

 

 16/04/71 to 06/11/71

AWARD OR CITATION

AWARD DATES

WEST COAST

Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation – Vietnam

7 May to 28 Oct 1971

 

7th WestPac

2nd SCS

Vietnam Service Medal with 1 Silver Star (see Note 2) Vietnamese Counteroffensive Phase VII

May to Jun 1971

Jul to Oct 1971

same

Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal – Cambodia

17 to 19 Oct 71 *c

 

same

Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal with Palm)

 

same

Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal

 

same

National Defense Service Medal – Vietnam

Jan 1961 to Aug 1974

same

Service outside the geographical limits of South Vietnam and direct combat support to the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces for more than six months.

Note 2 — 1 Silver Star = 5 Bronze Stars

*c = Korea (01 OCT 66  to  03 JUN 74)

The Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Medal), with Palm, was awarded to a unit cited at the Armed Forces level.

Service outside the geographical limits of South Vietnam and direct combat support to the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces for more than six months.

Ref. 1181 & 1181C

 

Seventh “Westpac” deployment and Second Vietnam Combat Cruise

(16 April to 6 November 1971)

(KIAs, killed due to operational loss and POWs)

KIA/MIAs/POWs

NAME

RANK

SQUADRON

DATE of LOSS

LOSS-COUNTRY
HOW

COMMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Status in 1966:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    “Until 1964 command of Task Force 77 rotated between the deployed carrier division commanders; from 1964 Carrier Group Five was permanent deployed to the Western Pacific as CTF 77, homeported at Naval Air Station Cubi Point in the Philippines (Ref. [4]). In December 1971, Commander Carrier Division 5, Rear Admiral Damon W. Cooper, led Task Force 74 aboard Enterprise to the Indian Ocean following the outbreak of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.[5] (Ref. [4] & [5] of 1193).

 

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVW-15 (tail code NL) embarked departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 12 November 1971, with Captain William H. Harris, as Commanding Officer, on her ninth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet (25 January 1960 to Present) and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East, her eighth South China Sea deployment, she will under go her sixth Vietnam Combat Cruise and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet in the Far East (NHC Battle Order p 15), participating in Operation Freedom Porch and Operation Pocket Money. Prior to her deployment the crew welcomed Captain Harris, William H. at Alameda Naval Air Station pier on 7 September 1971, becoming the new Commanding Officer, during a period of local operations, proceeded by a succession of operations including sea trials and refresher training (RefTra) through mid-July, when a fire on board on 15 July 1971 damaged cables leading to and from the main communications spaces, and extensively damaged the pipe shop, proceeded by  another record for Alameda carriers when the crew donated more than 500 units of blood in a local drive upon completion of an overall at Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyard, San Francisco, Ca. on 1 June 1971 during which time Captain McDonald, Wesley L. arrived at Hunters Point Naval Ship Yard on 16 October 1970, becoming the new Commanding Officer (NHC Battle Order p 15), 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). She will under go her ninth foreign water deployment since her visit to Vancouver, B.C. (18 to 22 March 1960) when she deployed from Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington 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 on 24 April 1957, completing nine tours of duty in the Mediterranean Sea operating with the 6th Fleet (7 June 1948 to 13 August 1956); reclassified hull classification symbol CVA-43 on 1 October 1952. She will under go her 20th Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission on 1 October 1947” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea, 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure, 34, 35 & 72).

 

USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43) with CVW-15 (NL)

(12 November 1971 to 17 July 1972)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)

Pacific & 7th

9th WestPac

8th SCS

6th Vietnam Combat

CVW-15

NL

12 Nov 1971

17 Jul 1972

Vietnam Conflict/War

20th FWFD

249-days

Operation Freedom Porch and Operation Pocket Money

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-51

Screaming Eagles -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NL100

F-4B

VF-111

Sundowners -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NL200

F-4B

VA-22

Fighting Redcocks -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NL300

A-7E

VA-94

Mighty Shrikes -

Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NL400

A-7E

VMA(AW)-224

Marines - Bengals -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber - Tanker

NL500

A6-A/B/KA-6D

VFP-63 Det. 5

Eyes of the Fleet or Gators - Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

Vought - Crusader -

Jet Fighter - Reconnaissance

NL600

RF-8G

VAQ-135 Det. 3

Black Ravens - Carrier Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron or Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior - Jet Attack - Special electronic installation

NL610

EKA-3B

HC-1 Det. 6

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King  -

Anti-submarine

NL000

SH-3G

VAW-111 Det.  4

Gray Berets - Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Tracer

NL010

E-1B

*HC-7 Det.110

Pacific Fleet Angels - Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Search and Rescue

NL

004-006

 

HH-3A

VFP or VF(P) - Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron or Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) or Light Photographic Squadron.

*These squadron detachments were not aboard the carrier for the entire deployment.

Ref. 34, 35, 39, 41 & 76

 

 

NS024359 518k. F-4B Phantom II, VF-111 "Sundowners."

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024359.jpg

 

 

NS024361 533k. SH-3G Sea King, HC-1 Det. 6 "Pacific Fleet Angels."

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024361.jpg

 

     “Alternating on “Yankee Station,” Oriskany, USS Constellation (CVA-64) and USS Oriskany (CVA-34), provided 22 two-carrier days on the line during November 1971, delivering 1,766 ordnance-bearing strike sorties, twelve and nine of them into North Vietnam and South Vietnam respectively. Two reconnaissance missions were flown during the month, with the airfield at Vinh the mission assignment. Escort aircraft on both missions expended ordnance in a protective reaction role against firing antiaircraft artillery sites near the field. Other protective reaction strikes were executed” (Ref. 1-Enterprise).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) reached Cubi Point, Subic Bay, Philippines on 9 December 1971, before proceeding to “Yankee Station”” (Ref. 43).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Philippines from 9 to 11 December 1971” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVW-15 embarked arrived “Yankee Station” on 15 December 1971” (Ref. 43).

 

    “USS Constellation (CVA-64) and USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) operated on “Yankee Station” together during November until 10 December 1971, when Enterprise was unexpectedly directed to transit to the Indian Ocean where she operated as flagship for the newly formed Task Force 74 for the possible evacuation of U.S. citizens from East Pakistan in connection with the Indo-Pakistani war. Constellation's tour was extended to the end of the month due to these new contingency operations. USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) joined Constellation on the line 15 December 1971” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) joined USS Constellation (CVA-64) on the line on 15 December 1971” (Ref. 1-Constellation).

 

    “The first day of her line period, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) launched interdiction strikes against the Ho Chi Minh Trail, in an attempt to interdict the flow of men and materiel from North Vietnam Into the South” (Ref. 43).

 

    “On 15 December 1971 VMA(AW)-224, part of Carrier Air Wing 15 on board USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), arrived on “Yankee Station.” VMA(AW)-224 was the first Marine Corps squadron to fly combat missions into NVN from a carrier operating on Yankee Station” (Ref. 524).

 

    “During December 1971, the Laser Guided Bomb (LGB) was introduced by squadrons aboard USS Constellation (CVA-64). Initially, 16 trial LGB drops were road cuts, with subsequent targets antiaircraft artillery sites. In the coming year, LGBs were to be used effectively against heretofore seemingly indestructible targets in NVN, such as heavy steel bridge structures built into solid rock” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “The number of surface-to-air missile firing incidents increased and the bold excursions by MiG aircraft into Laos prompted both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to develop new tactics, combining efforts, to suppress the MiG threat” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “A major protective reaction strike effort by both USAF and USN commenced n December and terminated 30 December. In this period, TF-77 flew 423 strike sorties employing all-weather A-6A systems backed up by A-7Es as pathfinders, with Dong Hoi, Quang Khe and Vinh the major targets assigned to the Navy” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “A total of 2,462 ordnance delivery strike sorties were flown during December 1971” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “The number of surface-to-air missile firing incidents increased and the bold excursions by MiG aircraft into Laos prompted both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy to develop new tactics, combining efforts, to suppress the MiG threat. A major protective reaction strike effort by both USAF and USN commenced 26 December and terminated 30 December. In this period, TF-77 flew 423 strike sorties employing all-weather A-6A systems backed up by A-7Es as pathfinders, with Dong Hoi, Quang Khe and Vinh the major targets assigned to the Navy. During the month, squadrons aboard Constellation introduced the Laser Guided Bomb (LGB).  Initially, 16 trial LGB drops were road cuts, with subsequent targets antiaircraft artillery sites. In the coming year, LGBs were to be used effectively against heretofore seemingly indestructible targets in NVN, such as heavy steel bridge structures built into solid rock” (Ref. 1-Constellation).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) strike sorties supported President Richard Nixon's developing "Vietnamization" program with its gradual withdrawal of remaining American forces from the Republic of Vietnam. She remained on station into mid- January 1972, at which time she left the line and steamed to Subic Bay for upkeep. Second and third line periods followed, punctuated by upkeep at Subic, as Coral Sea's planes flew interdiction sorties” (Ref. 43).

 

    “In 1972, reconnaissance missions over North Vietnam extended into 1972, continuing strikes against mainly logistic targets” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “USS Constellation (CVA-64) rejoined USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) “Yankee Station” on 18 January 1972 following her tour in the Indian Ocean in December 1971” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “On 19 January 1972, the VF-96 F-4 Phantom crew of Lt. Randall H. Cunningham and Ltjg. William P. Driscoll onboard USS Constellation (CVA-64) attached to CVW-9, scored a kill against a MiG-21, the first for a Navy aircraft since Connie’s VF-142 kill on 28 March 1970, while on her sixth “Westpac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet, her fifth Vietnam combat cruise and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “The 19 January 1972 action occurred during a protective reaction strike in response to earlier antiaircraft artillery and surface-to-air missile firings from the area which had menaced an RA-5C reconnaissance plane and its escorts. This accounted for the Navy's 33rd MiG shot down in the Vietnam war since the first shoot-down on 17 June 1965, downed by Commanders Louis C. Page and John J. Smith in an F-4 of VF-21 off USS Midway (CVA-41)” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “Throughout January 1972, USS Constellation (CVA-64), USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) served intermittently on “Yankee Station”. With only light ground action, limited troop contacts and the withdrawal of U.S. ground troops continuing during the month, the level of air operations also remained low, a situation which continued generally throughout the first three months of the year. During January, a total of only eight Navy tactical air attack sorties were flown in South Vietnam. In North Vietnam, there was very little attack effort except for some protective reaction strikes” (Ref. 1-Constellation).

 

    “USS Worden (CG 18) was part of USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) battle group” (Ref. 84A)

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) deployed to the waters off Southeast Asia on 17 February 1972” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “During February 1972, naval air attack sorties in South Vietnam had risen to 733 compared to the eight during January. The increase was due to the preemptive operations by allied forces in preparation for an expected large-scale enemy offensive during Tet which did not materialize” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “USS Constellation (CVA-64), USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and USS Hancock (CVA-19) served overlapping tours on Yankee Station, assuring two to three carriers on station at a time during most of February 1972” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

 

F-4B Phantom IIs BuNo 150466, "Old Nick 204" from VF-111 "Sundowners," and BuNo 149457, "Screaming Eagle 113" from VF-51 "Screaming Eagles" drop Mk.82 500-lb bombs over North Vietnam, March 8, 1972. NS024355 100k.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024355.jpg

 

    “In late March, USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) returned to “Yankee Station” for what would prove to be a 50-day period, as NVA forces launched a massive invasion of the south across the DMZ. CVA-43 aircraft flew in support of units of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) and U.S. forces seeking to stop the onslaught” (Ref. 43).

 

    “On 23 March 1972, the U.S. canceled further peace negotiations in Paris, France, because of a lack of progress in the talks. This was followed by the North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam. This "Easter" or "Spring Offensive" was the result of the long buildup and infiltration of North Vietnamese forces during previous months and presaged some of the most intense fighting of the entire war. The North Vietnamese invasion prompted increased air operations by the carriers in support of South Vietnamese and U.S. forces” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “The carriers on “Yankee Station” when North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam on 30 March 1972 were USS Hancock (CVA-19) and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), which had rotated with USS Constellation (CVA-64) and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “By 30 March 1972, Naval Air attack sorties in South Vietnam had dropped from 733 in February to 113 during March” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) along with USS Hancock (CVA-19) were joined in early April while at “Yankee Station” by USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) and USS Constellation (CVA-64)” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea & 72).

 

    “In early April, with the resumption of bombing of the north (albeit on a limited scale), USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) was among the first carriers to launch strikes. While the primary effort remained to support the ground forces in the south, almost half of CVW-15's efforts went toward knocking out troop and logistics concentrations, as well as vehicular traffic supporting the movement of war materiel.

 

A great deal of emphasis was placed on the destruction of SAM Sites as the result of heavy enemy reaction and to dilute the threat to American aircraft. Tragically, a SAM (SA-2) downed the air wing commander, CDR Thomas E. Dunlop, near Quang Khe on 6 April 1972. He was listed as killed in action” (Ref. 43).

 

    “In response to the invasion, naval aircraft from USS Hancock (CVA-19) and other carriers flew tactical sorties during Operation Freedom Train against military and logistics targets in the southern part of North Vietnam. By the end of April, the strikes covered more areas in North Vietnam throughout the area below 20° 25'N” (Ref. 1-Hancck & 60A).

 

    “USS Constellation (CVA-64) was nearing the end of her scheduled deployment when her tour was extended to meet the threat posed by the North Vietnamese “Easter Offensive” of 2 April 1972” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “Initial air strikes in support of ground troops were followed by a new, more intensive series of air strikes against major targets in North Vietnam” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “Beginning on 5 April 1972, aircraft from USS Constellation (CVA-64), along with those from USS Hancock (CVA-19), and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) took part in Operation Freedom Train which involved Navy tactical sorties from these carriers against military and logistic targets in the southern part of North Vietnam that were involved in the invasion of South Vietnam.  Protecting the lives of diminishing U. S. forces, as the U. S. continued to withdraw additional forces from South Vietnam was made possible by U. S. Carriers.

 

The operating area in North Vietnam was limited initially to between 17° and 19°N. However, special strikes were authorized against targets above the 19th parallel on various occasions. The magnitude of the North Vietnamese offensive indicated that an extended logistics network and increased resupply routes would be required to sustain ground operations by North Vietnam in their invasion of South Vietnam. Most target and geographical restrictions that were placed in effect since October 1968 concerning the bombing in North Vietnam were lifted gradually and the list of authorized targets expanded.

 

Strikes in North Vietnam were against vehicles, lines of communication (roads, waterways, bridges, railroad bridges and railroad tracks), supply targets, air defense targets and industrial/power targets. By the end of April, operations were permitted in North Vietnam throughout the region below 20° 25' N and many special strikes above the 20th parallel had also been authorized” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk Constellation; Coral Sea & 2-USS Coral Sea “Welcome Aboard” brochure).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) with Rear Admiral W. R. Flanagan relieved Rear Admiral J. L. Butts, as Commander and Captain K. L. Shugart, as Chief of Staff, Carrier Division One and Captain C. E. Myers, Commander, Carrier Air Wing 5 (CVW-5) embarked departed Naval Air Station, Alameda, California 10 April 1972, Captain S, R. Foley, Jr. relieved Captain W. L. Harris, Jr., as Commanding Officer, on her eighth “WestPac” deployment, operating with the Pacific Fleet and the 7th Fleet, her third South China Sea deployment, on her third Vietnam Combat Cruise on “Yankee Station” in the Far East, returning to the war zone seven weeks earlier than her scheduled deployment date. She will under go her second deployment since her second recommission on 31 January 1970, following completion of a four-year conversion-modernization at the San Francisco Bay Naval Shipyard, arriving on 11 February 1966, ending the year of 1965 upon arrival from her sixth “WestPac” deployment operating with the Pacific Fleet and tour of duty with the 7th Fleet, on her first Vietnam Combat Cruise in the Far East. She will under go her eighth deployment since her first recommission upon completion of SCB-110 (August 1955 to 30 September 1957), decommissioning in August 1955 upon completion of her World Cruise for a five month SCB-110 modernization that included new innovations such as an enclosed bow and an angled flight deck to be installed at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton Washington; redesignated CVA-41 on 1 October 1952. She will under go her 21st Foreign Water Fleet Deployment (FWFD) since her commission 10 September 1945, having the destination of being the lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of lead ship of her class, and the first to be commissioned after the end of World War II” (Ref. 1-Midway, 72, 1181, 1181A, 1181B, 1181C, 1181D, 1181E, 1181E1, 1181F, 1181G, 1181H, 1181I, 1181J & 1181N).

 

USS Midway (CVA 41) WestPac Cruise Book 1972-73 – Ref. 1181

The Cruise – Ref. 1181A

Chain of Command – Ref. 1181B

Carrier Division One Staff– Ref. 1181C

Highlights and Places Visited – Ref. 1181D

 

USS Midway (CVA-41) with CVW-5 (NF)

(10 April 1972 to 8 March 1973)

Hull No. /

Fleet

Foreign Water Fleet

Deployment

 Air Wing

Tail

Code

Depart

Return

Days at Sea

Fleet D. No.

USS Midway (CVA-41) – 3rd & 7th

8th WestPac       3rd SCS

CVW-5

NF

10 Apr 1972

8 Mar 1973

Vietnam War

21st FWFD

333-days

3rd Vietnam Combat Cruise

SQUADRON

SQUADRON NICK NAME & PRIMARY

ROLE

AIRCRAFT DESIGN

NICK NAME &

PRIMARY ROLE

TAIL

CODE

Modex

AIRCRAFT

DESIGNATION

VF-161

Chargers -                   Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NF100

F-4B

VF-151

 

Vigilantes -

Fighter Squadron

McDonnell-Douglas - Phantom II Jet Fighter

NF200

F-4B

VA-93

 

Blue Blazers -                     Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NF300

A-7B

VA-56

 

Champions -                     Attack Squadron

Vought - Corsair II -

Jet Attack Aircraft

NF400

A-7B

VA-115

 

Arabs -

Attack Squadron

Grumman - Intruder -

Jet Attack Bomber - Tanker

NF500

A-6A / KA-6D

VFP-63 Det. 3

 

Eyes of the Fleet -      Light Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

Vought - Crusader -         Jet Fighter - Reconnaissance

600

RF-8G

VAW-115

 

Liberty Bells -

Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron

Grumman - Hawkeye -Electronics

010

E-2B

VAQ-130 Det. 2

Zappers -                 Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron

Douglas - Skywarrior -

Jet Attack - Special electronic installation

610

EKA-3B

HC-1 Det. 2

Fleet Angels -        Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Anti-submarine

004-006

SH-3G

*HC-7 Det. 110

Pacific Fleet Angels -Helicopter Combat Support Squadron

Sikorsky - Sea King -

Search and Rescue

 

HH-3A

*These squadron detachments were not aboard the carrier for the entire deployment.

 

    “USS Worden (CG-18) and USS Towers (DDG-9) joined up with USS Midway (CV-41) as part of her task force” (Reef. 84A).

 

    “On 14 April, the Navy averaged 191 sorties per day in South Vietnam, a 97 percent increase over the previous week. Sorties concentrated west and north of Quangtri City with interdiction and direct air support flown in the area. Carriers on “Yankee Station” were USS Hancock (CVA-19) and USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), which had rotated with USS Constellation (CVA-64) and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 22 April 1972, ending her first line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and or other operations” (Ref. 405).

 

    “By mid-April 1972, the Navy was averaging 191 sorties per day in South Vietnam, a 97 percent increase over the previous week. Sorties concentrated west and north of Quangtri City with interdiction and direct air support flown in the area. Carriers on Yankee Station were USS Constellation (CVA-64), along with those from USS Hancock (CVA-19), USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “On 16 April, CVW-15 struck Haiphong in the first major strike above the 2Oth parallel since the resumption of the bombing of North Vietnam. Efforts were now directed at disrupting the flow of supplies southward. USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) began pounding Haiphong” (Ref. 43).

 

    “On 16 April 1972, aircraft from USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), along with those from USS Constellation (CVA-64) and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), flew 57 sorties in the Haiphong area in support of U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortess strikes on the Haiphong petroleum products storage area in an operation known as Freedom Porch” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “On 16 April 1972, in Operation Freedom Porch, aircraft from USS Constellation (CVA-64), USS Hancock (CVA-19), USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) on “Yankee Station” flew 57 sorties in the Haiphong area in support of U.S. Air Force B-52 strikes on the Haiphong petroleum products storage area” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 22 April 1972, ending her first line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and or other operations” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 22 to 23 April 1972, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her second line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “Between 25 and 30 April 1972, aircraft from USS Hancock (CVA-19) VA-55, VA-164, and VA-211 struck enemy-held territory around Kontum and Pleiku” (Ref. 1-Hancck & 60A).

 

    “From 25 through 30 April 1972, USS Constellation (CVA-64) air wings attached squadrons VA-146, VA-147 and VA -165 hit areas around the besieged city of Anloc in support of South Vietnamese troops, some only 40 miles outside the capital of Saigon. Targets attacked included artillery firebases, enemy tanks, bunkers, troop positions, ammunition caches and gun emplacements” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Operations by United States Navy and United States Marine Corps aircraft in Vietnam expanded significantly throughout April 1972 with a total of 4,833 Navy sorties in the south and 1,250 in the north” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea & 72).

 

    “By the end of April, the strikes covered more areas in North Vietnam throughout the area below 20° 25'N” (Ref. 1-Hancck, Kitty Hawk & 60A).

 

Iran History & Air Arm

 

    “The F-14A Tomcat was exported to only one foreign customer, the Nirou Havai Shahanshahiye Iran, or Imperial Iranian Air Force (IIAF)” (Ref. 28).

 

    “The government of the Shah of Iran had been granted large amounts of military assistance by the United States government in the hope that Iran would act as a bulwark against Soviet expansions southward into the region of the Persian Gulf. In addition, Iranian oil revenues made it possible for the Shah's government to purchase massive amounts of Western-manufactured arms, including advanced warplanes such as the Northrop F-5A and E, the McDonnell F-4D and E Phantom, and the Lockheed P-3F Orion. In addition, large numbers of Chieftain and Shir main battle tanks were purchased from Britain” (Ref. 28).

 

    “When Richard Nixon became president, he not only continued, but increased the flow of military aid for the Shah government” (Ref. 4).

 

    “In May of 1972, President Richard Nixon had visited Iran and the Shah had mentioned to him that MiG-25 Foxbat aircraft of the Soviet Air Force had regularly been flying unimpeded over Iranian territory. The Shah asked Nixon for equipment which could intercept these high-speed intruders, and Nixon told the Shah that he could order either the F-14 Tomcat or the F-15 Eagle” (Ref. 28).      “USS Saratoga (CVA-60) arrived in Subic Bay, Philippines on 8 May 1972 and departed for Vietnam the following week” (Ref. 1-Saratoga & 72).

 

    “On 8 May 1972, the VF-96 F-4 Phantom crew of Cunningham and Driscoll onboard USS Constellation (CVA-64) attached to CVW-9, scored against a MiG-17” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) with CVG-15 embarked (tail code NL) gives air defense for mining of Haiphong, No. Viet harbor on 9 May 1972, an operation timed to coincide precisely with the announcement of the mining by President Nixon. Since she had arrived on the line, she had launched 2,800 sorties” (Ref. 43).

 

    “Much of the military equipment required by the North Vietnamese had arrived by Eastern Bloc ships, and Operation Pocket Money had been developed to cut that flow of supplies. Beginning Pocket Money, three A-6As and six A-7Es from USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), supported by an EKA-3B, laid a total of 36 MK 52-2 mines in the outer approaches to Haiphong harbor on 9 May 1972. Their mission initiated a campaign that ultimately sowed 108 special MK 52-2s and more than 11,000 MK 36 type destructor mines over the next eight months. The mining proved to be one of the most successful naval operations of the war, closing the port of Haiphong for upward of 10 months” (Ref. 362C).

 

    “Operation Pocket Money, the mining campaign against principal North Vietnamese ports, was launched on 9 May 1972. Early that morning, an EC-121 aircraft took off from Da Nang airfield to provide support for the mining operation. A short time later, USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63) launched 17 ordnance-delivering sorties against the Nam Dinh railroad siding as a diversionary air tactic. Poor weather, however, forced the planes to divert to secondary targets at Thanh and Phu Qui which were struck at 090840H and 090845H, Vietnam time, respectively. Coral Sea launched three A-6A Intruders and six A-7E Corsair II aircraft loaded with naval mines and one EKA-3B Skywarrior in support of the mining operation directed against the outer approaches to Haiphong Harbor.

 

     The mining aircraft departed the vicinity of USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) at 090840H in order to execute the mining at precisely 090900H to coincide with the President Richard M. Nixon's public announcement in Washington that mines had been seeded. The A-6 flight led by the CAG, Cmdr. Roger E. Sheets, was composed of United States Marine Corps aircraft from VMA-224 and headed for the inner channel. The A-7Es, led by Cmdr. Leonard E. Giuliani and made up of aircraft from VA-94 and VA-22, were designated to mine the outer segment of the channel. Each aircraft carried four MK 52-2 mines. Capt. William R. Carr, USMC, the bombardier-navigator in the lead plane, established the critical attack azimuth and timed the mine releases” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea & 72).

 

    “The first mine was dropped at 090859H and the last of the field of 36 mines at 090901H. Twelve mines were placed in the inner segment and the remaining 24 in the outer segment. All MK 52-2 mines were set with 72-hour arming delays, thus permitting merchant ships time for departure or a change in destination consistent with the President's public warning. It was the beginning of a mining campaign that planted over 11,000 MK 36 type destructor and 108 special MK 52-2 mines over the next eight months. It is considered to have played a significant role in bringing about an eventual peace arrangement, particularly since it so hampered the enemy's ability to continue receiving war supplies” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea).

 

    “Operation Linebacker I began on 10 May 1972 and consisted of heavy strikes of targets in most of “Operation Linebacker I began on 10 May 1972 and consisted of heavy strikes of targets in most of North Vietnam, which evolved and lasted until restrictions on operations above 20°N were imposed on 22 October.

 

    The operation was an outgrowth of Operation Freedom Train and President Richard M. Nixon's mining declaration, which also stated that the U.S. would make a maximum effort to interdict the flow of supplies in North Vietnam. On this first day of Linebacker I, the Navy shifted its attacks from targets in southern North Vietnam to the coastal region embracing Haiphong north to the Chinese border. In all, 173 attack sorties were flown in this region this day, although another 62 were directed into South Vietnam in continuing support of allied forces there.

 

    It was the most intensified air-to-air combat day of the entire war. Navy flyers shot down eight MiGs. An F-4 Phantom II, from VF-96 attached to CVW-9 on board USS Constellation (CVA-64) while engaged in aerial combat over Haiphong, shot down three MiGs for the first triple downing of enemy MiGs by one plane during the war. Lt. Randall H. Cunningham was the pilot and Lt. j.g. William P. Driscoll was the RIO of the F-4. These three MiG downings, coupled with their 19 January and 8th of May downing of two MiGs, made Lt. Cunningham and Lt. Driscoll the first MiG aces of the Vietnam War.

 

    Three more MiG-17s were downed by two other VF-96 crews, two by Lts. Michael J. Connelly and Thomas J. Blonski and one by Lt. Steven C. Shoemaker and Ltjg. Keith V. Crenshaw. Adding to the score, VF-92 aircrew Lt. Curt Dose and Lieutenant Commander James McDevitt shot down a MiG-21. All told, Constellation fliers shot down seven MiGs on 10 May 1972, while one MIG was shot down by pilots of VF-51 off USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)” (Ref. 1-Constellation & 72).

 

    “On 11 May 1972, aircraft from USS Midway (CVA-41) along with those from USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), and USS Constellation (CVA-64) continued laying minefields in ports of signicance to the North Vietnamese — Thanh Hoa, Dong Hoi, Vinh, Hon Gai, Quang Khe and Cam Pha as well as other approaches to Haiphong. Ships that were in port in Haiphong had been advised that the mining would take place and that the mines would be armed 72 hours later. Early mining was not confined solely to the seven principal ports. Other locations were also seeded early in the campaign, including the Cua Sot, Cap Mui Ron, and the river mouths, Cua Day and Cua Lac Giang, south of Don Son and the Haiphong port complex” (Ref. 1-Midway & 72).

 

    “The following day, 12 May, the 72-hour delay arming time on the initial mines laid at Haiphong was up at 120900H Vietnam time. Nine ships at Haiphong had taken advantage of the grace period to depart the port. Twenty-seven ships remained. Both Soviet and Soviet-bloc ships headed for Haiphong at the time had diverted to different destinations, thus avoiding a direct confrontation with the minefields” (Ref. 1-Constellation).

 

    “USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) second overseas deployment in the summer of 1972 as an antisubmarine warfare (ASW) aircraft carrier became her seventh deployment to the waters off the Indochinese coast.  Because of Ticonderoga change in mission, her tour of duty did not include combat operations off Vietnam.  In addition to the training exercises in the Sea of Japan, Ticonderoga also joined ASW training operations in the South China Sea”  (Ref. 1-Ticonderoga & 72).

 

    “USS Saratoga (CVA-60) departed Subic Bay, Philippines for Vietnam a week after she arrived, arriving at "Yankee Station" on 18 May 1972 for her first period on the line” (Ref. 1-Saratoga & 72).

 

    “Carriers participating in the initial May-June operations from “Yankee Station” were USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), USS Constellation (CVA-64), USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), USS Hancock (CVA-19), USS Midway (CVA-41) and USS Saratoga (CVA 60), arriving on 18 May 1972” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk & Constellation).

 

 

USS Coral Sea (CVA-43)

NS024363 588k. Underway replenishment.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/02/024363.jpg

 

    “USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) departed “Yankee Station” on 23 May 1972 headed for Subic Bay, Philippines” (Ref. 43).

 

    “Following upkeep at Subic Bay, Philippines and rest and recreation at Hong Kong, USS Coral Sea (CVA 43), picked up the pace of operations where she left off, Subic Bay, Philippines on 23 May 1972, resuming her strikes against North Vietnamese targets” (Ref. 1-Coral Sea).

 

    “USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-62), along with USS Constellation (CV 64), USS Coral Sea (CVA 43), USS Hancock (CVA-19), USS Midway (CVA-41), USS Saratoga (CVA-60), USS Oriskany (CVA-34) and USS America (CVA-66), began night operations regularly on 24 May 1972” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Three to four of the carriers mentioned above were maintained on Yankee Station, on a rotational basis, during the summer months” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 2 June 1972, ending possibly her second line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “There was a dramatic change in North Vietnam's air defense effort during the summer months of 1972. During the earlier periods of April and May, the Navy air effort in North Vietnam involved intensive air-to-air combat and a large number of surface-to-air missile (SAM) firings. In contrast, during June and July there was an increase in Linebacker I Navy attack sorties, but there was a decrease in the number of air-to-air combat incidents and SAM firings” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) made a port of call at Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines from 2 to 9 June 1972, departing to conduct combat missions on possibly her third line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS Midway (CVA-41) arrived Subic Bay, Republic of Philippines on 9 July 1972, ending her third line period in the South China Sea in the Gulf of Tonkin and or other operations” (Ref. 405).

 

    “USS America (CVA-66) crossed the equator on 12 June 1972 and held the usual initiation of "pollywogs" into the realm of Neptune” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “After mid-June 1972, almost all North Vietnamese aircraft sighted or engaged were MiG-21s” (Ref. 1-Kitty Hawk).

 

    “Escorted by Davis (DD-937) and Dewey (DD-349), and accompanied by the fleet oilier Waccamaw (AO-109), USS America (CVA-66) proceeded toward southeast Asia, and rounded Cape Horn on 21 June 1972” (Ref. 1-America & 72).

 

    “Joining the 7th Fleet later in June, USS America (CVA-66) relieved the attack carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43) on station” (Ref. 1-America & 72)

 

    “USS Saratoga (CVA-60) first line period on "Yankee Station" in the Tonkin Gulf (18 May to 21 June 1972), she lost four aircraft and three pilots. On the plus side, on 21 June 1972, two of her F-4 Phantoms attacked three MiG 21s over North Vietnam. Dodging four surface to air missiles, one of the F-4s, piloted by Cmdr. Samuel C. Flynn Jr., with radar intercept officer Lt. William H. John, shot down one of the MiG aircraft. Saratoga's planes attacked targets ranging from enemy troop concentrations in the lower panhandle to petroleum storage areas northeast of Hanoi” (Ref. 1-Saratoga & 72).

 

CHAPTER XXV

NINITH “WESTPAC” DEPLOYMENT AND

U. S. AIRCRAFT CARRIERS OPERATING WITH CORAL SEA

OVERHAUL AT HUNTERS POINT, SAN FRANCISCO, CA. & LOCAL TRAINING OPERATIONS

(ReTra and air wing operations)

Iran History & Air Arm

 (17 April 1971 to 27 December 1972)

Part 1 – (17 April 1971 to 28 June 1972)

Part 2 – (29 June 1971 to 27 December 1972)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER XXV

Part 1 - (17 April 1971 to 28 June 1972)

 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