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Attack Squadron 176 (U.S. Navy)

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Title: Attack Squadron 176 (U.S. Navy)  
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Subject: Invasion of Grenada, Douglas A-1 Skyraider, List of Douglas A-1 Skyraider operators, 176 (number), List of Grumman A-6 Intruder operators, Attack Squadron 42 (United States Navy), VA176
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Attack Squadron 176 (U.S. Navy)

Attack Squadron 176

VA-176 Insignia
Active 1 June 1955 - 30 October 1992
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
Type Attack
Role Close air support
Air interdiction
Aerial reconnaissance
Part of Inactive
Nickname "Thunderbolts"
Engagements Vietnam War
Operation Urgent Fury
Operation Provide Comfort

Attack Squadron One Seven Six (VA-176), known as the "Thunderbolts", was a United States Navy carrier-based medium attack squadron that saw combat service in the Vietnam War and later in 1983 in both Grenada and Lebanon.

History

VA-176 was established on 4 June 1955 and equipped with the Douglas AD-6 Skyraider and assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. A year later the first deployment followed on board the aircraft carrier USS Randolph (CVA-15) to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Air Task Group Two (ATG-2). In 1958 the squadron was assigned to Carrier Air Group 17 (CVG-17), but was not deployed as CVG-17 was disbanded. The next cruise in 1959/60 was aboard the USS Essex (CVA-9) as part of CVG-10. In November and December 1960 VA-176 was assigned to Carrier Anti-submarine Air Group 52 (CVSG-52) aboard the USS Wasp (CVS-18). After this short deployment VA-176 returned to CVW-10 and made three deployments to the Mediterranean Sea with the USS Shangri-La (CVA-38) between 1961 and 1965.

Carrier Air Wing Ten (CVW-10) was shifted in 1966 to the USS Intrepid (CVS-11), which was used as an attack carrier for three deployments to Vietnam. During the 1966 deployment two members of the squadron became known by successfully engaging a North Vietnamese MiG-17, an unusual instance of propeller-driven aircraft defeating a jet-powered adversary.


In 1967 VA-176 was back in the Mediterranean Sea aboard the USS Saratoga (CVS-60) as part of Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3).

This was the last cruise with the Douglas A-1H Skyraider, as the squadron converted to the Grumman A-6A Intruder all-weather attack plane. From its first deployment with the Intruder in 1970 to the last in 1991, VA-176 was assigned to Carrier Air Wing Six (CVW-6). From 1970 to 1975 CVW-6 was assigned to the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42). The next three years were spent aboard the USS America (CV-66). In 1979 the wing moved to the USS Independence (CV-62), followed by the USS Forrestal (CV-59) from 1986 to 1991. Flying the Intruder, VA-176 made eighteen deployments to the Mediterranean Sea, three of which also led to the Indian Ocean. The squadron earned three consecutive Battle "E" awards, for the years 1988-1991. The squadron was decommissioned from active service on October 30, 1992.

Aircraft

See also

External links

  • VA-176's Official Website
  • VA-176 Thunderbolts
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