<< Return to Squadrons
The distinctive insignia worn by the Boomers
consists of special elements and significant colors. The green boomerang
is the focal point of the insignia, and signifies the squadron's ability
to strike, and return and strike again. The gray background was selected
to portray the all weather capability of the squadron and the aircraft.
THe gold compass card, aligned to the four cardinal headings, is emblematic
of the world wide commitments and global responsibilities of the Navy,
which are supported by Attack Squadron 165. Central to the insignia is
the white knight chessman denoting versatility and to indicate that the
"Boomers, Have Weapons, Will Travel."
Attack Squadron ONE SIX FIVE (VA-165) was established
on 1 September 1960. The Boomers initially flew the A-1
Skyraider, one of the most versatile aircraft in the fleet, and were based
at NAS Alameda, CA.
Between 1960 and 1966 the squadron made four Western
Pacific deployments aboard USS ORISKANY (CVA-34), USS CORAL SEA (CVA-43),
and USS INTREPID (CVA-11). The Boomers were one of the
first carrier-based attack squadrons to see combat action in Southeast
Asia, flying over 3,100 combat sorties encompassing 11,500 flight hours,
and expending 11 million pounds of ordnance of enemy targets during two
In January 1967, the Boomers moved to
NAS Whidbey Island, WA, where they transitioned to the A-6A Intruder.
The Boomers became the first West Coast operational A-6
squadron, and returned to Southeast Asia in November 1967 and again in
1968 as members of Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2) aboard USS RANGER (CVA-61).
While embarked on RANGER, the squadron received the COMNAVAIRPAC Battle
"E", the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the Navy Unit Commendation.
In February 1970, VA-165 joined CVW-9 aboard USS AMERICA
(CVA-66), departing from Norfolk, VA for their fifth combat deployment
to Southeast Asia. They completed 9,009 combat sorties and dropped 7.3
million pounds of ordnance. For their outstanding performance during the
1970 combat operations, the squadron was awarded their second consecutive
COMNAVAIRPAC Battle "E". Between September 1971 and August 1973,
the Boomers and CVW-9 completed two more combat deployments
aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64). They flew 2,600 combat and combat support
missions during this period, delivering a half-million pounds of bombs
and transferring nearly 13 million pounds of jet fuel. For their superior
performance, demonstrated courage, professional competence, and achievement
of exceptionally impressive damage against heavily defended targets, the
Boomers were awarded the nation's highest unit award,
the Presidential Unit Citation. After nearly ten years of sustained combat
operations involving six deployments, the Boomers returned
to NAS Whidbey Island in October 1973 as the last squadron employed in
the Southeast Asia conflict.
During the period from 1974 to 1980, VA-165 made three
peacetime deployments with CVW-9 aboard USS CONSTELLATION (CVA-64), becoming
the first A-6 squadron to conduct air operations in the Arabian Gulf.
They were awarded two CNO safety awards, two consecutive COMNAVAIRPAC
Battle "E" awards, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and the
CINCPACFLT Golden Anchor Award.
In 1981, VA-165 received the A-6E TRAM aircraft, and
became the first carrier-based squadron to deploy with the Harpoon missile
in the Indian Ocean. Returning to Whidbey Island, VA-165 was named COMMATVAQWINGPAC
Intruder Squadron of the Year and Maintenance Squadron of the Year for
VA-165 joined CVW-9 aboard USS RANGER (CVA-61) in February
1983. Enroute to WESTPAC and the Indian Ocean in 1983-84, RANGER was tasked
to show the American flag off the coast of Central America, a first for
any A-6 squadron. Departing NAS Whidbey Island as the 1985 Intruder Bombing
Derby Champions, Intruder Squadron of the Year, and Intruder Maintenance
Squadron of the Year, the Boomers deployed in July with
CVW-9 aboard USS KITTY HAWK (CV-63) and returned in December 1985 for
a Christmas homecoming. During 1986, the Boomers proved
once again they were the top Intruder squadron on the West Coast by receiving
the Meritorious Unit Commendation, COMNAVAIRPAC Battle "E",
CNO Safety "S", COMMATVAQWINGPAC Intruder Squadron of the Year,
and the Norden Pickle Barrel Award for Bombing Excellence. The Boomers
deployed in January 1987 aboard KITTY HAWK.
In July 1987, the Boomers completed
their "Around the World" cruise, and were named the 1987 Intruder
Squadron of the Year and Maintenance Squadron of the Year. Having returned
from cruise only two weeks earlier, they also won the Norden Pickle Barrel
Award for Bombing Excellence. During the training cycle the Boomers
received their second consecutive COMNAVAIRPAC Battle "E", the
Norden Pickle Barrel Award for Bombing Excellence, and were awarded the
CNO's RADM Wade McClusky Award as the Best Attack Squadron in the Navy
The Boomers deployed with CVW-9 aboard
USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) in September 1988 to WESTPAC and the Indian Ocean,
and received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for operations in the
North Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman. They returned home in February 1989,
only to be called to sea again in April for amphibious exercises off the
Southern California coast, and in June for NORPAC 89-1 off the Alaskan
coast. In July, the Boomers won the 18th annual COMMATVAQWINGPAC
Intruder Bombing Derby and were named the 1989 Hughes Aircraft Corporation
Intruder Squadron of the Year.
The fall of 1989 saw the Boomers filming
inflight, flight deck, and hangar deck scenes for the Paramount Pictures
Corporation motion picture, "Flight of The Intruder." In February
1990, the Boomers embarked with units from CVW-9 and
CVW-1 aboard USS CONSTELLATION for her transit from San Diego, CA to Philadelphia,
Following their South American transit, the Boomers
began preparations for deployment with CVW-9 on USS NIMITZ. In June, the
squadron received the Norden Pickle Barrel Award for Bombing Excellence,
and embarked the following February aboard NIMITZ for a WESTPAC/Arabian
Gulf deployment where the Boomers participated in post-hostility
Desert Storm operations. In addition, numerous exercises were conducted
with countries in the Gulf establishing new training opportunities for
future deployments to the region. Upon returning home, the Boomers
ended the year by winning the SECNAV Energy Conservation Award.
In February 1993, the Boomers again
deployed aboard NIMITZ to the Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf in support
of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. Returning home in August, the Boomers
retire the final three KA-6D tanker aircraft in the Pacific Fleet, received
the Pratt & Whitney Excellence in FOD Prevention Award, and were named
the Hughes Intruder Squadron of the Year.
In 1994, the Boomers deployed to Nellis
AFB, NV as part of Red Flag 94-2. In May, the squadron deployed to Roswell
AFB, N.M. for Roving Sands '94, the largest joint air defense exercise
conducted by the U.S. military anywhere in the world.
In the beginning of 1995 the Boomers
started an arduous workup cycle in preparation for the squadron's upcoming
deployment aboard NIMITZ. Starting in February, with carrier qualifications
aboard KITTY HAWK, the squadron was a sea with the NIMITZ for five periods
from February to September. During the spring of 1995, the squadron deployed
with the rest of CVW-9 to NAS Fallon for integrated strike warfare training.
Underway training was completed in October 1995.
On December 1, 1995, the Boomers deployed
onboard NIMITZ to WESTPAC and the Arabian Gulf. January 1996 found the
Boomers enforcing U.N. sanctions over Iraq completing
389 consecutive sorties. In March 1996, the Boomers and
NIMITZ took station off the coast of Taiwan in response to the China-Taiwan
election crisis before returning to NAS Whidbey Island for the last time
There have been a total of 32 Commanding Officers of The Boomers.
The first, CDR C. H. Yeagle served from 1960 to 1961. The last was CDR
M. S. Needler He served from 1995 until 1996.