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Squadron Insignia and Nickname
When VA-34 was established, it adopted the insignia and
Blue Blasters nickname used by the previous VA-34 squadron (the second
VA-34). Colors for the insignia are as follows: blue diamond background
outlined in black, red stylized wings outlined in blue and white, black
and white machine gun in the shape of a cigarette, with a yellow ammunition
belt and red bullets, white skull and skeleton with black markings and
outline, red teeth, and red markings on the paddles (eyes).
Nickname: Blue Blasters
Chronology of Significant Events
17 Apr 1970: VA-34’s establishment ceremony was
conducted at NAS Oceana.
18 SEP 1970: The Squadron boarded Kennedy (CVA 67) and departed on 14 September for final training and an Operational Readiness Inspection prior to its scheduled November deployment to Vietnam. However, while enroute to the Caribbean, the ship was ordered to deploy directly to the Mediterranean after Syria invaded Jordan.
Sep 1972: A squadron A-6 Intruder conducted crossdecking
operations on HMS Ark Royal while operating in the Norwegian Sea.
Oct–Nov 1973: Due to the outbreak of war in the
Middle East (Yon Kippur War), VA-34 and Kennedy departed the Norwegian
Sea and reentered the Mediterranean, conducting surveillance operations
south of Crete.
Sep–Oct 1982: During the deployment to the North
Atlantic, America (CV 66), with VA-34 embarked, received orders on 22
September to proceed to the Mediterranean due to the continuing crisis
Jan and May 1983: While in the Eastern Mediterranean
the squadron conducted air operations from America in support of the multinational
peacekeeping forces in Beirut, Lebanon.
Sep 1985: While deployed aboard America to the North
Atlantic, the squadron conducted flight operations from the carrier while
it operated within Vestfjord, a Norwegian fjord.
24 Mar 1986: Libyan missiles were fired at U.S. Navy
forces operating in the Gulf of Sidra. As a result of this hostile act
retaliatory strikes, known as Operation Prairie Fire, were initiated against
Libya by the American naval forces in the area. VA-34’s A-6E Intruders,
operating from America, attacked and damaged a Libyan Combattante II G-class
fast attack missile craft with a Harpoon missile. A follow-up attack by
VA-85 aircraft with Rockeye bombs resulted in the sinking of the Combattante
II. The Harpoon firing was the first use of this missile in combat and
the squadron’s first combat action since its establishment in 1970.
14 Apr 1986: Due to continued Libyan sponsorship of terrorist
activity the United States initiated Operation Eldorado Canyon. VA-34
participated in this operation with its A-6Es, conducting a night, low
level high speed attack against terrorists targets at the Benina airfield
and military barracks in Banghazi, Libya.
Aug 1990: The squadron flew missions in support of Operation
Desert Shield, the build up of American and Allied forces to counter a
threatened invasion of Saudi Arabia by Iraq and as part of an economic
blockade of Iraq to force its withdrawal from Kuwait.
There have been a total of ?? Commanding Officers of The Blue
Blasters as an A-6 squadron. The first was CDR Robert Miles in
1970. The last was CDR Tom Hills.