VA-165 (U.S. Navy)

VA-165, nicknamed the Boomers, was a long-lived Attack Squadron of the U.S. Navy. It was established on 1 September 1960, and disestablished 35 years later on 30 September 1996.[1][2] The squadron operated in the region of Vietnam, Laos, and Korea during the 1960s and early 1970s. VA-165 transferred to the Persian Gulf after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and also served near the Philippines during the late 1970s. During the 1980s, VA-165 was moved from the Middle East to Central America, particularly Nicaragua, back to Iran in the Middle East, off to South Korea, and then to the Middle East again for Kuwait. During the 1990s, the squadron worked in the United States, the Middle East, and Taiwan.

Attack Squadron 165
Attack Squadron 165 (US Navy) insignia c1989.png
VA-165 squadron patch
Active1 September 1960 – 30 September 1996
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Navy
RoleAttack aircraft
Part ofInactive
Aircraft flown
AttackA-1 Skyraider
A-6 Intruder
A-6E Intruder from VA-165 Boomers aboard USS Constellation (CV-64) in 1990. Note the non-standard camouflage paint.



  • 1 September 1960: squadron created.
  • November 1963: USS Oriskany, with VA-165 embarked, operated in the South China Sea during a crisis in South Vietnam and the coup that overthrew President Diem.
  • February 1965: The squadron began participation in combat operations over Laos.
  • 4 April 1966: VA-165 deployed to Vietnam as a component of CVW-10 embarked on USS Intrepid. This was the first all attack air wing and the first to deploy. Two squadrons flew the A-1 Skyraider and the other two squadrons flew the A-4 Skyhawk.
  • 26 January 1968: USS Ranger, with VA-165 embarked, while operating on Yankee Station, was ordered to the Sea of Japan following the capture of USS Pueblo on 23 January by the North Koreans. Ranger and VA-165 operated in the area until relieved on 5 March 1968.
  • April 1969: Following the shooting down of a Navy EC-121 aircraft by the North Koreans on 15 April, Ranger, with VA-165 embarked, left Yankee Station and proceeded to the Sea of Japan for operations off the coast of Korea.


  • 26 May 1970: The squadron’s commanding officer, Commander F. M. Backman, flew the newest update version of the A-6 Intruder, the A-6C, into combat for the first time.
  • April 1972: The squadron participated in Operation Freedom Train, tactical air sorties against military and logistic targets in the southern part of North Vietnam. It also provided support for forces in South Vietnam following a massive invasion by North Vietnam on 1 April 1972.
  • May 1972: The squadron participated in the early phase of Operation Linebacker I, heavy air strikes against targets in North Vietnam above 20 degrees north latitude.
  • November 1974: VA-165, part of the CVW-9 team embarked on USS Constellation, operated in the Persian Gulf. This was the first time in 26 years that an American carrier had entered and operated in the Persian Gulf.
  • March 1979: Constellation, with VA-165 embarked, was ordered to make a high speed transit to the Indian Ocean from the Philippines in response to the conflict between North and South Yemen.



Home port assignmentsEdit

The squadron was assigned to these home ports, effective on the dates shown:[1]

Aircraft AssignmentEdit

The squadron first received the following aircraft on the dates shown:[1]

See alsoEdit


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons.

  1. ^ a b c d Grossnick, Roy A. (1995). Dictionary of American Naval Aviation Squadrons, Volume 1, Chapter 2, Section 9: Attack Squadron Histories for VA-154 to VA-174. Washington, D.C.: Naval Historical Center, Department of the Navy. pp. 222–251. Retrieved 16 June 2016.
  2. ^ Karppi, Wendy (1 July 1998). "Airscoop: Boomers" (PDF). Naval Aviation News: 8–9. Retrieved 20 February 2014. NOTE: First page is blank. Scroll down to page 7 to see the article.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit