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VA-72 "Blue Hawks" find a ready deck on YORKTOWN!

Waring Hills Apr 29, 2009

The VA-72 “Blue Hawks” entered the break today at 800 feet and 250 knots…all received an OK-3 as they arrived onboard YORKTOWN.  I had the privilege and pleasure of leading their reunion around the ship, I listened more to their stories, but I did tell a few myself.

VA-72 was the first Skyhawk squadron in the Navy, accepting the first factory to fleet A-4 with the arrival of Bureau Number 139935 in October 1956. Click here for the squadron history and images on the Skyhawk Association pages.

VA-72 reunion group onboard Yorktown, CV-10.

VA-72 reunion group onboard Yorktown, CV-10.

Blue Hawk Patch

In the above photo are VA-72 pilots (from right to left) Al Carpenter, Ed Moir, Lane Hubbard, John Stevens, Hal Brewer, Terry Thies, D. D. Smith, Ken Craig, Carl Moslener, Bob Hoch, John Bittick, Ron St. Martin and J. P. Lamers. If I mixed up any names and faces,  I’m sure the Blue Hawks will email me with the correct pecking order. Click here to see some of these pilots onboard the USS Independence, CVA-62,  in 1965.

The pilot on the far right below is Al Carpenter. He was a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam, shot down on 01 November 1966 in Haiphong Harbor. Click here for his story. Al now lives in Virginia and flies his own RV-6…I’d love to build and fly an RV-7 one day…dreams can come true. Thanks Blue Hawks for your service to the nation and to your wives for their sacrifices to the country as well…I salute you!

Al Carpenter on the right.

Al Carpenter on the right, callsign "Soapy".

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6 thoughts on “VA-72 "Blue Hawks" find a ready deck on YORKTOWN!

  1. Dave Wood says:

    Crew member for 2 Med crusies aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, CVA-67 & CV-67.
    AK-3 Woody

    1. Klaus Jakelski says:

      Hey Dave,
      Do you recall a Canadian guest aboard JFK in Montego Bay Jamaica, February1975? A medical student out with the squadron on shore leave. Invited onto your beautiful ship for a day. I’m trying to re-connect. Unfortunately, the only names I can recall are commander Estes and “Tank”.
      Hope to hear from you.

  2. Sean Reynolds says:

    Just want to say Thank You to you all for your service. I am honored to know Terry Thies personally .He is one excellent man. I have the greatest respect for him

  3. Michael Shasteen says:

    Awesome pictures of some great men from the Navy’s best squadron. I was lucky enough to have been assigned to VA-72 from 1988 until we decommissioned in 1991. Did my first med-cruise aboard the IKE CVN-69 and then Desert Shield/Storm on the JFK CV-67.

  4. Ben Sexton says:

    I was in VA-72 from ’61 to ’64 3 Meds, Cuban Block, Det on Wasp. Looking for a picture of the Hawk with the Birds Head on the Side.

  5. Tom Culpepper says:

    Was a ground maintenace officer in 72 from July 1990 until the decomissioning in 91, then transfered to VFA-136 where many of the 72 pilots followed.

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