A-7E CORSAIR II VA-72 BLUEHAWKS AC400 1991 Desert Storm
Attack Squadron 72 (VA-72) was an aviation unit of the U.S. Navy. It was established as Bomber Fighter Squadron 18 (VBF-18) on 25 January 1945. The squadron was redesignated as Fighter Squadron 8A (VF-8A) on 15 November 1946, asVF-72 on 28 July 1948, and finally as VA-72 on 3 January 1956. It was disestablished on 30 June 1991.
The squadron's nickname from 1945 to 1950 was "Bearcats", followed by "Hawks" until 1962, and the Blue Hawks from that point forward. Its first insignia, a bearcat, was approved in 1946; a new one, featuring a peregrine falcon, was approved in 1950. Its last insignia, with a blue hawk, was current from 1956 until the squadron's disestablishment 35 years later.
In Operation Desert Storm in 1991, combat operations to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait, was launched. The squadron’s A-7Es participated in the first combat strike against Iraqi targets in Baghdad, as well in the Kuwait theater, striking Iraqi troops, tanks and artillery positions.By 27 February 1991, Squadron aircraft participated in the last naval air combat strike of the war, hitting retreating Iraqi troops east of Najaf, Iraq. During the 43 days of war the squadron flew 362 sorties without the loss of a pilot or aircraft.