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WWII US Navy Squadron Patch
USN VT-19 Torpedo Bomb SQ
Navy Torpedo Squadron 19
Bob Burns gave the squadron a lion cub. On the patch the cub is holding the musical "bazooka" that Burns used in his act, while riding a torpedo. It went to the LA Zoo.
5 inches

VT-19 Established                           15 Aug 1943
VT-19 Re-designated VA-20A         15 Nov 1946
VA-20A Re-designated VA-195        24 Aug 1948
VA-195 Re-designated VFA-195        1 Apr 1985

Squadron Insignia and Nickname
The squadron, originally known as the Tigers, had its first insignia approved by CNO on 4 March 1944, consisting of a lion cub riding a torpedo. Bob Burns gave the squadron a lion cub. On the patch the cub is holding the musical "bazooka" that Burns used in his act, while riding a torpedo. The lion went to the Los Angeles Zoo

Bob Burns: He was born Robin Burn in Greenwood, Arkansas. When he was three years old, his family moved to Van Buren, Arkansas. As a young child, Burns was playing trombone and cornet in the Queen City Silver Cornet Band. At 13, he formed his own string band. Practicing in the back of Hayman's Plumbing Shop one night, he picked up a length of gas pipe and blew into it, creating an unusual sound. With modifications, this became a musical instrument he named a bazooka (after "bazoo", meaning a windy fellow, from the Dutch bazuin for "trumpet").  A photograph shows him playing his invention in the Silver Cornet Band.  During World War I Burns enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He sailed to France with the 11th Regiment, U.S. Marines, AEF, and as a sergeant became the leader of the Marine Corps's jazz band. He became known for his "bazooka" - made from stove pipes and a whiskey funnel.  His Bazooka is even mentioned by Bing Crosby in this special VJ "The War Is Over" Broadcast - Listen to the Armed Forces "Command Performances" Radio special - (kind of long but still neat to listen to).  Following the war, Burns played his novelty instrument on radio programs. Functioning like a crude trombone, his musical bazooka had a narrow range, but this was intentional. Burns used it as a prop when telling hillbilly stories and jokes. During World War II, GIs borrowed the name for their handheld anti-tank rocket launchers.

A new design replaced the cub with a tiger and parrot on the torpedo, and was approved on 18 April 1949
.  Sometime in the 1950s, the squadron adopted a shield insignia that featured an eagle's head and a torpedo. On 1 May 1951, squadron aircraft destroyed the heavily defended Hwa Chon Dam in North Korea earning them the nickname Dambusters, echoing the original Dam Busters of No. 617 Squadron RAF. Destruction of the dam had been previously attempted by other units many times.
In August 1985, the squadron adopted the stylized eagle on green background insignia in use today.

History - 1940s
VFA-195 was originally established as Torpedo Squadron 19 (VT-19), at NAAS Los Alamitos, California on 15 August 1943, flying the TBM-1 Avenger.
As unit of Carrier Air Group 19 during World War II, it was a part of Admiral Bull Halsey’s Naval Task Force. On 18 July 1944, the squadron flew its first combat mission when it conducted pre-invasion strikes against Guam.
The squadron participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and in the landings at Palau, Morotai and Leyte (see also Battle of Leyte Gulf). Squadron pilots also flew strikes against the Carolines, Philippines, Bonin Islands, Okinawa, Mindanao, Luzon, and Formosa while embarked on USS Lexington (CV-16).
In October 1944, squadron aircraft participated in strikes against the Central Japanese Task Force in the Sibuyan Sea, which included the super battleship Musashi. Three of the squadron’s personnel were awarded the Silver Star for their actions during this strike. Squadron aircraft also participated in the Battle Off Cape Engano, strikes against the Japanese Northern Force composed primarily of carriers, resulting in 25 Navy Cross awards. On 5 November 1944, squadron aircraft participated in the sinking of the Nachi, a Japanese heavy cruiser, which was making a sortie out of Manila Bay.

The squadron changed homeports several times during the Second World War, first to NAS San Diego, then to NAS Alameda, NAAS Santa Rosa, California, and NAS Barbers Point before finally ending up back at NAS Alameda in August 1946. VT-19 also upgraded their Avengers throughout the war, to the TBM-3 in February 1945, the TBM-3E in April 1945, and finally the TBM-3Q.

On 15 November 1946, the squadron was redesignated Attack Squadron 20A (VA-20A). In May 1947, the squadron transitioned to the AD-1 Skyraider. In August 1948, VA-20A upgraded to the AD-2 and was redesignated Attack Squadron 195 (VA-195). In January 1949, the squadron upgraded again to the AD-3.

Citation For Award of The Navy Cross
Synopsis:  The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Frederick Schuler, Ensign, U.S. Navy (Reserve), for extraordinary heroism in operations against the enemy while serving as Pilot of a carrier-based Navy Torpedo Plane of Torpedo Squadron NINETEEN (VT-19) embarked from the U.S.S. LEXINGTON (CV-16), while assigned to strike major Japanese Fleet Units on 25 October 1944, during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, in the Philippine Islands. Courageous and skillful in the face of enemy air opposition and extremely intense and continuous fire from hostile anti-aircraft batteries, he boldly pressed home his attack. By his superb airmanship, daring combat tactics and courage maintained in the face of tremendous opposition, Ensign Schuler contributed materially to the infliction of extensive damage and destruction on the Japanese Fleet in this decisive battle, and his gallant devotion to duty throughout was in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
Born: September 12, 1921 at Athens, Ohio
Home Town: Athens, Ohio

Price: $185.00 $160.00

Product Code: PatchUSN.019.VT19
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