Attack Squadron 46 (VA-46) was the first jet-equipped attack squadron and one of the last two light attack squadrons in the Navy.
VA-46 officially was established on 24 May 1955 in a ceremony at NAS Cecil Field, Florida. Equipped with the F9F-8 Cougar, the squadron deployed in 1956 for the first time on board the USS Randolph (CVA-15) with Air Task Group 202, taking the AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking missile on its first overseas deployment. Upon return, VA-46 upgraded to the new A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk jet attack aircraft in March 1958.
Over the next 33 years, VA-46 sailed on 23 major deployments--on board the USS Intrepid (CVA-11), the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42), the Shangri-la (CVA-38), the Saratoga (CVA-60), the Forrestal (CVA-59), the John F. Kennedy (CVA-67), the America (CV-66), and the Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).