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Marine squadrons were designated by letters and numbers that identified the squadron's role and organization, in a pre-war numbering scheme shared with the US Navy.
The first letter V stood for 'Heavier-than-air', Z stood for 'Lighter-than-air' i.e. dirigibles. The second letter M meant Marine Corps. No 2nd letter, by omission, meant Navy; thus VF-17 was a Navy Fighting Squadron. The third (and possible fourth) letters indicated the purpose of the squadron.
F = Fighting
SB = Scout Bombing
TB = Torpedo Bombing
O = Observation
J = Transport & Photographic
Thus, Marine Fighting Squadrons were identified by VMF, and night fighting squadrons by VMF(N).
This database contains all the Marine units that participated in WWll.
To see a list of all the squadrons in the database, click the Names List button above.
To find a particular squadron, search for its number, e.g. VMF-123.
To find all Fighter Squadrons: search for VMF
To find all Night Fighter Squadrons: search for VMF(N)
To find all Observation Squadrons: search for VMO
To find all Bomber Squadrons: search for VMB
To find all Torpedo Bomber Squadrons: search for VMTB
To find all Scout Bomber Squadrons: search for VMSB
To find all Transport Squadrons: search for VMJ and VMR
To find Miscellaneous Duty Squadron: search for VML
Note that restrictions on our hosting service mean you cannot search on less than 3 characters. So to search for VMJ-2 for example, use the full name, not just the 2.
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Blue headings = Sort on that column.
Scroll right to see all data. Last column is Links
Search now permitted on 2 character minimum (previously 3)
Try a sample Search for VMF-112 to see the database layout.