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US Marine Corps Squadrons WW2


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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

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#DesignationRoleNicknamesActivated (↑)DeactivatedAircraftCommanding OfficersAcesNotesPhotoLinks
1 VMF-112Fighter'Wolf Pack'1937-01-071945-10-09 Maj. Paul J. Fontana, May 1942 - Mar. 1943 Capt. Robert B. Fraser, Mar. - Jul. 1943 Maj. Herman Hansen, July 1943 Maj. Gregory Boyington, Jul. - Aug. 1943 Maj. Herman Hansen, Aug. 1943 - Aug. 1945 Jefferson J. DeBlanc, 9 aerial victories Archie Glenn Donahue, 14 Paul John Fontana, 5 Robert B. Fraser, 6 Wayne W. Laird, 5 Joseph P. Lynch, 5.5, also 2 other sqns John B. Maas Jr., 5.5, also VMF-322 Donald C. Owen, 5, also VMF-212 Gilbert Percy, 6 Wallace E. Sigler, 5.3, also VMF-124 Stanley T. "Chief" Synar, 5, also VMF-124 Franklin C. Thomas Jr., 9 Deploying shortly after to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands in their Grumman F4F Wildcats, the Wolfpack joined the Cactus Air Force with Marine Aircraft Group 11. On 31 January 1943 Jefferson J. DeBlanc downed five enemy aircraft in a single mission, and was awarded the Medal of Honor for this action. In recognition of its valor and its contributions to victory during its service on Guadalcanal, VMF-112 was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (US) for August 7 – December 9, 1942. VMF-112 was withdrawn from Guadalcanal to Espiritu Santo for a respite. There it began to switch to the Vought F4U-1 Corsair, the aircraft that it would fly for the rest of World War II. VMF-112 returned to the United States on September 5, 1943 and took up duty at MCAS Miramar, outside of San Diego. It was there that VMF-112 was redesignated VMF(CVS)-112, denoting that the squadron was carrier qualified. In December 1944, VMF-112 was assigned to Air Group 82 aboard USS Bennington for its second combat tour. In mid-May 1945, Lieutenant Robert Cook scored the only downing of a barrage balloon by a Marine squadron during the war when he shot one down over Kyūshū. By the completion of World War II, the Wolfpack was credited with the destruction of 140 Japanese aircraft in aerial combat, ranking it third among Marine Corps squadrons in terms of enemy aircraft destroyed. Following the surrender of Japan VMF-112 returned to the United States where it was deactivated on September 10, 1945. First echelon landed at Henderson Field Nov. 3, 1942. VMF-112 was credited with downing 140 enemy aircraft. Transitioned to Corsairs by May 19.
2 VMF-123Fighter'Eight Balls'1942-07-091945-10-09 F4F-3P Wildcat F4F-4 Wildcat F3A-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair VMF-123 was activated on September 7, 1942 at Camp Kearney. The squadron took delivery of 18 Grumman F4F Wildcats in December of that year. A large percentage of the squadron’s initial pilots came from the experienced VMF-121 hoping it would require them less time to become combat ready. The squadron left the United States on January 8, 1943 and were operating from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal less than a month later, flying their first combat mission on February 4, 1943. Because they were the last of the Marine fighter squadrons to arrive in the Solomon Islands, VMF-123 was the last of these eight squadrons to transition from the Grumman F4F Wildcat to the Vought F4U Corsair. In August 1943, the squadron moved to the new field at Munda in the Central Solomon Islands and flew their first mission from there on August 14, 1943. The arrival on Munda coincided with the landings on Vella Lavella which were constantly under attack from Japanese aircraft based on Bougainville. VMF-123 was one of many squadrons that fought Japanese aircraft for control of the skies over Vella Lavella. The squadron was split up in September 1943 with half remaining on Munda and the other half moving to a field in the Russell Islands. Their last mission in the South Pacific was flown in November 1943 and the squadron returned to the United States on December 14, 1943. VMF-123 spent almost all of 1944 resting and refitting. On December 31, 1944, the squadron, along with VMF-112 boarded the USS Bennington (CV-20) for their third combat tour. During this cruise, which last until June 16, 1945, they participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima, took part in the first carrier strikes against Tokyo since the Doolittle Raid in 1942, and participated in the entire Okinawa Campaign. During their cruise on the USS Bennington the squadron had seven pilots killed in action and five permanently listed as missing in action. Upon their return to the U.S., the squadron was based out of Marine Corps Air Station El Centro where they were teamed with VMTB-623 as they trained for the upcoming invasion of Japan. They were scheduled to deploy on board the USS Saidor (CVE-117) when the war ended. The squadron was deactivated shortly thereafter on September 10, 1945.
3 VMF-451Fighter'Blue Devils'1944-02-151945-10-09F3A-1 Corsair
FG-1 CorsairMajor Henry A. Ellis JrMajor Archie Donahue, Marine Fighting Squadron 451 (VMF-451) was activated on 15 February 1944 at Marine Corps Air Station Mojave, California. The 'Blue Devils' were one of 32 squadrons that trained at the base, and were collectively known as the "Mojave Marines". Equipped with the Chance-Vought F4U-1D Corsair, they spent nearly a year training for carrier-based operations under the command of Major Henry A. Ellis Jr., who remained the Commanding Officer for 17 months. The squadron moved on board USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) on 24 January 1945, along with VF-84 and VMF-221. This was the first fast-carrier deployment with three Corsair squadrons. As a new member of CVG-84, collectively known as the 'Wolf Gang', CV-17 sailed westward across the Pacific. They flew their first combat sorties on February 16, against targets near Tokyo. The 'Blue Devils' scored their first kill during the initial combat mission, but also suffered their first casualty. Lieutenant Forrest P. Brown was shot down by anti-aircraft fire, and was last seen floating in the water. On 18 March, they focused their fury on Kyushu, destroying the Myazaki and Omura air fields and bagging another kill. On 3 April, the 'Blue Devils' had a field day in knocking down 11 Japanese planes, and on 12 April, they brought down 16 kamikazes. Major Archie Donahue, the XO, shot down three Vals and two Zekes, thus becoming the first carrier-based Marine 'ace-in-a-day' and adding to the nine previous kills that he scored with VMF-112 in 1943. 11 May was pivotal for VMF-451 and the other 'Wolf Gang' members of Bunker Hill. It started on a positive note, as First Lieutenant J.S. Norris Jr. shot down a Zeke near Amami, bringing VMF-451’s score to 34 confirmed kills. At 1005 hours, Bunker Hill was struck by two kamikazes, each carrying a bomb that was released prior to impact. Bunker Hill immediately began to burn and the smoke attracted more kamikazes. However, none of the suicide planes were able to penetrate the flak, and Bunker Hill was spared any more hits. The flames were eventually extinguished and CV-17 limped back to Ulithi, then Pearl Harbor, and finally arrived for battle-damage repair at Puget Sound, Washington, on 3 June 1945. VMF-451 rejoined the ground echelon at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro to remain until the end of the war. They earned a Presidential Unit Citation for their efforts in the Japan, Bonins and Ryukyus campaigns, and were deactivated on 10 September 1945.
4 VMF-111Fighter'Devildogs'1941-01-071945-11-26 F4F-3 Wildcat
 F4F-4 Wildcat 
F4U-1 Corsair 
F4U-1D Corsair Marine Fighting Squadron 111 (VMF-111) was a reserve fighter squadron in the United States Marine Corps. The squadron was one of the first aviation squadrons in the Marine Corps and gained national attention in the 1930s as the Marine Corps show unit. The squadron fought in World War II and was later transferred to the Reserves where they fell under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 41 (MAG-41) and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing (4th MAW) while stationed at Naval Air Station Dallas, Texas. They were decommissioned on October 22, 1965.

The famous 'Ole 122', a Chance Vought F4U-1 of VMF-111, 'Devil Dogs', completed 100 dive-bombing missions against Japanese positions of the Marshall Islands. The only official citation ever given to an aircraft in World War II was presented to plane captains, Sgt's. Walter Eason and G.H. Miller by Major General L. E. Woods. The citation was then varnished into the cockpit. It logged more than 80,000 miles and 400 flying hours without having to return to base for mechanical trouble. Note the 100 missions markers under the cockpit. 'Ole 122' was returned to the States because of age. Squadron Flight Officer, Captain William C Bickel from Pennsylvania, was given orders to fly it around the country to the various plants that contributed parts to the finished Corsair.

5 VMF-113Fighter'Whistling Devils' 'Whistling Death'1943-01-071947-04-30F4F-3 Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair F4U-1D Corsair FM-1 Wildcat FG-1D CorsairMarine Fighter Squadron 113 (VMF-113) was a fighter squadron of the United States Marine Corps during World War II and in the Marine Forces Reserve until 1965. The squadron participated in aerial combat over the Marshall Islands in 1944 and took part in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. They were deactivated on April 30, 1947 following the end of World War II but were reactivated in the Reserves a few years later only to be deactivated for the last time in 1965.
6 VMF-114Fighter'Death Dealers'1943-09-15Active PostwarF4U-1 CorsairMarine All-Weather Fighter Squadron 114 was activated on July 11, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro. They remained on the West Coast of the United States until August 1943 when they transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii. In Hawaii, they continued their training until moving to Midway Island on December 18, 1943. They returned to Ewa in February 1944 and in March they moved first to Espiritu Santo and the Green Island. While there, they flew strike missions against Japanese garrisons that had been bypassed in the Bismarck Islands. The first major combat that VMF-114 took part in was the Battle of Peleliu. The squadron arrived on Peleliu on September 17, 1944 and provided most of the close air support (CAS) for Marine Corps forces during the course of the battle. They also provided the preparatory bombing and CAS for the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines when they assaulted Ngesebus during the battle.The terrain on the island, earlier judged unsuitable for anything but the costliest and most difficult advances, was made passable with the aid of preparatory fire-scouring by napalm bombs from 114. MajGen William H. Rupertus, the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division on Peleliu would say following the battle that the air support provided during the campaign was, "executed in a manner leaving little to be desired." Following the battle, they remained based on the island again assuming the role of attacking bypassed Japanese garrisons in the vicinity of the western Caroline Islands. The squadron remained in the area until they ceased combat operations on June 1, 1945.
7 VMF-115Fighter'Joe's Jokers'1943-08-15Active Postwar F4U-1 Corsair F4U-1D Corsair FG-1 Corsair Marine Fighting Squadron 115 (VMF-115) was organized on July 1, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara, California, as a F4U Corsair squadron.One of the Marine Corps most famous aces, Major Joseph Foss assumed command 16 days later. In May 1944 joined the Pacific campaign. VMF-115 was a contributor to the American victory in the Philippines providing close air support, fighter cover, and deep air strikes in Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. With over 18,000 flight hours during 5,856 combat sorties, VMF-115 was credited with shooting down 6½ enemy aircraft while losing 28 aircraft with nine pilots killed in action. To protect U.S. interests after the war and support Marines supervising the surrender of Japan, the squadron deployed to Peking, China. Communist troops began patterns of hostility leading to convoy coverage and "air presence" missions. 31 months after initial deployment, VMF-115 left the Pacific theater.
8 VMF-121Fighter1941-07-071945-09-09F4F-4 Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair F4U-1D Corsair FG-1 CorsairCapt. Leonard K. Davis, Mar. - Dec. 1942 Maj. Donald K. Yost, Jan. - Mar. 1943 Maj. Joseph N. Renner, Mar. 1943 Maj. Ray Vroome, Mar. - May 1943Robert M. Baker, 7 aerial victories Leonard K. Davis, 5 Cecil J. Doyle, 5 Kenneth Ford, 5 Joe Foss, 26 William B. Freeman, 6 Roger A. Haberman, 7 Gregory Loesch, 8.5 Herbert Long, 3 (plus 7 more in Corsairs) Thomas Mann, 10 William Marontate, 13 Joseph Narr, 8 Robert Bruce Porter, 3 (plus more with VMF(N)-542) Frank H. Presley, 6 Hunter Reinburg, 7 Perry L. Shuman, 6 Donald Yost, 6 (plus 2 more later in the war)Commissioned at Quantico in mid-1941. Four days after Pearl Harbor, the squadron headed for the West Coast.The forward flight echelon touched down at Guadalcanal in late September; all pilots arrived by Oct. 9, 1942. VMF-121 scored 160+ victories in Wildcats (the most of any USMC or Navy squadron) before transitioning to F4U Corsairs in June, 1943. After serving three combat tours in the Solomons, the squadron was re-organized. The new VMF-121 served at Peleliu from Sept. 1944 until the end of the war, including strikes against Yap. VMF-121 was credited with downing 208 Japanese planes.
9 VMF-122FighterCandystripers’1942-02-28Active Postwar F4F-4 Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair F4U-1D Corsair F3A-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair Capt. Elmer Brackett, Mar. 1942 - Apr. 1943 Maj. Gregory Boyington, Apr. - Jun. 1943 Maj. Herman Hansen, Jun. - Jul. 1943 Maj.. Robert B. Fraser, Jul. - Aug. 1943 Maj. Joseph Hunter Reinburg, Aug. 1943 - Jan. 1945 Maj. Francis E. Pierce, 1945 - Mar. 1945Herman Hansen Jr., 5.5 kills Ernest A. Powell, 5 Marine Fighter Squadron 122 (VMF-122) was commissioned on March 1, 1942 at Camp Kearny in San Diego, California. Outfitted with the F4F Wildcat, the squadron saw their first combat tour in October 1942. During this tour they were part of the Cactus Air Force at Henderson Field and also operated out of Espiritu Santo. In April 1943, while under the command of Major Pappy Boyington, the squadron transitioned to the F4U Corsair and accounted for 35½ kills. The squadron's first combat tour ended on July 23, 1943 after which they returned to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on August 16. For the next year after their return to the States, the squadron was reorganized and retrained at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro, California. For its second tour, VMF-122's flight echelon embarked upon the escort carrier USS Hollandia in July 1944 while the ground echelon steamed out on the USS Tryon. Beginning in October 1944 the echelons were reunited and began operating from an airstrip on Peleliu. At times they provided close air support for Marines during the Battle of Peleliu at distances of just over 1000 yards from where they took off. The squadrons ability to provide napalm and rockets, both new weapons systems, greatly aided in the destruction of the last Japanese strongholds on the island. For the remainder of the war they remained on the island conducting combat operations until August 1945. Some pilots landed at Henderson Field Nov. 13, 1942, for duty with VMF-121. The squadron operated in the Solomons from Nov. 1942 to July, 1943; it switched over to Corsairs by mid-June. After re-organizing at El Centro, it returned to Emirau and flew strikes against the Palaus in late 1944. VMF-122 claimed 35 Japanese airplanes.
10 VMF-124Fighter'Death's Head' 'Checkerboards'1942-07-091946-01-31 F4U-1 Corsair F3A-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair F6F-3 Hellcat First Corsair-equipped squadron, arrived Guadalcanal on Feb. 12, 1943, and escorted a rescue mission before lunch. Remained in the Solomons until Sept. 1943. Reorganized and trained at Mojave until Sept. 1944. In Jan. 1945 supported Philippine landings and struck Japan and Okinawa in early 1945. VMF-124 was credited with downing 78 Japanese airplanes.
11 VMF-155Fighter1945-01-311945-10-01Marine Observation Squadron 155 (VMO-155) was activated on October 1, 1942 as part of Marine Aircraft Group 13. The squadron was initially based in American Samoa and its first personnel came from VMSB-151. Their first complement of aircraft were SBC Helldiver biplane dive bomber and the J2F-5 Duck amphibious biplane. In December 1942, the bulk of the squadrons personnel were sent to Guadalcanal where they were assigned as replacements. A small cadre of six officers and fifteen enlisted men were retained in the squadron and ordered to Camp Kearny in San Diego, California to re-equip and train. Beginning in January 1943, VMO-155 began training on the F4F-3P Wildcat, a fighter specifically designed for photographic reconnaissance. During this time they also began receiving their carrier qualifications. In April 1943, with their training complete, a detachment from the squadron was ordered aboard the USS Nassau (CVE-16) to participate in the invasion of Attu in the Aleutian Islands. This operation made them the first Marine squadron to operate from an aircraft carrier during World War II and the only Marine squadron to operate in the North Pacific. Following the Operation in the Aleutians, the detachment rejoined the squadron in June 1943 and quickly moved to Marine Corps Air Station El Centro for further training. In February 1944, VMO-155 moved to Midway Atoll and became part of the local garrison. After four months on Midway, they were sent to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii. From MCAS Ewa, the squadron was again split up. This time the ground echelon was sent to Kwajalein and the flight echelon went to Roi. From these locations, for the rest of the war, the squadron took part in strikes against the Marshall Islands. On January 31, 1945, VMO-155 was redesignated Marine Fighting Squadron 155 (VMF-155). The squadron was deactivated on October 15, 1945, shortly after the cessation of hostilities with Japan.
12 VMF-211Fighter'Wake Avengers'1941-01-07Active Postwar F2A-3 Buffalo
F4F Wildcat
F4U-1 Corsair Maj. Paul A. Putnam, Nov. - Dec. 1941 Maj. Luther "Sam" Moore, Dec. 1941 - Aug. 1942 Maj. Radford C. West, Aug. - Oct. 1942 Maj. Charles N. Endweiss, Oct. 1942 - Apr. 1943 Maj. Harold J. Mitchener, Apr. - Jul. 1943 Maj. Robert A. Harvey, Jul. 1943 - Jan. 1944 John C. Hundley, 6 Julius W. Ireland, 5.3 One of the oldest Marine Fighting Squadrons, redesignated from VMF-2 in July, 1941, the flight echelon of the squadron was wiped out at Wake Island in December, 1941. Immediately re-built, the squadron went to Palmyra for base defense duty. In Oct. 1943, flight echelon moved to Russells. From late 1943 through 1944, it was based in the Solomons. VMF-211 claimed the aerial destruction of 91 enemy aircraft.
13 VMF-212Fighter'Musketeers'1942-01-031946-03-01 F4F-3 Wildcat F4F-4 Wildcat FM-1 Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair F4U-4 Corsair Maj. Harold W. Bauer, Mar. - Nov. 1942 Maj. Frederick R. Payne, Nov. 1942 - Feb, 1943 Capt. Robert F. Stout, Feb. - Apr. 1943 Maj. Richard Hughes, Apr. - May 1943 Maj. Stewart B. O'Neill, Jr., Jun. - Dec. 1943 Maj. Hugh McJ. Elwood, Jan. - Apr. 1944 Harold W. Bauer, 11 aerial victories William A. Carlton, 5 Jack E. Conger, 10 Philip Cunliffe De Long, 11.2 Frank C. Drury, 6 Hugh McJ. Elwood, 5.2 Loren D. Everton, 12 Henry B. Hamilton, 7 John McManus, 6 Donald C. Owen, 5 Frederick R. Payne, 7.5 Francis E. Pierce Jr., 6 George H. Poske, 5 Robert F. Stout, 6 Operated out of Guadalcanal Sep. - Nov. 1942. Eight of its pilots flew on Temporary Attached Duty with VMF-223, starting on Aug.30. The squadron was commissioned Mar. 1, 1942 at Ewa, and moved up to Efate (the front line at the time) in four weeks. After completing its stint at Guadalcanal in Nov. 1942, VMF-212 returned to the West Coast. By August, 1943, it was back in the Solomons, now flying Corsairs. They covered the landings on Bougainville, and a month later its ground crew was operating out of Torokina. It remained in the Solomons through the end of 1944. VMF-212 claimed the aerial destruction of 132 Japanese planes.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212 was activated as Marine Fighting Squadron 212 (VMF-212), the "Hell Hounds", at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii on March 1, 1942. Deploying in May to the South Pacific in their F4F Wildcats, the squadron was stationed at Tontouta on the island of New Caledonia, and later moved up to the island of Efate. As preparations for the invasion of Guadalcanal increased, the squadron operated a detachment at Espiritu Santo until the arrival of VMO-251 ensured that the island was provided with adequate aerial defense. During the early part of the Guadalcanal campaign, VMF-212 sent detachments to operate with Cactus Air Force squadrons deployed to Henderson Field until the entire squadron was committed to the battle in mid-October. The squadron acquired an enviable record by destroying 64 1/2 enemy planes including that of Toshio Ohta, a Japanese ace. Of this number, LtCol Harold "Indian Joe" Bauer, the squadron's first Commanding Officer, was credited with 11 kills and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor. The squadron returned to the United States in November 1942 and remained on the West Coast until June 1943 when they sailed for Midway Atoll. The squadron remained on Midway for two months and then returned to Espiritu Santo. By August 1943, VMF-212 was back in the Solomon Islands where they participated in the campaigns to retake Vella Lavella and Bougainville. From October 20 through November 27, 1943 the squadron was based out of Barakoma and supported operations in the Treasury Islands, Choiseul and Bougainville. By December 1943 they moved to Torokina and remained there until they moved again on January 20, 1944 this time to Piva. Another move came on March 20 when they transited to Green Island and later back to Vella Lavella. 212 remained in the vicinity of the Solomons and Bismarck Islands for the remainder of 1944 running fighter sweeps against the Japanese garrison on Rabaul and providing close air support for ground forces on Bougainville. On January 8, 1945, VMF-212 landed on Samar and provided close air support for United States Army troops during the campaign to retake the Philippines. During this time they flew over Mindoro, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. It was also during this time that the squadron was a part of one of the worst aviation accidents of the war. At 0940 AM on January 24, 1945, while taking off, 1stLt Karl Oerth of VMF-222 hit a lump in the runway, blew a tire and his Corsair careened wildly into his own squadron's revetment area, which was shared with VMF-212. It completely wiped out the tents housing the intelligence, oxygen, parachutes and materiel departments. Many men attempted to rescue the pilot but while they were making this brave effort the plane exploded and set off all its .50 cal ammunition. 14 men were killed and over 50 wounded during this incident. In June 1945 the squadron arrived at Okinawa on the USS Hillsborough County (LST-827) and conducted operations from there until the end of the war. During the duration of World War II, VMF-212 was credited with shooting down 132 1/2 enemy aircraft.

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Bauer and VMF-221 were transported to Hawaii and were slated to reinforce Wake Island, but were diverted to Midway after Wake fell. Transferred to Hawaii in February 1942, Bauer took command of Marine Fighting Squadron Two Eleven stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa and on March 1, 1942 commissioned and took command of Marine Fighting Squadron Two Twelve (VMF-212). Promoted to Major on April 29, 1942, Bauer and VMF-212 were deployed to the South Pacific and were stationed at New Caledonia, and later Efate. Although still the commanding officer of VMF-212, Bauer was responsible for the operation of the airfield the squadron operated from and was utilized to select possible sites for additional airfields in the South Pacific. Bauer's promotion to LtCol, after only three months as a Major was effective August 7. On September 28, 1942, LtCol Bauer performed the first feat cited for the Medal of Honor. His squadron was attacked by a superior force of Japanese planes on that day. He engaged the enemy and shot down one of their bombers. Again attacking a superior force on October 3, he shot down four of the enemy and left a fifth badly damaged. While leading a reinforcement flight on October 16, from Espirito Santo to Guadalcanal, 600 miles away, LtCol Bauer was about to land at Henderson Field when he noticed a squadron of Japanese planes attacking the USS McFarland off shore. Though the long flight from Espirito Santo had almost exhausted his fuel and he knew no friendly planes were able to assist him, he immediately proceeded alone to attack the enemy and succeeded in destroying four of them before lack of gasoline forced him to return to Henderson Field. On November 14, he was forced to ditch his plane over water after downing two of the enemy in an attack 100 miles off Guadalcanal. He was last seen in the water in his Mae West (a water flotation device) and did not appear to be seriously hurt. Days of intense searching by planes and Russell Island natives failed to locate any further trace of him. The squadron under his command at Guadalcanal was officially credited with downing 92 Japanese planes and helping to sink two destroyers. LtCol Bauer was commended for his action in the South Pacific by commanders of Army, Navy and Marine Corps units including Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr., then Commander of the South Pacific Area and South Pacific Force.

Medal of Honor Citation Lt.Col Harold Bauer
For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous courage as Squadron Commander of Marine Fighting Squadron TWO TWELVE in the South Pacific Area during the period May 10 to November 14, 1942. Volunteering to pilot a fighter plane in defense of our positions on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, Lieutenant Colonel Bauer participated in two air battles against enemy bombers and fighters outnumbering our force more than two-to-one, boldly engaged the enemy and destroyed one Japanese bomber in the engagement of September 28 and shot down four enemy fighter planes in flames on October 3 leaving a fifth smoking badly. After successfully leading twenty-six planes in the over-water ferry flight of more than six hundred miles on October 16, Lieutenant Colonel Bauer, while circling to land, sighted a squadron of enemy planes attacking the U. S. S. McFARLAND. Undaunted by the formidable opposition and with valor above and beyond the call of duty, he engaged the entire squadron and, although alone and his fuel supply nearly exhausted, fought his plane so brilliantly that four of the Japanese planes were destroyed before he was forced down by lack of fuel. His intrepid fighting spirit and distinctive ability as leader and an airman, exemplified in his splendid record of combat achievement, were vital in the successful operations in the South Pacific Area. /S/FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

14 VMF-213Fighter'Hellhawks'
'Warhawks'
1942-01-071946-04-24 F4U-1 Corsair F3A-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair F6F-3 Hellcat F6F-5 Hellcat F6F-3P Hellcat Maj. Wade H. Britt, Oct. 1942 - Apr. 1943 Maj. Gregory J. Weissenberger, Apr. - Aug. 1943 Maj. James R. Anderson, Aug. - Oct. 1943 Capt. Leonard W. McCleary, Oct. - Nov. 1943 Maj. Stanley R. Bailey, Nov. 1943 Capt. James R. Wallace, Nov. - Dec. 1943 James N. Cupp, 13 planes downed Sheldon O. Hall, 6 John L. Morgan Jr., 8.5 Edward O. Shaw, 13 Wilbur J. Thomas, 18.5 Milton N. Vedder, 6 Gregory J. Weissenberger, 5 Squadron left for Espiritu in Feb. 1943 and promptly transitioned to F4U Corsairs. It moved up to Guadalcanal in April. Its CO, Major Britt, was killed in a take-off accident that month. In June, it relieved VMF-124 in the Russells. Continued flying in the Solomons until Dec. 43. Re-formed at Mojave and trained at Ewa in 1944. In Jan. 1945 supported Philippine landings and struck Japan and Okinawa in early 1945. VMF-213 was credited with downing 117 enemy aircraft.

Artist unknown, 'VMF-213.' Ca. 1944, mixed media, 13.875 x 11 in. From: National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia. NMMC Accession Number 2014.96.48.
15 VMF-214Fighter'Swashbucklers' 'Black Sheep'1942-01-07Active PostwarFG-1 Corsair Capt. George F. Britt, Jul. 1942 - Jun. 1943 Maj. Gregory Boyington, Sep. - Dec. 1943 Maj. Stanley R. Bailey, Apr. 1944 - Jun. 1945 Pappy Boyington, 22 kills Jack Bolt, 6 Bill Case, 8 Don Fisher, 6 Alvin J. Jensen, 7 Chris Magee, 9 Hank McCartney, 5 Bob McClurg, 7 Paul Mullen, 6.5 Ed Olander, 5 Hartwell V. Scarborough, 5 Pappy Boyington's Squadron. Original ‘Swashbucklers’ squadron, flying F4F Wildcats, operated from Guadalcanal from March to May, 1943. It was one of the last VMF's to changeover from Wildcats to Corsairs, doing so by June 19, 1943. Boyington's famous Black Sheep' squadron began combat in Sept. 1943. It earned a Presidential Unit Citation for its actions in the Solomons. After reorganization, VMF-214 served on Franklin when it was hit by a kamikaze in March, 1945. VMF-214 claimed the aerial destruction of 127 Japanese planes.


16 VMF-215 Capt. James L. Neefus, Jul, 1942 - Sep. 1943 Lt. Col. Herbert H. Williamson, Oct. - Dec. 1943 Maj. Robert G. Owens, Dec. 1943 - Feb. 1944 Maj. James K. Dill, Feb. - Jun. 1944 Maj. Benjamin S. Hargrave, Jun. - Aug. 1944 Maj. William P. Boland, Nov. 1944 - Feb. 1945 Donald N. Aldrich, 20 Richard Lane Braun, 5 Creighton Chandler, 6 Arthur Roger Conant, 6 Robert Murray Hanson, 25 Edwin James Hernan Jr., 8 Robert G. Owens Jr., 7 George H. Poske, 5, also VMF-212 Harold L. Spears, 15 Arthur T. Warner, 8 Gerard M.H. Williams, 7 Originally a Scout Bombing squadron, it was redesignated at a fighter squadron in Sept. 1942. Passed thru Hawaii and Midway in early 1943, on its way to the Solomons. While still based at Espiritu, began combat missions over the Solomons in late July, 1943. Moved its base progressively forward: to Munda, Vella Lavella, then Torokina. Reorganized in March, 1944 and returned to Bougainville. After Oct. 1944, served stateside as a replacement training squadron. VMF-215 was credited with downing 137 enemy aircraft.
17 VMF-216Fighter'Bulldogs'1942-01-011945-10-03 F4F-4 Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair F6F-3 Hellcat F6F-5 Hellcat Marine Fighting Squadron 216 was formed at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro, California in January 1943 but was not officially commissioned until September 16, 1943 with Major Rivers J. Morrell, Jr. in command. Initially training in FM-1 Wildcats, they transitioned to the Vought F4U-1 Corsair and operated roughly 18 of these aircraft at any one time. VMF-216 was the first squadron to land at the recently opened Torokina Airfield on December 10, 1943. By this time they had at least partially transitioned to the F4U-1A Corsair, featuring a bubble canopy. On August 4, 1944, VMF-216 joined VMF(N)-534, VMF-217, and VMF-225 on Guam following the invasion of the island by United States forces. Following this, they were based on the Essex Class aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-18) starting in early February 1945 and participated in the Battle of Iwo Jima. They remained aboard until Wasp retired to the west coast for overhaul of battle damage. The squadron was deactivated on March 10, 1945.
18 VMF-217Fighter'Max's Wild Hares'1942-09-151946-10-03F4U-1 Corsair
F6F-5E Hellcat VMF-217 was activated at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro, California on September 15, 1942. The squadron did the majority of its training on the F4F Wildcat as there was a shortage of F4U Corsairs. They remained there and trained until December 12, 1943 when they went to Naval Air Station North Island, only to be embarked on the USS Barnes (CVE-20) a week later for transit to the Pacific Theater. The squadron arrived on Espiritu Santo on January 5, 1944, and soon moved to Bougainville on January 28, 1944. Two days later the squadron began striking the bypassed Japanese garrison at Rabaul. The flight echelon returned to Espiritu Santo on March 19, 1944 and remained until June 1, 1944 when they embarked on the USS Santee (CVE-29), USS Cetus (AK-77) and a few other ships for a voyage to Guam. The successful conclusion of the Solomon Islands campaign and the neutralization of Rabaul meant that there was an excess of Marine Fighter Squadrons available in the Pacific at this time. Beginning on August 7, 1944, the squadron commenced strikes against the island of Rota. All personnel from VMF-217 were ashore on Guam by August 20, 1944. On February 16, 1945, the squadron took part in a raid on Tokyo as part of Task Force 58. Taking off from the USS Wasp (CV-18) they, along with their sister squadron VMF-216, participated in an attack on the airfields at Yokosuka and Tateyama. After the Tokyo bombing, the squadron went to Iwo Jima to provide close air support for the Marines on the ground during the battle.

Leon Schlesinger Productions, VMF-217, Screen Print & Casein, 11.125 x 13.125 in. From: National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia. NMMC Accession Number 2014.96.52.
19 VMF-218Fighter'Hellions'1943-09-151949-12-31F4U-1D Corsair
FG-1 CorsairVMF-218 was organized at Marine Corps Air Station Mojave, California on July 1, 1943 and officially commissioned September 15, 1943. They departed the United States in December 1943 on board the USS Barnes (CVE-20) and arrived at Espiritu Santo on January 5, 1944. Their first combat action took place on February 15 when they covered the allied landing on Green Island. On April 27 the squadron moved to Green Island where they remained until November. During their time on Green Island the squadron was one of a number of Marine squadrons that let a then civilian contractor Charles Lindbergh fly strikes against the Japanese garrison at Rabaul. In November they moved to Leyte to take part in the campaign to retake the Philippines. December 1944 would see the squadron as part of Task Force 38 in the Philippine Sea conducting strikes against Southern Luzon. During December they also patrolled the air over shipping in Leyte Gulf and Ormoc Bay flew cover over American convoys in various Philippine waters, escorted South Pacific Combat Air Transport (SCAT) planes over Ormoc where they had dropped supplies to ground troops, flew cover for Army ground forces on Mindoro and Cebu Islands; had covered the landing by Army troops at Zamboanga, chalked up a number of close support missions on Mindanao, escorted rescue planes and transport planes to Mindanao, provided air cover for SBD Dauntless strikes and regularly took part in combat air patrols. From Tacloban the squadron took part in escorting naval convoys, close air support (CAS) and attacks on Iliolo. On March 10, 1945, VMF-218 covered the allied landings at Zamboanga where they would then be based. From the airstrip at Zamboanga the squadron flew CAS at Capisan and conducted strikes against Bongao and Jolo. April would see more strikes against Cotabato, Parang and Malabang and there would be continued strikes against Mindanao until the surrender of Japan.
20 VMF-221Fighter'Fighting Falcons'1941-11-071945-10-09 F2A-3 Buffalo F4F-3 Wildcat F4F-4 Wildcat F3A-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair F4U-1 Corsair Maj. William E. Gise, Sep. 1942 - May 1943 Maj. William H. Pace, Jun. - Jul. 1943 Maj. William A. Millington, Jul. 1943 - Mar. 1945 Donald Luther Balch, 5 enemy planes shot down Frank B. Baldwin, 5 Dean Caswell, 7 Eugene Dillow, 6 Albert C. Hacking Jr., 5 Jack Pittman Jr., 7 Nathan T. Post, 8 Harold E. Segal, 12 William N. Snider, 11.5 James E. Swett, 15.5 The original VMF-221, under the command of Major Floyd Parks, was wiped out at Midway. The re-organized squadron arrived at Guadalcanal in Feb. 1943. It earned a Presidential Unit Citation for its heroic sacrifice at Midway. Transitioned to Corsairs by May 19, 1943. VMF-221 claimed the aerial destruction of 185 enemy aircraft, the second highest-scoring VMF.
21 VMF-222Fighter'Flying Duces'1942-01-031946-03-01 F2A-2 Buffalo F2A-3 Buffalo F4F-3 Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair F4U-4 Corsair Capt. Max J. Volcansek, Sep. 1942 - Nov. 1943 Maj. Roy T. Spurlock, Apr. 1944 - Apr. 1945 Charles David Jones, 6 aerial victories Donald H. Sapp, 11 Commissioned in March, 1942 at Midway. Flight echelon to Guadalcanal on Sept. 3, 1943. Participated in Solomons campaign and reduction of Rabaul until Jan. 1945. To Okinawa in May 1945. VMF-222 shot down 53 Japanese planes. VMF-222 was commissioned on March 1, 1942, at Midway Atoll. They were originally formed from members of VMF-221 and were part of Marine Aircraft Group 22. The squadron was transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii in April 1942 and remained until September 1942 when they returned to the United States. Pilots of VMF-222 aboard AV-9 Pocomoke during the voyage between San Diego and Pearl Harbor, February 1943. US Navy Photo 80-G-38594 Following the Battle of the Green Islands, on March 13, 1944, VMF-222 landed on the newly constructed airfield on Green Island along with VMF-223. From here they participated in the allied effort to isolate the Japanese bases on Rabaul and Kavieng. In May and June of that year Charles Lindbergh, while in the area as a civilian technician, flew combat sorties with the squadron. Between April and June 1945, VMF-222 operated from Samar in the Philippines. These missions were in a fighter-bomber capacity. Remains of the Corsair that crashed at 0940 AM on January 24, 1945 piloted by 1st Lt Karl Oerth It was during this time that the squadron was a part of one of the worst aviation accidents of the war. At 0940 AM on January 24, 1945, while taking off, 1stLt Karl Oerth hit a lump in the runway, blew a tire and his Corsair careened wildly into his own squadron's revetment area, which was shared with VMF-212. It completely wiped out the tents housing the intelligence, oxygen, parachutes and materiel departments. Many men attempted to rescue the pilot but while they were making this brave effort the plane exploded and set off all its .50 cal ammunition. 14 men were killed and over 50 wounded during this incident. By early May 1945 the need for air support in the central Philippines had decreased and VMF-222, was transferred to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing on the island of Okinawa.
22 VMF-223Fighter'Rainbow'1942-01-05Active Postwar F2A-3 Buffalo F4F-3 Wildcat F4F-4 Wildcat FM-1 Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair F4U-4 Corsair Capt. John L. Smith, May - Dec. 1942 Marion Eugene Carl, 18.5 aerial victories Kenneth D. Frazier, 12.5 Fred E. Gutt, 8 Charles Kendrick, 5 Hyde Phillips, 5 Zenneth A. Pond, 6 Orvin H. Ramlo, 5 Capt. John L. Smith, 19 Eugene A. Trowbridge, 12 The first fighter squadron in the Solomons, arriving on August 20, 1942. After heroic service with the Cactus Air Force, the squadron left for home on Oct. 16. In 1944, VMF-223 participated in the aerial siege of Rabaul; in Jan. 1945 it participated in the liberation of the Philippines. VMF-223 was credited with downing 132 Japanese planes.
23 VMF-224Fighter'Fighting Wild Cats'1942-01-05Active Postwar F2A-3 Buffalo F4F Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair Maj. Robert Galer, May - Dec. 1942 Maj. Darrell Irwin, Dec. 1942 - Aug. 1944 Maj. Howard York, Aug. - Dec. 1944 Maj. James Poindexter, Dec. 1944 - May 1945 John Dobbin, 8 aerial victories Robert E. Galer, 13 George L. Hollowell, 8 Charles Murphy Kunz, 8 Joseph P. Lynch, 5.5 (also scored with 2 other squadrons) The other early-arriving fighter squadron of the Cactus Air Force, landing at Henderson Field Aug. 30, 1942. It had been organized on May 1, in the post-Pearl Harbor expansion of Marine air. 224 fought at Guadalcanal for two months, rotating home on Nov. 1. After some time stateside, VMF-224 returned to the Pacific, attacking the by-passed Japanese held Marshalls in 1944. VMF-224 claimed the aerial destruction of 115 enemy aircraft.
24 VMF-225Fighter1943-01-01Active PostwarF4F-3 Wildcat
F4U-1 Corsair Marine Fighting Squadron 225 (VMF-225) was commissioned January 1, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Mojave, California. From August 1944 to January 1945, the F4U Corsairs of VMF-225 participated in numerous combat operations in the New Hebrides Islands.
25 VMF-251Fighter'Lucifer's Messengers'1945-03-011945-01-06In 1944, VM)-251 squadron transitioned to the F4U Corsair, and was re-designated Marine Fighter Squadron 251 (VMF-251) in February 1945. 22 F4U Corsairs from the squadron landed on Samar on 2 January 1945 as part of Marine Aircraft Group 14 (MAG-14) and continued operations in the Philippines until May 1, 1945 when it flew its last combat mission of World War II while supporting clean-up operations at Leyte. The squadron's excellent performance during this time can be drawn from an award write up by the then Commanding Officer of MAG-14, Colonel Zebulon Hawkins, in which he noted, "During the month of January 1945 . . . this squadron [23 planes] flew 626 combat flights, totaling 2,403 hours. Since... 1 October 1944, until 15 February 1945, this... ground crew has maintained in commission 98% of the squadron's assigned aircraft. Not once, from June 1944, has it failed to execute an assigned mission because of failure to have the necessary planes in commission... Since 23 July 1944... this squadron has not lost a plane or pilot because of failure or malfunctioning of its aircraft ."
26 VMF-311Fighter'Hell's Belles'1942-01-12Active PostwarF4U-1 Corsair Maj. Harry Hooper, Sep. 1943 - Oct. 1944 Maj. Charles M. Kunz, Oct. 1944 - Feb. 1945 Maj. Perry L. Shuman, Feb. - Jun. 1945 Maj. Michael R. Yunck, Jun. - Sep. 1945 William Perry Brown Jr., 7 Michael R. Yunck, 5 Born during the national call-to-arms immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Marine Fighting Squadron 311 (VMF-311) was first commissioned on 1 December 1942, assigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and headquartered at MCAS Cherry Point. Quickly transitioning from a training squadron flying the SNJ Texan to a combat squadron flying the F4U Corsair, VMF-311 participated in what was one of the earliest American catapult operations involving the Corsair when 21 F4U’s launched from the USS Nassau (CVE-16) on October 6, 1943. By this time the squadron formed part of MAG-31. During World War II, VMF-311 was one of the first to utilize and develop tactics for the Corsair in a ground attack mode, foreshadowing the squadron’s future role as an attack squadron. Indicative of its combat effectiveness the squadron destroyed 71 Japanese aircraft in a four-month period during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. The end of World War II saw VMF-311 leaving Chimu Airfield on Okinawa to start occupational duty flying from Yokosuka airfield on Japan's mainland. Arrived Kwajalein, Marshalls in Feb. 1944. To Okinawa's Yontan airfield Apr. 7, 1945 VMF-311 was credited with downing 71 enemy aircraft.
27 VMF-312Fighter'Days' Knights' 'Checkerboard'1943-01-06Active PostwarF4U-1D Corsair
FG-1 Corsair Maj. Richard M. Day, Jun. 1943 - May 1945 William Farrell, 5 Herbert J. Valentine, 6 Marine Fighter Squadron 312 (VMF-312) was commissioned on June 1, 1943, at Page Field, Parris Island, South Carolina. Originally it was part of MAG-31, 1st MAW. As first aircraft the squadron received 10 SNJ-4 Texans and one F4U-1D Corsair. As their unit crest the squadron members choose a satan-like bulldog wearing a flying helmet and carrying -at that time- six .50 caliber machineguns (the armament of the Corsair) drawn by Technical Sergeant James R. Wroble. In honor of their commanding officer, Major Richard M. Day, the men nicknamed their squadron "Day's Knights". Also at this time, the Checkerboards emblem began to appear on both the cowling and rudder of the aircraft.[3] After being transferred in August 1943 to MAG-32, 3rd MAW, the squadron relocated to San Diego, California, and departed Parris Island on January 2, 1944, and headed for Miramar. They departed MCAS Miramar on February 28, 1944 and headed for Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on Hawai. VMF-312 trained at Ewa for 3 months and then headed out for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides to become part of MAG-11, 2nd MAW.[5] Assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 11 on June 25, 1944, the squadron was transported to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, where they received 24 FG-1 Corsairs. VMF-312's first combat action came on April 12, 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa as part of Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG-33), when four squadron aircraft intercepted 20 Japanese Zeros and achieved eight kills without a loss.[6] VMF-312 continued to operate from Kadena Air Base on Okinawa until the cessation of hostilities. By war's end, the squadron had accounted for 59.5 air combat kills in the Pacific Theater. Between September 1945 and February 1946 VMF-312 participated in the occupation force stationed on Okinawa. To Okinawa's Yontan airfield Apr. 6, 1945 VMF-312 was credited with downing 59 Japanese planes, mostly kamikazes.
28 VMF-313Fighter 'Lily Packin' Hellbirds' 'Lilly Packin' Death Falcons' 1943-01-101945-01-06F4U-1 Corsair Marine Fighting Squadron 313 (VMF-313) was a reserve fighter squadron in the United States Marine Corps. They were a part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing and stationed at Naval Air Station New York. They fought in World War II mainly during the Philippines Campaign, 1944-45. The squadron was decommissioned in the 1950s. VMF-313 was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro on October 1, 1943. They trained there until May 1944 when they moved to Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean. There they continued to train including training with Charles Lindbergh in April 1944. In July 1944, the squadron flew to Emirau in the Solomon Islands and began to attack Japanese shipping in the area around Kavieng. They arrived at Tacloban Airfield on Leyte on December 3, 1944 as part of Marine Aircraft Group 12. During the Philippines Campaign, 1944-45 the squadron lost 16 of its F4U-Corsairs. In one notable incident while in the Philippines, Major Theodore Olsen, took off in a plane that had over 300 patches from earlier missions. The plane failed while airborne and Olsen was killed after he hit the tail while bailing out. During the War, VMF-313 was credited with destroying nine enemy aircraft in aerial combat.

Lt. William Long, 'VMF-313.' 1944, casein & ink, 10.125 x 9.125 in. From: National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia. NMMC Accession Number 2014.96.68
29 VMF-314Fighter'Bob's Cats'1943-01-101947-03-04F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair Marine Fighting Squadron 314 (VMF-314) was commissioned on October 1, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. The squadron was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 32 (MAG 32) flying the F4U Corsair and began training immediately for combat in the South Pacific. In February 1944, the squadron, along with VMF-324, was among the first units aboard Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Field Kinston. They left MCAAF Kinston for the Pacific theater and arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on June 18, 1944 and were reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 23, 3rd MAW. From there they deployed to Midway Atoll. VMF-314 returned to MCAS Ewa in December 1944 and remained there until April 1945, when they moved to Ie Shima in May 1945 to take part in the Battle of Okinawa as part of Marine Aircraft Group 22 (MAG-22).[4] During the ensuing campaign, VMF-314 pilots were credited with 11 kills and the squadron was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.[6] After the surrender of Japan, VMF-314 moved to Kyūshū, Japan as part of the occupation force. VMF-314 returned to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in November 1945 and in March 1946 they arrived back at MCAS Cherry Point. For a short time they were reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 22 (MAG-22), 9th Marine Aircraft Wing but were decommissioned on April 30, 1947.
30 VMF-321Fighter'Hell's Angels'1943-01-021946-01-28 F4U-1 Corsair
 F6F-3 Hellcat 
F6F-5 Hellcat Maj. Gordon H. Knott, Feb. - Sep. 1943 Maj. Edmund F. Overend, Oct. 1943 - Oct. 1944 Maj. Justin M. Miller, Oct. 1944 - Mar. 1945 Maj. William P. Boland, Mar. 1945 - date of surrender Edmund F. Overend, 3 (plus 5.3 with AVG) Robert Byron First Lieutenant Robert B. See made the squadron's first kill four days after arriving on the island. While in the Solomon's, the "Hell's Angels" amassed a record of 39 kills of Japanese aircraft and an additional 11 probables, with only eight aircraft lost. At one time the squadron was scoring at least one kill and/or one probable a day with its F4U Corsair aircraft. Captain J. R. Norman once downed four planes in a single day. Major Edmund F. Overend, the squadron's Commanding Officer, who had come to the squadron with 5.83 credited kills from his services with the American Volunteer Group in China accounted for three more confirmed kills. The squadron transferred north to the area around Guam, where pilots took over "milk run" bombings of neighboring islands and played a major role in knocking out Japanese bases from which attacks against American bomber bases were being launched. Flight echelon to Barakoma (New Georgia group) Dec. 24, 1943. VMF-321 was credited with downing 39 Japanese planes.
31 VMF-322Fighter'Fighting Cocks'1943-01-071949-11-30F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair Marine Fighting Squadron 322 (VMF-322) was established on July 1, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point flying the F4U Corsair. In the fall of that year they moved to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina to continue their training. They moved again in January, 1944 to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii. In October, 1944, the squadron became part of Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG-33) when they moved to Espiritu Santo. The squadron was part of the Battle of Okinawa and on April 3, 1945 over 150 of its members were killed when its lead support element was struck by a Kamikaze. They rebounded quickly and were able to fly their first combat mission on April 9, 1945. VMF-322 remained on Okinawa for the rest of the war as they made bombing runs over the Japanese mainland. Following the war, the squadron moved to Midway Island in November 1945 where they remained as part of Marine Aircraft Group 44 (MAG-44) until they were deactivated on November 30, 1949.
32 VMF-323Fighter'Death Rattlers'1943-01-08Active PostwarF4U-1 Corsair Maj. George C. Axtell, Aug. 1943 - Jun. 1945 Stuart C. Alley Jr., 5 George C. Axtell, 6 Joseph V. Dillard, 6.3 Jefferson D. Dorroh, 6 Charles W. Drake, 5 Dewey F. Durnford, 6.3 William L. Hood, 5.5 Jeremiah J. O'Keefe, 7 John W. Ruhsam, 7 Francis A. Terrill, 6.1 Robert Wade, 7 Albert P. Wells, 5 Commissioned in Aug. 1943. Forward echelon at Okinawa on Apr. 2, 1945 VMF-323 was credited with downing 124 Japanese planes, tops among Marine squadrons operating in 1945. VMF-323 was commissioned 1 August 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. According to oral history, the squadron got its name from three fighter pilots who killed a 6-foot rattlesnake and hung its skin in the squadron's ready room. VMF-323 began training in F4U Corsairs almost immediately for combat in the Pacific theater of World War II. Much of the new squadron's training was done at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro and Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California. In July 1944, the Death Rattlers departed for the Pacific aboard the USS Long Island (CVE-1). For the next nine months, VMF-323 flew training missions from secure island bases in the South Pacific. On 9 April 1945, the Death Rattlers flew into Kadena airfield in support of Operation Iceberg during the Battle of Okinawa. Combat operations commenced the following day. Between then and the Japanese surrender in August, the Death Rattlers racked up 124 Japanese planes shot down without a single loss. Twelve Death Rattlers became aces.
33 VMF-324Fighter1943-01-101945-10-15F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair 1 Oct 1943 VMF-324 was established at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina and attached to Marine Aircraft Group 32, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. 15 Oct 1945 VMF-324 was disestablished at Marine Corps Air Depot, Miramar, California.

October 1, 1943 VMF-324 was established at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina and attached to Marine Aircraft Group 32, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. October 12, 1943 VMF-324 moved for training to Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Facility, (Oak Grove) Pollocksville, North Carolina (near Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point). Later that month the Squadron was transferred. November 11, 1943 Reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 34, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force to New Bern, North Carolina Simmons Knott Field. Later that month the Squadron was transferred to Mitchell Field, New Bern, North Carolina. April 1, 1944 VMF-324 was detached from the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing and joined the 9th Marine Aircraft Wing. July 15, 1944 Detached from the 9th Marine Aircraft Wing and departed from Marine Corps Air Facility, Kinston, North Carolina for Marine Corps Air Depot, Miramar, San Diego, California. July 20, 1944 VMF-324 arrived at Miramar and attached to Marine Fleet Air, West Coast for pre-combat training. August 31, 1944 Detached from Marine Fleet Air, West Coast and sailed from San Diego for Ewa, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii for staging to Midway Island. September 6, 1944 VMF-324 joined Marine Aircraft Group 23, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. September 10 - 16, 1944 VMF-324 arrived at Midway. At Midway the Squadron acted as training and replacement unit for the Pacific theatre. September 1, 1945 Transferred in increments to Headquarters Squadron, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force at Ewa, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii.

34 VMF-351Fighter1945-02-011945-09-11 The squadron was originally activated as Marine Observation Squadron 351 (VMO-351) on March 1, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. The squadron was moved to Bogue Field in May 1944 and was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 51 (MAG-51). They trained to take part in Operation Crossbow - Project Danny which was a plan to have carrier based Marine squadrons attack German V-1 Rocket sites. This plan was cancelled and in September 1944 the squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station Mojave. In early December 1944, VMO-351 went aboard the USS Ranger (CV-4) for carrier qualifications. During this time they were redesignated VMO(CVS)-351. Following qualification they embarked aboard the USS Commencement Bay (CVE-105) and were quickly redesignated Marine FIghting Squadron 351 (VMF-351) in February 1945. During its combat tour the squadron provided aerial cover for minesweeping activity and bomber strikes in the East China Sea area. In April 1945, VMF-351 participated in the Battle of Okinawa flying F4U Corsairs from the USS Cape Gloucester (CVE-109). Because aerial combat was a rarity during the later stages of the war the squadron was only credited with downing three enemy aircraft in aerial combat. They were deactivated upon their return to the United States on November 9, 1945
35 VMF-422Fighter'Flying Buccaneers'1943-01-011947-04-30 FM-1 Wildcat F4U-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair VMF-422 was commissioned on January 1, 1943 at Naval Air Station San Diego and initially flew the Grumman F4F Wildcat. Later that month it moved to Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara as the squadron continued to train its pilots. In August, they boarded the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) for transport to Pearl Harbor with follow on movement to Midway Island. The squadron transitioned to the Vought F4U Corsair on December 15, 1943. On January 25, 1944, 23 of the squadron's 24 aircraft left Tarawa Atoll headed for Funafiti, a flight of 469 miles. A failure of their Commanding General (BGen Lewie G. Merritt) to authorize an escort plane and an outdated weather forecast led them to fly directly into a major storm. Additionally, General Merritt's staff failed to inform Funafiti and the intermediate Nanumea Atoll that a group of friendly aircraft were on their way-thus the incoming planes had no radio signals to guide them on their way. 10 of the aircraft were lost at various times during the flight and the remaining 13 were forced to crash land in the ocean. The survivors spent 3 days at sea in life rafts before being spotted by a Navy PBY Catalina from Navy Patrol Squadron 59. After taking on the survivors, the patrol boat was too heavy to take off and had to radio for help. Later that evening they were met by the destroyer USS Hobby (DD-610) who ushered the men to safety. In all the squadron lost 22 aircraft and had 6 pilots killed. The 2012 documentary film 'The Flintlock Disaster' recounts the events and losses during that flight. VMF-422 was quickly reconstituted after the disaster and by mid-1944 they were flying interdiction missions against Japanese shipping in the Marshall Islands. The Buccaneers operated from Okinawa between May and September 1945, contributing to the defense of U.S. forces in the Ryukyu campaign. In that time the squadron was credited with 15 Japanese planes shot down.
36 VMF-441Fighter'Black Jacks'1942-01-101946-11-07 F4F-4 Wildcat
F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair Maj. Daniel W. Torrey, Oct. - Dec. 1942 Capt. Walter J. Meyer, Dec. 1942 - Sep. 1943 Maj. James B. Moore, Oct. 1943 - Apr. 1944 Maj. Grant W. Metzger, Apr. 1944 - Jan. 1945 Maj. Robert O. White, Jan. 1945 - Jun. 1945 Floyd C. Kirkpatrick, 5.5 Selva E. McGinty, 5 Marine Fighting Squadron 441 (VMF-441) was activated on October 1, 1942, at Tutuila on American Samoa from elements of VMF-111 and flew the F4F Wildcat. By the end of May 1943 the entire squadron had moved to Funafuti in the Ellice Islands and this was followed on September 28, 1943, by another move to Nanumea.[4] The squadron moved back to Tutuila in December 1943 where they transitioned to the F4U-1 Corsair. On January 1, 1944, VMF-441 joined Marine Aircraft Group 31 (MAG-31) on Roi-Namur. By March 1944 the squadron was again on the offensive conducting raids against Mili and Jaluit. During the Battle of Okinawa, VMF-441 landed at Yontan Airfield on April 7, 1945.[5] On April 16, 1945, four divisions of VMF-441 planes came to the rescue of the destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724) which had already been hit by five kamikazes. Their Corsairs attacked a flight of 25 Japanese planes and were credited with shooting down 15½ enemy planes, losing one of their own because he was flying so low that both he and the Japanese plane he was chasing clipped Laffey's superstructure. The squadron was still on Okinawa when the Japanese surrendered in August 1945. Shortly thereafter, the squadron was alerted for occupation duty in mainland Japan as part of Marine Aircraft Group 31 (MAG-31). Maj Paul T. Johnston, then commanding officer of the squadron, piloted the first Marine plane to land in mainland Japan when his F4U Corsair touched down at Yokosuka. He was quickly followed by the other 21 planes in his squadron. The squadron remained in Japan until March 1946. During their time on Occupation Duty the squadron logged over 3000 flight hours. They returned to the United States in April 1946 and were deactivated at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California on July 11, 1946. Organized Oct. 1942 at Samoa. To the Marshalls in Feb. 1944. After flying suppression missions against by-passed Wotje and Maloelap in mid-1944, to Okinawa's Yontan airfield Apr. 7, 1945 VMF-441 was credited with downing 49 enemy aircraft, mostly kamikazes.
37 VMF-452Fighter'Sky Raiders'1945-02-151949-12-31FG-1 CorsairMarine Fighting Squadron 452 (VMF-452) was a fighter squadron of the United States Marine Corps that was commissioned and fought during World War II. Known as the “Sky Raiders”, they flew the F4U Corsair, and the Grumman TBF Avenger, fell under the command of Marine Carrier Group 5 (MCVG-5) and fought in the Battle of Okinawa. The squadron is best known for being aboard the USS Franklin (CV-13) when she was severely damaged by Japanese kamikaze planes of the coast of Okinawa on March 19, 1945. VMF-452 was deactivated on December 31, 1949 and has remained in an inactive status since. VMF-452 was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station Mojave, California. On February 7, 1945, the squadron departed San Francisco on board the aircraft carrier USS Franklin (CV-13). From there they sailed to Pearl Harbor and then moved west to join up with Task Force 58 which was heading to support the invasion of Okinawa. On March 18 they flew their first combat missions against airfields on Kyūshū Island. The following day, the Franklin was attacked by a Japanese Yokosuka D4Y Judy dive bomber. Both of its two 500-pound bombs stuck the Franklin. 33 members of VMF-452were killed in the ensuing devastation and the squadron was no longer combat effective. They transferred to the USS Bunker Hill and set sail for the United States. Upon returning to the California, the squadron was sent to Marine Corps Air Station El Centro to refit and rearm in April 1945. They remained there until the end of the war.
38 VMF-461Fighter1944-03-151950-02-28 F4U-1 Corsair
 FG-1 Corsair
 F3A-1 Corsair Marine Fighting Squadron 461 (VMF-461) was founded on March 15, 1944 as part of Marine Base Defense Group 43. It was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro, California, and flew the Vought F4U Corsair. The callsign of VMF-461 was the "Red Raider" and their patch depicted a red bearded Viking who was their mascot. In January 1945, the squadron was relocated at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 46 (MAG 46). During 1946 to 1949, VMF-461 was deployed aboard USS Palau, first as part of Marine Aircraft Carrier Group 12, and later, as part of the Atlantic Fleet. Upon return from deployment, VMF-461 was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 11 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. In September 1950, VMF-461 was deactivated. Designated RTU on 16 November 1944.
39 VMF-462Fighter1944-09-151945-10-09 F4U-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair 
F3A-1 Corsair Marine Fighting Squadron 462 (VMF-462) was activated Marine Corps Air Station El Centro, California on April 15, 1944. On October 10, 1944 the squadron absorbed personnel and equipment from VMF-481 and they were redesignated a fighter pilot replacement training unit. The unit flew the Vought F4U-1 Corsair during this time. Shortly thereafter they transferred to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California and remained there until the end of the war. The squadron was quickly deactivated after the war's end on September 10, 1945. Replacement Training Unit
40 VMF-471Fighter1944-05-151945-10-09FG-1 Corsair
F3A-1 CorsairCreated from start as RTU.
41 VMF-472 (1st)Fighter1944-01-061945-10-10
42 VMF-472 (2d)Fighter'Flying Seahorses'1945-01-031945-12-24F6F-3 HellcatF6F-5 Hellcat
43 VMF-481 (1st)Fighter1944-05-041945-10-10F3A-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair F4U-1 Corsair SBD-5 DauntlessFighter Pilot Training Unit
44 VMF-481 (2d)Fighter1945-01-081945-10-09F3A-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair F4U-1 Corsair SBD-5 DauntlessCarrier Training Unit
45 VMF-482Fighter1944-07-041945-10-10F3A-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair F4U-1 Corsair SBD-5 DauntlessCreated from start as RTU.
46 VMF-511Fighter1944-01-011946-10-03F6F-5 Hellcat
F4U-1 Corsair
47 VMF-512Fighter1944-02-151946-10-03F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair
48 VMF-513Fighter1944-08-15Active PostwarF3A-1 Corsair
 F4U-1 Corsair Marine Attack Squadron 513 was first commissioned as VMF-513 on February 15, 1944 at Marine Corps Auxiliary Field Oak Grove, North Carolina, flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat. The squadron was transferred to Marine Corps Air Facility Walnut Ridge, Arkansas in September 1944. In December of the same year, the squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station Mojave, California where it was re-designated VMF(CVS)-513. On June 15, 1945, VMF(CVS)-513 departed San Diego, California, aboard the USS Vella Gulf (CVE-111) and participated in carrier operations in the Pacific, making stops in Ewa, Enewetak, Saipan, and Guam. In addition, they provided close air support for the 3rd Marine Division during the Battle of Okinawa, Japan. Re-designated VMF(N)-513 postwar. The squadron flew the F-4B "Phantom" until June 30, 1970, when it was re-commissioned as cadre, awaiting delivery of the first Marine AV-8A Harrier on April 16, 1971 and re-designation as VMA-513.
49 VMF-514Fighter'Whistling Death'1944-02-201945-09-12 F4U-1 Corsair FG-1 Corsair F6F-3 Hellcat F6F-5 Hellcat
50 VMF-521Fighter1944-01-041945-10-09F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair
F3A-1 CorsairDesignated RTU on 16 October 1944.
51 VMF-522Fighter1944-01-041945-10-09F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair
F3A-1 CorsairDesignated RTU on 16 October 1944.
52 VMF-523Fighter1944-05-051945-10-15F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 CorsairDesignated RTU on 16 October 1944.
53 VMF-524Fighter1944-10-051945-10-15F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair Designated RTU on 16 October 1944.
54 VMF-911Fighter'Devil Cats'1944-06-25See Note FG-1 Corsair F4U-1 Corsair F3A-1 Corsair F7F-1 Tigercat Designated RTU on 16 October 1944. Re-designated VMF-212 Postwar.
55 VMF-912Fighter1944-10-07See NoteFG-1 Corsair F4U-1 Corsair F7F-1 Tigercat F7F-3 TigercatDesignated RTU on 16 October 1944. Re-designated VMF-222 Postwar.
56 VMF-913Fighter1944-07-151946-01-01F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair
F3A-1 CorsairDesignated RTU on 16 October 1944.
57 VMF-914Fighter1944-08-141946-01-31F4U-1 Corsair
FG-1 Corsair
F3A-1 CorsairDesignated RTU on 16 October 1944.
58 VMF-921Fighter1944-08-211945-10-10
59 VMF-922Fighter1944-08-211945-10-10
60 VMF-923Fighter1944-09-151945-10-10
61 VMF-924Fighter1944-10-041945-10-10
62 VMF(N)-531 (1st)Night Fighter'Gray Ghosts'1942-11-161945-03-09 SB2A-4 Buccaneer PV-1N Ventura F7F-2N Tigercat F7F-3N Tigercat Marine Night Fighter Squadron 531 (VMF(N)-531) was activated on November 16, 1942 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. On January 9, 1943 the squadron became part of the Fleet Marine Force and on April 1 was absorbed by Marine Aircraft Group 53 (MAG-53). The squadron took delivery of its first non-trainer aircraft, the Lockheed PV-1 Ventura on February 15. Due to the uniqueness of their night fight mission, VMF(N)-531 was placed under the direction of the Commandant of the Marine Corps until it was ready to deploy to combat. Responding to Japanese night attacks on Guadalcanal, MAG-53 was reassigned to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing on April 15, 1943 and was quickly ordered to deploy to the South Pacific as soon as possible. VMF(N)-531 was the first combat squadron to leave MCAS Cherry Point. After layovers in Hawaii and Espiritu Santo, the squadron finally arrived at Renard Field on Banika in the Russell Islands on September 11. Joining Marine Aircraft Group 21, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, the Grey Ghosts flew their first combat patrol on September 16 making them the first naval aviation night-fighter squadron to operate in the South Pacific. The squadron's first kill was made by Captain Duane Jenkins, who happened upon a Betty bomber on the evening of November 13, 1943. The first kill aided by GCI did not come until December 6. During their tour in the Pacific, the squadron operated out of fields in the Russell Islands, Vella Lavella and Bougainville. They accounted for 12 enemy planes shot down by 5 different crews, all at night, with a loss of 6 of their own aircraft and 17 crew members, none of them a result of enemy fire. The squadron returned to MCAS Cherry Point on September 1, 1944 and was quickly deactivated only to be reactivated a short time later on October 13 at Marine Corps Auxiliary Airfield Kinston (MCAAF Kinston), North Carolina and reassigned to MAG-53, 9th Marine Aircraft Wing. A short time later the squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station Eagle Mountain Lake near Fort Worth, Texas to operate as a training squadron for replacement pilots and ground control intercept operators being sent overseas. Following the conclusion of World War II, the squadron was relocated back to MCAS Cherry Point and in March 1947 reassigned to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (2nd MAW).
John Colby, VMF(N)-531. 1944, Mixed Media (Photo print & Color Ink, 14 x 11.125 in. From: National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia. NMMC Accession Number 2014.96.102.
63 VMF(N)-531 (2d)Night Fighter'Gray Ghosts'1944-09-10Active Postwar SB2A-4 Buccaneer PV-1N Ventura F7F-2N Tigercat F7F-3N Tigercat
64 VMF(N)-532Night Fighter'Night Fighters'1943-01-0405/31/47F6F-3N Hellcat 
F7F-2N Tigercat
65 VMF(N)-533Night Fighter'Black Mac's Killers'1943-01-10Active Postwar F6F-3N Hellcat F6F-5N Hellcat F7F-3N Tigercat Maj. Marion M. Magruder, Oct. 1943 - Jul. 1945 Maj. Richard M. Day, Jun. 1943 - May 1945 Flew to Yontan airfield, Okinawa on May 14, 1945. VMF(N)-533 claimed the aerial destruction of 35 enemy aircraft, the most for any Marine nightfighting squadron.
66 VMF(N)-534Night Fighter1943-01-1005/31/47F6F-3N Hellcat
67 VMF(N)-541Night Fighter'Bat Eyes'1944-02-1504/30/46F6F-3N HellcatF6F-5N Hellcat
68 VMF(N)-542Night Fighter'Tigers'1944-06-03Active PostwarF6F-3N Hellcat F6F-5N Hellcat Maj. William C. Kellum, Mar. 1944 - May. 1945 Maj. Robert Bruce Porter, May - Aug. 1945 Robert Bruce Porter, 5, includes 3 with VMF-121 Captain Wallace E. Sigler A night fighting squadron commissioned in March, 1944 at Cherry Point. Trained till the end of 1944, when it shipped out for the Pacific. Landed April 8, 1945 at Okinawa. VMF(N)-542 claimed the aerial destruction of 18 Japanese planes. Marine Attack Squadron 542 was initially commissioned as Marine Night Fighter Squadron (VMF(N)-542) on March 6, 1944, at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, NC. Upon commissioning, the squadron was assigned the F6F-3N Hellcat. In the summer of 1944 the squadron was relocated to San Diego, CA in preparation for transfer to the Western Pacific war zone. Late in October, the squadron arrived at the newly created US Naval Base at Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands and immediately began flying combat air patrols. Later in 1944, VMF(N)-542 deployed to the Western Pacific War Zone to engage in combat operations against Imperial Japan. By early April 1945, most of the squadron was positioned in Okinawa, Japan to take part in the campaign to seize the remainder of the island. Night operations against the enemy began on April 15th with missions being flown from Yontan Airfield, Okinawa. Second Lieutenant Arcenaux had the honor of being the first aviator to down an enemy warplane with a night fighter on April 16, 1945. While stationed at Yontan, the 'Tigers' were credited with destroying eighteen Japanese airplanes and carrying out rocket attacks on the Ryukyu Island chain of Amami, O'Shima, Tokuno Shima, Kakai Shima, Miyako Shima, and Amami Gunto. For these actions the 'Tigers' were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Between April and August 1945, Major Robert B. Porter and Captain Wallace E. Sigler became the first night fighter aces on Okinawa.
69 VMF(N)-543Night Fighter'Night Hawks'1944-04-151946-11-04F6F-3N HellcatF6F-5N Hellcat
70 VMF(N)-544Night Fighter1944-01-0504/20/46F6F-3N HellcatF6F-5N Hellcat Marine Night Fighter Squadron 544 (VMF(N)-544) was activated on May 1, 1944 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. They immediately began training for aerial combat at night and in poor weather and low visibility. The squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station El Centro on November 3, 1944, where they continued their training for two more months. In February 1945, VMF(N)-544 again moved, this time to Marine Corps Air Station Eagle Mountain near Fort Worth, Texas. While there, they trained with the veteran night aviators from VMF(N)-531 who had just returned from combat in the South Pacific. VMF(N)-544 never saw combat action as the war with Japan ended before they were due to rotate. The squadron was deactivated on April 20, 1946, and has remained inactive since.

VMF(N)544 prior to leaving Cherry Point

71 VMSB-233Scout-Bombing 'Rainbow' 'Bulldogs' 'Flying Deadheads' 1942-01-0506/13/43 The squadron was originally formed on May 1, 1942 at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii as Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 233 (VMSB-233) flying the SBD-4 Dauntless. They deployed overseas in December 1942 on board the seaplane tender USS Wright and first debarked at Espiritu Santo. From December 25, 1942 until February 8, 1943 they operated from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal as part of the Cactus Air Force. They were reorganized as Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 233 (VMTB-233) on May 22, 1943 but the official re-designation of the squadron did not take place until June 13, when they had returned to the United States. From August until October 29, 1943, the squadron again operated from Henderson Field. Following the Battle of New Georgia the squadron was moved to Munda in New Georgia to conduct raids that would help cut off the Japanese garrison at Rabaul. While in the New Georgia area, they also operated from Piva Airfield and Torokina Airfield. On February 14, 1944, Avengers from VMTB-233 and VMTB-232 took part in a mission to sow mines in Simpson Harbor at Rabaul. The TBMs were to fly up in three groups of eight each at the slow speed of 160 knots to drop their parachute-mines, weighing 1,600 pounds a piece. The first group lost one plane. The commanding officer tried to radio the other TBFs to warn them to turn back but he couldn't make radio contact. The second group lost two planes. The third group was immediately found by searchlight and anti-aircraft guns while flying at 800 feet over the water and had five aircraft shotdown. A total of six planes and eighteen men were lost during the attack. Four of the eighteen men survived the loss of the six TBFs that evening. Of the four, none survived captivity. One was murdered at Tunnel Hill, two died of starvation / disease / medical neglect, and a fourth was murdered by the Japanese Navy sometime in April. In April 1944, they returned to the United States and were stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara, California. During their time at MCAS Santa Barbara they trained as part of the Marine Corps' new escort carrier program. They were assigned to Marine Carrier Air Group 1 (MCVG-1) where they were partnered with VMF-511 on the USS Block Island. The squadron left the West Coast on March 20, 1945. During this time the squadron's commanding officer, Major Robert Vaupell, was killed in a crash in February 1945. VMTB-233 saw its first action during the Battle of Okinawa on May 5, 1945 when it conducted rocket and bomb runs against Japanese strongpoints in the vicinity of Naha. Their mission alternated between close air support for the Marines fighting on the ground and strikes against Sakashima Gunto, a kamikaze base complex some 175 miles southwest of Okinawa on Miyako Island In mid-June, the Block Island was relieved from the coast of Okinawa and ordered to Leyte in the Philippines. From here they supported the early stages of the Australian 7th Division invasion of Balikpapan in July 1945. They returned to Leyte on July 4 and would not see combat for the rest of the war. Still aboard the Block Island when WWII ended, VMTB-233's final missions were flown in support of the Japanese surrender of Formosa. Redesignated VMTB-233 on 13 June 1943
72 VMSB-234Scout-Bombing1942-01-051944-10-14 SBD-1 Dauntless SBD-3P Dauntless SBD-4 Dauntless SBD-5 Dauntless Marine Scout Bomber Squadron 234 (VMSB-234) was activated at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on May 1, 1942. The squadron departed for Espiritu Santo in December 1942 and began their first combat tour as part of the Cactus Air Force on Guadalcanal on January 28, 1943. Their second stint on Guadalcanal began on April 15, 1943. During this time they did patrol duties in the Fiji Islands and also provided close air support in New Georgia. They moved to Munda and began operating from there on October 1943 concentrating their attacks in the vicinity of Bougainville. In November 1943 the squadron had moved to Efate and from there they returned to the United States. They relocated to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California in November 1943 and were redesignated Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 234 (VMTB-234) on October 14, 1944. Their name was again changed this time to VMTB(CVS)-234 after which they deployed as part of Marine Carrier Group 3 on board the USS Vella Gulf (CVE-111). They were paired with VMF-513 during their deployment but never saw combat as the war ended. The squadron returned to California in November 1945 and was deactivated at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro on March 20, 1946. Redesignated VMTB-234 on 14 October 1944.
73 VMSB-235Scout-Bombing'Flying Wolves'1943-01-011945-10-11SBD-5 DauntlessActivated Jan 1, 1943 Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 235 Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless Operation Cartwheel, Battle of Bougainville, Guadalcanal Solomon Islands, South Pacific MCAS Miramar Decommissioned Nov 10, 1944 Post-war Reactivated in 1946 as VMF-235 'Death Angels 'Ride Nunc' = Laugh Now
74 VMSB-241Scout-Bombing'Sons of Satan'1942-01-0307/16/45 SBD-2 Dauntless
SBD-4 Dauntless
SBD-5 Dauntless
SBD-6 Dauntless
SB2U-3 Although the squadron was aboard the Lexington during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the rear echelon still at Ewa suffered the loss of seven of the spare SB2U-3s which had been left behind at Ewa. The squadron returned to Ewa on December 10, 1941, but one week later it was headed back to Midway, but not aboard a carrier. Fitted with an extra fuel tank and accompanied by a PBY Catalina flying boat acting as a plane guard, the squadron conducted the longest overwater flight by single-engine aircraft on record at that time and arrived at Midway without the loss of a single aircraft or crew. The squadron flew routine patrols and awaited the expected Japanese attack. On March 1, 1942, while still at Midway, the squadron was split in two when VMSB-241 was created and the two squadrons operated side by side, even flying the same aircraft. Shortly thereafter, VMSB-231 was officially transferred back to Ewa, but a majority of its personnel and all of its aircraft remained at Midway. Reorganizing at MCAS Ewa, the squadron received Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers and was transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 23 (MAG-23). Slowly receiving new SBD-3 Dauntlesses and pilots, the squadron was notified in July 1942 that it would be deployed for duty overseas. Along with VMF-224, the squadron constituted the rear echelon of MAG-23 and was loaded aboard the aircraft transport USS Kitty Hawk (AKV-1) during the last week of August 1942 and shipped to the South Pacific. Arriving at Efate, the squadron spent the night there and the squadron's aircraft were craned over to the escort aircraft carrier USS Long Island (AVC-1). The next day, the SBDs were catapulted from the 'Long Island and flown to Espiritu Santo. After another night's layover, the flight echelon flew to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal on August 30, 1942, arriving right before the daily Japanese air raid on the field and becoming the second Marine dive bomber squadron to operate ashore. Major Leo Smith, and Captains Ruben Iden and Elmer Glidden led the squadron during the stay on Guadalcanal. Captain Iden died in combat on September 20, 1942, a day after he assumed command. While on Guadalcanal, eleven of the squadron's twelve original SBDs were lost or rendered inoperable between August 30 and October 3, 1942. During this time Lieutenant Glen Loeffel was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism for his lone attack on the Japanese heavy cruiser Furutaka on October 4, 1942, causing substantial damage and leading to her eventual sinking on October 11, 1942. VMF-231 operated on Guadalcanal as part of the Cactus Air Force from August 30 until November 2, 1942. It then was shipped back to Naval Air Station San Diego, California, arriving there on November 19, 1942, and then moved further north to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California, in January 1943. The squadron again deployed to the Pacific Theater and began operations bombing by-passed Japanese garrisons in the Marshall Islands on February 4, 1944. In October 1944, it was redesignated VMBF-231 and converted to the F4U Corsair fighter. Two months later, on December 30, 1944, it reverted to the name VMSB-231 and remained in the Marshalls until the surrender of Japan in August 1945. During the course of World War II the squadron was credited with downing seven Japanese aircraft in air-to-air combat.
SGT. Paul Arlt, VMSB-241. 1945, Gouache, 12.5 x 10.825 in. From: National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, Virginia. NMMC Accession Number 2014.96.62.
75 VMSB-454Scout-Bombing'Helldivers'1944-01-0310/14/44SB2C-1 HelldiverMajor J. H. Clark Commissioned 3.1.44 as VMSB-454, VMTB-454 on 10.14.1944, and finally, VMTB(CVS)-454 on 11.5.44. It originated in El Toro and ventured to Mojave, Santa Barbara, USS Puget Sound and back to Santa Barbara by August, 1945. While not as attractive as, say, VMF-214, it is part of the USMC history in WWII and has a screamer of a squadron insignia. A Disney art design, it was approved in 1944 by HQMC. Redesignated VMTB-454 on 14 October 1944.

VMSB-454 HELLDIVERS Major J. H. Clark Commanding 23 June, 1944

76 VMO-155Observation1942-01-0701/31/45 Marine Observation Squadron 155 (VMO-155) was activated on October 1, 1942 as part of Marine Aircraft Group 13. The squadron was initially based in American Samoa and its first personnel came from VMSB-151. Their first complement of aircraft were SBC Helldiver biplane dive bomber and the J2F-5 Duck amphibious biplane. In December 1942, the bulk of the squadrons personnel were sent to Guadalcanal where they were assigned as replacements. A small cadre of six officers and fifteen enlisted men were retained in the squadron and ordered to Camp Kearny in San Diego, California to re-equip and train. Beginning in January 1943, VMO-155 began training on the F4F-3P Wildcat, a fighter specifically designed for photographic reconnaissance. During this time they also began receiving their carrier qualifications. In April 1943, with their training complete, a detachment from the squadron was ordered aboard the USS Nassau (CVE-16) to participate in the invasion of Attu in the Aleutian Islands. This operation made them the first Marine squadron to operate from an aircraft carrier during World War II and the only Marine squadron to operate in the North Pacific. Following the Operation in the Aleutians, the detachment rejoined the squadron in June 1943 and quickly moved to Marine Corps Air Station El Centro for further training. In February 1944, VMO-155 moved to Midway Atoll and became part of the local garrison. After four months on Midway, they were sent to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii. From MCAS Ewa, the squadron was again split up. This time the ground echelon was sent to Kwajalein and the flight echelon went to Roi. From these locations, for the rest of the war, the squadron took part in strikes against the Marshall Islands. Redesignated VMF-155 on 31 January 1945.
77 VMO-251Observation1941-01-121945-03-01 Marine Observation Squadron 251 (VMO-251) was activated December 1, 1941 at Naval Air Station North Island, California. In mid-1942 it was transferred to Tontouta, New Caledonia and then to Turtle Bay Airfield on the island of Espiritu Santo in the British-French Condominium of New Hebrides prior to the invasion of Guadalcanal. While flying the Grumman F4F Wildcat during World War II, the squadron participated in numerous Pacific campaigns including Guadalcanal, Southern Solomons, Santa Cruz, Luzon, and the Southern Philippines. Redesignated VMF-251 on 3 January 1945.
78 VMO-351Observation1943-01-031945-02-01 The squadron was originally activated as Marine Observation Squadron 351 (VMO-351) on March 1, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. The squadron was moved to Bogue Field in May 1944 and was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 51 (MAG-51). They trained to take part in Operation Crossbow - Project Danny which was a plan to have carrier based Marine squadrons attack German V-1 Rocket sites. This plan was cancelled and in September 1944 the squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station Mojave. In early December 1944, VMO-351 went aboard the USS Ranger (CV-4) for carrier qualifications. During this time they were redesignated VMO(CVS)-351. Following qualification they embarked aboard the USS Commencement Bay (CVE-105) and were quickly redesignated Marine FIghting Squadron 351 (VMF-351) in February 1945. During its combat tour the squadron provided aerial cover for minesweeping activity and bomber strikes in the East China Sea area. In April 1945, VMF-351 participated in the Battle of Okinawa flying F4U Corsairs from the USS Cape Gloucester (CVE-109). Because aerial combat was a rarity during the later stages of the war the squadron was only credited with downing three enemy aircraft in aerial combat. They were deactivated upon their return to the United States on November 9, 1945. Redesignated VMF-351 in February 1945.

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