Marine Aircraft Group 31

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Marine Aircraft Group 31
MAG31beaufort.jpg
MAG-31 Insignia
Active 1 February 1943 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Fixed Wing Aircraft Group
Role Offensive Air Support
Antiair Warfare
Aerial Reconnaissance
Part of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
II Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
Motto "Going the Distance... Going for Speed!"
Engagements World War II
* Battle of Okinawa
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Deny Flight
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Commanders
Commanding Officer Col. William R. Lieblein
Executive Officer LtCol. Jeffrey R. Ertwine
Sergeant Major SgtMaj. Jeffrey G. Monssen

Marine Aircraft Group 31 (MAG-31) is a United States Marine Corps aviation group based at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina that is currently composed of three F/A-18C squadrons, one F/A-18A++ squadron, two F/A-18D squadrons, one F-35B training squadron, an aviation logistics squadron, and a wing support squadron. It falls under the command of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Mission[edit]

Provide air support to Marine Air Ground Task Force commanders.

Subordinate units[edit]

F/A-18 Hornet Squadrons

F-35B Lightning II Training Squadron

Aviation Logistics Squadron

Wing Support Squadron

History[edit]

Marine Aircraft Group 31 was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, on 1 February 1943. In September 1943, MAG-31 left the United States for Samoa where its squadrons would stationed at numerous Samoan bases. During much of 1944 the squadron would fly neutralization missions against many of the Japanese garrisons that had been by-passed in the Marshall Islands such as Rabaul.[1]

Yontan airfield, Okinawa, 1945

During the Battle of Okinawa, MAG-31 came ashore on 7 April and began operating from Yontan Airfield on Okinawa.[3] They were immediately able to put 80 out of 109 aircraft into the fight and maintained a combat air patrol from 1750 until dark to aid in the fight against the kamikaze attacks that were devastating the American Fleet.[4] During the battle they also provided close air support for the Marines and Soldiers on the ground.[1] While on Okinawa, MAG-31 was commanded by Colonel John C. Munn, who was later promoted to Lieutenant General and served as the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps. The squadron stayed at Yontan Airfield until 1 July when they moved to Chimu Airfield further north on the island where they would stay until the end of the war.[5] During their time on Okinawa the squadron also operated over Kyushu, the Chinese Coast, the East China Sea area and many places in between Formosa and Kyushu.

On 12 October 1945, Marine Aircraft Group 31 departed Okinawa for Yokosuka, Japan, becoming the first Marine land-based MAG to operate in the Japanese homeland. The MAG was transferred from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing to the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing on 12 February 1946, and then to the Fleet Marine Force Pacific 13 March 1946.

The group returned to the United States 5 July 1946 as a night fighter group,.[6] and was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California until it was decommissioned 31 May 1947.

MAG-31 was reactivated 17 March 1952, at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, and transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Miami, Florida, operating as a part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing until it was again decommissioned in 1958.

On 1 November 1961, the group was again reactivated and stationed at its present home, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, as part of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sherrod History of Marine Corps Aviation in WWII, pg. 445.
  2. ^ Sherrod History of Marine Corps Aviation in WWII, pg. 372.
  3. ^ Simmons, A History, p.181.
  4. ^ Sherrod History of Marine Corps Aviation in WWII, pg. 379.
  5. ^ Sherrod History of Marine Corps Aviation in WWII, pg. 398.
  6. ^ Rottman, USMC WWII OOB, p.436.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
Bibliography
  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle – Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939 – 1945. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5. 
  • Sherrod, Robert (1952). History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Combat Forces Press. OCLC 1261876. 
  • Simmons, Edwin (1974). The United States Marines: A History. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-840-2. 
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