VMFA-235

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Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 235
Vmfa-235 squadron insignia.jpg
VMFA-235 Insignia
Active January 1, 1943 – June 14, 1996
Country United States
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Attack
Role Close air support
Air interdiction
Aerial reconnaissance
Part of Deactivated
Nickname "Death Angels"
Motto “Ride Nunc”
“Laugh Now”
Tail Code DB
Engagements 'World War II
* Operation Cartwheel
* Battle of Bougainville
Vietnam War
Operation Desert Storm

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 235 (VMFA-235) was a United States Marine Corps squadron that most recently flew F/A-18 Hornets. Known as the "Death Angels", the squadron participated in action during World War II, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and was decommissioned on June 14, 1996.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron was commissioned on January 1, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California as Fixed Wing Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 235 (VMSB-235). During World War II they flew the SBD Dauntless and participated in Operation Cartwheel, the Battle of Bougainville and operations in and around Rabaul. The squadron was decommissioned on November 10, 1944.

1950s[edit]

FJ-3 Furies of VMF-235, 1957.

The squadron was recalled to active duty in September 1950 as part of Marine Aircraft Group 15 at MCAS El Toro flying the F4U Corsair. In September 1952 they transitioned to the F9F Panther and in March 1954 they again transitioned to the FJ Fury. In 1957 the squadron relocated to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

A VMF(AW)-235 F-8E at Da Nang, South Vietnam, in 1966.

The Vietnam War[edit]

Redesignated Fixed Wing Marine Fighter (All Weather) Squadron VMF(AW)-235 deployed to Vietnam on February 1, 1966 flying the F-8E Crusader. Between February 2 and November 15, 1966 the “Death Angels” flew over 6,000 combat sorties in support of over 22 major operations.[1] They returned to Vietnam on February 15, 1967 this time for over a year until May 11, 1968. They were the last active duty Crusader squadron. Upon leaving Vietnam, the squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay. On September 6, 1968 they were redesignated Fixed Wing Marine Fighter Attack Squadron VMFA-235 and equipped with the F-4 Phantom.

The 1980s & 1990s[edit]

A VC-1 A-4E refueling a F-4J of VMFA-235 in 1977
Ordnance on a VMFA-235 Hornet during Operation Desert Storm, 1991.

In November 1989, VMFA-235 transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet. After Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990, the squadron was deployed to the Shaikh Isa Air Base, Bahrain, on August 22, 1990 in support of Operation Desert Shield. They were the first Fighter squadron in theater, and were recognized with the "Phoenix Award", a highly prestigious Department of Defense award, for outstanding performance. During Operation Desert Storm they flew over 2800 sorties in support of coalition forces. In March, 1990, after seven months of operations, VMFA-235 redeployed to Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

The squadron moved to MCAS El Toro in 1994 and was attached to Marine Aircraft Group 11. They moved again to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in 1996 and were decommissioned later that year on June 14.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Mersky (1983), p.224.

References[edit]

Bibliography
  • Crowder, Michael J. (2000). United States Marine Corps Aviation Squadron Lineage, Insignia & History - Volume One - The Fighter Squadrons. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company. ISBN 1-56311-926-9. 
  • Mersky, Peter B. (1983). U.S. Marine Corps Aviation - 1912 to the Present. Nautical and Aviation Publishing Company of America. ISBN 0-933852-39-8. 
  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle - Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939 - 1945.’’. 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. 
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