Marine Aircraft Group 39
|Marine Aircraft Group 39|
|Active||April 16, 1968 – present|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Branch||United States Marine Corps|
|Type||Rotary-wing & Tilt-rotor aircraft group|
Close Air Support
|Part of||3rd Marine Aircraft Wing|
I Marine Expeditionary Force
|Garrison/HQ||Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton|
|Motto(s)||"Mission, Marines, Machines, Motivation"|
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
* 2003 invasion of Iraq
|Col William J. Bartolomea|
Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39) is a United States Marine Corps aviation unit based at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California that is currently composed of four AH-1Z "Viper" Cobra and UH-1Y "Venom" Huey light attack squadrons, two MV-22 Osprey squadrons, an aviation logistics squadron, a Headquarters Squadron, and the H-1 Fleet Replacement Squadron. The group falls under the command of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW) and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF).
The unit is commanded by a US Marine Corps Colonel, and each subordinate unit is commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel. The Group is known as VENOM.
The mission of Marine Aircraft Group 39 is to provide utility helicopter support, close-in fire support, fire support coordination, aerial reconnaissance, observation and forward air control in aerial and ground escort operations during ship-to-shore movement and subsequent operations ashore.
- Headquarters Squadron 39, The Fortress
- HMLA-169 Vipers
- HMLA-267 Stingers
- HMLA-369 Gunfighters
- HMLA-469 Vengeance
- HMLAT-303 Atlas
- VMM-364 Purple Foxes
- VMM-164 Knight Riders
- MALS-39 Hellhounds
- Activated 16 April at Quang Tri Airfield, Republic of Vietnam, as provisional Marine Aircraft Group 39 and assigned to 1st Marine Aircraft Wing.
- Participated in the Vietnam War, April 1968 – October 1969, operating from Quang Tri.
- Deactivated 31 October, 1969.
- Reactivated 19 April, 1975 on board the USS Blue Ridge off the coast of the Republic of Vietnam, as provisional Marine Aircraft Group 39.
- Participated in the Southeast Asia evacuations, Republic of Vietnam, April 1975.
- Deactivated 12 May, 1975.
- Reactivated 1 September, 1978 at Camp Pendleton, California, as Marine Aircraft Group 39 and assigned to 3D Marine Aircraft Wing.
- Elements participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Southeast Asia, August 1990 – April 1991.
- Elements participated in Operation Restore Hope, Somalia, December 1992 – April 1993.
- Elements participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, September 2001 – February 2002 and 2009–2015.
- Deployed during February 2002 to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
- Participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq, March–October 2003.
- Elements participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq, 2004–2010.
Marine Aircraft Group 39 was activated on 16 April, 1968 in formal ceremonies at Quang Tri Airfield, Republic of Vietnam. Originally designated as Provisional Marine Aircraft Group 39, the units colors were presented by Major General Norman J. Anderson, Commanding General, 1stMarine Aircraft Wing to Colonel John E. Hansen.
Located only a few miles south of the Demilitarized Zone, Provisional Marine Aircraft Group 39 carried out its assigned tasks in Northern I Corps in support of the III Marine Amphibious Force. As a member of Marine air-ground team, Provisional Marine Aircraft Group 39 helped stop, disrupt, and destroy invading North Vietnamese Army units in numerous combat operations including Operations Scotland II, Lancaster I and II, Kentucky, Mameluke Thrust, and Jeb Stuart II.
During June and July 1968, the aircraft group conducted a successful evacuation of the Khe Sanh Combat Base and transported all supplies and equipment to Landing Zone Stud which became the replacement Combat Base for ProvMAG-39 aircraft.
Provisional Marine Aircraft Group 39 actively participated in Operation Meade River during the largest Marine heliborne assault of the Vietnam War. In January 1969, all of the group’s resources were directed to support Operation Dewey Canyon, one of the most successful actions in Northern I Corps.
During September–October 1969, ProvMAG-39 commenced support for the 3d Marine Division relocation from Vietnam. On 10 October 1969 the Group Headquarters redeployed to Phu Bia. The last day that ProvMAG-39 had control of tactical squadrons was the 15thof October. The unit was deactivated 7 November 1969. 
1970s and 1980s
On 19 April 1975 Provisional Marine Aircraft Group 39 was once again activated or duty in Southeast Asia. This time, however, the group was to take part in the largest helicopter evacuation ever attempted. Operation Frequent Wind, which saw the evacuations begin on 29 April, continue throughout the night, and terminate on 30 April, resulted in the evacuation of 7,000 American citizens, Vietnamese, and foreign Nationals. Provisional Marine Aircraft Group 39 remained on board in the South China Sea until the Fleet departed or the Philippines on May 2, 1975 and personnel concerned returned to their parent units.
Marine Aircraft Group 39 was reactivated 1 September 1978 at Camp Pendleton, California and assigned to the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, FMF Pac. 
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Restore Hope
Operation Iraqi Freedom / Operation Inherent Resolve
Operation Enduring Freedom
|Presidential Unit Citation Streamer with one Bronze Star||2003||Iraq War|
|Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with two Bronze Stars||1968, 1975, 1993||Vietnam War, Southeast Asia Evacuations|
|Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer with two Bronze Stars||1968–1969, 1986–1988||Vietnam|
|National Defense Service Streamer with two Bronze Stars|
|Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer|
|Vietnam Service Streamer with one Silver Star and one Bronze Star|
|Afghanistan Campaign Streamer with one Bronze Star|
|Iraq Campaign Streamer with one Bronze Star|
|Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Streamer|
|Global War on Terrorism Service Streamer|
|Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Streamer|
|Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Marine Aircraft Group 39.|
- United States Marine Corps Aviation
- Organization of the United States Marine Corps
- List of United States Marine Corps aircraft groups
- List of United States Marine Corps aircraft squadrons
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
- " Marine Aircraft Group 39 Lineage and Honors", Historian Reference Branch, USMC History Division
- "MAG-39 Short History to 1978", Historian Reference Branch, USMC History Division