VMA-133

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Marine Attack Squadron 133
Vma133 insig.jpg
VMA-133 Insignia
Active May 1, 1943 – August 1, 1945
April 15, 1958 – September 30, 1992
Allegiance  United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Fighter squadron
Role Close air support
Air interdiction
Nickname(s) Dragons
Flying Eggbeaters (WWII)
Golden Gaters (Vietnam Era)
Tail Code ME
Engagements World War II
Bougainville campaign (1943–45)
Philippines campaign (1944–45)
Aircraft flown
Attack Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Bomber Grumman TBF Avenger

Marine Attack Squadron 133 (VMA-133) was a reserve A-4 Skyhawk fighter squadron in the United States Marine Corps. Originally known as VMTB-133, the squadron saw combat during the World War II campaigns on Bougainville and Philippines. Following the war they became part of the Marine Forces Reserve. The squadron, also known as the “Dragons”, was part of Marine Aircraft Group 42 of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing and was based out of Naval Air Station Alameda, California. They were deactivated in 1992 as part of the post Cold War drawdown of the U.S. Military.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 133 (VMTB-133) was activated on May 1, 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California.[1] After training over the summer they left for Hawaii and arrived at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on September 9, 1943.[2] From Ewa, the squadron was split into two sections with one heading to Johnston Atoll and the other to Palmyra Atoll for six months of anti-submarine patrols.[2] Following these tours they returned to MCAS Ewa only to leave again on June 25, 1944 heading to Torokina on the island of Bougainville. During October and November 1944 the squadron carried out strikes against targets on Bougainville and New Britain.[2]

After two months of travelling, VMTB-133 arrived at Lingayen Gulf in the Philippines after the invasion to recapture the area. They remained there until April 21, 1945 when they moved to Mindanao to provide close air support for the United States Army's 24th and 31st Infantry Regiments as they cleared the island. Through June and July 1945 they continued to attack targets in the vicinity of Sarangani Bay in preparation for a planned invasion.[2]

VMA-133 A-4Fs in flight near NAS Fallon, 1982.
Crewmen loading Mk-81 bombs on to an A-4F from VMA-133.

The squadron was deactivated on August 1, 1945 at Malabang, Mindanao.[1]

Reserve years[edit]

On 15 April 1958 the squadron was reactivated as part of the Marine Air Reserve and was based out of Naval Air Station Oakland, California. In July 1961 they moved to Naval Air Station Alameda, CA. In 1962 they gained their final designation of Marine Attack Squadron 133 as they began to transition to the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. The squadron was a part of Marine Aircraft Group 42 and the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing however they were deactivated on 30 September 1992 as part of the post-Cold War drawdown of the U.S. Military.

Unit awards[edit]

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. The VMA-133 has been presented with the following awards:

Streamer Award Year(s) Additional Info
Navy Unit Commendation streamer.png Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with one Bronze Star
World War II
Streamer APC.PNG Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer with Silver Star

Streamer WWII V.PNG World War II Victory Streamer 1941–1945 Pacific War
Streamer PL.PNG Philippine Liberation Medal Streamer 1944–1945 Philippines Campaign (1944–45)
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines) Streamer.png Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Streamer 1944–1945 Philippines Campaign (1944–45)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rottman, p.440
  2. ^ a b c d Sherrod, p.458

References[edit]

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.’’. 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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