|Marine All-Weather Fighter Squadron 114|
|Active||July 11, 1943 – July 1, 1963|
|Tail Code||LK later EK|
|Engagements||World War II
* Battle of Peleliu
Marine All-Weather Fighter Squadron 114 (VMF(AW)-114) was a fighter squadron of the United States Marine Corps during World War II and continued in service until their deactivation in July 1965 . Known as the “Death Dealers”, they made their biggest mark providing close air support during the Battle of Peleliu and remain in an inactive status today.
World War II
Marine 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.
Following the war, VMF-114 escaped the post-war drawdown of forces and were transferred to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in February 1946. In August 1947, the squadron was redesignated Marine Night Fighting Squadron 114 (VMF(N)-114) after they were reequipped with the nightfighter version of the F4U Corsair. Within a few years, the squadron transitioned to the F2H Banshee and on June 1, 1953 they were again redesignated VMF-114. On January 7, 1953, the squadron deployed to the Mediterranean Sea as part of Carrier Air Wing 10 (CVG-10) onboard the USS Tarawa (CVA-40). They returned from this deployment on July 3, 1953.
The “Death Dealers” were again redesignated on May 1, 1957 as Marine All-Weather Fighter Squadron 114 (VMF(AW)-114) and transitioned to the F9F-8 Cougar and then to the F4D Skyray. From February 13, 1959 – September 1, 1959, the squadron was deployed as part of Carrier Air Wing 1 (CVG-1) on board the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42). Upon their return they went back to the normal deployment rotation including a stint at Naval Air Station Roosevelt Roads. In January 1961, the squadron was transferred to Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan where they served until the squadron was deactivated on July 1, 1963;
- Navy Unit Commendation September 15, 1944 – January 31, 1945
- United States Marine Corps Aviation
- List of active United States Marine Corps aircraft squadrons
- List of inactive United States Marine Corps aircraft squadrons
- Sledge With the Old Breed, p.110.
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