VMF-236

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Marine Fighting Squadron 236
VMSB-236.jpg
VMSB-236's WWII insignia
Active
  • 1 January 1943 - Late 1960s
Country United States
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Attack Squadron
Role Close air support
Air interdiction
Part of Inactive
Nickname(s) Back Panthers
Tail Code 7P
Engagements World War II
* Bougainville Campaign
* Philippines Campaign (1944–45)
Aircraft flown
Bomber SBD Dauntless
Fighter F4U Corsair
F9F Cougar
F2H Banshee

Marine Fighting Squadron 236 (VMF-236) was a fighter squadron in the United States Marine Corps. The squadron, also known as the “Black Panthers”, was part of the Marine Forces Reserve for a short time following World War II and were based at Naval Air Station Denver, Colorado until their disestablishment. Originally established during World War II, they fought in the Pacific War most notably during the Bougainville Campaign and the campaign to liberate the Philippines. The squadron conducted the first dive bombing attack against Bougainville and was credited with downing 4 Japanese aircraft during the course of the war.[1] VMSB-236 was disestablished on August 1, 1945 at Mindanao, Philippines two weeks before the surrender of Japan[2] They were reactivated as part of the Reserves but were again deactivated in the late 1960s and remain in an inactive status today.

History[edit]

The squadron was formed on 1 January 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Mojave, California as Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 236 (VMSB-236) flying the SBD Dauntless. In April 1943 they moved to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii for follow on training and eventually joined the war landing at Guadalcanal on 4 September 1943. From there the squadron took part in the first dive bombing strikes against Bougainville in preparation for the allied landing there on 1 November 1943. During the next year and a half the squadron would move frequently with its ground and air echelons being based in such places as Munda in the Solomon Islands, Torokina on Bougainville, Green Island in Papua New Guinea and Efate in what was then New Hebrides.[3]

Damaged VMSB-236 SBD Dauntless, Luzon, 1945.

In January 1945 the squadron moved to Luzon in the Philippines and became part of Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) at an airfield in Mangaldan near the Lingayen Gulf.[2] Later on they moved to Moret Field on Mindanao. The squadron stayed in the Philippines for the remainder of the war flying close air support missions in support of the Sixth United States Army and Eighth United States Army. VMSB-236 was deactivated on 1 August 1945 at Mindanao, Philippines two weeks before the surrender of Japan.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sherrod, History of USMC Aviation in WWII, p. 433.
  2. ^ a b Tillman, SBD Dauntless, p.74.
  3. ^ Sherrod, History of USMC Aviation in WWII, p. 465.

References[edit]

Bibliography
  • Foster, John M. (1961). Hell in the Heavens. New York: ACE Books Inc. OCLC 693131. 
  • Sherrod, Robert (1952). History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Combat Forces Press. OCLC 1261876. 
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