My father was a mrine corp F4U pilot in world war II. He passed in September of 2007, and like many of the men from WW II he never talked about the war. I have his log books and medals, he was awarded DFC and 2 air medals. I am looking for any info, photos, or the like on VMF-422. I hope to reconstruct his efforts in the Okinawa battle. Thanks
Here's some basic info on the squadron history.VMF-422 “Flying Buccaneers”
Activated 1 January 1943 at San Diego, then moved to MCAS Santa Barbara. Embarked aboard USS Bunker Hill , arrived Pearl Harbor 12 October 1943. Transferred to Midway Island and served as fighter-defense squadron there until 24 December 43.
On 17 January 44, the squadron embarked aboard USS Kalinin Bay for Tarawa, and from there took off for Funafuti. The flight hit a severe storm and 23 aircraft and 7 pilots were lost at sea. The remainder of the squadron arrived at Engebi on 19 February 44 and were joined by survivors and replacement pilots on 24 March.
On 27 May 1944 part of the flight echelon moved to Roi to fly strikes against the Marshall Islands. The Roi detachment returned in October and the squadron flew strikes against Ponape.
VMF-422 embarked on 26 April 1945 for Okinawa. The ground echelon arrived at Ie Shima 7 May, followed by the flight echelon three weeks later. On 25 May 1945, VMF-422 scored the first of their15 kills. The squadron moved to Chimu Field, on Okinawa, on 16 June and operated there until the end of the war.
VMF-422 returned to the US in November 1945 and was stationed at El Toro. Later, the “Flying Buccaneers” transferred to Cherry Point, where the squadron was deactivated 30 April 1947.
Presidential Unit Citation (2d Marine Aircraft Wing) for Okinawa service
WW2 Victory Streamer
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign streamer with 2 bronze stars
Navy Occupation Streamer with “Asia”.
For more complete information you should contact the Historical Reference Branch, Marine Corps History Division:
Historical Reference Branch
Marine Corps History Division
3078 Upshur Avenue,
Quantico, VA 22134
By phone: (703)432-4874 or 4877
If you go to their website they have a contact form you can fill out online and send in:
I've dealt with the Historical Reference Branch many times and they've always been very helpful. If they don't have the information you need they probably know of other sources that do.
Wow....thanks so much. My fathers log book shows ponapi strikes on February 28th, 1945 flying an F6F Hellcat so im assuming this was a night strike, and another on March 10th, 1945 in an F4U-1d Corsair....assuming a day raid. He also had 2 strikes on southern Japan, Kyusha. His log book also shows that in December he was based on Enjebi Atoll. Your info fills in a blank that i couldnt figure out at all....thanks so much.
My fathers squadron leader was J. J. Deblanc, and he and DeBlanc were transfered to VMF 212 September of 1945. In January of 46' they arrived in Pensacola Fl.
The F6F strike would have been with VMF(N)-533. They were the only squadron on Engebi with Hellcats, the rest of the VMFs had Corsairs. The Navy lists show VMF-422 had 1 F4U and 23 F4U-1Ds, along with 2 SBD-5s assigned on 24 February 1945. In the next list (10 March) their Corsairs were all F4U-1Ds.
would they allow someone from a different squadron to fly one of their planes. im confused
My father was checking another pilot out on January 13, 1945. They were flying an sbd-5 and they crashed that plane in a nearby lagoon. Its in his log book and I also have the stick from the airplane
The SBD's serial # 54146...you would probably enjoy seeing my fathers log books...he also returned to train F9F pilots for Korea
It's possible that they may have had more aircraft on hand than pilots and borrowed pilots from 422.
Have to apoligize his log book dad made his g's look like 6's (he was left handed). He flew FG-1 Goodyear Corsairs so both strikes on Ponapi were in Corsairs. Is there anyway you can fill in the time line from November 1st, 1944 till December 26th, 1944. This appears to be the time he left El Centro and was shipped out to the pacific. Did he go thru Hawaii, and what ship brought him there???? Thanks again for all your help.
When in El Centro, CA. he was part of VMF-461
I'm a little confused about your dates. Your dad flew in the Ponape strikes in October 1944, but then you said he left for the Pacific in November?
He probably staged through Hawaii, then to another base (Guadalcanal, Guam, etc.) before deploying to his final location. As far as what ship he was on, you'd need to check his personnel records for that. You would need to get them from the National Archives. As next of kin, you can use their eVetRecs service. Go here to get started: http://www.archives.gov/vetera...e-records/index.htmlThis message has been edited. Last edited by: HMA1369,
According to Robert Sherrod's "History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War 2" VMF-461 was activated 15 March 1944 at El Centro. On 10 October it absorbed the planes and personnel of VMF-462 and VMF-472. The squadron was then divided into three echelons for tactical and identification purposes, "Sugar" (461), "Uncle" (462), and "X-Ray" (472). It became a replacement training squadron in November 44 and remained in that status through the end of the war. Major Elkin S. Dew, the 461 CO from 21 August to 3 November 44 became CO of VMF-422 in January 45.
No here's the dates. He was training with VMF-461 in El Centro Ca. until November 1st, 1944. He then arrived at Engebi and flew on December 26th, 1944 with VMF-422. He flew the strikes on Ponapi on Feb 28th, 1945, and then again on Mar 10th, 1945. Hope that clears it up.
Okay, now I get it. Yeah, to find out how he got to Engebi from San Diego, you'd probably need his personnel records. The National Archives also has copies of the VMF-422 War Diaries. I don't know how extensive they are or how much detail they have in them.
Squadron records for 422 are in "Fleet Marine Force Aviation Command and Units Classified Correspondence Files and Related Papers, compiled 1941 - 1947"
ARC Identifier 901934 / MLR Number A1 1016 Boxes 106 and 107.
Do i access these files by mailing to the address u gave me above...if not how do i go about gettinbg these.
Thanks again for all your information
The NARA website shows a slightly different mailing address for these records:
Archives II Reference Section (Military)
Textual Archives Services Division (NWCT2R[M]) National Archives at College Park
8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001
When you contact them tell them what records and what time frame you're interested in. For example, "VMF-422 War Diary January 1945". They'll send back a order form and a fee quote. I believe the current charge is $0.75 per page with a minimum $15.00 fee. I'd ask how many pages there in total, and then ask if they can break it down by month. That way you could get the whole thing if you were so inclined, or just which ever months you wanted to research.
Im looking for information on Sqaudron 422 a member of the church i attend and a man i look up to and havve seen as a grandfather most of my life was a part of this sqaudron. He recently passed away, and myself and others that were close to him are searching for any information we may find. if you can help me find any information i would greatly appreciate it. I was asked to mainly find it on the events that took place when the squadron went down on Jan 25 1944. Again thank you for any help
Robert Sherrod wrote this incident up in his book, "History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II" (pp. 228-230). The section is titled "A Squadron is lost".
Among the sources he cited is the VMF-422 history and war diary. You'd probably need the war diary entries for both January and February 1944.
I have found alot of info on the VMF-422 disaster and u should have no problem finding info on the internet. I am sure there are names somewhere of aviators involved in the accident.
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