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Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24) is a United States Marine Corps aviation unit based at Marine Corps Air Facility Kaneohe Bay. MAG-24 is subordinate to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing[1] and the III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF).[2]

Marine Aircraft Group 24
Mag24 insignia.jpg
MAG-24 Insignia
Active1 March 1942 – present
CountryUnited States
AllegianceUnited States of America
BranchUnited States Marine Corps
TypeRotary wing
RoleAssault support
Part of1st Marine Aircraft Wing
III Marine Expeditionary Force
Garrison/HQMarine Corps Air Facility Kaneohe Bay
EngagementsWorld War II Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Christopher Patton
Notable
commanders
William L. McKittrick (1943-1944)
Lewis H. Delano (1944)
Lyle H. Meyer (1944-1945)
Warren E. Sweetser (1945)

Contents

MissionEdit

Provide combat-ready, expeditionary aviation forces capable of short-notice, worldwide employment to a Marine Air Ground Task Force.

Current Subordinate unitsEdit

HistoryEdit

World War II - Activation (1 March 1942)Edit

 
Col Warren E. Sweetser, Jr., left, commanded MAG-24 in June 1945. His executive officer, LtCol John H. Earle, Jr., is on the right

MAG-24 was activated along with MAG-23 at MCAS Ewa on 1 March 1942 and attached to 2nd MAW (which had only been activated in Jan 1941). MCAS Ewa was located on southwest Oahu and adjacent NAS Barbers Point.  The intended use of MAG-24 was to “fill the need of dive-bombers in combat areas.”[4] MAG-24 was first commanded by Maj I.L. Kimes and consisted of only two squadrons (VMF-211 and VMF-212[5]) mostly on paper.  Both MAG-24 and MAG-23 struggled along without aircraft for several months as almost all available assets were diverted to Midway or elsewhere.[6]  The only aircraft available to both MAGs were a few overhauled SBD-1s and SBD-2s which were according LtCol Claude Larkin 2nd MAW: “no good but gave us something to fly.”[6]  The activation of MAG-24 and MAG-23 were the result of a major organizational overhaul of Marine Aviation which included the activation of MAG-11, 12, and 14 at Camp Kearney in California, MAG-13 in San Diego, and MAG-22 at Midway.[7]

World War II - Runway Construction in Efate, New Hebrides (March - May 1942)Edit

Two weeks after the activation of MAG-24, on 15 March, the Headquarters Squadron commanded by Capt John K. Little departed for Efate, New Hebrides to help construct an airfield.[8]  The importance of Efate to the U.S. war effort was its relative location. Admiral King stated: “let Efate be the first rung in a ladder from which a step-by-step general advance could be made through the New Hebrides, Solomons, and Bismarcks.”  Over the next 24 months the Allies accomplished exactly that.[9]  While never attacked by the Japanese at Efate, the efforts to construct the airfield were hampered by a lack of appropriate engineering equipment and malaria. Capt Little and the men of MAG-24 received a letter of commendation from Brig Gen Neal C. Johnson, USA for work completed “in the face of tremendous odds.”[9]  Simultaneously during this period VMF-212 was transferred from MAG-24 to MAG-21 and deployed from Ewa to Efate over the period of 29 April to 9 June.[9]  Efate would be significant in addition to the “first rung.” The airfield was used as a place of respite and training for rotating squadrons to the front line. Additionally, 3d MARDIV used the island for amphibious rehearsals to incorporating lessons learned from Guadalcanal.[10]  The Headquarters Squadron of MAG-24 departed Efate for Santa Barbara on May 24[11] and by August 1942 the airfield had a 6000 ft runway capable of supporting combat operations for Guadalcanal.[12]

World War II - Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara (June 1942 - January 1943)Edit

In the period between May 1942 and December 1943 MAG-24 moved several times as the war in the Pacific escalated.   In June 1942, MAG-24 was the first unit at the newly opened MCAS Santa Barbara with only 12 Officers and 125 men.  At first MCAS Santa Barbara was more like an advanced island base, and the air station was initially nicknamed “the Swamp”. Heavy rains and the tide often flooded the field requiring 4-wheel drive Jeeps to get anywhere. Pilots would also jokingly ask for clearance to land on the “Santa Barbara Lake.”  Because a Japanese submarine had just shelled the nearby Ellwood oilfields on 23 February 1942 the Marines were given a warm welcome as the protectors of Santa Barbara. One week, this warm welcome resulted in 15 weddings being performed by the MAG-24 chaplain!  MAG-24 initially stood port/starboard watch to thwart any further attacks from the Japanese by building fighting holes and manning defensive positions on the coast adjoining the airfield.[13]  Initially the airfield only had one aircraft, a J2F “Duck,” that was loaded with depth charges should a Japanese submarine return.  Eventually the Duck was joined by a SNJ-3 “Texan,” and a SBC-4 “Helldiver” biplane.[14]    However, by the fall of 1942, MAG-24 was composed of VMSB-143, VMSB-144, VMSB-242, VMSB-243, and VMSB-244, all flying the SBD Dauntless.[15]  Once appropriately equipped, MAG-24 underwent an accelerated training program in preparation for combat duty.  By January 1943, MAG-24 was returning to Ewa aboard the USS Mormacurrent, and then assigned to the 4th Marine Base Defense Aircraft Wing.[16]  MAG-24 Headquarters Squadron would remain at Ewa, but attached personnel found themselves at Midway, Johnston, and the Palmyra Islands until it was MAG-24’s turn to deploy into the Pacific theater.[16]

World War II - Invasion of Bougainville (September 1943 - December 1944)Edit

In September 1943, MAG-24 joined the Pacific campaign when it deployed to Efate, New Hebrides.[17]  Efate was the gateway to the Pacific conflict; units remained there for 2–4 weeks for training and receiving replacements.[18]  Assigned to Marine Air Wing South Pacific (MASP), MAG-24 was assigned the mission of local air defense awaiting deployment to the front line. While the squadrons assigned to MAG-24 were in constant rotation, the MASP consisted of five fighter squadrons (VMF), three dive-bomber squadrons (VMSB), and three torpedo bombing squadrons (VMTB).  Concurrently during the MAG-24 deployment was the landing and occupation of Arundel Island and the isolation of Kolombangara as the Allied forces completed the campaign for New Georgia.  During this time, the air war at the front line consisted of fighter sweeps and bombing runs as the Allied forces advanced towards Bougainville.  Throughout September and into October the Japanese airfields on the island of Bougainville were bombed steadily and with increasing intensity.[19]

On 17 November 1943, MAG-24 moved to Banika, part of the Russell Islands, where they would support the invasion of Bougainville until the allied airfields were complete on the island objective.[19] The yet to be built airfields on Bougainville would support the "short-legged, sharpshooting," SBD “Dauntless” dive-bombers and TBF “Avenger” torpedo-bombers that were needed to sink Japanese ships and destroy the guns at the strategic stronghold of Rabaul.[20] Rabaul was a strategic deep-water harbor that the Japanese captured in 1942, and fortified. The Bougainville campaign, utilizing maneuver warfare, bypassed all but 2,000 of 40,000 Japanese forces on the island to seize a beachhead of 6 by 8 miles at Cape Tokorina.[21]  Cape Tokorina was naturally defendable but mired in swamps and midway between the bulk of enemy forces on the north and south ends of the island.[22] The landing on Bougainville started on 1 November 1943, and 31 TBFs and 8 SBDs completed pre-landing aviation fires, which were commended by the Commander of Southern Pacific Forces for timing, execution, and reducing resistance.[23]   The landing force would consist of the 3rd Marine Division (including 3rd Marine Regiment) and the 2nd Raider Regiment.[9]  Robert Sherrod, a war correspondent who accompanied Marines from Tarawa to Okinawa, would later comment, “the audacious attack at Cape Tokorina caught the Rabaul admirals napping; the landing was in the best hit-‘em-where-they-ain’t tradition.”[23]

The air war over the island of Bougainville would continue to intensify as significant Japanese air power from Rabaul, combined with reinforcement from enemy carriers, attacked the beachhead on Bougainville.  On 8 November alone, more than a hundred Japanese Zeros and bombers attacked the Allied forces.  The Allies lost only eight aircraft as compared to 26 Japanese planes.[24]  During an ill-conceived attack on nearby Allied ships, the Japanese lost another 41 aircraft on the 11th of November.  Because of these losses, the Japanese pulled all carrier aviation out of the fight for Bougainville on 13 November.[25]  By November 16, the Japanese had lost a total of 70 planes from Rabaul, and 121 from the carrier forces.  From this point on, the air war over Bougainville would calm to small scale attacks that occurred mostly at night.[26]

On 9 December, ground crews from VMF-212 and VMF-215 arrived at Cape Tokorina a day before completion of the first airstrip.[27]  On 21 December, MAG-24 came to Bougainville where the group commander (LtCol William McKittrick) assumed command of Air Operations Bougainville.[5]  Two days later the MAG-24 Service Squadron would arrive to help complete the construction of the Piva North airstrip (ultimately Bougainville would host three airfields; Cape Tokorina, Piva North, and Piva South).  By 5 Jan, the airfields at Bougainville were usable to start striking Rabaul.[28]  While the first two missions were unsuccessful, the third on 9 January knocked out the Tobera airfield and 21 Japanese fighters.  Beginning 12 January, seven squadrons of SBDs and TBFs from Bougainville along with other allied medium and heavy bombers (over 200 in total) would bomb Rabaul every day.[28]  Typically the TBFs would keep the airfields surrounding Rabaul out of commission while the SBDs with their greater precision would destroy the anti-aircraft guns protecting the airfields.[28] 

The next task for the aircraft based at Bougainville was the destruction of Japanese shipping.  The first occurred on 14 January, and while not incredibly successful, it did result in 29 aircraft destroyed during the dogfights after the strike.  The second, on 17 January, would result in the most successful shipping strike since November 1942 when 18 TBFs from VMTB-232 (MAG-24) supported by VMF-211 (MAG-24) reported 15 hits resulting in five Japanese ships sunk.  Another attack on the 24th sent another five ships to the bottom.[28] Between the two strikes, the allies also claimed 40 downed enemy aircraft and continued to attrite the Japanese airborne defense.[28]  The last significant Japanese air defense occurred on 19 Feb 1944 when 50 Japanese fighters met 140 TBFs, SBDs, F4Us, P-40s, and F6Fs.  This final battle resulted in 23 enemy aircraft lost.  Due to the loss, the Japanese would pull the majority of their air assets back to Truk on 20 February.[29]  By mid-March the allies would complete strikes without fighter escort.[30]  The Rabaul bombing and isolation would continue for 44 months until mid-1945. During this time 10,000 Japanese personnel were killed, and the strategic stronghold of Rabaul would remain isolated from all Japanese lines of communication for the remainder of the war.[31]

World War II - Battle of Bougainville Perimeter (March 1944)Edit

While the allied forces, including MAG-24, continued to pulverize Rabaul the remaining Japanese forces on Bougainville under Gen Hyakutake finally realized that there would be no more ground force invasions on the island.  At the end of December, the Japanese troops finally started moving to attack the captured beachhead airfields near Cape Tokorina.[32]  During this time the Marines of 1st Marine Amphibious Corps (including 3rd Marines) were relieved by the U.S. Army Americal division and continued the defensive position buildup.  MAG-24 was assigned defense of the north sector around Piva Uncle and organized into two infantry type battalions of four companies each to mount the defense. Reinforcing each of the MAG-24 battalions was an Army heavy weapons company. During the battle, the combined allied forces of 27,000 personnel on Bougainville faced 15,000 Japanese infantry and the most field artillery the Japanese had managed to concentrate anywhere in the Pacific.[33] During the battle, MAG-24 consisted of ten squadrons: VMF-211, 212, 215, 218, 222, 223, VMSB-235, 244, and VMTB-134, and 232.[34]

The attacks on the airfields began in earnest on 8 March 1944 and lasted until 24 March.  Because of the attacks, all aircraft at Bougainville would be evacuated every night to Barakoma, Munda, or Green Island to return every morning dropping their bombs on enemy positions before landing for the first time.  By 10 March 114 SBDs and 45 TBFs would be flying “almost continuously,” and were noted for pinpointing the enemy artillery positions with increasing accuracy.  During the next few days, the tempo of defensive strikes increased on the hills surrounding the Bougainville airfields.  The Allies dropped 123 tons of bombs on March 13th, and 145 tons on the 14th.[35]  This increase in bombing quieted Gen Hyakutake's forces (known as "Pistol Pete") for a couple of days.  The last attack by Japanese forces was on the night of 23-24 March which was thrown back only a few hours after it started but wounded 16 MAG-24 Marines during the melee.  After 16 days of attacks, the Japanese had lost 5,469 men as compared to only 263 men in the allied forces (including MAG-24).  General Hyakutake planned another offensive in May ultimately canceled the operations when his rice rations fell to a third of pre-invasion rations by April and to nothing by September.[36]

All the while the ground crews of MAG-24 tenant squadrons were noted for their efficiency under fire.  VMF-215 kept it plane availability at 95% despite a high rate of ulcers, dysentery, malaria, and fatigue.  VMSB-244 suffered 10% casualties in ground echelon but claimed the highest availability on the island.  The Commander of Air Solomons commended VMSB-235, which had six men wounded in shelling on 18 March,  for “untiring efforts, unselfish devotion to duty… Their disregard of their own personal safety during the shelling of Bougainville airfields, in order that the aircraft assigned to them could operate, is worthy of the highest praise and admiration.”  Similar recommendations went to other MAG-24 units including: HqSq-24, SMS-24, VMF-218, VMF-223, VMTB-232, and VMTB-134.[37]

World War II - Preparation for the Philippines (October - December 1944)Edit

On 10 October 1944, while still on Bougainville, MAG-24 received a warning order: be prepared to provide Close Air Support to the U.S. Army and Allied forces in the Philippines.[38] This warning order and mission initiated a formative period in which the Marine Corps Close Air Support doctrine was honed and implemented.  While some early Close Air Support had been attempted and met with success in Nicaragua during the Interwar period, there was very little doctrine other than defining requirements and no structured development was completed prior to WWII.[39] During Guadalcanal, Air Liaison Parties (ALPs) were improvised, trained on the island, and would only occasionally visit the front lines to observe targets.[40] On New Georgia, the ALPs began briefing a day prior to action, offering occasional improvements.[41] The Bougainville campaign itself marked the beginning of Close Air Support in the modern sense of the term, though it still met with suspicion from ground commanders.[42][43] Three months before the Bougainville invasion a small ALP school was organized by the 3rd Marine Division Air Officer to teach capabilities and limitations, the procedures for requesting Close Air Support, and the details of air-ground communication.[44]   The school was small (only three pilots, and six radiomen) but it would pay dividends in increasing communication (and thus accuracy and lethality) during Bougainville. The most notable use of Close Air Support was the multiple attacks on "Hellzapoppin,” ridge where according to the 3rd MARDIV historian “it was the air attacks which proved to be the most effective factor in taking the ridge… the most successful example of close air support thus far in the Pacific War.”[45]

LtCol Keith McCutcheon, the OPSO of MAG-24 (and “head professor” according to war correspondent Robert Sherrod) would expand on previous Close Air Support development by creating a school and coherently assembling all doctrines and procedures.[46]  Starting on 14 October 1944, McCutcheon organized and taught 40 lectures which would be given to nearly 500 officers and gunners from both MAG-24 and MAG-32. Importantly, the instructors were then disseminated to other islands to teach the syllabus.  The school placed its most significant stress on reliable, adequate, deliberate and thorough communications.[47] The central tenet of the school was that “close support (sic) aviation is only an additional weapon to be employed at the discretion of the ground commander.”[48]This tenet was intuitively understood by the seasoned Marines aviators, most of whom had been infantry officers previously.  After the academic portion, the formed ALPs had a chance to work out Close Air Support problems over terrain models, static radio nets and finally simulated training runs.[49]  They did this with the 37th Army Division, whom they would later support in the Philippines.  Furthermore, during this period of schooling, the aviators began to furnish their own ALPs and radio jeeps with the same radio capability as the SBD Dauntless. These ALP jeeps would be attached at the battalion command or higher and directly control the aircraft providing Close Air Support.[50] Previously the 5th Air Force (whom MAG-24 fell under) had furnished their own ALPs which were attached to a Division or higher; request and control were relayed through a centralized communication structure away from the front line.  The ALP jeeps and front line control were unorthodox but not entirely new as both the Navy and Army had tried this tactic before.  The Marine planners on Bougainville were passionate that given the future mission on the Philippines it would be more efficient and significantly increase the operational tempo to talk the planes onto the target with direct communication.[51] Due to the successful isolation of Rabaul, the preparation for the Philippine campaign was unique in that it gave seasoned aviators a three-month period of training and specializing on the single mission of Close Air Support.[52] This preparation would pay dividends in the Philippines.

World War II - Luzon Campaign, Philippines (December 1944 - March 1945)Edit

On 12 December 1944, MAG-24 moved from Bougainville to stage at Milne Bay, New Guinea for further movement to the Philippines.[4]  On 11 January 1945 the MAG CO, Colonel Jerome, and OPSO LtCol McCutcheon, would arrive on Luzon to pick the airfield site that would eventually become Mangaldan airfield.[53]  U.S. Army engineers moved quickly with the construction of Magaldan airfield, and MAG-24 aircraft started arriving on 25 Jan 1945.  For the campaign MAG-24 and  MAG-32 would combine to form MAGSDAGUPAN (MAGSD).  The first missions would occur on 27 Jan by VMSB-241 and by 31 Jan MAGSD would host seven squadrons and 174 SBDs.[54]  At first, the missions were different than the Close Air Support that MAG-24 had trained for under McCutcheon.  The first targets were far behind front lines at San Fernando or Clark Field with the objectives being assigned the previous day using a cumbersome command and control process that required approval all the way up to the Sixth Army.[55] For these first few missions once the Marine dive bombers were in the air no further ground control was furnished.[56]

Fortunately, on 31 January Gen MacArthur gave MAGSD opportunity to prove the utility of Close Air Support.  General MacArthur ordered the 1st Cavalry division to make an audacious advance of 100 miles to Manila and free the internees at Santo Tomas.  The assignment of MAGSD was a unique mission of guarding the 1st Cavalry flank with a standing nine plane patrol from dawn until dusk.  With some “superior salesmanship and a determination to show the soldiers what Marine flyers, under proper front line control could do for them,” the MAGSD was able to attach two Marine ALP jeeps to follow the 1st and 2nd Brigades of the 1st Cavalry.[57]  The standing nine plane patrol reconnoitered ahead of the flying column spotting the Japanese positions and routing the forces around ambushes.[58]  On the 2nd of February 1945, a portion of the Cavalry was blocked by a Japanese battalion which occupied a ridge that was reported to withstand an entire division.  The attached ALP was able to call the SBD patrol to complete multiple shows of force and allowed the Cavalry to route the Japanese without the SBDs firing a shot.[59]  The same day the SBD patrol completed an ad-hoc bombing run ahead of the 1st Cavalry line in which all bombs landed within a 200 by 300 yard area and left the target in shambles.[60]  Finally, the ALP demonstrated the increased speed of communication when a Regimental commander dashed to one of the MAG ALP jeeps to report a Japanese fighter in the area.  An officer in the ALP pointed to a burning fighter 2,000 yards away which had been destroyed by two P-51s the ALP had vectored in.[60]  Within 66 hours the 1st Cavalry arrived in Manila, and the Marines of both MAG-24 and MAG-32 had proven their ability to make the innovative changes in Close Air Support work.  The MAGs received commendations from both the Brigades and the CG of the 1st Cavalry.  However, the division historian summed up the Marines contribution the best:  “Much of the success of the entire movement is credited to the superb air cover, flank protection, and reconnaissance provided by the Marine Air Groups 24 and 32.”[61]

Despite the successful dash to Manila, the ALPs of MAGSD still had a long way to go convincing the other Army commanders to make maximum use of the Close Air Support that Marine dive-bombers could provide. Ultimately the demonstration that won over one of the most skeptical Army commanders, General Patrick, was an attack on the Shimbu line east of Manila on 8 February 1945.[62] General Patrick was visiting the position of the 1st Cavalry as they called an attack on a ridge that had been drilling heavy machine gun and mortar fire on his troops. Due to the standing order that air support could only fire outside of a 1,000 yardsan, the ALP called the attack on the reverse side of the slope.  Marked with white phosphorus, seven SBDs unloaded their bombs accurately to the cheers of the men they were supporting.  Afterward, the 1st Cavalry advanced unopposed to find eight machine gun positions, 15 mortar emplacements, and 300 dead. General Patrick was impressed and asked when he could get support like that.  When asked about the standing 1,000 yard restriction he retorted, "I don't give a damn how close they hit."[63]  General Patrick would use the ALP further on the February 24th when the 6th Infantry Division would mount a full attack on the Shimbu line. Capt McConaughy, the assigned ALP officer, stated that the close air support went to "perfection." The attacks were first at 1,000 yards, then 500 yards, and sometimes inside 500 yards.  They would work all the tricks such as dummy drops to allow the American infantry to advance while the Japanese heads were down.[64]  Afterward, General Patrick would both insist on Close Air Support and that all subordinate units submit accurate evaluations of air strikes so that “the air forces will continue to give this command an increasing number of support aircraft.”[65]

World War II - Mindanao Campaign, Philippines (April - September 1945)Edit

Operations in the Luzon would start winding up mid-February 1945 when MAG-32 would move to the Southern Philippines in Mindanao. MAG-24 would follow suit at the beginning of April to join MAG-12, and MAG-32 to form MAGSZAMBOANGA (MAGZAM). During operations with MAGZAM, MAG-24 flew out of Titcomb airfield named after an ALP officer who was killed by sniper fire in the Luzon campaign.[66]  LtCol McCutcheon chose the location of Titcomb airfield during a daring reconnaissance during which he coordinated air support for Filipino guerillas and gained intelligence which allowed the ground forces in the area to land unopposed. This action netted McCutcheon the Silver Star.[67]  MAG-24 arrived on 17 April 1945 and resumed flight operations on 22 April.[68]  The campaign in Mindanao would improve Close Air Support to the point that the “infantry would come to rely on [it] to an extent rarely matched in operations anywhere in the Pacific.”[69] One example on 8 May, was the nearest Close Air Support mission yet when aircraft from VMSB-241 and 133 bombed a Japanese line only 200 yards away from friendly forces.  The SBDs dropped approximately 5 tons of bombs and the Japanese position “simply disintegrated.”[70]  Henry Chapin described the Philippine campaign as a "watershed" for Marine aviation.  The previously "sketchy doctrine of close air support had been fleshed out, refined, and honed in combat."[71] And for the most part, the Close Air Support became factory like; precise and efficient.  In one example, every day, every hour, from 0800-1500 a flight reported to the 24th Division ALP.[72] The Marines of MAGZAM received over 30 accolades from every level of Army command.[72]  However, it was the end of an era as the venerable SBD was officially retired in July of 1945.  In May of 1945 VMSB-244 would receive the SB2C Curtis Helldiver which was 20 knots faster, carried rockets, and more bombs than the SBDs but in many other ways was inferior to the SBD.  After the retiring of the SBDs, VMSB-244 would remain the only active squadron of MAG-24.  In September of 1945 MAG-24 would move with 1st Marine Aircraft Wing to Peiping China for occupation duty.[73]

World War II Group Structure, Commanders, and Battle HonorsEdit

Group

Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24)[74][75]

Forward Echelon (Treasury-Bougainville Operation: 15 Dec 43), (Consolidation of the Solomons: 16 Dec 43–30 Apr 44)
Advance Echelon (Philippines Campaign: 11 Jan 45–8 Apr 45)
Rear Echelon (Philippines Campaign: 22 Jan 45–8 Apr 45)
  • CO, MAG-24
Col William L. McKittrick (1 Mar 42–20 Feb 44)
LCol Lewis H. Delano, Jr. (20 Feb 44–bef 10 Oct 44)
LCol Lyle H. Meyer (bef 10 Oct 44–31 May 45)
Col Warren E. Sweetser, Jr. (1 Jun 45–____)
  • ExO, MAG-24
LCol Roger T. Carleson (____–1 Jan 44)
LCol Lewis H. Delano, Jr. (1 Jan 44–19 Feb 44)
LCol Robert W. Clark (20 Feb 44–____)
LCol John H. Earle, Jr. (____–____)
  • GruOpsO, MAG-24
LCol Lewis H. Delano, Jr. (____–19 Feb 44)
Maj Max J. Volcansek, Jr. (19 Feb 44–26 Apr 44)
(None shown betw 26 Apr 44–Sep 44)
LCol Keith B. McCutcheon (Sep 44–May 45)
  • CO, HgSqn-24, MAG-24
Capt Alan Limburg (actg) (____–26 Jan 44)
Maj Lawrence L. Jacobs (26 Jan 44–____)
Capt J. Devereaux Wrather, Jr. (____–____)
  • CO, SMS-24, MAG-24
LCol Robert W. Clark (____–20 Feb 44)
Capt Watt S. Ober (20 Feb 44–____)
Capt Horace C. Baum, Jr. (____–21 Jan 45)
Maj William K. Snyder (22 Jan 45–____)
Squadrons
  • Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 133 (VMSB-133) "Flying Eggbeaters"
(Consolidation of the Solomons: 24 Aug 44–11 Dec 44), (Philippines Campaign: 22 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
CO, VMSB-133
Maj Lee A. Christoffersen (____–8 Mar 45)
Maj Floyd Cummings (9 Mar 45–____)
  • Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 236 (VMSB-236) "Black Panthers"
Flight Echelon (New Georgia Operation: 7 Sep 43–16 Oct 43), (Treasury-Bougainville Operation: 27 Nov 43–15 Dec 43), (Bismarck Archipelago Operation: 16 Dec 43–7 Feb 44), (Consolidation of the Solomons: 28 Apr 44–6 Jun 44, & 1 Aug 44–22 Nov 44)
Advance Echelon (Philippines Campaign: 11 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
Rear Echelon (Philippines Campaign: 28 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
CO, VMSB-236
Maj Floyd E. Beard, Jr. (____–10 Nov 43)
Maj William A. Cloman, Jr. (10 Nov 43–12 Jun 44)
Maj Edward R. Polgrean (13 Jun 44–13 Oct 44)
Capt Glen H. Schluckbier (14 Oct 44–30 Oct 44)
Maj James A. Feeley, Jr. (31 Oct 44–____)
Maj Fred J. Frazer (____–____)
  • Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 241 (VMSB-241) "Sons of Satan"
Flight Echelon (Bismarck Archipelago Operation: 9 Feb 44–17 Mar 44), (Consolidation of the Solomons: 4 May 44–11 Jun 44, & 31 Jul 44–20 Sep 44)
Advance Echelon (Philippines Campaign: 22 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
Rear Echelon (Philippines Campaign: 25 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
CO, VMSB-241
Maj James A. Feeley, Jr. (____–12 Aug 44)
Maj James C. Lindsay (12 Aug 44–____)
Maj Benjamin B. Manchester, III (____–19 Feb 45)
Maj Jack L. Brushert (20 Feb 45–____)
  • Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 244 (VMSB-244) "Bombing Banshees"
Ground Echelon (Philippines Campaign: 22 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
Flight Echelon (New Georgia Operation: 18 Oct 43–29 Nov 43), (Bismarck Archipelago Operation: 10 Feb 44–22 Mar 44), (Consolidation of the Solomons: 17 May 44–24 Jun 44, & 31 Jul 44–13 Nov 44), (Philippines Campaign: 31 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
CO, VMSB-244
Maj Robert J. Johnson (____–25 Jan 44)
Maj Harry W. Reed (25 Jan 44–17 Apr 44)
Capt Richard Belyea (18 Apr 44–1 Jul 44)
Maj Frank R. Porter, Jr. (2 Jul 44–____)
Maj Vance H. Hudgins (____–____)
  • Marine Scout-Bomber Squadron 341 (VMSB-341) "Torrid Turtles"
Ground Echelon (Bismarck Archipelago Operation: 20 Mar 44–1 May 44), (Philippines Campaign: 22 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
Flight Echelon (Bismarck Archipelago Operation: 1 Jan 44–10 Feb 44, & 6 Apr 44–1 May 44), (Consolidation of the Solomons: 2 May 44–30 Nov 44), (Philippines Campaign: 28 Jan 45–4 Jul 45)
CO, VMSB-341
Maj George J. Waldie, Jr. (____–24 Jan 44)
Maj James T. McDaniels (24 Jan 44–9 May 44); also CO, Ground Echelon (20 Mar 44–1 May 44)
Maj Walter D. Persons (20 May 44–14 Aug 44)
Maj Christopher F. Irwin (15 Aug 44–3 May 45)
Maj Robert J. Bear (4 May 45–____)

1960s through 2013Edit

In April 1968, MAG-24 moved back to the Pacific and Kaneohe, Hawaii where it became the Marine Corps’ largest and only permanent composite Marine Aircraft Group.

At least after 1978 the 1ST Marine Brigades's (3rd Marine Division) MAG24, provided both fixed and rotary wing squadrons for six-month 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (31ST MEU) deployments.

In 1980 Marines from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines (3/3) and MAG-24 rotary craft embarked upon the USS Okinawa (LPH-3), USS Mobile (LKA-115), and USS San Bernardino LST-1189 with dedicated escorts USS Barbey (FF-1088), and the USS Gridley (DLG-21) at Pearl Harbor for a cruise to the Persian Gulf, as a force in reserve for the failed US Embassy hostage rescue effort in Iran known as Operation Eagle Claw. It's unknown if any of the Mag's fixed wing F-4 Phantoms or A-4 Skyhawks deployed upon carriers Nimitz and Coral Sea for this op.

From 1 October 1986 to 30 September 1994, MAG-24 served as the Aviation Combat Element for the 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade. From August to December 1990, squadrons and personnel from MAG-24 deployed to Southwest Asia to support Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. The last MAG-24 squadrons to return participated in Operation Sea Angel, the Bangladesh relief operation. In March 2000, HMH-362 supported HMX-1 during President Clinton's trip to India. Just after the terroist attacks of 9/11, HMH-362, the Ugly Angels, re-started the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) through the south Pacific supporting action to counter Abu Sayif terroists in the Southern Philipinnes. Subsequently, all three tactical squadrons deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, on UDP and provided aircraft to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit. The three squadrons have traveled the Pacific participating in exercises in Japan, Korea, and Thailand. In September 2004 a small detachment of CH-53Ds from HMH-463 joined HMM-265 as the Heavy lift portion of the 31st MEU Aviation Combat Element. This MEU detachment became the first CH-53Ds to participate in combat operations since Desert Storm, operating out of Al Asad Airbase, Al Anbar Province, Iraq. In early 2006, HMH-362 again supported a Presidential visit to India by providing 5 aircraft to support the mission. All MAG-24 squadrons supported efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and following HMH-362 last combat deployment in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the CH-53D heavy lift helicopter was retired from the fleet and now resides in the Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, FL.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ "United States Marine Corps: 1st Marine Aircraft Wing".
  2. ^ "United States Marine Corps: III Marine Expeditionary Force".
  3. ^ "United States Marine Corps: Marine Aircraft Group 24".
  4. ^ a b Brief History of Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24). Quantico Va: Marine Corps Historical Division. 1968.
  5. ^ a b Foust, Ray (1997). MAG-24: A History of Marine Aircraft Group 24 and all Associated Squadrons. Paducah: Turner. p. 10.
  6. ^ a b Sherrod, Robert (1952). History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II. San Rafael, CA: Presedio Press. p. 46.
  7. ^ Fredriksen, John C. (2011). The United States Marine Corps: A Chronology, 1775 to the Present. Santa Barbara. p. 115.
  8. ^ Sherrod, Robert (1952). History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II. Presedio Press. p. 444.
  9. ^ a b c 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, ([1979], ©1952). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Washington: Combat Forces Press. p. 67. ISBN 0892010487. OCLC 5126206. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  10. ^ Rottman, Gordon (2004). US Marine Corps Pacific Theater of Operations 1941-43. Osprey Publishing.
  11. ^ Fredriksen, John (2011). The United States Marine Corps: A Chronology, 1775 to the Present. p. 115.
  12. ^ "Efate". Pacific War Online Encyclopedia. 2018-10-29.
  13. ^ Ruhge, Justin (1988). The Western Front: The War Years in Santa Barbara. Quantum Imaging Assoc.
  14. ^ Shettle, Melvin (1995). United States Marine Corps Air Stations of World War II. Schaertel Publishing.
  15. ^ Foust, Ray, Selzam, David (1997). MAG-24: A History of Marine Aircraft Group 24 and all Associated Squadrons. Paducah: Turner. p. 10.
  16. ^ a b 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, ([1979], ©1952). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Washington: Combat Forces Press. p. 86. ISBN 0892010487. OCLC 5126206. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ David., Selzam, (1997). MAG-24 : a history of Marine Aircraft Group 24 and all associated squadrons (Limited ed.). Paducah, KY: Turner. p. 10. ISBN 1563112698. OCLC 800097030.
  18. ^ 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 173. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  19. ^ a b 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 182. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  20. ^ 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 170. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  21. ^ 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 171. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  22. ^ Chapin, John C (1994). Top of the Ladder: Marine Operations in the Northern Solomons. History Division, USMC. p. 6.
  23. ^ a b 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 181. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  24. ^ 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 187. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  25. ^ 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 188. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  26. ^ 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 189. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  27. ^ 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 194. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
  28. ^ a b c d e 1909-1994., Sherrod, Robert Lee, (1987). History of Marine Corps aviation in World War II. Baltimore, Md.: Nautical & Aviation Pub. Co. of America. p. 199. ISBN 0933852584. OCLC 15695675.
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  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
Bibliography
  • Crowder, Michael J. (2000). United States Marine Corps Aviation Squadron Lineage, Insignia & History – Volume One – The Fighter Squadrons. Turner Publishing Company. ISBN 1-56311-926-9.
  • Tillman, Barrett. SBD Dauntless Units of World War 2. Botley, Oxford: Osprey Publishing, 1998. ISBN 1-85532-732-5.
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