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Lieutenant Jan H. Nelson, USMC
VMF-311 Hells Belles - 1943
from John Gabbard
Hells Belles - 1943
Courtesy of Dave Seaney
Sylvester the Pussycat
VMA-311 Tomcats 31st MEU
The first Tomcat patch displayed a Sylvester the Pussycat riding a bomb while flipping the Victory sign with his paw.
Shortly after getting F4U Corsairs in April 1943 a "Hells Belles" patch was used by VMF-311.
In the 1950's there was a takeoff on the first Tomcat patch of Sylvester the Pussycat riding a bomb while flipping the Victory sign with his paw -- in this 1950's version, shown above, Sylvester rides a rocket while flipping us the bird.
In 1948 VMF-311 acquired the letters "WL" as its tail designator, leading to the nickname "Willy Lovers." This nickname inspired the heart on the squadron patch.
Harry S. Gann
Jimmie R. Little
Durwood Kirby Schnell
Greg Sloan, LT.COL USMC (Ret)
1942: used "Hell's Belles" handle.
1948: with "WL" as the tail designator VMF-311 became the "Willy Lovers."
1957: VMF-311 took the handle "Tomcats."
01 DEC 1942: Established at Cherry Point, North Carolina, as Marine Fighter Squadron 311 (VMF-311).
01 JUN 1957: Fighter Squadron 311 (VMF-311) was redesignated Marine Attack Squadron-311 (VMA-311).
December 1, 1942 - - - - - Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.
March 1945 - - - - - - - - Okinawa, Japan.
1946 - - - - - - - - - - - Yokosuka, Japan.
December 1950- - - - - - - Pusan, Korea.
1962 - - - - - - - - - - - Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.
June 1, 1965 - - - - - - - Chu Lai, RVN.
196? - - - - - - - - - - - Bien Hoa, RVN.
January 29, 1973 - - - - - Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
?- - - - - - - - - - - - - Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.
June 1988- - - - - - - - - Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
1948 - - - - - - - - - - - -WL
1963 - Mar 1965 - MAG 31 MCAS Beaufort, SC
Jun 1965 - Mar 1966 - MAG 12 MCAS Chu Lai
1966 - Apr 1967 - MAG 12 MCAS Chu Lai
1967 - Jul 1970 - MAG 12 MCAS Chu Lai
Jul 1970 - May 1971 - MAG 11 Da Nang AB
December 1, 1942 - - - - North American SNJ Texan.
April 1943 - - - - - - - Vought F4U-1 Corsair.
1945 - - - - - - - - - - Vought F4U-1C Corsair.
April 1948 - - - - - - - Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star
September 1948 - - - - - Grumman F9F-2 Panther.
1956 - - - - - - - - - - Grumman F9F-8 Cougar.
24 September 1958- - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
5 November 1965- - - - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk *
20 June 1963 - - - - - - Douglas A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk *
11 September 1974- - - - Douglas A-4M Skyhawk
November 1987, A-4M side and BuNo.
WL 00 = 158424
WL 01 = 158428
WL 02 = 159979
WL 03 = 159784
WL 04 = 159785
WL 05 = 159471
WL 06 = 158193
WL 07 = 159485
WL 08 = 159781
WL 09 = 159489
WL 10 = 159779
WL 11 = 159780
WL 12 = 160034
WL 13 = 158194
WL 14 = 158196
WL 15 = 158423
WL 16 = 158177
WL 17 = 158173
June 1988- - - - - - - - AV-8B Harrier.
* November 30, 1962
The A4D-2 designation changed to A-4B
The A4D-2N designation changed to A-4C
The A4D-5 designation changed to A-4E
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
October 6, 1943, VMF-311 - Samoa Naval Air Station.
October 8, 1943 - January 1944 VMF-311 - Wallis Island (French).
March 1945 VMF-311 - Okinawa.
At war's end VMF-311 - Yokosuka, Japan, as part of the occupational force.
December 1950 VMF-311 - Pusan, Korea.
March 1965 VMA-311 - Japan with 20 A-4Es.
1965 - Apr 1967- Chu Lai
1967 - Jul 1970- Chu Lai
Jul 1970 - May 1971- DaNang AB
May 8, 1971 - Iwakuni, Japan.
17 May 1972 - 29 Jan 1973- Bein Hoa AB
January 29, 1973 - Iwakuni, Japan.
June 1988, VMA-311 -MCAS Yuma.
August 11, 1990 - King Abdul Aziz naval air base, Saudi Arabia.
01 Dec 1942 - 31 Jan 1943 - - Maj Ralph K. Rottet
01 Feb 1943 - 04 Feb 1943 - - 2nd Lt Harry B. Woodman
05 Feb 1943 - 15 Feb 1943 - - 2nd Lt Roy A. Neuendorf
16 Feb 1943 - 25 Feb 1943 - - 2nd Lt Michael J. Curran, Jr.
26 Feb 1943 - 31 May 1943 - - Capt Jack D. Kane
01 Jun 1943 - 22 Oct 1943 - - Maj Harry B. Hooper, Jr
24 Oct 1943 - 09 Feb 1945 - - Maj Charles M. Kunz
11 Feb 1945 - 14 Jun 1945 - - Maj Perry L. Shuman
15 Jun 1945 - 25 May 1946 - - Maj Michael R. Yunck
26 May 1946 - 11 Jun 1946 - - Maj James C. Otis
12 Jun 1946 - 16 Jul 1946 - - Capt James W. Baker
18 Jul 1946 - 21 Oct 1946 - - 1st Lt Rupert C. Wesley, Jr
22 Oct 1946 - 31 Dec 1946 - - Maj Francis F. Pierce, Jr
01 Jan 1947 - 03 Mar 1947 - - Capt Joseph F. Davis
04 Mar 1947 - 29 Apr 1947 - - Capt Elswin P. Dunn
30 Apr 1947 - 31 Aug 1947 - - Maj Otis V. Calhoun, Jr
01 Sep 1947 - 13 Apr 1948 - - Lt Col Harlan Rogers
14 Apr 1948 - 18 Apr 1948 - - Maj Michael R. Yunck
19 Apr 1948 - 10 Jul 1949 - - Lt Col John P. Condon
11 Jul 1949 - 26 Jul 1949 - - Maj Joseph F. Quilty, Jr
27 Jul 1949 - 13 May 1950 - - Lt Col Paul J. Fontana
14 May 1950 - 10 Mar 1951 - - Lt Col Neil R. Maclntyre
11 Mar 1951 - 27 Jul 1951 - - Lt Col John F. Kinney
28 Jul 1951 - 31 Jul 1951 - - Maj Frank S. Hoffecker (Actg.)
0l Aug 1951 - 30 Nov 1951 - - LtCol James B. Moore
01 Dec 1951 - 26 Feb 1952 - - LtCol John S. Payne
27 Feb 1952 - 02 Jun 1952 - - Lt Col Darrell D. Irwin
03 Jun 1952 - 09 Jun 1952 - - Maj Henry W. Hise
10 Jun 1952 - 25 Jun 1952 - - Maj Kenneth D. Frazier
26 Jun 1952 - 23 Sep 1952 - - Lt Col William J. Sims
24 Sep 1952 - 30 Sep 1952 - - Maj Walter R. Bartosh
01 Oct 1952 - 31 Jan 1953 - - Lt Col Arthur H. Adams
01 Feb 1953 - 20 Apr 1953 - - Lt Col Francis K. Coss
21 Apr 1953 - 31 May 1953 - - Lt Col Arthur M. Moran
01 Jun 1953 - 20 Aug 1953 - - Lt Col Bernard McShane
21 Aug 1953 - 28 Feb 1954 - - Lt Col Martin E.W. Oelrich
01 Mar 1954 - 20 Jun 1954 - - Lt Col Edward K. Peciersen
21 Jun 1954 - 25 Nov 1954 - - Lt Col Michael R. Yunck
26 Nov 1954 - 20 Jun 1955 - - Maj Manning T. Jannell
21 Jun 1955 - 05 Jun 1956 - - Lt Col James E. Johnson
06 Jun 1956 - 11 May 1957 - - Lt Col Harold L. Lantz
12 May 1957 - 24 Jun 1957 - - Lt Col Murray M. Staples
25 Jun 1957 - 07 Aug 1958 - - Lt Col Robert E. Smith, Jr.
08 Aug 1958 - 08 Jul 1959 - - Maj/Lt Col David D. Rickabaugh
09 Jul 1959 - 20 Jan 1960 - - Lt Col Paul A. Lemarie, Jr
21 Jan 1960 - 29 Mar 1962 - - Lt Col Ray D. Rushtow
30 Mar 1962 - 08 Jul 1963 - - Lt Col Harry Hunter, Jr
09 Jul 1963 - 16 Apr 1964 - - Lt Col William L. Walker
17 Apr 1964 - 25 Nov 1965 - - Lt Col Bernard J. Stender
26 Nov 1965 - 20 May 1966 - - Lt Col Jack W. Harris
21 May 1966 - 05 Dec 1966 - - Lt Col Paul G. McMahon
06 Dec 1966 - 07 Jun 1967 - - Lt Col Roger A. Morris
08 Jun 1967 - 25 Aug 1967 - - Maj Eugene Lichtenwatter
26 Aug 1967 - 21 5tp 1967 - - Lt Col EdgarK. Jacks
22 Sep 1967 - 10 Mar 1968 - - Lt Col Richard B. Taber
11 Mar 1968 - 24 Sep 196S - - Lt Cot Norman B. McCrary
25 Sep 1968 - 30 Apr 1969 - - Lt Col Charles 0. Hiett
01 May 1969 - 24 Nov 1969 - - Lt Col David A. Kelly, USMC
25 Nov 1969 - 31 May 1970 - - Lieutenant Colonel A. R. Hickle, USMC
01 Jun 1970 - 10 Oct 1970 - - Lt Col James M. Bannan
11 Oct 1970 - 24 Jun 1971 - - Lt Col Jerome T. Hagan
30 Jun 1971 - 13 Mar 1972 - - Lt Col Karlton L. Batt
14 Mar 1972 - 06 Sep 1972 - - Lt Col Kevin M. Johnston
07 Sep 1972 - 12 Jul 1973 - -Lt Col J. J. Caldas, Jr., USMC
13 Jul 1973 - 05 Jun 1974 - -Lt Col John H. Miller
06 Jun 1974 - 31 Aug 1974 - - Lt Col Ralph K. Park
01 Sep 1974 - 20 Jun 1975 - - Lt Col Bruce B. Rutherford
21 Jun 1975 - 04 Feb 1977 - - Lt Col Dorsey D. Page, Jr
05 Feb 1977 - 28 Jun 1979 - - Lt Col Albert J. Ransom
29 Jun 1979 - 13 Jun 1980 - - Lt Col Thomas L. Hampton
14 Jun 1980 - 06 May 1981 - - Lt Col M.F. Williamson
07 May 1981 - 07 Dec 1982 - - Lt Col H.G. Roser
08 Dec 1982 - 30 Mar 1984 - - Lt Col Michael D. Smith
31 Mar 1984 - 28 Jun 1984 - - Lt Col G.R. Jefferson
29 Jun 1984 - 21 Nov 1986 - - Lt Col Achim W. Lind
22 Nov 1986 - 24 Jun 1988 - - Lt Col Gregory G. Sloan (Last CO while operating A-4s)
25 Jun 1988 - 20 Jun 1990 - - Lt Col Gary O. Norris (AV-8B's)
Award - - - - - - - - - Inclusive Dates:
1988 VMA-311 was presented the Lawson H. M. Sanderson Award, qualifying the squadron as the Marine Attack Squadron of the Year.
April 1991, VMA-311 was awarded the MCAA's Attack Squadron of the Year.
No additional info
December 1, 1942: VMA-311 was commissioned as a fighter squadron (VMF) at Cherry Point, North Carolina, one year after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The squadron, utilizing twelve SNJ Texan trainers, was charged with readying pilots for combat and emphasized fighter tactics, gunnery and night flying. This vital Replacement Training function deterred VMF-311 from entering World War II until 1943.
April 3, 1943: VMF-311 was relocated to Parris Island, South Carolina, and received the F4U-1 Vought Corsair as replacement aircraft. The Hells Belles then deployed to Miramar, California, prior to entering the Pacific Theater.
October 8, 1943: VMF-311 arrived at the Wallis Island area in the Pacific via the carrier USS Nassau; and catapulted from the Nassau to their base ashore at Samoa Naval Air Station.
March 23, 1944: The squadron moved to Kwajalein Island and flew its first combat missions on the arrival day. That day, VMF-311 aircraft attacked the islands of Wotje, Emidj and others within the Marshall Island area. Thus the Hells Belles became the first Marine squadron to utilize fighter aircraft for dive bombing missions and logged over 4,000 hours against Japanese forces in the Pacific. VMF-311's 1943 mission during the campaign across the Pacific, was to isolate Japanese forces on bypassed islands, deny their escape and prevent their use of airstrips.
From 1943 to March 1945: Following a short sea deployment aboard the carriers USS BRENTON and USS SITKOH BAY, the squadron moved to Yantan Airfield, Okinawa. While there, VMF-311 led its parent organization, Marine Aircraft Group 31, in enemy aircraft kills with seventy-one. Majors Perry L. SHUMAN and Michael R. YUNCK became aces with six and five enemy aircraft destroyed respectively.
April 7, 1945: VMF-311 defending the fleet against Kamikaze attack with combat air patrols (CAP), downed its first aircraft. The CAP was the predominant mission until World War II ended.
1945: Following World War II, VMF-311 was assigned to the Far East Air Force Command and flew reconnaissance missions in the Tokyo Bay area. It was then moved to Tsingtow, China.
June 1946: VMF-311 returned to the United States and after another short stay at Miramar, settled down at Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, California. The squadron was deactivated during July 1946 but quickly reactivated in November 1946.
April, 1948: The "Tomcats" received the first jet aircraft to be introduced to Marine Aviation. These came in the form of sixteen TO-1's, better known as the P-80 "Shooting-Star".
September 1949: The TO-1 "Shooting-Star" was followed by the F9F-2 Grumman Panther.
April, 1949: VMF-311 deployed overseas again to combat in the Korean conflict.
December 12, 1950: VMF-311 flew the first Marine jet combat mission from K-9 Airfield at Pusan. The squadron later moved to more permanent airfield facilities at K-3, an old Japanese airstrip at Pohang, and compiled a total of 18,851 combat missions by the end of hostilities.
June 1951: During June VMF-311 flew 2,300 combat missions, a record unequalled by any other fighter squadron since that time. "Tomcat" pilots during this period included such famous Americans as Captains Ted WILLIAMS of baseball fame and John GLENN, later to become one of our nations first astronauts.
June 1954: The squadron took first place in the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing gunnery meet held in Korea.
April 27, 1955: The "Tomcats" left Korea for El Toro, California. In their initial year at El Toro, the squadron took first place in 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing flight time with 10,266 hours. They later took first place in the rocket phase of the 3rd MAW gunnery meet, and also won the Pacific Flight Safety Award.
1957: VMF-311 won the "Attack Trophy" in 1957. It also received the first F9F-8 Grumman Cougar jets in Marine aviation during February of that year.
1958: VMF-311 was redesignated as a Marine attack squadron (VMA) and became the first West Coast Marine squadron to receive the A4D2 (A-4B) Douglas Skyhawk. During the same year, the squadron again took the 3rd MAW Rocket trophy, was the first squadron to qualify all pilots in air-to-air refueling, and won the coveted Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award.
May 3, 1960: 1st Lt. Neal C. Dadurka, 25, died at the March AFB hospital Thursday from injuries suffered when his A4D-2 Skyhawk (BuNo 142947) crashed Wednesday. Lt Dadurka, from MCAS El Toro, was pulled from his blazing aircraft after crashing short of a civilian air strip 5 miles south of Lake Elsinore after an apparent flame out and attempted dead-stick landing on the 3,000 foot strip. Redlands Daily Facts, Friday, May 6, 1960.
May 3, 1961: 1st Lt. Joseph S. Andre was killed when his Skyhawk flew into the water about a mile off the bow of the USS Midway after launching for a routine flight as they steamed through the South China Sea. 1945 A4D BuNo 142839 of VMA-311, Pilot 1st Lt., Joseph Smith Andre, USMC, crashed into the sea approximately two miles off the starboard bow at latitude 18-04.2N, longitude 144-31.5E and sank in 2000 fathoms of water. USS Rupertus (DD-851) and USS MacKenzie (DD-836) were detached to commence search for pilot. USS Midway deck log, 03 May 1961.
June 3, 1961: 1st Lt. Harold L. Frohiep ejected from his A-4 from an altitude of about 2,000 feet when, about 25 miles from the Midway, he noticed that his aircraft was on fire. He was rescued less than an hour later by the USS Chevalier DD-805. 1714 A4D BuNo 142938 of VMA-311, Pilot 1/LT Frohiep, USMC, crashed into the sea. USS MacKenzie (DD-386) and USS Chevalier (DDR-805) proceeded to last known position of pilot to recover him. Helicpoter dispatched to pilot's position. A4D's report pilot in sight. 1857 USS Chevalier (DDR-805) commenced approach alongside. 1905 First line over. 1915 Commenced transfer of light freight and personnel. The pilot 1/LT Frohiep, USMC, was received on board. The Medical Officer reports the pilot in excellent condition. USS Midway deck log, 03 June 1961.
June 25, 1964: Capt. Phillip C. Light, safely bailed out of his flaming A-4E Skyhawk (BuNo 150099) near Twenty Nine Palms and was picked up within minutes by a Marine Corps helicopter. He was flying a practice bombing mission with another A4E. Independent, Long Beach, CA, Friday, June 26, 1964.
November 3, 1964: Capt. Philip C. Light (USMC Reserve) ejected successfully from his VMA-311 A-4E Skyhawk (BuNo 150108) when it crashed and burned at 9:55 p.m. last night approximately 73 miles east of Yuma within the confines of the range complex. Capt. Light is a member of VMA-311 based at MCAS El Toro and is at MCAS Yuma for annual training and the accident is attributed to a power failure. The Sun, Wednesday, November 4, 1964.
March 1965: In March of 1965, VMA-311 was the first squadron to flight ferry the newer A-4E Douglas Skyhawks across the Pacific to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan.
May 11, 1965: VMA-311 received orders to deploy 8 A-4Es to the advanced Marine expeditionary airfield at Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam. The "Tomcats" arrived at Chu Lai on 1 June 1965 and commenced combat missions against Communist forces that same afternoon utilizing jet assisted takeoffs (JATO) and M-2 arresting gear for landings. This Marine Corps short airfield for tactical support (SATS) consisted of 3,600 feet of aluminum matting and two sets of arresting gear. It was the first such installation ever utilized by any U.S. military forces in combat.
October 7, 1965: 1st Lt. Monty Doyel (Doyle?) ejected safely from A-4E BuNo 151192 after he went off the Chu Lai runway, plowed through the dirt hitting the Morest engine and shearing both mains off and rupturing the wing fuel cell, clipped off parts of the crash truck and ripped a drop tank to pieces before becoming airborne because of mismatched JATO bottles (one A-4 15 degree and one KC-130 30 degree.) He ejected over the bay when the helo arrived on station after which his Skyhawk flew about aimlessly for 12-15 minutes putting on a dangerous airshow over the beach before crashing into the South China Sea despite Maj. Speed Shea’s attempt to shoot it down.
October 28, 1965: A-4C BuNo 148595 was destroyed in a Viet Cong raid on Chu Lai. Four A-4Cs assigned to VMA-224 and one A-4C assigned to VMA-214 were damaged.
1965 - 1968: VMA-311 deployed twice to Iwakuni during the ensuing two years for short reforming and training cycles. While in Japan, VMA-311 retained its combat capability to support Marine contingency commitments outside of Vietnam.
March 9, 1966: 1st Lt. Augusto Maria "Gussie" Xavier was killed when he crashed (BuNo 148518) into the side of a mountain as he was leaving the target area after a strafing run about 80 miles west of Da Nang in support of beleaguered U.S. Special Forces (Green Berets) and ARVN troops in the A Shau valley. Lt. Xavier was leading a flight of four A-4 Skyhawks on a pre-dawn close air support mission under parachute flares dropped by a C-123. Lt. Xavier was awarded a posthumous Silver Star for his determination in pressing home his attack in foul weather in an attempt to support the defenders on the ground.
May 5, 1966: BuNo 147808 was being "externaled" back to Chu Lai for repairs by an Army helo, probably a CH-54 Flying Crane. The external load became unstable and the aircraft had to be jettisoned.
May 11, 1966: 1st Lt. James Henderson Villeponteaux, Jr. (BuNo 151995) was killed in mid-air collision with VMA-311 A-4E BuNo 151994 during a night time Steel Tiger strike 7 miles E of Saravan in southern Laos. Although badly damaged 151994 returned safely to Chu Lai.
September 16, 1966: 1st Lt. Thomas Howard Hawking, 24, safely ejected from his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 152020) after it struck a tree during a bombing run in support of a minor offensive by the 101st Airborne Division in Phu Yen Province about 15 miles SW of the central coastal city of Tuy Hoa. He was spotted by a Army Huey which wasn't equipped for rescue work and was killed during rescue when he fell out of the improvised sling. The Capital Times, Friday, Sept. 16, 1966.
November 12, 1966: Maj. John Henry Gallagher, 37, (BuNo 150088) was killed in a take-off accident at Chu Lai.
July 6, 1967: Maj. Ralph E. Brubaker, 33, ejected safely from his disabled A4 Skyhawk (BuNo 151032) Thursday night after a SAM missile struck his A4 Skyhawk about 20 miles north of the DMZ. Maj. Brubaker suffered a dislocated right hip and was unable to contact other aircraft because of his location. He climbed 20 feet up a bank and was able to contact a an Air Force plane who contacted rescue aircraft. Maj. Brubaker huddled in the bomb crater for nine hours before being rescued by a Jolly Green Giant piloted by Maj. James F. Hicks. The Register, Danville, VA, Saturday, July 8, 1967. Maj. Ralph Brubaker ejected and was rescued by a SAR helicopter in the DMZ the next day after his Skyhawk was hit by a SA-2 missile on an Iron Hand strike about four miles N of Thon Cam.
September 27, 1967: Maj. Gerald L. Ellis ejected and was rescued by a USAF Jolly Green Giant helicopter five miles out to sea after his Skyhawk (BuNo 152056) was hit while attacking a AAA gun sites near the village of Thon Cam Son. Ellis and Maj. John W. Warrender launched early Sept. 27 and once in the target area contacted the USAF FAC who had spotted four artillery positions in a triangular formation of trees. Unable to spot the first marking rocket the FAC Made another mark that they spotted. As Ellis attacked the target he was hit and Warrender saw his plane pouring smoke. Although the right side of the instrument panel was destroyed and the engine was badly damaged he continued the attack and dropped his 500 lb. bombs on the target and continued heading out to sea. Newspaper article by Cpl. R.R. Keene from Don Johnson.
January 21, 1968: Capt. Bobby G. Downing, 30, ejected and was rescued after his Skyhawk (BuNo 151140) was hit as he was strafing enemy troops six miles north of Khe Sahn. Capt. Downing tried to reach Khe Sanh but had to eject about one mile short where he was rescued by a USMC UH-1E helicopter as his wingman made runs against the advancing enemy troops.
January 23, 1968: Maj. William E. Loftus ejected directly over Khe Sanh after his Skyhawk (BuNo 150053) received heavy battle damage as he commenced a strafing run at 1,500 feet on an enemy troop concentration. He landed just outside the Company B, 1st Battalion, 26th Marines barbed wire outer perimeter and was rescued by a Marine platoon.
March 22, 1968: Maj. John A. Herber ejected from his Skyhawk (BuNo 151077) during a night time TPQ-10 beacon bombing mission near Hoi An, south of Da Nang.
March 24, 1968: Capt. Charles Wilbur Porterfield was on a Hot Pad Launch when his Skyhawk (BuNo 152068) went out of control and he aborted the takeoff. His A-4E (BuNo 152068) veered off the runway and exploded. Even though he ejected, he did not survive the accident.
May 5 through 8, 1968: VMA-311 flew 240 sorties from Chu Lai, RVN.
May 6, 1968: Maj. Norman E. Pridgen ejected and was rescued (BuNo 151198) after a mid-air collision with VMA-223 Capt. Manual A. Guzeman in A-4C BuNo 145096 who was leading a two plane section into the A Shau Valley. Maj. Pridgen was leading a flight of two and in the process of checking in with the FAC. Capt. Guzeman checked in and states he is low on fuel. I tell the FAC that I can wait, as I turn, to move out of the area, my aircraft vibrates and shudders. I was at about 8,000 ft. so I did not think it could be groundfire. My wingman called and said a flight of 2 A-4's had let down between the two of us and struck my aircraft in the tail. I managed to fly it to coast and when it became uncontrollable I ejected at 10,000 feet. From Norman E. Pridgen, LtCol. USMC ret., 04 April 2016.
May 17, 1968: Maj. R.W. Wardlaw, Jr. ejected and was rescued after his Skyhawk (BuNo 149970) was hit by small arms fire while attacking enemy troops seven miles N of Khe San.
September 2, 1968: Maj. Donald S. Carr ejected from his Skyhawk (BuNo 150100) near Phuc Loc 30 miles W of Da Nang and was rescued by a helicopter. Maj. Carr was damaged by ground fire after bombing a target near Nom Tru'ong Nam Dong 30 miles west of Da Nang.
November 11, 1968: Capt. Philip Dennis Barger, 26, was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 149960) was hit by small arms fire during a close air support mission near Phu Loc, 25 miles NW of Da Nang. The aircraft crashed close to the target before he could eject.
November 30, 1968: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo 150111 was DBR when it jumped its chocks during engine run-up and hit a building.
From May through September 1968: The Tomcats had flown 25,000 combat sorties and flown the most combat sorties of any fixed wing squadron in a single conflict of war.
March 21, 1969: A-4E Skyhawks BuNo 150041, BuNo 151043, BuNo 151124 and BuNo 151149 were destroyed in an NVA rocket attack at Chu Lai.
May 23, 1969: 1st Lt. Peter W. Otis ejected and was rescued when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150119) was hit by ground fire during a napalm run 16 miles NW of Da Nang.
August 15, 1969: SSGT Boyd L. Whitted, VMA-311 was killed in ground accident.
October 17, 1969: 1st Lt. T.W. Howick ejected safely when he aborted his CAS mission on take off from Chu Lai with six Mk-82's. The Skyhawk (BuNo 150107) was destroyed in the ensuing fire and he was medically evacuated out of country.
December 6, 1969: 1st Lt. Richard Vogelpohl aborted his takeoff due to a blown tire and his Skyhawk (BuNo 150080) was DBR when it veered off the runway.
February 26, 1970: 1st Lt. J.E. Barksdale ejected and was rescued by a USMC helicopter. His Skyhawk (BuNo 151135) was hit during a dusk flight by small arms fire while attacking a number of trucks on a mountain road about 30 miles SW of Hue. The port side of the fuselage was hit which started a small fire. By the time he reached Chu Lai it was dark and he ejected a few miles off the coast rather than risking an emergency landing.
11 APR 1970: 1st Lt. Jan Houston Nelson, 25, was killed (BuNo 152099) when he failed to pull out of a dive after bombing an enemy base camp about 12 miles SW of Da Nang. Originally listed as missing, not recovered, declared KIA 19 May 1970.
May, 1970: In May, the Tomcats logged its 40,000th combat mission in Vietnam, more than any other Marine jet squadron in country. As of 1 June 1970, VMA-311 had dropped more than 75,000 tons of ordnance on the enemy in support of Free World forces in Southeast Asia. The squadron's outstanding safety record was highlighted during October 1969 when it again was awarded the Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award for fiscal year 1969 for flying 10,020 consecutive accident-free combat missions.
June 7, 1970: Capt. Fredrick Palka ejected and was rescued. While flying near Dak To, 120 miles southwest of Chu Lai in II Corps, his Skyhawk (BuNo 150062) was hit by ground fire. Captain Palka stated: I heard a cracking noise, then the plane became uncontrollable. I remember flying upside down and, by some miracle, the plane straightened out and I bailed out as soon as I saw sky. I spent nearly 40 minutes on the ground in the middle of a firefight before an Army helicopter picked me up. History of Marine Attack Squadron 311. . A USMC Capt. rolled in on one of his last bomb runs and just prior to the pickle point there was a sudden thump and the plane jerked violently. He immediately attempted to drop his ordnance and pull out but didn't feel any control response. The plane continued the run, bounced off the ground and started a roll to the left. His wingman and the FAC saw the aircraft on fire on pull-off from the target and the FAC called EJECT. The pilot initiated ejection while the Skyhawk was inverted and the seat left the aircraft after it completed its roll and was upright. The plane continued to roll and hit the ground. Naval Aviation News, Grampaw Pettibone, January 1971.
Sept 1, 1970: 1st Lt. John David Lawson, 26, was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 150028) crashed into a hill without dropping its napalm during a mission supporting the ARVN near Ba Long, 15 miles SW of Quang Tri. According to Swiss photographer Giancarlo Meyer ... the jet screamed in and there was a deafening explosion. A huge orange and black fireball shot more than 100 feet into the air and pieces of metal flew in all directions. The fully loaded A4 Skyhawk on its first run, had smashed into the hillside killing the American pilot instantly. The Times Standard, Monday, September 7, 1970.
Sept 11, 1970: 1st Lt. Bernard Herbert Plassmeyer, 25, was killed when his Skyhawk (BuNo 151165) was hit by ground fire and crashed while attacking enemy troops on a ridgeline near the A Shau Valley 25 miles SE of Hue who were fighting elements of the 101st Airborne Division.
November 3, 1971: Ron Skelton (USMC) ejected safely when his VMA-311 Skyhawk (BuNo 151176) crashed in the ocean Wednesday morning 15 miles northwest of Naha AB, Okinawa. Pacific Stars and Stripes, Thursday, Nov. 4, 1971. That morning I was flying my HAC ( Helicopter Aircraft Commander ) check with the squadron commander of HMM - 164, LtCol. A.J. ( Jerry ) Kettering. About mid morning, we received a call on guard that an ejection had occurred just off Naha. We were at Hamby Army Airfield just below MCAS Futenma. After about a 15-20 minute run South and out to sea we sighted the wingman circling and he directed us to an oil spot and said he ejected very low and he had not seen the pilot since he left the a/c. We established a circular search pattern based on the oil/fuel spot. We assumed the on-scene commander role at that time. Within minutes we were soon joined by an OV-10 and a Cobra. So we had an A-4 at about 2-3,000 ft., an OV-10 about a 1,000 ft and a Cobra and us at about 100-200 ft all searching from the oil/fuel spot. After 10-20 minutes we were thinking he never got out of his chute and it wasn’t looking good. Unexpectedly, our crew chief spotted an orange smoke flare not 50 yards from the spot. LtCol. Kettering hovered over the pilot in the water and we lowered the hoist. As we were moving the hoist to him, an USAF HH-43 came up and said he had a doctor on board and would like to make the pickup. LtCol. Kettering, a great CO, said that’s a good idea and we moved off. I heard years later that the pilot was fine and his name was Rod or Rod Skelton. From James E. (UGLY) Rogers, LCol, USMC (Ret.)
January 29, 1973: VMA-311 left Vietnam having flown a total of 54,625 combat sorties and dropped 105,000 tons of ordnance during the conflict.
May 6, 1973, Masaaki hayakawa.
February 9, 1973: unknown USMC pilot escaped injury when his (VMA-311) A-4E Skyhawk (BuNo 151999) crashed and overturned while landing at Iwakuni Tuesday. Pacific Stars and Stripes, Friday, Feb. 9, 1973. The Skyhawk was SOC March 26, 1973.
March 8, 1974: 1st Lt. Mike Tenketh ejected safely when his (VMA-311) A4 Skyhawk (BuNo 150070) crashed in the sea four miles west of Naha, Japan Friday while on a routine training flight. The pilot was picked up unhurt by a Japan Self-Defense Force helicopter in less than 15 minutes. Pacific Stars and Stripes, Sunday, March 10, 1974.
March 18, 1978: 1st Lt. Bill Powers, 30, ejected safely and was rescued by a MCAS Yuma SAR helicopter when his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 159476) from NAS El Toro crashed SE of Blythe on the Yuma proving ground Saturday. Powers was on a routine training mission with another A-4 when the crash occurred. The Yuma Daily Sun, Sunday, 19 March 1978.
July 7 1980: 1st Lt. Mark Brown, 27, MCAS El Toro ejected safely from his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 158418) near Bakersfield, CA, Monday night during a routine training flight. The plane crashed about 15 miles NW of Bakersfield, and Brown was picked up by Kern County sheriffs' deputies and was treated at Delano Community Hospital. The Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, 09 July 1980. Unknown Navy pilot from NAS Lemoore ejected safely from his A-4 Skyhawk in a remote farming area of Kern County, CA. The plane, tentatively id'd as a A-4 fighter, was found early today near the town of McFarland. The pilot ejected late Monday at 25,000 feet and landed near Delano, eight miles S of the crash site. Indiana Gazette, Tuesday, 08 July 1980. 1st Lt. Mark Brown, 27, ejected safely from his A-4 Skyhawk after an in-flight fire while he was on a routine training flight. VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 158148 was destroyed at Lemoore after aircraft crashed following fire/explosion in flight, 07 July 1980. Pilot ejected. Naval Safety Center via Jim Winchester.
May 10, 1982: Maj. Richard Lyle Barton, Jr., 40, broke his leg early Monday when he ejected from his Skyhawk (BuNo 160038) for as yet undetermined reasons. The Skyhawk crashed in a remote northern section of the USMC Twenty Nine Palms Air Ground Combat Center (40 miles east of Barstow, CA ). The Register, Orange County, Tuesday, 11 May 1982. VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 160038 was destroyed at 29 Palms when aircraft experienced engine failure on recovery from strafing run and crashed, 10 May 1982. Pilot ejected. Naval Safety Center via Jim Winchester. AAR page 1, AAR page 2.
June 13, 1984: Capt. Leon Doerner ejected when his A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 159782) crashed into the Pacific Ocean 10 to 12 miles south of San Clemente Island Tuesday night while on a routine training mission. Doerner was picked up by a U.S. Navy helicopter and was treated for facial lacerations. Orange County Register, Friday, June 15, 1984. VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 159782 was destroyed at North Pacific Ocean (above Lat 45 Deg N) when aircraft experienced explosions and loss of control during PMCF. 13 June 1984. Pilot ejected. Naval Safety Center via Jim Winchester.
May 30, 1986: Capt. Lionel J. "Digger" Rotelli Jr., 27, and Capt. Steven N. "Bix" Bixler, 27, ejected safely when their VMA-311 El Toro based A-4 Skyhawks (160033 & 158158) collided over the Pacific Ocean on Friday and crashed 66 miles south of San Clemente Island during mid-air refueling. The pilots were dropped off aboard the USS Ranger and returned to El Toro by a USMC helicopter. The Orange County Register, Saturday, May 31, 1986. VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 158158 and A-4M BuNo 160033 were destroyed at North Pacific Ocean (above Lat 45 Deg N) after midair collision during formation tanking evolution. 30 May 1986. 0 fatalities. Naval Safety Center via Jim Winchester.
January 17, 1990: The Tomcats were the first Marine squadron to employ the AV-8B Harrier in combat, striking Iraqi positions in southern Kuwait in preparation for the coalition ground offensive.
1990; During the Persian Gulf War, VMA-311 flew 1,017 combat sorties and dropping 8,000 tons of ordnance on enemy targets.
April 9, 1992: The Tomcats received their first Night Attack AV-8B and VMA-311 was formally assigned as a night attack squadron.
03 DEC 1959: VMA-311 Tomcats A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142947, WL-1, MCAAS Yuma. Photo by W.L. Swisher.
1960: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 142943, WL-3, parked on the ramp with 4,500 lbs of high explosive bombs, as six 250 lb bombs are on each of the three MBERs. Naval Aviation News photo.
1960: BuNo 142943, WL-3, in-flight with 4,500 lbs of high explosive bombs, as six 250 lb bombs are on each of the three MBERs. Naval Aviation News photo.
15APR60: VMA-311 taken at NAF China Lake, dated 15 April 1960. Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 142946 pilots. Standing l-r: Gustafson, Coxe, Cox, McCauley, Baker, Trant, Murphy, James Ruescher. Front row l-r: Emery, Clark, Col. Rushlow, Glass, Cornish Coffin.
Date unknown: Left side view of VMA-311 Tomcats A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 158193, WL-00, taxiing in a lo-vis grey scheme. Photo from W. Munzenmaier.
1963-64: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 150046, WL-4, parked on the ramp next to an Air Force THUD. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
1966: Chu Lai; remains of Tomcats (MAG-12) Skyhawk BuNo 148550 (SOC 28 OCT '65) in the Chu Lai boneyard. The other two Skyhawks are most likely VMA-311 BuNo 147808 (SOC 05 May '66) and VMA-311 BuNo 148595 (SOC Oct '65). David Prendergast.
1966: 1966: right side view as Tomcat Skyhawk BuNo 150057, WL-9, launches from the MEU land based catapult at Chu Lai for the 1st time in the history of Marine Corp Aviation. Power for the cat was supplied by two J-79 engines. Naval Aviation News photo.
DEC66: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 150046, WL-4, awaits repairs from 37mm AAA damage. Charles Burin.
After June 1968: The VMA-311 pix was in Chu Lai, in 1968, sometime after June, I believe, as I had been reassigned to wing when the photo was taken. Of course, they were A4Es, Tomcats, rudders were red, white, yellow (don't know if they were always that color, or if it was because the CO Norm McCrary was a VMI grad whose school colors happened to be red, white and yellow! (I was also a VMI grad).
Circa 1967-68: VMA-311 A-4E BuNo 151038, WL-11, in the foreground & BuNo 151148, WL-5, in the lead. The A-6 and the other A-4 are unknown. U.S.M.C. photo Sgt. C.E. Erickson.
1968: 1968: BuNo 150046, VMA-311 WL-2 with 4 750# bombs with "daisy cutter" fuses, for "troops in the open" Taken at Chu Lai VN. Douglas Walton.
NOV 1968: Left side view of USMC Skyhawk BuNo 145119 assigned to Lt.Col. Erin D. Smith parked on the ramp next to a Skywarrior. Nick Williams.
Before 21MAR69: Chu Lai looking North at Chu Lai, Vietnam before March 21, 1969. The dual 10,000 foot runways running North / South are visable on picture's west side. The barracks are located along the beach near the top of the picture. Next to the barracks are two small runways used by a Navy OV-10 squadron and an Army helicoper squadron. The Americal Division starts near the top of the picture. Vietnam Highway 1 is to the left of the long runways. United States Marine Corps photograph from Dave Seaney.
15JUL69: VMA-311 "Tomcat" A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151046 side number WL 15 approaching for landing at Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan. Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
In 1969: Major Robert H. Melville Sr. was flying a duty test hop in a Tomcat A-4E Scooter. Experiencing cockpit pressurization difficulties Bob descended to a low altitude on his way back to Chu Lai. Major Melville felt he was flying over an area that was free of Slope heavy weapons. Alas, he managed to find a Soviet 23 mm anti-aircraft site while trolling through the weeds. Bob was unscathed even though the hits were in close proximity to the cockpit.
1969: Major J. L. McManaway, USMC has been mentioned in several Faulklands War books. The Major was enlisted by the Brits to provide counter A-4 information during the war. United States Marine Corps photograph from Dave Seaney.
1969: VMA-311 A-4E at Chu Lai. A Tomcat A-4E with a combat load leaves the pits for a mission. Note the port oleo is slightly low and needs servicing. United States Marine Corps photograph from Dave Seaney.
1969: VMA-311 A-4E BuNo. 151078 at Chu Lai. A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151078 side number WL 6 is pictured taking off from Chu Lai on a gift run to "dem Cong". United States Marine Corps photograph from Dave Seaney.
JUN68-SEP69: BuNo 151036, WL-22, with a centerline refueling package as she taxies by the photographer. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
1969: BuNo 150105, WL-19, parked on the ramp. At left is Tomcats BuNo 151050, WL-2. Closer shot of BuNo 151050, WL-2, assigned to MAJ Jim McManaway parked on the ramp. Skyhawk BuNo 151050, WL-2, assigned to MAJ Jim McManaway parked on the ramp behind BuNo 150105. Weldon Dunlap.
Chu Lai - 1969: Fiscal Year 1969 Accident Free Champs. VMA-311 flew 10,020 missions in 11,267 hours in FY-1969 without an accident while flying in Vietnam. This accomplishment was the result of a well trained and diligent team. Colonel Kelly is centered on the words VMA-311 just behind the sign and Major Melville is third from the fuel probe end, front row (hands touching the concrete). So, who are the rest of these guys? United States Marine Corps photograph from Robert H. Melville, Jr.
1970: VMA-311 A-4E at Chu Lai. A-4E Skyhawk side number 18 is pictured loaded with snake and nape on the Chu Lai hotpad - ready to launch! Right after this picture was snapped, second hotpad aircraft were scrambled to provide cover for a recon team in trouble in the bush. Photograph by and from Steve Kent.
A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 150111 side number WL-3 starts its takeoff roll at Chu Lai, Vietnam, loaded with bombs and stuff that goes BANG! Photograph by Harry S. Gann and photo scan by Fred Lewis.
27JUN70: VMA-311 Tomcats A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142943, WL-3, MCBR with MK-81's and pilot Bill Fitch. Photo courtesy of Lt.Gen Bill Fitch.
JUL70: BuNo 150085, WL-16, assigned to LT Steve Sanford parked on the ramp with napalm ordnance on the four wing pylons. Weldon Dunlap.
BuNo 150107, WL-18, as she taxies by the photographer, probably Chu lai. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
JULL70: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 151165, WL-5, assigned to CAPT Fred Palka parked on the ramp. Weldon Dunlap.
Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 151124, WL-9, as she taxies by the photographer with a centerline tank, MBER's with Snakeyes on the inboard wing pylons and napalm on the outboard pylons. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
1970: A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151046 - a year later. "Tomcat" A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151046 side number WL 15 flying wing on an Airforce A-1H Skyraider (SPAD). Picture taken in 1970 near Da Nang RVN. Please note the Skyhawk slats are partially open -- he's going very slow -- and the angle of incidence on the SPADs wing indicates he's going as fast as the prop can spin. Photograph by Tom Stump USAF SPAD pilot.
1970: VMA-311 A-4E BuNo. 151176 at Da Nang. A-4E Skyhawk BuNo. 151176 side number WL 1 is pictured in 1970 parked and bombed-up near the Da Nang bunker sheds. United States Marine Corps photograph from Dave Seaney.
NOV70: A USO Princess Visits the Da Nang Tomcats. This photo op was probably just for the pretty visitor! Officers and men gather around a USO performer visiting the squadron. Do you know any of these guys? United States Marine Corps photograph from Steve Kent.
01MAR71: Installation of TDS on an unknown Tomcat Skyhawk. Pic2: installation of TDS on an unknown Tomcat Skyhawk. Pic3 of installation of TDS on an unknown Tomcat Skyhawk. Pic4 of installation of TDS on an unknown Tomcat Skyhawk. U.S. Navy Photo.
MAY71: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 158171, WL-18, manned and ready for taxi. Nick Williams.
Circa 1971: Tomcat A-4E Skyhawks launching from the United States Ship Hornet about 1971. Photograph from Harry S. Gann.
1971: C.O.'s Skyhawk BuNo.151176. This picture was taken at Bien Hoa, Vietnam before June 1971. TopCat One (probably A-4E BuNo. 151176) is ready for some nasty business. Lieutenant Colonel Bannan, USMC was in command. Photograph courtesy of Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Dugan (GSE).
17MAY71: Tomcats Return to Lair. The VMA-311 Tomcats departed DaNang, Vietnam on May 17, 1971 and flew to Naha, Okinawa. After refueling the twenty Tomcat Skyhawk flew home to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. Masaaki Hayakawa was waiting near the runway to take this picture showing the twenty Tomcats in formation approaching the break. The Squadron broke in four plane units, with tight downwind interval to landing. Masaaki Hayakawa. Topcat One's Return to Lair. After the break in the above picture Lieutenant Colonel Bannan, Topcat One, in A-4E BuNo. 151176, side number WL 1 approaches touchdown at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, May 17, 1971. Photographs by Masaaki Hayakawa.
JUN72: L to R: VMA-211 CF-03, 211 CF-20, 211 CF-xx and VMA-311 WL-xx. All loaded with ordinance and taxing out. Donald M. Conner.
JUN72: VMA-311 BuNo 152070 WL-04 taxing out loaded with ordinance. Donald M. Conner.
27JAN73: THE LAST BOMB. Colonel John Caldas, Commanding Officer of VMA 311, just before he led the last combat sortie of the Viet Nam war on January 27, 1973 --- armistice day from Bien Hoa. The bomb rack was configured such that the painted bomb in the picture was the last one released from the compliment on the A-4E Skyhawk; and the Skyhawk was the last plane in his flight to drop bombs just minutes before the U.S. agreed to end hostilities around 11:45 local RVN time. The target was an old, former French rubber plantation north of Bien Hoa where there was reported enemy activity. The bomb painted by troops in the squadron says: THE LAST BOMB, 9,738.38 tons dropped VMA-311, Bien Hoa, RVN 17 May 72 - 27 Jan 73. Photograph from Steve Caldas.
1974: BuNo 158168, VMA-311 WL-15, on the ramp.
SEP74: BuNo 158168, WL-15, parked on the ramp. Gary Verver Collection.
APR75: BuNo 158169, WL-16, parked on the ramp. Gary Verver Collection
BuNo.158194 parked on the ramp with a centerline fuel tank and wing mounted MBERs. Gary Verver Collection.
MAR 1976: Right side view of VMA-331 Bumblebees A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 158181, VL-5, on the ramp, NAS Miramar, March 1976. Copyright R.W. Harrison.
AUG76: BuNo 158413, WL-02, assigned to Major Jefferson, parked on the flight line at Mountain Home AFB. Rob Mignard.
BuNo 160029, WL-10, parked on the ramp. Unknown Tomcats A-4M in the background. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
1976-77: Date unknown: VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 158173, WL-17. Name below the canopy is LT "Mouth" Rogers. Photo Jarvis.
07MAY78: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 158169, WL-16, parked on the ramp with a load of Snakeyes. Ben Knowles.
02SEP78: BuNo 158413, WL-02, parked on the flight line. Name below the canopy rail is MAJ Jefferson, XO VMA-311. Gary Verver Collection.
OCT78: BuNo.154973 of VMA-311 in Japan, Oct. 1978 with a Walleye on the centerline. Photo by Isamu Yatsuhashi and courtesy of Masaaki Hayakawa.
OCT78: BuNo.154973 of VMA-311 in Japan, Oct. 1978 with "VAQ" insignia. Photo by Isamu Yatsuhashi and courtesy of Masaaki Hayakawa.
08OCT78: A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 159473. Tomcat WL 460 on static display at a Naval Air Station Atsugi, Japan, open house, October 8, 1978. Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
08OCT78: VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 159473, WL-460, 08 OCT 1978 at Misawa. Photographer unknown from Verver collection.
OCT79:VMA-311 158428, location unknown. Photo by Werner Hartman.
1980: BuNo 158194, WL-01, parked on the line and painted in the lo-vis gray scheme. Unknown photographer via W. Mutza.
MAY80: BuNo 159477, WP-23, parked on the ramp with underwing drop tanks and a centerline MBER. Gary Verver Collection.
1980: VMA-311 Tomcats A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 158168, WL-15, in a lo-viz grey scheme, unknown location.
OCT80: BuNo 159780, WL-04, parked on the flight line with a pair of drop tanks. Name below the canopy rail is MAJ R.W. Mensley. Gary Verver Collection.
OCT80: Oct 1980 BuNo 160038, WL-02, parked on the ramp. Left side view of VMA-311 Tomcats A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 160038, WL-02, on the ramp with a pair of drop tanks, October 1980. At left is BuNo 158194, WL-01.
BuNo 160032, WL-12 parked on the ramp.
NOV80: BuNo 159473, WL-11, parked on the ramp with the hook down. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: BuNo 159483.
NOV80: VMA-311 159780 parked on the ramp next to 158427 (WL-13). Name below the canopy is Major R.W. Hensley. Photographer and location unknown.
NOV80: Left front view of Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 158194, WL-01, parked on the flight line. Name below the canopy rail is LTCOL MF Williamson, Commander. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 160032, WL-06, and ground crew. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: SkyhawkBuNo 158158, WL-08, parked on the ramp in a gray on gray camouflage paint scheme. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: BuNo 158416, WL-22, parked on the flight line with a pair of drop tanks next to A-4M BuNo 159780, WL-04. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: BuNo 160029, WL-10, parked on the ramp while being attended to by the maintance crew. At left is VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 160032, WL-06. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: BuNo 160031, parked on the ramp with a centerline tank. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: BuNo 160035, WL-00, parked on the ramp with a centerline tank. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: BuNo 160038, WL-02, parked on the ramp with a pair of drop tanks. Gary Verver Collection.
NOV80: Nov 1980 BuNo 158427, WL-13, parked on the flight line. Gary Verver Collection.
MAR81: BuNo 160028, WL-10, parked on the ramp. Gary Verver Collection.
15MAR81: VMA-311 160030 taxiing with 160038 (WL-02), location Hill AFB, UT. Photo copyright by Joe Cupido.
11JUL81: VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 158416, WL-22, 11 JUL 1981 at Davis-Monthan next to WL-03. Photo by M. Campbell from Verver collection.
05DEC81: VMA-311 160029 taxiing, location unknown. Copyright photo by Joe Cupido.
17JAN82: BuNo 158416, WL-22, as she taxies. Photo by Joe Cupido, G. Verver collection.
17JAN82: VMA-311 158416 (WL-22) take-off with 158166 (WL-12) at Hill AFB, UT. Copyright photo by Joe Cupido.
12FEB82: VMA-311 160022 taxiing at Hill AFB. Copyright Joe Cupido.
12FEB82: VMA-311 160029 taxiing at Hill AFB. Copyright Joe Cupido.
13FEB82: VMA-311 160032 taxiing at Hill AFB. Copyright Joe Cupido.
FEB82: VMA-311 159780 parked on the ramp. Photographer and location unknown.
FEB82: BuNo 160035, WL-00, parked on the ramp. Gary Verver Collection.
01MAR82: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 158168, parked on the flight line. Ted Paskowski, G. Verver collection.
APR82: Tomcats Skyhawk BuNo 158196 as she taxies by the photographer at Wl Toro. Dr. C.A. "Sketch" Eddy.
03APR82: Two A-4 Skyhawk aircraft take off simultaneously during a training exercise. They are VMA-311 Tomcats A-4M BuNo 160022, WL-21, and A-4M BuNo 160029, WL-10. Photo by Sgt. Bob Cordes.
Circa 1983: Circa 1983: BuNo 158419 WL-05 in formation with 154973, WL-11 and 160022 WL-000. U.S. Navy from Gary Verver.
BuNo 159493 VMA-311 WL-05 with bombs (MK82) and rockets. Photos Willam H. "Blacky" Blackburn.
VMAT-311 WL-00, BuNo 160031, over Death Valley. Photos Willam H. "Blacky" Blackburn.
VMA-311 BuNo 160040, WL-17, over the NorthWest U.S. Photos Willam H. "Blacky" Blackburn.
1983 - 1988
Circa 1985: VMA-311 Tomcat WL-04 on the ramp. Keith Guinn.
A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 158177 resting in the Arizona sunshine. Photo by Roxann Hays.
08APR84: BuNo 159478, WL-06, parked on the ramp. Ted Paskowski, G. Verver collection.
28MAY84: VMA-311 A-4M BuNo 159784, WL-09, 28 MAY 1984 at Luke AFB. Photo by Brian Baker from Verver collection.
Circa 1986-88: : Left side view of VMA-311 Tomcats A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 158423, WL-15, on the taxiway in a lo-vis grey scheme. Photo from W. Munzenmaier.
JUN87: BuNo 159477, WL-02, parked on the ramp with a centerline tank. Photo by J. Wegg, G. Verver collection.
No info yet.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to VMA-311: