VMA-322 / VMF-322
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VMF-322 - Fighting Cocks - 1946(?)
Provided by John Gbbard
VMA-322 used the Fighting Gamecock patch from May 1958 to June 27, 1992.
Mr. Daniel Ventre
Mr. Frank J. Mirande
Lanny Bauer MSgt. USMC Retired
July 1943 - - May 1958 Cannon Balls
15 May 1958 - June 1992 Fighting Gamecocks
May 1958- - - June 1992 Radio Call-sign - Motly - QR Tail Code
July 1, 1943 - First established as Marine Fighter Squadron 322(VMF-322).
November 30, 1949 - Marine Fighter Squadron 322 (VMF-322) was disestablished.
July 6, 1951 - Next established as Marine Fighter Squadron 322 (VMF-322).
May 1958 - - - Re-designated as VMA-322.
June 27, 1992 - VMA-322 was disestablished.
7/1/43- - - - - - Established at Cherry Point
1943 - 1/44 - - - Parris Island, South Carolina
1/44 - 10/44- - - Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii
10/44 - 4/3/45- - Espiritu Santo Island
4/3/45 - 7/45 - - Kadena, Okinawa
7/45 - 11/45- - - Awase, Okinawa
11/45 - 7/47- - - Midway Island
7/47 - 4/49 - - - Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii
4/49 - 11/30/49 - Naval Auxiluary Air Station Edenton, North Carolina
7/6/51 - 1/54 - - Naval Air Station Squantum, Massachusetts
1/54 - 6/27/92- - Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts
? - QR - Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts
Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
1943 - - - - - - - Chance Vought F4U-1D Corsair
1943 - - - - - - - Goodyear FG-1D
1945 - - - - - - - Chance Vought F4U-4 Corsair
Jan 1954 - - - - - Grumman F9F-6 Cougar
Nov 1959 - - - - - North American FJ-3 Fury
Sept 1962- - - - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk *
1973 - - - - - - - Douglas A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk *
1 May 1983 - - - - Douglas A-4M Skyhawk
19xx - - - - - - - Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk
19xx - - - - - - - Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
* 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
10/44 - 4/3/45 - Espiritu Santo Island
4/3/45 - 7/45- - Kadena, Okinawa
7/45 - 11/45 - - Awase, Okinawa
11/45 - 7/47 - - Midway Island
May, 1962- - - - Udorn Thailand
July 1943 ------- Maj. Frederick M Rauschenbach
May 1945 -------- Maj. Walter Lischeid
January 1947 ---- Capt. D.D. Blue
February 1947 --- LtCol. Homer G Hutchinson, Jr
December 1948 --- LtCol. James C. Lindsay
March 1949 ------ Maj. Quinton R Johns
July 1951 ------- Capt. Paul A. Miller
September 1951 -- Capt. Frederick L. Doyle
March 1952 ------ LtCol. Edward McGee
March 1955 ------ LtCol. Dobbins
October 1957 ---- LtCol. H.C. Langenfield
November 1959 --- LtCol. McClourey
June 1960 ------- LtCol. John W Tuttle
May 1962 -------- Col. Harvey Patton
June 1963 ------- LtCol. Thomas W. Conlon
June 1965 ------- LtCol. B.H. Williams
March 1966 ------ LtCol. Charles Darcy
March 1968 ------ LtCol. James M Mitchell, Jr.
March 1970 ------ LtCol. Ronald J. Sederman
March 1973 ------ LtCol. Hillary M. LeClaire
June 1975 ------- LtCol. Bruce Martin
June 1977 ------- LtCol. David Hallett
June 1981 ------- LtCol. Jack Haag
June 1983 ------- LtCol. Kevin Danchy
June 1985 ------- LtCol. Thomas McNeil
June 1987 ------- Col. Andrew Ley
June 1989 ------- LtCol. Robert Kudwa
June 1991 ------- Col. Daniel Ventre
Presidentail Unit Citation Streamer WW-II
Asiatic - Pacific Campaign Streamer with Bronze Star WW-II
World War II Victory Streamer
Pete Ross Safety Trophy - 1964
Pete Ross Safety Trophy - 1987
July 1, 1943: Marine Attack Squadron 322 is activated as Marine Fighter Squadron 322. At that time, the Squadron was referred to as "the Cannon Ball Squadron."
Fall 1943: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 was transferred to Parris Island, South Carolina where it began training in the F4U-1D Corsair.
January 1944: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 deployed to Marine Corps Air Stations EWA Oahu, Hawaii, where it underwent extensive combat flight training.
October 1944: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 then moved to Espiritu Santo Island located in the South Pacific. VMF-322 was then attached to MAG-33 and received the Squadron's first combat orders of the Second World War, to support the amphibious invasion of the island of Okinawa.
April 3, 1945: On the morning of April 3, the Squadron's lead support element was struck by a Japanese Kamikaze aircraft while attempting to come ashore in a LST. Over one hundred fifty VMF-322 Marines were killed instantly in the attack.
April 9, 1944: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 continued on, in true fighting spirit and flew their F4U-1D Corsairs into Kadena airfield and continued their fighter and attack missions in support of the battles on Okinawa and Iheya Shima.
June 12, 1945: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 conducted the first attack mission by a Marine squadron against the Japanese mainland when they bombed and strafed Kanoya Airfield on Kyushu.
July 1945: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 the Squadron moved from Kadena to Awase Airfield where they operated until the end of the war. In addition to the numerous close air support and other attack missions conducted, VMF-322 was also credited with 20 kills at the time of the Japanese surrender.
November 1945: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 moved to Midway Island where they were attached to MAG-44 and received new F4U-4 Corsairs. The Squadron remained on Midway until July 1947.
July 1947: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 moved back to Marine Corps Air Stations EWA Oahu, Hawaii to become part of MAG-15.
April 1949: VMF-322 finally returned to the United States aboard the USS Princeton (CV-37) and was stationed at Marine Corps Air Stations Edenton, North Carolina.
November 30, 1949: The Squadron was disestablished.
July 6, 1951: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 was established at the Naval Air Station Squantum, Massachusetts, just outside of the city of Boston. The Squadron was attached to the Marine Air Reserves and continued to fly the F4U-4 Corsair. Many of the new Reserve Pilots joining VMF-322 were just returning from service in Korea.
December 1953: The United States Navy reactivated Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts.
January 1954: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 moved to Naval Air Station South Weymouth, Massachusetts.
March of 1955: Marine Fighter Squadron 322 retired the last of their F4U Corsairs and received the new F9F-6 Grumman Cougar. The Squadron had the distinction of being the first unit in New England flying jet aircraft.
May 1958: VMF-322 was redesignated Marine Attack Squadron 322 (VMA-322), recognizing the primary mission of close air support. At this time, a new Squadron Emblem was designed and the unit begin its heritage as "The Fighting Gamecocks."
November 1959: Marine Attack Squadron 322 transitioned to the North American FJ-3 Fury.
May 1962: Short (1.5 months) deployment to Udorn, Thailand.
September 1962: Marine Attack Squadron 322 transitioned to the Douglas A-4C Skyhawk. During the years that followed, VMA-322 flew four versions of the legendary Skyhawk: the A-4C, A-4E, TA-4J and the A-4M.
December 7, 1975: An unidentified pilot ejected safely from his A-4E BuNo 150135 crashed in a wooded area near Colebrook, NH, after an unrecoverable spin.
March 25, 1977: VMA-322 Capt Bob Frame landed short of the runway in A-4E BuNo 150083 at NAS South Weymouth in snow fog. Pilot uninjured.
July 31, 1983: Maj. Tom Turner ejected shortly after his A-4M BuNo 154183 hit the runway and burst into flames while making a refueling stop at El Paso (Texas) International Airport on. Turner's plane was one of four A-4Ms enroute from South Weymouth, MA, to Yuma, AZ.
November 25, 1986: Unidentified USMC pilot and co-pilot ejected safely from their TA-4J BuNo 155079 after it exploded, burst into flames and trailed wreckage for about 2,000 feet upon landing at NAS South Weymouth.
VMA-322 absorbed VMA-217, also based at South Weymouth.
July 14, 1991: An unidentified pilot ejected safely before his TA-4F BuNo 154622 plunged into Cape Cod Bay five miles off the mouth of the Cape Cod canal.
June 27, 1992: Disestablished.
Marine Fighter Squadron 322 & Marine Attack Squadron 322:
MAY 1971: A-4C 148571, flown by VMA-322 based at NAS South Weymouth, MA; landing at NAS Willow Grove, PA. BuNo 148571 is listed as a NAS MARTD a/c at South Weymouth.
JUL 1978: A-4E 149655 of VMA-322 lost it's nose cone in-flight and landed at NAS Willow Grove. Photo by Ron Picciani. Later 149655 was lost to engine fire when assigned to VC-13 off the California coast on May 22, 1985. Pilot ejected safely.
BuNo 152080 QR 57 on the ramp.
Off-Duty PhotosPictures from the MCAA Boston Squadron's Annual Lobster Bake held in September, 2002. "Thank you" to Buckhout for the prints. The MCAA Boston Squadron is a great group of those who live in the area (or can get there).
From VMA-322 SDO John Margie who scanned the prints, and provided them to the Association.
A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to VMA-322: