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VMF-215 Fighting Corsairs F4U


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VMF-215 Fighting Corsairs F4U

Fly with the Fighting Corsairs in this hand crafted F4U model. Each piece is carved from wood and hand painted to provide a piece you’ll love.

Length – 14.25 inches

Wingspan – 18 inches

The squadron was activated on March 1, 1942, as Marine Scout Bomber Squadron 244 (VMSB-244). On September 14 of that same year they were re-designated Marine Scout Bomber Squadron 242 {VMSB-242} only to be changed again the next day to its final name, Marine Fighting Squadron 215. They trained at Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara, California prior to deploying and during this time transitioned from the SBD Dauntless dive bomber to the F4F Wildcat.

The squadron departed the United States on February 23, 1943, and was first sent to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii. During their time at MCAS Ewa they again transitioned aircraft, this time receiving the F4U Corsair. The squadron departed Hawaii on May 12 for Midway Atoll where they stayed for two months flying combat air patrols and escorting Allied shipping in the area. In mid-June 1942 they left Midway for the South Pacific.

VMF-215 arrived on Espiritu Santo on July 1, 1943, and by the end of the month was taking part in fighter sweeps against Japanese bases in the northern Solomon Islands.[5] On August 14, an F4U Corsair from VMF-215 was the first plane to arrive at the newly captured Munda airfield where they immediately began operating to cover the landings on Vella Lavella.[6] Shortly thereafter the squadron pulled back to the rear for rest and relaxation.

The squadron’s second combat tour began while they were based at Barakoma Airfield on Vella Lavella. From there they covered the landings at Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville, which began on November 1, 1943. By January 27, 1944 the squadron was operating from Torokina Airfield on Bougainville and from there the squadron took part in air strikes against the Japanese garrison at Rabaul, the Japanese naval base at Kavieng, New Ireland and against Japanese shipping near the Bismarck Archipelago.[5] During this time VMF-215 established four new Marine records in the South Pacific by downing 137 Japanese planes in 18 weeks, 87 planes shot down in one month, 106 planes destroyed in a single 6-week tour and 10 aces in one squadron.

The first fighter plane to land on Munda was a VMF-215 Corsair flown by Maj Robert G. Owens, Jr., on August 14, 1943.
As action in the Solomons drew to a close the squadron was sent to Turtle Bay Airfield where it was not deactivated but existed only on paper for a few weeks. They were reformed on May 7, 1944, and were sent to Emirau on August 5, 1944.[7] From there they moved to Guadalcanal on their way back to the United States where they eventually arrived on October 20, 1944. Upon arrival at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California, the unit was deactivated on November 6; however, they were reactivated again on November 21 and became a carrier training replacement unit. Following the end of World War II, the squadron was deactivated on November 13, 1945.

VMF-215 was later brought back as a squadron in the Marine Forces Reserve and were based out of Naval Air Station Olathe in Kansas. They were never recalled to active duty and were decommissioned for the last time on January 30, 1970.