VMF-218 Hellions F4U-1D Model
Fly with the Hellions of the VMF-218 in this hand crafted F4U-1D model. Each model is carefully crafted from wood and hand painted to provide a piece you’ll love. 18 inches.
World War II
VMF-218 was organized at Marine Corps Air Station Mojave, California on July 1, 1943 and officially commissioned September 15, 1943. They departed the United States in December 1943 on board the USS Barnes (CVE-20) and arrived at Espiritu Santo on January 5, 1944. Their first combat action took place on February 15 when they covered the allied landing on Green Island. On April 27 the squadron moved to Green Island where they remained until November. During their time on Green Island the squadron was one of a number of Marine squadrons that let a then civilian contractor Charles Lindbergh fly strikes against the Japanese garrison at Rabaul.
In November they moved to Leyte to take part in the campaign to retake the Philippines. December 1944 would see the squadron as part of Task Force 38 in the Philippine Sea conducting strikes against Southern Luzon. During December they also patrolled the air over shipping in Leyte Gulf and Ormoc Bay flew cover over American convoys in various Philippine waters, escorted South Pacific Combat Air Transport (SCAT) planes over Ormoc where they had dropped supplies to ground troops, flew cover for Army ground forces on Mindoro and Cebu Islands; had covered the landing by Army troops at Zamboanga, chalked up a number of close support missions on Mindanao, escorted rescue planes and transport planes to Mindanao, provided air cover for SBD Dauntless strikes and regularly took part in combat air patrols. From Tacloban the squadron took part in escorting naval convoys, close air support (CAS) and attacks on Iliolo. On March 10, 1945, VMF-218 covered the allied landings at Zamboanga where they would then be based. From the airstrip at Zamboanga the squadron flew CAS at Capisan and conducted strikes against Bongao and Jolo. April would see more strikes against Cotabato, Parang and Malabang and there would be continued strikes against Mindanao until the surrender of Japan.
Following the war VMF-218 spent a year in China flying in support of the 1st Marine Division during their occupation to surrender of Japanese forces and provide security for the coastal cities against Communist Forces. On April 27, 1946 the squadrons pilots and 20 Vought F4U Corsairs left Guam aboard the escort carrier USS Bairoko (CVE-115). The pilots were embarked to fly the planes to Tsingtao, China for delivery to VMF-211. They made it to the southeast of Shanghai on May 8 and flew off the embarked aircraft the next day. During their time in China the squadron flew out of Nan Yuan Field outside the Chinese capital of Peiping. Following their year in China the squadron returned to Guam where they would de deactivated as part of the post-war drawdown of forces on December 31, 1949.
The squadron was reactivated in the Marine Corps Reserve in the 1950s and were based out of Naval Air Station Willow Grove near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.