VMF-312 Checkerboards Plaque
Fly with the Checkerboards of VMF-312 with this handcrafted plaque. Each model is carefully carved from wood to provide a piece you’ll love. 18 inches
World War II
Marine Fighter Squadron 312 (VMF-312) was commissioned on June 1, 1943, at Page Field, Parris Island, South Carolina. Originally it was part of MAG-31, 1st MAW. As first aircraft the squadron received 10 SNJ-4 Texans and one F4U-1D Corsair. As their unit crest the squadron members choose a satan-like bulldog wearing a flying helmet and carrying -at that time- six .50 caliber machineguns (the armament of the Corsair) drawn by Technical Sergeant James R. Wroble. In honor of their commanding officer, Major Richard M. Day, the men nicknamed their squadron “Day’s Knights”.Also at this time, the Checkerboards emblem began to appear on both the cowling and rudder of the aircraft.
After being transferred in August 1943 to MAG-32, 3rd MAW, the squadron relocated to San Diego, California, and departed Parris Island on January 2, 1944, and headed for Miramar. They departed MCAS Miramar on February 28, 1944 and headed for Marine Corps Air Station Ewa on Hawai. VMF-312 trained at Ewa for 3 months and then headed out for Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides to become part of MAG-11, 2nd MAW.
Assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 11 on June 25, 1944, the squadron was transported to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, where they received 24 FG-1 Corsairs. VMF-312’s first combat action came on April 12, 1945 during the Battle of Okinawa as part of Marine Aircraft Group 33 (MAG-33), when four squadron aircraft intercepted 20 Japanese Zeros and achieved eight kills without a loss. VMF-312 continued to operate from Kadena Air Base on Okinawa until the cessation of hostilities. By war’s end, the squadron had accounted for 59.5 air combat kills in the Pacific Theater.
Between September 1945 and February 1946 VMF-312 participated in the occupation force stationed on Okinawa.