VMF-313 Lily Packin’ Hellbirds Patch – Sew On
Marine Fighting Squadron 313 (VMF-313) was a reserve fighter squadron in the United States Marine Corps. They were a part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing and stationed at Naval Air Station New York. Also known as the “Lily Packin’ Hellbirds” and the “Lilly Packin’ Death Falcons”, they fought in World War II mainly during the Philippines Campaign, 1944-45. The squadron was decommissioned in the 1950s.
World War II
VMF-313 was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro on October 1, 1943. They trained there until May 1944 when they moved to Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean. There they continued to train including training with Charles Lindbergh in April 1944. In July 1944, the squadron flew to Emirau in the Solomon Islands and began to attack Japanese shipping in the area around Kavieng.
They arrived at Tacloban Airfield on Leyte on December 3, 1944 as part of Marine Aircraft Group 12. During the Philippines Campaign, 1944-45 the squadron lost 16 of its F4U-Corsairs. In one notable incident while in the Philippines, Major Theodore Olsen, took off in a plane that had over 300 patches from earlier missions. The plane failed while airborne and Olsen was killed after he hit the tail while bailing out.
During the War, VMF-313 was credited with destroying nine enemy aircraft in aerial combat.
The squadron was reactivated following World War II becoming part of the Marine Forces Reserve and were based out of New York state. They were decommissioned during the 1950s.