vma-211 wake island avengers marine attack squadron

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US Marine Corps - Marine Attack Squadron 211
VMA-211 'Wake Island Avengers'
 
vma-211 avengers insignia crest patch badge usmc attack squadron
vma-211 wake island avengers marine attack squadron usmc av-8b harrier ii+ 15x
 
STATUS:   established as VF-4M on January 1, 1937
VF-4M redesignated VMF-2 on July 1, 1937
VMF-2 redesignated VMF-211 on July 1, 1941
VMF-211 redesignated VMA-211 in 1952
VMA-211 redesignated
VMFA-211 on June 30, 2016
 AIRCRAFT:   Douglas A-4 Skyhawk (1952-1989)
McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier (1990-2016)
 DEPLOYMENTS:    
 

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vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 57 uss makin island lhd-8
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - August 2016

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 56
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - July 2016

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 20 uss america lha-6
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS America (LHA 6) - May 2016

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 21
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS America (LHA 6) - May 2016

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 79 centcom aor
VMA-211 forward deployed - CENTCOM AOR - January 2015

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 73 operation inherent resolve
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) during Operation Inherent Resolve - January 2015

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 72
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - January 2015

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 55
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - December 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 54 uss makin island lhd-8
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - September 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 53
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - September 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 37
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - July 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 05 uss peleliu lha-5
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Peleliu (LHA 5) - March 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 04
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Peleliu (LHA 5) - March 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 06
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Peleliu (LHA 5) - March 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 02
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - February 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 78 uss makin island lhd-8
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) - January 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 71 twentynine palms
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California - January 2014

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 15
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - August 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 67
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 69
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 68
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 70
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 19
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 64
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 65
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 77 tyndall afb florida
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 76 tyndall afb florida
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 66
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - July 2013

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 75 mcas yuma arizona
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - November 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 74 afghanistan
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - October 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 22
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 25
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 35
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 33
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 34
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 61 afghanistan
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 60
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 59
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 63
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 62
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 30
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) maintenance while deployed to Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 avengers av-8b harrier maintenance afghanistan 2012
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) maintenance while deployed to Afghanistan - September 2012

marine attack squadron vma-211 avengers av-8b harrier afghanistan 2012
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) maintenance while deployed to Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 36
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) maintenance while deployed to Afghanistan - September 2012

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 24 uss essex lhd-2
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - February 2011

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 29
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - February 2011

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier uss essex lhd-2 2011 52
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - February 2011

marine attack squadron vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier
AV-8B Harriers (VMA-211) flying over Wake Island - January 2011

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 51
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - January 2011

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 39
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - undated

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 17
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Eielson AFB, Alaska - April 2010

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 50
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - July 2009

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 07
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - July 2009

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 58
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - July 2009

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 49 uss essex lhd-2
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - June 2009

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 26
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - April 2009

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 23
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - February 2009

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 08
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) - January 2009

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 46 uss tarawa lha-1
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - March 2008

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 48
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - March 2008

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 47 uss tarawa lha-1
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - March 2008

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 44
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - March 2008

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 45
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - March 2008

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 43
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - December 2007

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 38
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - September 2007

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 09
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - September 2007

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 42
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Tarawa (LHA 1) - September 2005

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 41 uss bonhomme richard lhd-6
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) - March 2003

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 40
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) aboard USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) - January 2002

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 16 kuwait
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - Kuwait - 1998

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 28
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - 1998

vma-211 wake island avengers av-8b harrier ii marine attack squadron usmc 27
AV-8B Harrier (VMA-211) - 1998

vma-211 wake island avengers a-4m skyhawk marine attack squadron usmc 03
A-4M Skyhawk (VMA-211) - 1979

vma-211 wake island avengers a-4m skyhawk marine attack squadron usmc 13
A-4M Skyhawk (VMA-211) - 1979

vma-211 wake island avengers a-4m skyhawk marine attack squadron usmc 12 agm-45 shrike missile
A-4M Skyhawk (VMA-211) firing an AGM-45 Shrike missile - 1970's

vma-211 wake island avengers a-4m skyhawk marine attack squadron usmc 14
A-4M Skyhawk (VMA-211) - 1970's

vma-211 wake island avengers a-4e skyhawk marine attack squadron usmc 11
A-4E Skyhawk (VMA-211) - 1971
  
 
VMA-211 can trace its lineage to January 1, 1937 when Marine Fighting Squadron 4 (VF-4M) was activated at Naval Air Station San Diego, California. On July 1, 1937 VF-4M was re-designated Marine Fighting Squadron 2 (VMF-2) and by the end of the year, had completely reequipped with Grumman F3F-2s which replaced F3F-1s and a few even older F2F-1s. The squadron participated in annual Fleet Problems while at San Diego and even played a part in the making of the movie "Dive Bomber." Several future Medal of Honor recipients served with the squadron during this period, including Henry Elrod, Robert Galer, and Gregory Boyington. In January 1941, the squadron moved to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii and was re-designated VMF-211 on July 1, 1941.

In November 1941, VMF-211 embarked 12 of its 24 Wildcats and 13 of its 29 pilots aboard the USS Enterprise for movement to Wake Island, the scene of the squadron's heroic battle. On December 8, 1941 the Japanese attacked Wake, destroying seven of the aircraft on the ground. Over the next two weeks, the remaining five planes repelled numerous attacks and inflicted great losses on the enemy.

During the course of this defense, the Marine ground forces and VMF-211 caused the loss of at least four enemy warships, including the first major Japanese naval vessels sunk during the Pacific war. The squadron was also credited with 8 aircraft destroyed. After the loss of its last aircraft, the squadron became a ground unit and fought until the surrender of the atoll. The first Marine airman to be awarded the Medal of Honor in World War II was VMF-211's Henry T. Elrod. A planned operation to reinforce Wake Island was deemed too dangerous by the fleet command, and on December 23 Wake Island was finally overrun by a numerically superior enemy.

The squadron's rear echelon at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa lost all but one of its twelve F4F-3s during the attack on Pearl Harbor, and even this lone survivor was lost when it was transferred to the Navy. Slowly rebuilding as personnel and aircraft became available, the squadron, now under the command of Major Luther S. Moore was deployed in May 1942 to Palmyra Atoll in the South Pacific and adopted the name "Avengers" in memory of those squadron members who were killed or captured on Wake Island. When first deployed, VMF-211 was equipped with the Brewster F2A-3 and it was not until July that sufficient numbers of Grumman F4F-4 Wildcats became available to re-equip the squadron. As the Pacific Campaign continued the squadron transitioned to the F4U Corsair for the remainder of the war. VMF-211 participated in the Treasury-Bougainville Campaign, Battle of the Bismarck Sea, Northern Solomon, Battle of Leyte Gulf and Southern Philippine campaigns.

After World War II, VMF-211 participated in the occupation of China where they would eventually provide cover for American forces evacuating the country before the Communist takeover in December 1948. Following this action they returned to Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Field Edenton, North Carolina, in 1949. While operating aboard the USS Coral Sea (CV-43) in 1952, the squadron was re-designated Marine Attack Squadron 211 (VMA-211) when they transitioned to the AD-4N Skyraider. In 1957, the squadron received its first A4D-1 Skyhawks and subsequently moved to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California in 1958. VMA-211 flew various versions of the Skyhawk, receiving the A4D-2 (A-4B) in 1958, the A4D-2N (A-4C) in 1960, the A-4E in 1964, and the A-4M in 1976.

With escalation of the Vietnam War, VMA-211 moved to Japan in 1965 and commenced the first of four deployments to the Republic of Vietnam. In August 1976, the squadron returned to MCAS El Toro.

VMA-211 was deployed in the spring of 1972 to Naha Air Force base on Okinawa and within three months was redeployed to Bien Hoa Air Base in Viet Nam. It was the only strategic American fighting unit left in Viet Nam except for small Army Air Cav unit in Bien Hoa.

In September 1987, the squadron celebrated an aviation milestone when it passed 30 years of flying the McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. After successfully completing the last overseas deployment with the A-4M Skyhawk in 1989, VMA-211 began transferring these aircraft to the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing in preparation for transition to the AV-8B Night Attack aircraft. In June 1990 the squadron began flying the Night Attack variant of the Harrier. During this time the Avengers were awarded Marine Corps Aviation Association "Attack Squadron of the Year" three times, in 1995, 1996, and 1998.

In September 2000, the squadron began introduction of the latest Harrier variant, the AV-8B II+ radar aircraft. The squadron soon fielded a complement of both Radar and Night Attack Harriers.

After the September 11 terror attacks, the squadron deployed to the Arabian Sea aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD-6). The Avengers participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, flying combat missions against targets in Afghanistan from January to March 2002.

After a short break, the following January found the Avengers aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard. This time the squadron was headed for the Persian Gulf, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). In one month of combat flying, the squadron flew over 360 sorties and 640 hours of flight time. The squadron returned to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in May 2003.

The squadron deployed to Iraq off USS Essex (LHD-2) from October 2004 through February 2005 where they were based at Al Asad Airbase. They again deployed to Al Asad from the USS Tarawa in support of OIF from October 2005 until January 2006.

In September 2006, the Avengers again deployed in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM to Al Asad Air Base. From January until August 2009, the squadron again deployed as part of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit on board the USS Essex (LHD-2).

In April 2012, the Avengers deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, moving from Kandahar Airfield to British-run Camp Bastion in July.

While at Camp Bastion, the Avengers once again found themselves engaged in ground combat as they helped to repel a Taliban attack on the base. During the attack, six Harriers were destroyed, and two severely damaged. Two Marines were also killed, including the squadron commander, LtCol Christopher "Otis" Raible.

The Avengers once again prepared for combat operations in the summer of 2014. VMA-211 Detachment Alpha deployed aboard the USS Makin Island in July 2014. Shortly afterwards, in September 2014 the VMA-211 main element deployed as a part of SPMAGTF-CC-CR 15.1 in direct support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE. VMA-211 Harriers both aboard the USS Makin Island and forward deployed engaged in combat operations against ISIL in Iraq and Syria from October 2014 to March 2015. On its last combat deployment operating the AV-8B Harrier, VMA-211 executed over 650 combat missions, 4500 combat hours and employed over 91,000 pounds of ordnance against the enemy in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

Upon returning in March of 2015, VMA-211 set its sights on the transition to VMFA-211 and the F-35B Lightning II. VMA-211 flew its final AV-8B Harrier flight on 6 May 2016, and the first F-35B was delivered on 9 May 2016. On 30 June 2016, VMA-211 was officially re-designated as VMFA-211.  
 
 
 

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