vmfa-122 flying leathernecks usmc

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US Marine Corps - Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122
VMFA-122 'Flying Leathernecks'
 
vmfa-122 flying leathernecks insignia crest patch badge marine fighter attack squadron 02x
vmfa-122 flying leathernecks marine fighter attack squadron usmc f-35b lightning mcas yuma arizona 16x
 
STATUS:   established as VMF-122 on March 1, 1942
VMF-122 deactivated in July 1946
VMF-122 reactivated in November 1947
VMF-122 redesignated VMF(AW)-122 in October 1962
VMF(AW)-122 redesignated VMFA-122 in ca. 1965
ACTIVE UNIT
Homebase: Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma, Arizona
 
Nicknames:
Flying Leathernecks (December, 2016-)
Werewolves (January 2008 - December 2016)
Crusaders (1957 - January 4 2008)
Candystripers (WWII)
Werewolves (WWII)
 AIRCRAFT:   Grumman F4F Wildcat (1942-43)
Vought F4U Corsair (1943-46)
McDonnell FH-1 Phantom (1947-50)
McDonnell F2H Banshee (1950-52)
Grumman F9F Panther (1952-53)
North American FJ-2/3 Fury (1954-57)
Vought F-8E Crusader (1957-65)
McDonnell Douglas F-4B/J/S Phantom II (1965-85)
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet (1986-2001)
McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet (2001-2017)

Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II (2017- )
 DEPLOYMENTS:   see history, below
 
images 

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F-35B Lightning II (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) preparing to taxi during Exercise Northern Lightning at Volk Field Counterland Training Center, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin.
Exercise Northern Lightning 2018 allows the Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy to strengthen interoperability between services and gives the different
branches a greater understanding of aviation capabilities within a joint fighting force - August 2018

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F-35B Lightning II (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at Volk Field Counterland Training Center, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin - August 2018

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F-35B Lightning II (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - March 2018

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F-35B Lightning II (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - March 2018

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F-35B Lightning II (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - March 2018

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F-35B Lightning II (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - March 2018

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F-35B Lightning II (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - March 2018

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F-35B Lightning II (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - March 2018



vmfa-122 flying leathernecks f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 13
F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) Twentynine Palms, California - October 2017

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Flying Leathernecks) at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska during Exercise Red Flag-Alaska 17-2 - June 2017

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) over Australia - August 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) over Australia - August 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - July 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - August 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - July 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - July 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - July 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - July 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - July 2016

vmfa-122 werewolves f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 39
F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - July 2016

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M61A2 20mm Vulcan gun of a F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122) at Royal Australian Air Force Base (RAAF) Tindal, Australia - July 2016

vmfa-122 werewolves f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 10 mcas iwakuni japan
F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan - March 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Beaufort, North Carolina - March 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Beaufort, North Carolina - March 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Beaufort, North Carolina - March 2016

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122) Werewolves at MCAS Beaufort, North Carolina - December 2015

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Beaufort, North Carolina - December 2015

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Beaufort, North Carolina - December 2015

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska - September 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska - September 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska - September 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska - August 2014

vmfa-122 werewolves f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 04 mcb hawaii kaneohe bay
F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Marine Corps Base (MCB) Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay - August 2014

vmfa-122 werewolves f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 35
F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) over Alaska - August 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) over Alaska - August 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) over Alaska - August 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - July 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - July 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - July 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - July 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - July 2014

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Honam, South Korea - April 2014

vmfa-122 werewolves f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 59
change of command ceremony at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - July 2013

vmfa-122 werewolves f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 03
F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) near Nellis AFB, Nevada - March 2012

vmfa-122 werewolves f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 36
F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) - February 2012

vmfa-122 werewolves f/a-18c hornet marine fighter attack squadron 63
F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) over Afghanistan - May 2011

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan - May 2011

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan - May 2011

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan - May 2011

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan - May 2011

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan - April 2011

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Kandahar Air Base, Afghanistan - April 2011

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq - March 2009

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Werewolves) at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq - February 2009

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Crusaders) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - September 2003

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Crusaders) at Andersen AFB, Guam - January 2003

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Crusaders) at Andersen AFB, Guam - January 2003

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA-122 Crusaders) over Andrews AFB, Maryland - July 1993


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F/A-18A Hornet (VMFA-122 Crusaders) - July 1987

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F/A-18A Hornet (VMFA-122 Crusaders) - July 1987

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F/A-18A Hornet (VMFA-122 Crusaders) during exercise COLD WINTER 87 - Norway - March 1987



vmfa-122 crusaders f-4s phantom marine fighter attack squadron 30 mcas cherry point
F-4S Phantom II (VMFA-122 Crusaders) at MCAS Charry Point, North Carolina - June 1985

vmfa-122 crusaders f-4b phantom marine fighter attack squadron 19 mcas el toro
F-4B Phantom II (VMFA-122 Crusaders) at MCAS El Toro, California - February 1966



vmf-122 marine fighter squadron fj-3 fury 28
FJ-3 Fury (VMF-122) - 1956

vmf-122 marine fighter squadron fj-2 fury 27 uss coral sea cva-43
North American FJ-2 Fury (VMF-122 Candystrippers) aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) - 1955



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McDonnell FH-1 Phantom (VMF-122) - 1949

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McDonnell FH-1 Phantom (VMF-122) - 1949

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McDonnell FH-1 Phantom (VMF-122) - 1949

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McDonnell FH-1 Phantom (VMF-122) - ca. 1949

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The first jets to arrive at the NAS Jacksonville, Florida, were McDonnell FH-1 Phantom fighters of Marine fighter squadron VMF-122 on 9 June 1948

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McDonnell FH-1 Phantom (VMF-122) at NAS Memphis, Tennessee - 1948

vmf-122 marine fighter squadron grumman f4f-4 wildcat camp kearney
Grumman F4F-4 Wildcat (VMF-122) at Camp Kearney, California - January 1942
 
 
Marine Fighter Squadron 122 was commissioned on 1 March 1942 at Camp Kearny, California. Originally the “Candystripers”, the squadron was organized and trained under its first Commanding Officer, Major I. I. Brackett. Outfitted with the F4F “Wildcat", the squadron embarked on its first combat tour in October 1942. Throughout 1942-43, the squadron conducted combat operations on Espiritu Santo, at Henderson Field, Guadacanal, and during the Rendova and Munda campaigns.

During April 1943, under the command of Major “Pappy” Boyington, VMF-122 transitioned to the F4U-1 “Corsair”, and accounted for 35½kills. The squadron ended its first combat tour, returning to Miramar, California in August 1943. Embarking on the USS HOLLANDIA for its second combat deployment during July 1944, the squadron was outfitted with new Goodyear F4G-1A aircraft. The “Candystripers” operated from Peleliu Air Facility, conducting combat operations over Yap, Palau Islands, PuloAnna, Eomegan, and Abappaomegan. Their last combat mission of the war was a strike on Korroron 1 Aug 1945.

The squadron remained at Peleliu until reporting to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina in February 1946. Deactivated between July and October 1946, VMF-122 was reactivated and received the FH-1 “Phantom” in November 1947, becoming the first Marine Squadron to employ jet-propelled aircraft. Using the FH-1, the squadron formed the Marine’s first and only aerial demonstration team, the Marine Phantoms” or “Flying Leathernecks”. This group toured the country for almost two years, and disbanded with the introduction of F2H-2 “Banshee”. Assigned to USS ORISKANY, VMF-122 became the first Marine jet squadron to be both day and night qualified for carrier operations. In July 1952, the squadron transitioned to the F9F-4 “Panther”. Later equipped with the more powerful F9F-5 the deployed aboard the USS CORAL SEA. Following the Mediterranean Sea cruise in 1953, the squadron was assigned to MAG-24 at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina.

In January 1954, VMF-122 was the first Marine Squadron equipped with the FJ-2 “Fury”. With a change of aircraft, the squadron adopted the distinctive Candystriper insignia and tail markings. VMF-122 became the first Navy or Marine squadron to carrier qualify in the “Fury” while preparing for another cruise aboard the USS CORAL SEA. Upon completion of the cruise, the squadron returned to Cherry Point and reequipped with the FJ-3. From September 1955 through December 1956 the squadron took part in several mini-deployments aboard the USS FORRESTAL and USS SARATOGA. VMF-122 relocated to MCAS Beaufort, SC in September 1957.In December 1957 the squadron became the fastest squadron in the Marine Corps with delivery of the first F8U-1’s (F-8A) “Crusader”. A new patch was designed to go with the new aircraft and VMF-122 officially became known as the “Crusaders”. In September 1959, VMF-122 became the first Marine F8U squadron to qualify aboard a carrier, the USS INDEPENDENCE. In December 1959, while searching “second hand” shops in lower Manhattan, Lieutenant Desmond F. Browne procured the most famous “Crusader”, Mach-Altus I.

In October 1962, the “Crusaders" received the F-8E aircraft, and was designated All Weather (AW) capable. The squadron deployed to Key West, Florida during the Cuban missile crisis, setting strip alert and flying combat air patrols until December 1962. During 1964, the Crusaders deployed to Atsugi, Japan for one year, returning to MCAS El Toro, California in January 1965. At El Toro, VMF(AW) 122 transitioned to the F-4B “Phantom” and was designated Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 122. VMFA-122 deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in August 1967, operating from Da Nang Air Base. The “Crusaders” flew their first combat sorties on 1 September 1967. For the next five months the squadron flew 2540 sorties and delivered 4800 tons of ordnance. In February 1968, supporting the Khe Sahn siege, the squadron accrued 745 flight hours during 629 combat sorties and dropped 1300 tons of ordnance.

VMFA-122 rotated to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in September 1968, returning to Vietnam in the summer of 1969, at Marine Air Base Chu Lai. Following a distinguished combat record, the “Crusaders” were assigned to MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii in September 1970. The “Crusaders” were then ordered to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan as a Joint Chiefs of Staff directive to counter a North Vietnamese offensive against South Vietnam.

The squadron returned to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii on 27 December 1972. On 14 August 1974, VMFA-122 was placed in a CADRE status in anticipation of becoming the Marine Corps’ first F-14A squadron. With the decision not to accept the “Tomcat” into the Marine Corps inventory, VMFA-122 was reactivated at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina and refitted with the F-4J. On 25 September 1985, VMFA-122 flew its last F-4 sortie, completing 20 years of service as an F-4 “Phantom” squadron. On 22 January 1986, the “Crusaders” began a new era with the acceptance of its first F/A-18A “Hornet”. Throughout the 1980’s, 1990’s, and into the 2000’s VMFA-122 conducted multiple training deployments to Europe and throughout the United States. In October 2001, the “Crusaders” increased their combat capabilities by transitioning to the F/A18C. The squadron participated in the Unit Deployment Program (UDP), completing fourteen deployments to the Western Pacific.

Since returning from the squadron’s last deployment in March 2007, VMFA 122 experienced many changes. Most notably, the squadron returned to its WWII name, “The Werewolves", in preparation for VMFA 122’s first combat deployment since the Vietnam War. The Werewolves made history August 29, 2008, when the squadron stepped off American territory and headed east to participate in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In December 2016, VMFA-122 officially became known as the “The Flying Leathernecks”. In October 2017, VMFA-122 opened a new chapter of their history, transitioning into an F-35 “Lightning” Squadron stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.

source: VMFA-122

- - - - -

another history:


Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122 (VMFA-122) is a United States Marine Corps fighter attack squadron flying the F-35B Lightning II. The squadron is based out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 13 (MAG-13) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW). In December 2016, VMFA-122 officially became known as the "Flying Lethernecks”. Their traditional call sign is "Nickel". On November 14, 2017, VMFA-122 opened a new chapter of their history, transitioning from the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet to the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II and moving from MCAS Beaufort and MAG-31, 2nd MAW to MCAS Yuma and MAG-13, 3rd MAW.

Marine Fighter Squadron 122 (VMF-122) was commissioned on March 1, 1942 at Camp Kearny in San Diego, California. Outfitted with the F4F Wildcat, the squadron, then known as the "Candystripers", saw their first combat tour in October 1942. During this tour they were part of the Cactus Air Force at Henderson Field and also operated out of Espiritu Santo. In April 1943, while under the command of Major Pappy Boyington, the squadron transitioned to the F4U Corsair and accounted for 35½ kills. The squadron's first combat tour ended on July 23, 1943 after which they returned to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on August 16. For the next year after their return to the States, the squadron was reorganized and retrained at Marine Corps Air Station El Centro, California.

For its second tour, VMF-122's flight echelon embarked upon the escort carrier USS Hollandia in July 1944 while the ground echelon steamed out on the USS Tryon. Beginning in October 1944 the echelons were reunited and began operating from an airstrip on Peleliu. At times they provided close air support for Marines during the Battle of Peleliu at distances of just over 1000 yards from where they took off. The squadrons ability to provide napalm and rockets, both new weapons systems, greatly aided in the destruction of the last Japanese strongholds on the island. For the remainder of the war they remained on the island conducting combat operations until August 1945.

Following the surrender of Japan, VMF-122 returned home to Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Station Oak Grove, North Carolina in January 1946. They remained there for less than two years before being moved to MCAS Beaufort which was followed by another move to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.

The squadron was reactivated in November 1947, flying the FH Phantom, becoming the first Marine squadron to employ jet-propelled aircraft. During this time, the squadron also fielded the first and only Marine aerial demonstration team known as the "Flying Leathernecks". They toured the country for two years before being disbanded with the transition to the F2H Banshee. In April 1951, the squadron became the first Marine jet squadron to be both day and night qualified for carrier operations. On 15 May 1951, the squadron deployed from Naval Air Station Quonset Point aboard the USS Oriskany to the Mediterranean Sea, returning to the Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point in early October 1951. In 1952, they again transitioned to the F9F Panther and after a Mediterranean cruise in 1953, they were assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 24 at MCAS Cherry Point.

January 1954 again saw the squadron transitioning aircraft, this time to the FJ Fury. The next few years saw a litany of small deployments on board a multitude of aircraft carriers. The squadron relocated to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in September 1957 and in December of that year they became the first squadron in the Marine Corps to fly the F-8 Crusader. It was at this time that they transitioned from being the "Candystripers" to the new nickname of "Crusaders." The squadron became VMF(AW)-122 upon receiving all weather capable F-8Es in 1962. That year they also deployed to Key West, Florida to fly combat air patrol during the Cuban missile crisis.

In 1964, VMF(AW)-122 deployed to Naval Air Facility Atsugi for a year and returned to Marine Corps Air Station El Toro in January 1965. While at MCAS El Toro they transitioned to the F-4B Phantom and were redesignated VMFA-122. They deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in August 1967 and operated from Da Nang Air Base. For the next five months, the squadron flew 2540 sorties and delivered 4800 tons of ordnance. In February 1968, while supporting Marines during the Siege of Khe Sanh the squadron flew 629 sorties and dropped 1300 tons of ordnance. They rotated to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in September 1968 and returned to Vietnam during the summer of 1969, this time operating from Chu Lai Air Base.

Following their time in Vietnam, the Crusaders were assigned to MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii in September 1970. They were then ordered to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan as a Joint Chiefs of Staff directive to counter a North Vietnamese offensive against South Vietnam. The squadron returned to Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii on 27 December 1972. On August 14, 1974, VMFA-122 was placed in a cadre status in anticipation of becoming the Marine Corps’ first F-14A squadron. With the decision not to accept the Tomcat into the Marine Corps inventory, VMFA-122 was reactivated at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina and refitted with the F-4J in September 1975. On September 25, 1985, VMFA-122 flew its last F-4 sortie, completing 20 years of service as a F-4 “Phantom” squadron.

On January 22, 1986, the squadron began a new era with the acceptance of its first F/A-18A Hornet. Throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and into the 2000s (decade), VMFA-122 conducted multiple training deployments to Europe and throughout the United States.

In October 2001, the Crusaders increased their combat capabilities by transitioning to the F/A-18C. The squadron participated in the Unit Deployment Program (UDP), completing eleven deployments to the Western Pacific. From July 2002 to July 2003, the Crusaders completed a year-long UDP due to the "stop-move" order implemented by the Marine Corps. This allowed Hornet squadrons from Beaufort to deploy to Kuwait in anticipation of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) in January 2003. The Crusaders were dispatched from MCAS Iwakuni to many locations in the Pacific Rim, including Marine Corps Air Facility Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii and Clark AB in the Philippines. In January 2005, the “Crusaders” continued the UDP rotation, deploying to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. In September 2006 the "Crusaders" again returned to MCAS Iwakuni with detachments to Clark AB in the Philippines, Kadena Air Force Base on Okinawa, and Khorat, Thailand.

Prior to another squadron deployment in support of OIF later in 2008, the squadron's commander reverted the unit to their older World War II nickname, the Werewolves. The squadron began its first combat deployment in more than 30 years when it left MCAS Beaufort on August 29, 2010 for Kandahar Airfield, KAF. The Werewolves returned from their seven-month deployment on March 21, 2009. In April, 2012, the new commander of VMFA-122, LtCol Wiegel, decided the squadron would revert to the "Crusaders" nickname. However, after the nonprofit Military Religious Freedom Foundation threatened to sue the military under the Establishment Clause to forbid the Crusaders name and logo, the Marine Deputy Commandant for aviation directed VMFA-122 to revert the unit identification back to "Werewolves."

In December 2016, VMFA-122 officially became known as the “The Flying Leathernecks”.

source: wikipedia
 
 
 
patches & more 

vmfa-122 werewolves insignia crest patch badge marine fighter attack squadron usmc 04
former 'Werewolves' insignia


vmfa-122 crusaders insignia crest patch badge marine fighter attack squadron usmc 03
former 'Crusaders' insignia
 
 
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