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US Marine Corps - Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224
VMFA(AW)-224 'Bengals'
 
vmfa(aw)-224 bengals insignia crest patch badge marine fighter attack squadron usmc 02x vmfa(aw)-224 bengals marine fighter attack squadron usmc f/a-18d hornet mcas beaufort south carolina 04x
 02/20
STATUS:   established as VMF-224 on May 1, 1942
VMF-224 redesignated VMA-224 on December 1, 1954
VMA-224 redesignated VMA(AW)-224 on November 1, 1966
VMA(AW)-224 redesignated VMFA(AW)-224 on March 6, 1993
ACTIVE UNIT
 
Homebase: MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina
 AIRCRAFT:   Grumman F4F Wildcat
Vought F4U Corsair
McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee
Grumman F9F Panther
Douglas A4D-1 / A-4C Skyhawk
Grumman A-6A/E Intruder
McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18D Hornet
 DEPLOYMENTS:   various ship and shore based deployments (see history)
 
images 

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F/A-18C Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Misawa Airbase, Japan - October 2019

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Misawa Airbase, Japan - October 2019

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Norway during Exercise Trident Juncture 18 - October 2018

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Operation Inherent Resolve - August 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Operation Inherent Resolve - August 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Operation Inherent Resolve - May 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Operation Inherent Resolve - May 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - May 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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excerpt

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Jaded Thunder at Salina Airport, Kansas - February 2017

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during an inflight refueling exercise - May 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during an inflight refueling exercise - May 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - March 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - March 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - March 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Chitose Air Base, Japan - January 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Chitose Air Base, Japan - January 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Chitose Air Base, Japan - January 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Chitose Air Base, Japan - January 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Chitose Air Base, Japan - January 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Chitose Air Base, Japan - January 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Chitose Air Base, Japan - January 2016

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - September 2015

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - September 2015

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - September 2015

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - August 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during Exercise Lava Viper at MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii - January 2014

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - September 2013

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) - CO's last flight at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - May 2013

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) - CO's last flight at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina - May 2013

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during exercise Cobra Gold - Thailand - February 2013

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during exercise Cobra Gold - Thailand - February 2013

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) during exercise Cobra Gold - Thailand - February 2013

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - August 2012

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Hawaii - July 2010

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Hawaii - July 2010

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Al Asad Airbase, Iraq - January 2005

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Al Asad Airbase, Iraq - January 2005

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Al Asad Airbase, Iraq - January 2005

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Al Asad Airbase, Iraq - January 2005

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Iraq - January 2005

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Andersen AFB, Guam - November 2003

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) over Gibraltar on their way to Aviano Airbase, Italy - February 1997

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Aviano Airbase, Italy - December 1995

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) at Aviano Airbase, Italy - December 1995

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F/A-18D Hornet (VMFA(AW)-224) - May 1995



VMA(AW)-224 (1966-93)

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A-6E Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - August 1991

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A-6E Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) at MCAS Yuma, Arizona - August 1991

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A-6E Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) - September 1987

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A-6E Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - 1984

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A-6E Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - 1984

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A-6E Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - 1984

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A-6E Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina- 1984

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A-6E Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) - 1989

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A-6A Intruder (VMA(AW)-224 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) - 1972

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A-6A Intruder (VMA(AW)-224 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) - 1972

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A-6A Intruder (VMA(AW)-224 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) - 1972

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Mk.82 bombs were loaded onto a A-6A Intruder (VMA(AW)-224 / CVW-15) aboard USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) - 1972

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A-6A Intruder (VMA(AW)-224 / CVW-15) embarked on USS Coral Sea (CVA 43) - 1972

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A-6A Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) over MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - June 1967

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A-6A Intruder (VMA(AW)-224) over MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina - May 1967



VMA-224 (1954-66)

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A-4E Skyhawk (VMA-224) at Chu Lai, Vietnam - September 1966

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A4D-2 Skyhawk (VMA-224 / CVG-7) aboard USS Independence (CVA 62) - 1960-61

 
Marine Fighter Squadron (VMF) 224 was commissioned on 1 May 1942 at Barbers Point, Hawaii. Flying Grumman F4F Wildcats, the Bengals entered WWII as part of the vaunted Cactus Air Force stationed on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. Led by Medal of Honor recipient Maj Robert Galer, the squadron accounted for over sixty Japanese aircraft being destroyed in less than two months. The squadron also conducted infantry support missions while under constant attack from Japanese Naval, Air, and Ground Forces. VMF-224’s superb performance contributed significantly to the American victory at Guadalcanal, which in turn, helped stem the tide of the Japanese advance across the Southern Pacific and secured a crucial foothold in the long island-hopping campaign to Japan.

After Guadalcanal, the squadron was refitted with the Vought F4U Corsair and participated in the Marshall Islands Campaign. The spring of 1945 found VMF-224 participating in the last great battle of the Pacific Campaign. Arriving on Okinawa one week after the battle had begun, the squadron operated for the duration of the campaign from the newly captured airfield at Yomitan. Throughout the desperate struggle for Okinawa, the Bengals flew infantry support and counter air missions accounting for an additional fifty-five enemy aircraft being destroyed.

Following the surrender of Japan, the squadron served in various capacities in the States and overseas. The squadron entered the jet era in 1951 with the acceptance of the F2H-2 Banshee. In 1952, after completing a Mediterranean Cruise aboard the USS Roosevelt, the squadron accepted the Grumman F9F-5 Panther, and was re-designated Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 224.

In July 1956, the squadron became the first Marine unit to field the A4D-1 Skyhawk aircraft. In 1965, after two cruises, a year deployed to Iwakuni, Japan, and numerous other training deployments, the Bengals entered the Vietnam conflict. For nearly a year the Bengals operated their “Scooters” from the expeditionary field at Chu Lai. On 1 November 1966, the squadron acquired the Grumman A-6A Intruder and was re-designated as Marine All Weather Attack Squadron (VMA(AW)) 224. In 1971, the Bengals deployed to the South China Sea aboard the USS Coral Sea. As part of Carrier Air Wing 15, the squadron completed six line periods on Yankee Station and participated in numerous operations including the historic mining of Hai Phong Harbor.

During the period following the end of US involvement in Vietnam, the Bengals made numerous deployments to Europe and the Pacific where they participated in joint and combined exercises. The squadron received the upgraded A-6E TRAM (Target Recognition and Multi-Sensor) aircraft in 1974. The squadron was busily preparing for yet another deployment as part of the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) in the summer of 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The Bengals deployed to the middle east, arriving on 28 August 1990. Operating from Shaikh-Isa Air Base, Bahrain the squadron conducted deterrent and training sorties as part of Operation DESERT SHIELD. From 16 January to 28 February 1991, the Bengals led the way in night combat operations in support of Operation DESERT STORM, expending more than 2.3 million pounds of ordnance during 422 combat sorties.

Following the capitulation of Iraq, the squadron had little time back in the states before they were once again in Iwakuni, Japan as part of the UDP. This deployment marked the final involvement of Marine A-6 aircraft in the Western Pacific Theater.

Shortly after their return to Cherry Point, NC, VMA(AW)-224 achieved a milestone in Marine Corps Aviation History. On 24 May 1992 the Bengals celebrated their 50th anniversary. For 224, it had been an exciting and rewarding half-century.

As their first fifty years came to an end, the Bengals began their next fifty with yet another new aircraft. On 6 March 1993, the squadron was re-designated VMFA(AW)-224 and moved to MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina where the Bengals received the multi-mission F/A-18D Hornet.

From April to September 1994 the Bengals deployed to Aviano, Italy, as part of the United Nations force for OPERATIONS DENY FLIGHT and PROVIDE PROMISE in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The squadron flew 1150 sorties for 3485 flight hours including 1150 night hours. The Marines of VMFA(AW)-224 again deployed to Aviano, Italy in September 1995, as part of NATO Operations DENY FLIGHT, DELIBERATE FORCE and JOINT ENDEAVOR. On 16 February 1997 the Fighting Bengals returned to Aviano, Italy for the last time. The squadron participated in Operation DELIBERATE GUARD and Operation SILVER WAKE. During this time the Bengals flew Dissimilar Air Combat Training sorties with MiG-29 "Fulcrums" from the re-united German Air Force.

In January 1998 the squadron deployed to MCAGCC Twenty-nine Palms to support CAX 3-98. The squadron also participated in numerous training exercises to include Urban Warrior, a missile shoot in NAS Roosevelt Roads, PR, Supporting Arms Training Exercise (SATEX), Hornets Nest and Capabilities Exercise (CAPEX) in preparation for another UDP deployment to Japan.

In January of 1999, the Bengals returned to Iwakuni as part of the UDP cycle, participating in several joint and combined exercises. The Squadron also participated in several Capability Exercises (CAPEX), and two Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Exercises.

July 2001 brought yet another UDP to Japan, this time with the Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System (ATARS), marking the return of the Corps' organic tactical reconnaissance to the Pacific theater after an absence of over a decade. For a majority of this deployment, the squadron was split into two detachments. The detachments flew in support of both the 31st MEU and 15th MEU, conducted ATARS reconnaissance missions, normal squadron training, and other such operations as deemed necessary by 1 MAW and MAG-12. During the course of the UDP, the Bengals operated out of Guam, Okinawa, Australia, Trukk Island, Papua New Guinea, the Philippine Islands, South Korea and mainland Japan.

In July 2003, the Bengals deployed again to the Western Pacific for another UDP. The squadron changed locations five times during the deployment, training with international forces to include the Royal Australian Air Force (F/A-18s) and Japanese Air Self Defense Force (F-4s). Furthermore, the squadron achieved over 20,000 mishap free hours, dropped over 350,000 lbs of ordnance and flew over 2100 flight hours in exercises over Japan, Guam and Australia.

Shortly after the squadron returned from the Western Pacific, the Squadron was placed on a 96-hour Prepare to Deploy Order (PTDO) in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. The Bengals turned to and focused exclusively on Air-to-Ground training.

In July 2004, the squadron modified 75% of its aircraft for the LITENING AT Targeting Pod. The squadron participated in DAWEX at Camp Lejeune, showcasing both the squadron’s FAC(A) and Advance Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System (ATARS) capabilities. The imagery exploitation process was exercised, allowing II Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) to use the ATARS imagery for convoy route planning.

In December 2004, the Squadron fell under MAG-26’s OPCON and was immersed in the MAWTS-sponsored Exercise DESERT TALON 1-05 aboard MCAS Yuma, AZ. The exercise focused on the complete integration of fixed-wing, rotary-wing, convoy units and ground FACs in order to prepare the units for combat operations in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF).

On 11 January 2005, VMFA(AW)-224 deployed to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq in support of OIF. The Bengals brought to the Iraqi theater a plethora of capabilities unique to the F/A-18D. The two-seat hornet provided the Combined Forces Air Component Commander (CFACC) and II MEF Commanding General Forward Air Controller Airborne (FAC(A)) and Tactical Air Coordinator Airborne (TAC(A)) capabilities. Also, the addition of the Pioneer and Predator data link capability to the LITENING AT pod, combined with the two seat hornet, provided the CFACC’s and II MEF’s JTACs the ability to positively identify the enemy in real time, minimizing the time to prosecute known hostile targets.

While in support of OIF, the Bengals participated in Operations RIVER BLITZ, MATADOR, RAGING BULL, BARTER TOWN, NEW MARKET, SPEAR, DAGGER, SWORD and SCIMITAR in support of Regimental Combat Team 2, Regimental Combat Team 8, 3rd Battalion 25th Marines, 2nd Brigade Combat Team and many other Army and Air Force units. Furthermore, the Bengals employed 65,225 lbs of ordnance and flew over 2500 sorties and 7000 hours in direct support of Marine, Army and Coalition ground units.

One of the most important highlights for the squadron while flying in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM was providing over watch and air support during the Iraqi elections held on the 28th of January 2005. Over 70% of the voting population participated in the democratic process, making the elections a resounding success. The Iraqi people embraced their new democracy and the Bengals, flying over the skies of a free Iraq, helped in the continuation and preservation of Iraq’s newfound freedom.

The Bengals returned from OIF in August 2005 to their home station of MCAS Beaufort for normal peacetime training and workups. In February 2006, the squadron participated in Red Flag at Nellis AFB. The Bengals also conducted month-long training detachments to Yuma, AZ in June 2006 and San Diego, CA in October 2006.

In March 2007, the squadron deployed to Iwakuni, Japan for another UDP. The Bengals participated in various exercises including Foal Eagle, Cobra Gold, and Commando Sling, while executing a wide variety of missions such as ATARS reconnaissance missions, air-to-air training against dissimilar adversaries, Close Air Support (CAS), Forward Air Controller Airborne (FACA), and live air-to-ground ordnance delivery. Additionally, the squadron trained four new Air Combat Tactics Instructors (ACTIs).

The Bengals began 2009 with a Unit Deployment to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. From January to June, the squadron supported various exercises in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Korea, and Alaska. Bengal aircrew were able to train with their allied counterparts in various areas to include: FAC(A), Maritime Interdiction and Dissimilar Air Combat Training. The squadron returned to MCAS Beaufort in July 2009 and continued training aircrew involved in TOPGUN and WTI workups.

VMFA(AW)-224 kicked off 2010 Operation Red Flag and a new software upgrade to their aircraft. In July, the squadron deployed again to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in support of the Unit Deployment Program. While on deployment, the squadron participated in Rim of the Pacific Exercise, Exercise Southern Frontier, Amphibious Landing Exercise, and Exercise Wolmi-Do Fury. The Bengals were able to work closely with their counterparts from Japan and Australia while gaining valuable experience in various tactical areas. The squadron returned from Japan in January 2011 and are currently preparing for their next deployment.

source: USMC

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another history:


World War II:
Marine Fighter Squadron 224 (VMF-224) was commissioned on May 1, 1942 at Naval Air Station Barbers Point, Hawaii. Flying Grumman F4F Wildcats, the Bengals entered World War II as part of the Cactus Air Force stationed on Henderson Field, Guadalcanal. Led by Medal of Honor recipient Maj Robert Galer, the squadron accounted for over sixty Japanese aircraft being destroyed in less than two months. The squadron also conducted close air support (CAS) missions while under constant attack from Japanese naval, air, and ground forces. VMF-224’s contributed significantly to the American victory during the Guadalcanal Campaign, which in turn, helped stem the tide of the Japanese advance across the Southern Pacific and secured a crucial foothold in the long island-hopping campaign against Japan.

After Guadalcanal, the squadron was refitted with the Vought F4U Corsair and participated in the Marshall Islands Campaign. The spring of 1945 found VMF-224 participating in the last great battle of the Pacific Campaign. During the Battle of Okinawa the squadron operated initially from Yomitan and then from 1 July from Chimu Airfield. Throughout the struggle for Okinawa, the Bengals flew infantry support and counter air missions accounting for an additional fifty-five enemy aircraft being destroyed.

1950s - 1970s:
The squadron entered the jet era in 1951 with the acceptance of the McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee. In 1952, after completing a Mediterranean Cruise aboard the USS Roosevelt, the squadron accepted the Grumman F9F Panther, and was re-designated Marine Attack Squadron 224 (VMA-224).

On September 29, 1956, the squadron became the first Marine unit to field the Douglas A4D Skyhawk aircraft. In 1965, the Bengals deployed to South Vietnam as part of the United States' buildup during the Vietnam War. For nearly a year the Bengals operated their “Scooters” from the expeditionary field at Chu Lai. On November 1, 1966, the squadron acquired the Grumman A-6 Intruder and was re-designated as Marine All Weather Attack Squadron 224 (VMA(AW)-224). In 1971, the Bengals deployed to the South China Sea aboard the USS Coral Sea (CV-43). As part of Carrier Air Wing 15, the squadron completed six line periods on Yankee Station and participated in numerous operations including the historic Operation Pocket Money mining of Hai Phong Harbor.

The Gulf War & the 1990s:
The Bengals deployed to Southwest Asia, on August 28, 1990. Operating from Shaikh-Isa Air Base, Bahrain the squadron participated in Operation Desert Shield. From January 16, to February 28, 1991, the Bengals participated in Operation Desert Storm, expending more than 2.3 million pounds of ordnance during 422 combat sorties.

Shortly after their return to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, on May 24, 1992, the Bengals celebrated their 50th anniversary. Less than a year later on March 5, 1993, the squadron was re-designated VMFA(AW)-224 and moved to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina where the Bengals received the multi-mission F/A-18D Hornet.

From April to September 1994 the Bengals deployed to Aviano, Italy, as part of the United Nations force for Operation Deny Flight and Operation Provide Promise in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The squadron flew 1150 sorties for 3485 flight hours including 1150 night hours. The Marines of VMFA(AW)-224 again deployed to Aviano, Italy in September 1995, as part of NATO Operation Deliberate Force and Operation Joint Endeavor.

Global War on Terror:
On January 11, 2005, VMFA(AW)-224 deployed to Al Asad Airbase, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). While in support of OIF, the Bengals employed 65,225 lb of ordnance and flew over 2500 sorties and 7000 hours in direct support of Marine, Army and Coalition ground units.

March 2010 crash:
On March 12, 2010 an F/A-18D Hornet from the squadron crashed 35 miles (56 km) off the coast of St. Helena Sound north of Beaufort due to an engine fire. The pilot and Weapons Systems Officer were able to safely eject.

source: wikipedia
 
patches & more

vmfa(aw)-224 bengals insignia crest patch badge marine fighter attack squadron usmc 03
vmfa(aw)-224 bengals insignia crest patch badge marine fighter attack squadron usmc 02p  vma(aw)-224 bengals insignia crest patch badge marine attack squadron usmc 02p
vma-224 bengals insignia crest patch badge marine attack squadron usmc 02p

vmfa(aw)-224 bengals insignia crest patch badge marine fighter attack squadron usmc 04
    
 
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