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WWII Patch, USMC, VMSB-232 VMTB-232 VMF-232 Marine Scout Torpedo Bomber Fighter SQ. #2

WWII Patch, USMC, VMSB-232 VMTB-232 VMF-232 Marine Scout Torpedo Bomber Fighter SQ. #2

Product Information
WWII US Marine Corps Squadron Patch #2
USMC VF-3M    ---> 
USMC VF-10M  ---> 
USMC VF-6M  ---> 
USMC VB-4M  --->
USMC VMB-2    ---> 
USMC VMTB-232   --->
USMC VMF-232  ---> 
Marine Bomber Squadron
Marine Scout Bomber Squadron
Marine Torpedo Bomber Squadron
Marine Fighter Squadron
China, Pacific, Cactus Air Force

5.5 x 4.25 inches

From Wikipedia:
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232) is a United States Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet squadron. Nicknamed the "Red Devils", the squadron is based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California and fall under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 11 (MAG-11) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW). The squadron is also attached to Carrier Air Wing 11 and deploys with them onboard the USS Nimitz. The Red Devils are the oldest and most decorated fighter squadron in the Marine Corps.


The early years

VMFA-232 can trace its lineage back to VF-3M, which was commissioned on September 1, 1925, at Naval Air Station San Diego, California. Originally equipped with Vought VE-7s, the squadron received three of the new Boeing FB-1s in the first part of 1926, allowing them to operate one division of modern aircraft while retaining the older VE-7s for training purposes. With the civil war in China threatening American interests, it was decided to deploy U.S. forces and in November and December 1926, seven additional FB-1s were transferred to VF-3M from VF-1M and VF-2M on the east coast, bringing the squadron's complement to 10 FB-1s. As diplomacy and planning was taking place on the international level, the squadron concentrated on familiarizing itself with their new aircraft and training the influx of new pilots.
On April 7, 1927, VF-3M departed San Diego bound for China, but upon arrival, no airfield was available for operations. After waiting in the Philippines for almost two months, the squadron returned to China and eventually operated from airfields at Tientsin and Hsin-Ho, where they supported the 3rd Brigade. Shortly after setting up camp and starting flight operations, the squadron was redesignated VF-10M on July 1, 1927, the first of many changes in designation caused by the reorganization of naval aviation assets. The mission to China demonstrated that Marine Aviation was vital to the expeditionary role Marine forces were called on to perform and the squadron performed photography, mapping and reconnaissance missions while deployed. Another change in designation occurred while the squadron was still in China, when on July 1, 1928, the squadron was redesignated VF-6M. With its mission in China completed, the squadron withdrew on October 3, 1928, arriving back at San Diego on October 31, 1928, after stops at Guam and Hawaii.
With its return to San Diego, most of the squadron's personnel were transferred to other units and the next year was spent re-organizing and training new personnel as they arrived. In addition to new pilots, several Boeing FB-5s were assigned to the squadron in 1929, the last of the in-line aircraft to be used by Marine squadrons. On July 1, 1930 the squadron was again re-designated, this time reverting back to VF-10M, but the most noticeable change was the replacement of the FB-5s with Curtiss F6C-4s, the first radial engine fighters the squadron would be assigned. The squadron would operate the F6C-4s for over two years and be awarded the Herbert H. Schiff Cup for aviation safety before they were replaced by factory fresh Boeing F4B-4s in late 1932, the most advanced bi-plane fighter in service at that time.
In 1932, it was determined that Marine Aviation should be provided with two light bombing squadrons, and on July 1, 1933, VF-10M became VB-4M, and was re-equipped with Boeing F4B-3s, a move considered a step back by members of the squadron. Participation in the Los Angeles National Air Races and annual Fleet Exercises were part of the routine that marked the squadron’s activity in the early '30s. In 1935, the squadron received 16 Great Lakes BG-1s, large two-place dive bombers that would equip the squadron for over five years.

On July 1, 1937, Marine aviation was completely reorganized to conform to Navy requirements, and VB-4M became VMB-2. Still flying the BG-1, the squadron continued to take part in the annual Fleet Exercises, and in December 1940, the squadron began receiving the new Douglas SBD-1, the first mono-plane in Marine Corps service. Arrival of the SBD also marked the first time that the Red Devil insignia was not carried on the squadron's aircraft, even though it was authorized to do so.

World War II

With the tension in the Pacific increasing, VMB-2 was deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Oahu, Hawaii. Early 1941 also saw the transition from the colorful pre-war scheme to the tactical, and less colorful light grey scheme, but still the Red Devil insignia was absent. On July 1, 1941, in anticipation of the large expansion Marine Aviation was about to undergo, VMB-2 became VMSB-232, the designation it carried during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor during which one member of the squadron was killed and nine of the squadrons aircraft were destroyed, with ten more requiring major overhaul. On Wake Island, a Red Devil detachment suffered twenty five enlisted Marines killed or captured while assisting in the defense of the doomed island.

On August 20, 1942, the squadron became part of the Cactus Air Force and flew SBD Dauntlesses from Guadalcanal's 3,000-foot dirt runway Henderson Field. The Red Devils became the first Marine dive bomber squadron to fly against the Japanese. They left Guadalcanal on October 12, 1942 and headed for Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California where they were redesignated yet again as Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 232 (VMTB-232), flying newly acquired Grumman TBF Avengers. They returned to the Pacific in July 1943 when they were originally based out of Espiritu Santo. From there they moved to Munda in order to support allied forces during the Bougainville landings in November 1943.

For the next few months the squadron participated in strkies against the isolated Japanese garrison at Rabaul. On February 14, 1944, Avengers from VMTB-232 and VMTB-233 took part in a mission to sow mines in Simpson Harbor at Rabaul. The TBMs were to fly up in three groups of eight each at the slow speed of 160 knots to drop their parachute-mines, weighing 1,600 pounds a piece. The first group lost one plane. The commanding officer tried to radio the other TBFs to warn them to turn back but he couldn't make radio contact. The second group lost two planes. The third group was immediately found by searchlight and anti-aircraft guns while flying at 800 feet over the water and had five aircraft shotdown. A total of six planes and eighteen men were lost during the attack. Four of the eighteen men survived the loss of the six TBF's that evening. Of the four, none survived captivity. One was murdered at Tunnel Hill, two died of starvation / disease / medical neglect, and a fourth was murdered by the Japanese Navy some time in April.

The next few months would see them move continuously, operating from Piva, Green Island, Emirau and Ulithi. VMTB-232 landed at Kadena on April 22, 1945 and began flying close air support missions 3 days later and for the rest of the Battle of Okinawa. In July 1945 they began to fly strikes against the Japanese mainland until the surrender of Japan. The price of victory did not come cheaply. During its participation in operations throughout World War II, VMTB-232 lost forty nine Marines and seventeen aircraft. On November 16, 1945, the squadron, one of the few to earn two presidential citations during the war, arrived at San Diego, and was temporarily decommissioned.

Price: $110.00

Product Code: PatchUSMC.232.VMTB232VMF232.v2
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