VMF 111

VMF 111

1943 - '48
Wilcat 1941
Corsair early 1943

Marine Fighting Squadron 111 (VMF-111) was a reserve fighter squadron in the United States Marine Corps. Nicknamed the “Devil Dogs”, the squadron was one of the first aviation squadrons in the Marine Corps and gained national attention in the 1930s as the Marine Corps show unit.

At the time of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, VMF-111 pilots were flying the Grumman F4F Wildcat. On March 10, 1942, the squadron arrived at Tafuna Airfield on Tutuila island, its new base of operations. They were the first Marine squadron to operate in Samoa.

In January 1944 the unit left Samoa for the Central Pacific and participated in raids against bypassed Japanese garrisons for the rest of the war. It was during this time that the squadron, under the command of Major William E. Classen, made the first experimental bombing run with F4U Corsairs when eight of their aircraft struck heavy anti-aircraft positions on Mili Atoll with thousand pound bombs.

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