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A Brief History of Marine Corps Aviation

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  • 8/7/2019 A Brief History of Marine Corps Aviation


    BRIE! HrsloPY g!

    IIistolical Branch,geadqual ters , U. s .

    washington, D.

    llizaleth L. lielney


    c. 2a3aa

  • 8/7/2019 A Brief History of Marine Corps Aviation



    : ]

    Mar ine corps .w d- ion lad rLs [email protected] on 22 M"y 1912,shen lieutehant Alfred A- cunninqhe reported to Che NavalAviation Camp, Ahnapolis, ,qaryland. The following July, heuas ordeled f!6r Annapolis to the glrqessM" rb eh-cd. MassacnusFLrs , rhera 6ct lo ] t l ighr t ra-n ing casconducted. He sotroeat or I after 2 hours and 40mihutes ol instluctioD. lhus lieutenant Cunningham, vhoseNaval aviato! N6ber vas 5, becme Marlle aviato! N\be! ].As eally as 1913, he vas nade a membr of the chmbersEoard, cmposed of sia Naly officers and niftsetf, whtch corveredt. d!a* up ia cmprehensive plan for the o.gsnization of anaval aeronauti.ar sesice,o assu.inq the Ma.ines of a re?re-ndvd l c \ :a t ion " I ro- ts ' ror t te t reg inn ing .Naval aviation,s eally develoFent owed nuch to its Maline

    membels Fho palticipated in 6me of the earliest [email protected] fld a naval plane {EeFard 1. smith) r t-kins otf bycatapult frm a battlship undeday {A}fred A. cunninqhd) tand loopins a seaplale (riancts T. Evds).-he f i r ; r wo, rd Har -n 6April l9l?, Maiihe aviation consiste8 of only 6 Maline offlcersdesigneted navar avlarols, I warlant office!, and 4s enlistedmen. six months late., tlre rirsr Marine aeronautic [email protected] orgd i zed. r t w6s rd led -o more h . l sEory b \ e . m inq rapfi.st Amerlcan flying unit of any seryice to 9o overseas cm-pletely tlained 3nd equip!d, on 9 .rduarf rgra, the .onpaneo t l 2 o r r r . c r s : . o l l ! F n l i s r e - r a r v a s t ! ) n s r - . r e d t o p o : L aDefgada, on the islend of sao Miquel in rhe azores, for durv.There it f1e{ sea!1anes on anrisutnarine patrol for lhe !em:i.,

    lack in rhe stares, ualine avlation nushroded. efterutilizing ]rmy and Navy fields at liineo1a, Ne' york, caDe Mav.N e v J e r ' - y , L - k e C h " r l e " , - o u . . 0 1 . . q n d . o - o r u . c r o v , r r o r ; d d .r l e v J r - r e s f ' n 6 1 1 \ o o L . a e J @ r i e t d . ! n A p r ! t l o . a . r h eCurtiss Flyirg rield at Midi, Florida, was leneed the I,laltheFfylnq rieid, Ehe tir.t i. the nistory of the corps.

    rorce, cmposed of a neadqnarrers detactmenrand four landplane squadrons. fhis orqaDizarioh vas o.deledaldost imediately to p.epar ro sail for r.ance, Bv 30 Julvf9ln, three Malrne squadlons, cfrlosed of IOI office;s and 6!?

  • 8/7/2019 A Brief History of Marine Corps Aviation



    enlited iEh lrad arrived in Frarce, followed by the fourth inoctolE!. Uloh their a.rrval, Lh. Merine squad.obs becde theDay u- rg o f c l ! No iLhe n Bnn. iq e-oJp. sa e t vo l ,ovy sqJ6dronq Fcde up Lh- ^ igh ' w1no. f sL ihst -nce o lung ahd qroup organtzation in naval aviation. The [email protected],the htgher ecrreroh, wnereas in world i{ar IMeThe ilallDe pilots, like rnost American aimen in lrance,faced a most perplexing probtem--no aircrait. fnile they

    ava iced d. l tvery o f the- r p l . . - s , r \ey uprF a5s ioned LoBr i t i sn sqrod lons vhe-ern Ln- r qo l ,her . a . . s t tasL6 o t cmbdcin DeHavtlland ai.crafr (DHs) - rr was nor until 23 seprmbe!rhat the Martnes rceived rnerr first $t ib lrance-Allhough the Amistice cae sdon afrer l,larine aviariarMarines perfomed cfed:irably deslire a sholtaqeot p lcnes ond L lno . They shoL d6M. cr l ees l 4 , l ossrDty -snany as 12, Ceman plancs. fhey lerfomed t'he filsr recordedaelial resupply mission when thay dropped food to a rrenchleg;ment tsolated for several days :n the front lines on rhewesLe!n ( .onr . Foc cnat a . .o rp l r5 tsen! , th ree p_to ts her -awarded the Distinquisbed service Medalr lbeir obse4ers

    leceived tbe Navy closs, ar rhat ttme a lose! lared decorarion,Tvo Medals of Hono! vele avarded a pilor (second lleutenanrRalph Talbot) and his obseFer (cunnefy se.geahr Robert euyRub i rsor ) fo - shooL,no doq . !o an6,1 p lo le - oga lnsc over -In florld wa! L a rotal of 29? officers and 2,Ie0 erllsledmen served in uarine aviation. Of this nmt!, about one half

    its rctu r. from rrance, Martne ai: beaana p 4 o b . . i n g . r n l e b r u d r y 1 9 1 9 , r h 6 t s l l o l i n e A v r . L r o a c r c eRas disbanded at tlidi, and ihe followinq honrh virnessed thedissolutio. of tl]e Fiist Marine Aeronauric comDanr, vhich had' le 42ores . Pet rc -1 inq F. rsoare_ d- 111t r i weretlanstelred rn th slme! of 1919 to palris rstand and Ouantico,and tbe Marine rlying lield at Midi ras ab3ndoned on 25 seD_L - 1 b c r . f n - f o l r o " . ' q y e - r . f f - . i n e . v r a r r o n h d o , r u L6 ? p ' t ; 1 .and suffered a stilt further red!.rio! in 1921, Hhen its pilors t renqth dro .ped Lo 4 .I , lo l ld l {ers. r l " v rL l r r_ av iaLronues , I o , ly ur . ced sr -L- - n, t . dr . , se lv rcc ihar a ( . !o t I t . q . ! .cdbat. uarine air Eerved in sa.to Ddni.go frh Februalt 1919until July 1924r in Haiti frfr March 1919 to Auqusr 1934; and

    f rm lo2. .o to. . T -hrouohod, hose )o. .e. rneo n l ! e . r p c re n c . 9 c , o . - . . tv c s a l s : c o - ( . i o u E i n o . - o . c e . I y n 6 ! L - . i _ c s L o b o r 1 9 r o , n ^a n d a - r ! 6 r f a l e . 1 ! . . , ' " " . u ! - . i 1 p r l o r r t - d o y M r l o . R o s s( h e C r ' - L o

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    ear l l e r deve loped by Lteurenancan 6 lqan ized eneny (sand ino is R.they vere the flrst Lo enploy aicmbatr and there, they ve.e lhesupplies bt air.

    IJlvson tt. r,1. sandcrso!) againstbelo) r aqain in Nicaragua,r-to-groundfirs! to Lransport ttoops andMarine pifots evacuared wounded in Haiti ad sarto Domingo1n tbe earfy 1920s, utilizinq tuo modified nss desiqned by aBut tlre besr hnom of rhe evacuation missionso c c J r f e d d u r i n d L h e ! r o h r i ' g _ n N l r d - d o u a . - i - u L o n a n r { I a t e rG e n e ! c I r c h r i s r i a n F - S c h r l L , o h 6 , a - a n J d r y l 9 l a , n c o e _ 0

    h . 1 r - r . r s l h q r r j d n L s L n . F . r i r - , l d n d , r q o n d a - l - s r " L . I -fietd in Ouilali, to rescue Ia seliousty rounded Marines uhohad been dbushed try the enemy. For hrs alnost suFrhmanskiU' schilr {as awalded the Medal of Hono!.The first tine Maline aviatols eve! served in tbe ?acificvas {her 10 pilols and 90 enlisted nen of rltght r-l 4tb squadron,reached Gud on t7 rlalch 192f. rlyinq seap.lalies, tbose l\4a.inepl lo ls p4r fom-d ou.po- r du lv lo 1e- !s . g (ever .noot o r , l . s sq .o( ron h .o : r - cud sedrce inLer rupLed fo !duly even farther {es!, vheb in early 192?, a chinese cjvtl- n 6 n o n a , . P F p r h a , e ' a o - r p rcities. llments of the cum sqladron xere shippd to Shanghalin Aplil, and uere joind rhe fotlouihg nonth rr:, a headqlartelsdelaclment and a ftghter squadron dispatchea frft San Dieqo.These untts in china eventually rrecde Fighrj.nq squadron 5-r,1,Obse4ati6 Squadion lo-M, and Scouting squadlon 1-M. For thenext la months, xarine pilors flew 3,ala reconnatcsece sortlesto heep a r.atchf,ul eye on rl)e chitrese anraq-onists. after the threat !o foreigners had abared, ihe person,nel flom t'he cud squad.on rerLrnedsro tha! israhd, and rheother d: - un- i ts rFLum-d to .ne sLotes .AL hf rF dur r f ,o chosF y6. -s o f :o-c! t -e i l l eoce, Mor i , .eawiar:ols aidenlly and araluously larro!d to increase thetr

    [email protected] of and proficiency tD aeronautics. They flev recold-bleal

  • 8/7/2019 A Brief History of Marine Corps Aviation


    oh a Decembet 1933, a slep of wital imPo.tan'e uas rakntith lhe olgani.zatioh of lne Fieer Marine force, a unit con-stltuted as an integral !ar! of the united states lleet ThedeveloFnent of the !1eet Maline lorce bloug}]t abour nanycharges in the olgantzation and emlfoyment of Marine aviation'!1osc ihpoliant, thele vas to be less empnasis on expedltlonarvauty anil more on tlre seizure of advance naval bases in the

    the nex t o rq-nrzd t ronc- c lanoe oa inpo- tance Lo i r 'c t ' r '-v ia . ion cee f 1915, vh-n Lne av ac iono l - rLers Mar ine coror Leb d 'vorced l [email protected] ' ' Dr / sron ord* . . , ' " * " . " l ra r ; i ' q -nd b ,cane "n lndep_nqe.L s"cLronu;der Ehe xa io r cer - r - i c f f i andarL . on I Ap l r I e l6 , : r* . :me - d r / ; s on dnder a Dr rec 'o r or Av ia l i oa . rhe d Jecco 'of ihe new aiwis:on adviser !o theall aviarlon as a tiaison office! tretreen tneMarine corFs anat the Navv's Bureau of Aeronautics_ unlikel l a r ine corps in ran t ry -nd a . l l le4 Hnic f d reu L le" equ:p-neh l f r c r c l l q ry ar 'o NaLry in oo i " 'on to 3u9t l v i rg nuchoI rner r ohJ , Ma l i r - av eL ion d_p"nded sol_fv or Lhe Nc/vfo! ils air.taft and all olher aviatton gear.or 30 JNe 1939, thle tere 2Io office.s and f,142 enlistedmen ob active duty eith Marine avialion. BY rue 1940, tle nw-e f , h c d r . s e n . o 1 , 3 . 0 . T n . u n t q 4 0 c o n a r e s sd L t n o r l z _ d t h eNavy, O,OOO ]-n- p.ooJr o! wr . .h Mo! HEs e l l o : tedI l ;7 . PI .ns rere. ' -ae to- rne es l .o -shnbnt o I 4 g loup" o ' -sqladrons each- fofloving landing exercises in 1941, it tase-Lr r . :ed , \ " . s- .q le ar / s on rc !19 s dF ib ious lcnd aJrc- . ld requi .e l2 f .qh.er . S drv ' -ooste- 2 obsp.va l on , d f ,d 4' ! , r i ! v ; u a d l o n s . a n c c F v e l o p i n g i -.q , " . . i ,n . ,u r

    Although the Ist and 2d Martne Ailcraft llingssioned ln .tuly 1941, w]1envat cde five monahs la!e! there wass ! r ' l o n l y o n F 9 r o . o r r e : ' h q i n l , v 1 r ! n 4 . r i r c r d f t C - o r p l 1 c io u a n t i c o n o v a - 1 . - A i r - ! - t . G - ' u p 2 I w ' r ton Oalr!

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