Computer made/mounted on velcro 4.0 inch-100mm
MARINE ALL WEATHER FIGHTER ATTACK SQUADRON 225 (VMFA (AW)-225) “VIKINGS”
Marine Fighting Squadron 225 (VMF-225) was established on 1 January 1943 at MCAS Mojave, California, flying the Vought F4U-1 Corsair. The squadron entered WWII in October of 1943 when they embarked aboard the USS Nassau (CVE-16) and relocated to Ewa, Hawaii, flying missions in defense of the island. In March of 1944 the squadron departed Pearl Harbor aboard the USS Long Island (CVE-1) for Espiritu Santo for air defense missions over the New Hebrides. In June the squadron was relocated to Eniwetok and the Marshalls, and was later rerouted aboard the USS Santee (CVE-29) to Orote Field, Guam in the Marianas as part of Operation Forager, only a week after the allied invasion of the island in August of 1944. There, VMF-225 was heavily engaged in close air support missions across the island as the allies advanced to regain control, flew strike missions against Rota and Pagan Island to the North, and participated in air defense missions where it was accredited with one air-to-air kill, the shoot-down of a Jill bomber in January 1945. Leaving Agana Field in May of 1945, VMF-225 returned to MCAS Mojave, California, and began carrier training in preparation for Operation Olympic and the invasion of Japan.
Following V-J Day (14 Aug 1945), the squadron was ordered to MCAS Santa Barbara, California where it was based until January 1946. Then it joined the USS Mindoro (CVE-120) and left it’s aircraft behind, relocating to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina via the Panama Canal. In April, VMF-225 again began flying F4U-4 Corsairs, and for a short time added several Grumman F6F-5P Hellcats, participating in training missions at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, and later re-organizing for carrier operations. In August, 1946, VMF-225 was selected to represent the Corps at the National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio, flying aerial demonstrations during the same period that the Navy Blue Angels were being formed. In April 1947, the squadron was transferred for a short assignment with the USS Palau (CVE-122), and in June to the USS Siboney (CVE-112). VMF-225 was re-designated Marine Fighter Squadron 225 on 1 September, 1947. In July 1948 aboard the USS Siboney, the squadron executed a cruise to the Mediterranean, Europe, and the Middle East, and conducted other cruises to the region aboard the USS Midway (CVB-41) in January 1949 and the USS Leyte (CV-32) in September 1949. In early 1950 the Chief of Naval Operations initiated plans to disestablish the squadron, but when the North Korean People’s Army invaded the south in June of 1950, VMF-225’s future was secured. The squadron deployed again to the Mediterranean aboard the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) in January 1951, and for the last time again aboard the USS Midway (CVB-41) in January 1952, which brought the squadron’s career as a carrier-based fighter squadron to a close.
VMF-225 was re-designated Marine Attack Squadron 225 (VMA-225) on 17 June 1952 and moved to MCAF Edenton, North Carolina. There the squadron began flying the AU-1 Corsair and shifted training to interdiction missions. The squadron transitioned to the AD-5 Skyraider in December 1953, added AD-4Bs to its inventory in early 1955, and made two deployments to NAS Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. In May 1958, the “Fighting Eagles” transitioned to the A-4B Skyhawk and in October moved back to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. There VMA-225 continued attack training, and deployed to the Mediterranean aboard the USS Essex (CVA-9) in August 1959. VMA-225 transitioned to the A-4C in March 1960 and again deployed to Mediterranean aboard the USS Shangri-La (CVA-38) in February 1961 and the USS Intrepid (CVA-11) in 1962. VMA-225 became the first Marine squadron to deploy and conduct night operations aboard the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), spending the last three months of 1962 aboard the “Big E” during the Cuban Missile crisis. The squadron deployed again to the Mediterranean aboard the USS Shangri-La in October 1963. In September 1964, the squadron received orders to Japan, and in June 1965 the “Vagabonds” moved to the newly constructed base at Chu Lai (SATS/EAF) for participation in combat operations against Viet Cong forces in South Vietnam. VMA-225 returned to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina in October 1965 and in April 1966 they transitioned to the Grumman built A-6A Intruder. With the addition of an all weather capability, the squadron was re-designated VMA(AW)-225 and adopted the “Vikings” as their official mascot sporting the colors of Carolina blue and gold. In January 1969, VMA(AW)-225 deployed to Da Nang Air Base, Vietnam to provide close air and deep air support for allied ground forces in the I Corp area of South Vietnam. In February 1970, the squadron flew missions in support of Lam Som 719, the cross border assault of enemy sanctuaries in Laos (Barrel Roll) and later continued air interdiction mission (Commando Bolt) on enemy supply routes along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Southwest Asia. During May 1971, VMA(AW)-225 returned to MCAS El Toro, California, and the squadron was dis-established on June 15, 1972.
The “Vikings” of VMFA(AW)-225 were established on 1 July 1991, at MCAS El Toro, California, flying the F/A-18D Hornet. The Vikings supported the Marine Corps’ Unit Deployment Program (UDP), deploying to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan for six-month periods, beginning in March of 1993. Overseas exercises included tours in Korea, Thailand, Okinawa, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore and Alaska. In March of 1995, the Vikings relocated to their new home at MCAS Miramar, California. Additional unit deployments occurred in September of 1995, March of 1996, September 1997, and in March of 2000, with a deployment to Al Jaber, Kuwait for combat operations during Operation Southern Watch (OSW) in March 2001. In March of 2002, the Vikings returned to UDP and retraced the steps of Marines during WWII through the South Pacific Islands of Iwo Jima and Peleliu, and put the first fighters back on Tarawa, Guadalcanal, and Vanuatu at Bauer Field in more than 60 years. The Vikings returned to Al Jaber, Kuwait for OSW and combat operations during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) from Jan to May of 2003. They re-entered the UDP cycle in March 2004 and September 2005, and then returned again to Counterinsurgency Operations (COIN) during OIF, this time operating from Al Asad, Iraq as the “Shepherds” from Aug 2007 to Mar 2008. The Vikings returned to UDP in May 2009 and Sept 2010. In 2011, the squadron has participated in multiple squadron detachments to include Exercise JADED THUNDER, Nellis AFB, Exercise SCORPION FIRE, MCAS Miramar, Exercise SWAMP DEALER, MacDill AFB, and a squadron deployment for training to Mountain Home AFB.
VMFA(AW)-225’s awarded honors include the Presidential Unit Citation Streamer (Vietnam & Iraq), Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with Three Bronze Stars (Vietnam), Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer with Two Bronze Stars (Vietnam, Operation Southern Watch), Marine Corps Expeditionary Streamer, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Streamer with One Bronze Star, World War II Victory Streamer, Navy Occupation Service Streamer with “Europe”, National Defense Service Streamer with Three Bronze Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer, Vietnam Service Streamer with One Silver and Two Bronze Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Streamer, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Streamer, and Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Actions Streamer.