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The Red Devils: One of the Oldest And Most Awarded Marine Corps Squadrons

VMFA-232 Has Been Doing Their Thing Loud and Proud For More Than 90 Years

Official US Marine Corps photograph

This gorgeous high definition video, titled “The Man of Red Devils” features Marine Fighter Attack Squadron TWO THREE TWO (VMFA-232) Red Devils operating their McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18C Hornet strike fighters from Ibaraki Airport/Hyakuri Air Base near Tokyo in Japan. It’s not often such visually striking footage is available to the general public, so don’t miss this one! 1-300 shot, edited, and uploaded the video to YouTube. You don’t have to be a “fighter attack guy” to appreciate this sweet eye candy jet footage. Enjoy!

Official US Marine Corps photograph

VMFA-232’s storied history begins in 1925 at Naval Air Station (NAS) San Diego when the squadron first adorned their Vought VE-7SF biplanes with the Red Devil insignia. The squadron deployed for the first time in 1927. The Red Devils were designated Marine Bombing Squadron 2 for a few years before becoming Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 232 (VMSB-232) prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. While VMSB-232 flew Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bombers they were the first squadron to land at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.

Official US Marine Corps photograph

In 1943 the squadron switched to flying Grumman TBF-1 Avenger torpedo bombers, becoming Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron 232 (VMTB-232). The Red Devils earned two Presidential Unit Citations during World War II. In 1948 the squadron became VMF-232 flying Grumman F6F-5 Hellcats. They then transitioned to the Vought F4U-4 Corsair. VMF-232 then flew Grumman F9F Panthers, followed by North American FJ-4 Furies. When setting sortie and munitions delivered records flying Vought F-8D Crusaders they were designated VMF(AW)-232.

Official US Marine Corps photograph

In 1967 the Red Devils were redesignated VMFA-232 when they began flying the McDonnell Douglas F-4B Phantom II. They were the last Marine Corps squadron to rotate out of Southeast Asia in 1973. The Red Devils earned the first of four Robert M. Hanson awards as the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron of the Year in 1974. VMFA-232 transitioned from the F-4J Phantom II to the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet in 1989. In the thick of Desert Storm, Iraq, Afghanistan, and more, The Red Devils are obviously still going strong and proud of it.

Official US Marine Corps photograph

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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