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Marine Fighting Squadron 215 "Fighting Corsairs" VMF-215
United States Marine Corps (USMC)

Background
This squadron was originally formed as a scout bomber squadron. During September 1942 redesignated as fighter squadron in Marine Air Wing 1 (MAW-1), Marine Air Group 12 (MAG-12). Equipped with the F4U Corsair (and later the FG Corsair) and nicknamed "Fighting Corsairs".

First Tour of Duty
During early 1943 based in Hawaii and Midway before arriving at Espiritu Santo.

During late July 1943 VMF-215 began flying combat missions in the Solomon Islands operating from Munda Airfield on New Georgia. Next, Barakoma Airfield on Vella Lavella Island and then Torokina Airfield on Bougainville Island.

On July 30, 1943 lost is F4U Corsair 02375 piloted by Captain Jack Arnold Nichols (MIA).

On January 24, 1944 lost returning from a mission against Rabaul is F4U Corsair 02285 piloted by Major R. G. Owens (rescued).

VMF-215 pilot 1st Lt. Robert M. Hanson earned the Medal of Honor for actions between November 1, 1943 and January 24, 1944.

Second Tour of Duty
During March 1944, the squadron was reorganized and returned to Bougainville for another tour of duty operating from Piva South Airfield (Piva Uncle, Fighter, Piva 2) on Bougainville Island.

On April 29, 1944 a pair of FG Corsairs led by Major James K. Dill accidentally strafed PT-347 and PT-350. Shot down by defensive fire was FG-1A Corsair 13307 (MIA).

On September 3, 1944 lost was F4U Corsair 56260 piloted by Patet (MIA).

VMF-215 ended their second tour of duty during October 1944. In total, VMF-215 claimed 137 enemy aircraft shot down.

For the remainder of the Pacific War, VMF-215 was a training squadron.

On April 17, 1945 on a training mission, F4U Corsair 49668 ditched off Oahu, pilot 2nd Lt. William H. Holden was rescued.

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