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Marine Fighting Squadron 222 "Flying Deuces" VMF-222
United States Marine Corps (USMC)

Wartime History
During World War II, VMF-222 was nicknamed "Flying Deuces" and operated the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair and during late 1943 the Goodyear FG Corsair in the South Pacific.

During September 1943, VMF-222 operated from Munda Airfield on New Georgia Island.

On September 13, 1943 F4U Corsair 17435 piloted by Captain William Deen "Willie" Moore participated in a mission over Rabaul and failed to return. He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

On December 15, 1943 F4U Corsair 17884 piloted by Robert Wilson participated in a Combat Air Patrol (CAP) over Empress Augusta Bay and afterwards while landing at Torokina Airfield this aircraft suffered a brake failture and flipped upside down, pilot unhurt. Afterwards, this aircraft was moved to a boneyard area and stripped for parts.

Next, the squadron moved to Torokina Airfield on Bougainvile and continued flying combat missions against Japanese targest, primarily Rabaul.

On February 24, 1944 FG-1A Corsair 13212 piloted by 1st Lt. Jesse M. Leach, Jr.participated in a mission over Rabaul and due to an engine failure ditched near Duke of York Islands. was observed in his life raft but was never seen again when a PBY Catalina rescue mission arrived.

On March 7, 1944 FG-1A Corsair 13262 piloted by Lt. Beacon participated in a mission over Rabaul. This aircraft was lost, Beacon was rescued and returned to duty.

During 1944, operated from Green Island Airfield (Nissan).

On October 19, 1944 FG-1A Corsair 14039 pilot 1st Lt. Alfred Baxter Vaughnparticipated in a mission over Rabaul and crashed north of Four Ways (Four Corners). He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

On November 7, 1944 FG-1A Corsair 14015 pilot Robert V. Barnett participated in a mission over Rabaul and suffered a hydraulic line break but was able to base but was forced to bail out and was rescued and returned to duty.

On November 12, 1944 FG-1A Corsair 14026 pilot 2nd Lt. Archie Clifford Peruparticipated in a mission over Rabaul and crashed near Four Ways (Four Corners). He remains listed as Missing In Action (MIA).

On December 5, 1944 FG-1A Corsair 14417 pilot 1st Lt. Moszek "Mike" Zanger participated in a mission over Rabaul and suffered an aerial collision. He was reported as Missing In Action (MIA). In fact, he bailed out and was captured by the Japanese and detained as a Prisoner Of War (POW) until he died during July 1945.

References
VMF-222 War Diary
The Forty Nineteens - VMF-222 Roster
Thanks to Nick Zeigler for additional information

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