Commissioned at NAS San Diego, California. Commanded by Major William K. Pottinger at Camp Kearney, CA on March 1, 1942.
Initially equipped with SB2Us for training; then transitioned to Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber in November 1942.
The squadron departed the United States on October 15, 1942 on the SS Lurline with seven pilots and 57 enlisted men. Nineteen more pilots arrived at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal November 12, 1942, and entered combat five days later, nine additional pilots arrived at Henderson Field equipped with the TBF Avenger
May 19 1943: 30 TBFs from VT-11 and VMSB-143 damaged the Houn Maru and force her aground. 6 48' N, 155 49E, a total loss.
Redesignated VMTB-143 on June 1, 1943.
Returned to the United States to Santa Barbara during June 1944 and redesignationed VMTB(CVS)-143.
Sent overseas again during April 1945. On V-J Day was aboard USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107).
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