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Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-212 [VMFA-212]

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212[VMFA] was originally activated as VMF-212 on 1 March 1942 at Ewa Territory of Hawaii. The squadron deployed to the South Pacific with F4F "Wildcats" aircraft where tehy took part in campaigns in the New Hebrides, New Caledonia, Guadalcanal, as well as operations off of Midway, Esprit Santo, Treasure Island, Russell Islands, Bougainville, Raboul and the Philippines. It was during the latter that the squadron took delivery, in May 1945, of the F4U-4 Corsair. With this aircraft, teh squadron went on to support the American invasion of Okinawa.

The squadron was later redesignated as Marine Attack Squadron 212. The The squadron then tplayed an active role in the Korean War, operating from Kimpo Airfield near Seoul. The squadron remained in Korea until February 1955 when it boarded the USS Wasp for Hawaii and joined the 1st Provisional Marine Air-Ground Task Force.

Starting in the fall of 1958 going into the next seven years, VMA-212 periodically deployed to the Far East for six months. By April 1965, the squadron deployed to Vietnam to augment the power of the Naval Air arm at Yankee Station before deploying, in April 1972, from Hawaii to Da Nang, South Vietnam. The squadron earned a Meritorious Unit Citation for its effort in Vietnam.

Between 1974 and 1987, VMFA-212 deployed numerous times to Japan and the West Coast earning the CNO Aviation Safety Award, the Robert M. Hanson Award, and the Meritorious Unit Citation. In October 1988, VMFA-212 completed its seventh and final rotation in the UDP as an F-4 "Phantom" squadron, with the F-4 being subsequently replaced by the F/A-18C "Hornet".

On December 10, 1990, the squadron deployed to Bahrain and joined MAG-11 in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. From January 1 to 16, 1991, the Lancers of VMFA-212 conducted Combat Air Patrols off the coast of Kuwait and focused on contingency mission planning. With the start of the allied offensive, VMFA-212 played an active role, taking part in a wide variety of missions including Deep Air Strikes, Battle Area Interdiction, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, Close Air Support and Fighter Escort.

Upon returning home, the squadron was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation for combat operations, as well as a MUC for security operations after the war. In February 1992, the squadron resumed the UDP cycle and returned to Iwakuni, Japan marking the first Lancers F/A-18's in WestPac. On 26 July 1993, VMFA-212 deployed to WestPac for six months before moving from MCAS Kaneohe Bay to MCAS El Toro, California. The squadron moved again, this time to NAS Miramar on 14 August 1995. In August 1996, VMFA-212 deployed yet again on a six-month UDP before permanently settling at MCAS Iwakuni.




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