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Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron-31 [MALS-31]

Headquarters Squadron 31, along with the activation of Marine Aircraft Group 31, was activated on 1 February 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, North Carolina, as an element of the 3rd Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. Six month later, Headquarters Squadron 31 as part of MAG-31, was enroute to Miramar, California, finally departing the United States from San Diego, California, embarked on board the USS NASSAU and USAT PUEBLA.

By the end of October 1943, all of MAG-31 had been disembarked and stationed at various Samoan bases as an element of the 4th Marine Base Defense Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. Headquarters Squadron 31, along with Service Support Squadron 31 and two tactical squadrons, was based at Uvea Island, Wallis Islands in the Samoan area. Other squadrons of MAG-31 were station at carious other Samoan Bases. During early 1944, tactical squadrons were ordered to Funafuti, Ellice Islands, and Tarawa, thus spreading MAG-31 units all the way form American Samoan to the Gilberts.

By 7 February 1944, forward elements of Headquarters Squadron 31 along with other MAG-31 units, had moved into the Marshalls, arriving at Roi Island, Kwajalein Atoll, and disembarking on that date. A few days later, Japanese bombers attacked the base and inflicted heavy casualties on Marine personnel. Material damage was heavy with a major portion of the equipment and supplies that had been moved ashore being destroyed. Fortunately, the Marine aircraft had not yet arrived.

In March 1944, MAG-31 tactical squadrons, supported by Headquarters Squadron 31 personnel and personnel of other supporting squadrons, began a year of aerial warfare against the Japanese on their by-passed Marshall bases.

On 10 November 1944, the 4th Marine Bases Defense Air Wing, FMF, was redesignated to the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, FMF. On 11 March 1945, MAG-31, 4th MAW, FMF was redesignated MAG-31, 2d MAW, FMF. Headquarters Squadron 31 and other MAG-31 elements began moving from Roi-Namur Island, sailing for the most active front at that time-the Ryukyu's Campaign. Ground personnel of MAG-31 went ashore on Okinawa on 3 April to prepare to support MAG-31, which landed form the USS SITKOH BAY and began operations four days later. Enroute from the carrier to shore, two MAG-31 pilots shot down a Japanese bomber making a suicide run on their CVE, and gave MAG-31 the distinction of having the first land based aircraft to make a kill in the Okinawa campaign.

Between 7 April and 15 August 1945, Headquarters Squadron 31 personnel supported the Tactical aircrews of MAG-31 as they flew 38,187 hours and shot down 191 enemy planes in multiple missions, not only in the Okinawa skies, but over part of southern Kyushu, the China coast, and more than a dozen enemy-held islands between Formosa and Kyushu. When the war ended, MAG-31 units had moved from Yontan to Chimu on Okinawa.

On 12 October 1945, Headquarters Squadron 31, as part of MAG-31, departed Okinawa for the Marine Air Base at Yokosuka, Japan, as MAG-31 became the first Marine land-based air group to operate in the Japanese homeland.

On January 1946, MAG-31 and its subordinate elements became part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, and on 13 March 1946, joined AirFMFPac. Headquarters Squadron 31 remained at Yokosuka, Japan until is left for the United States on 20 June 1946 aboard the USS SAN SABA (APA-232). By July, MAG-31 and its elements were station at the Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, California, where they remained until deactivation on 31 May 1947.

In the midst of the Korean War, MAG-31, 3d MAW, AirFMFLant, was reactivated on 17 March 1952, with its subordinate elements, at Marine Corps Air Station, Cherry Point, NC, but its location was shortly changed when it moved to Marine Corps Air Station, Miami, FL, on 3 April. During January 1954, Headquarters Squadron 31 returned to the Puerto Rice area for TRAEX II-54.

A major redesignation occurred on 15 February 1954, as the squadron became Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 (H&MS-31). Marine Aircraft Maintenance Squadron 31 was disbanded and its personnel transferred to Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31.

Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 was redesignated on 22 August 1958 to become part of the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, AirFMFLant. The squadron along with the group was reduced to a paper organization it moved to Cherry Point with a small complement of personnel. On 31 January 1959, MAG-31 and its squadron were deactivated as Cherry Point. Nearly three years later, the group came back into existence when it was reactivated at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC. The groups assigned mission was to conduct anti-air warfare and offensive support of Fleet Marine Forces from advanced bases, expeditionary airfields, and aircraft carriers, and to conduct such other air operations as might be directed.

Since its reactivation on 1 November 1961, MAG-31's permanent base has been at Beaufort, SC, where Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 personnel have provided logistical and administrative support to the group. The squadron has provided proficiency training for attached pilots with C-117D and T-1A aircraft. Deployed tactical squadrons have received support from augmented personnel from Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31. During November 1968, the squadron received the Commanding General, FMFLant Aviation Safety Award for Fiscal Year 1968 for 2029 hours of accident-free operations, attesting to the skill of its flight crews and the ability of its maintenance personnel.

On October 1988, Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 31 was redesignated Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 (MALS-31) and transferred it's A-4 Skyhawk aircraft to Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona. Mals-31 successfully completed its transformation of its aviation logistics support mission form F-4 Phantom to the F/A-18 Hornet in 1990. Since then, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 has participated in numerous unit deployments, carrier detachments, Operation "DESERT STORM", and most recently, Operation "DENY FLIGHT" based in Aviano, Italy.

Marines and Sailors from Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 533 and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 returned to the Air Station, Jan. 19, 2005 after a six-month deployment to the Western Pacific.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:19:08 ZULU