Point of Contact = Squadron Duty Officer (SDO).
In 1953, Frank McClanahan, a VMA-332 Marine, helped design a Hat and Cane patch. The hat and cane were put on the patch to signify a flattop carrier and tail-hook. The polkadots were from the red polkadot decoration on the F-4U Corsair engine cowlings used in the Korean War.
In 1968, VMA-332 was assigned the A-6 Intruder. The Intruder excelled at night bombing and attacking in bad weather. During this time the AW (All Weather) Squadron took the Moonlighters handle and altered the polkadot patch.
In 1993, VMA-332 was re-designated VMFA-332 AW and assigned the F/A-18 Hornet. The Squadron redesigned the patch but kept the Moonlighter handle.
Association of Naval Aviation
Richard M. Cooke
Michael E. Sandlin (Col Ret USMCR)
Polkadots 1953 to 1968. (In 1966-68 also known as the "Hat and Cane Squadron"
Moonlighters 1968 to present.
1943 - Established as VMSB-332
1945 - VMSB-332 disestablished.
1952 - Re-established as VMA-332
1963 - Re-designated VMA-332 AW (All Weather)
1993 - Re-designated VMFA-332 AW (All Weather)
1943 - - - - - - - - - - - MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina.
19?? - - - - - - - - - - - MCAS Bogue Field, North Carolina.
19?? - - - - - - - - - - - MCAS Mojave, California.
19?? - - - - - - - - - - - MCAS Midway Island (first combat).
19?? - - - - - - - - - - - MCAS Ewa, Hawaii Territory
195? - - - - - - - - - - - MCAS Miami, Florida.
1956 - - - - - - - - - - - MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina.
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Date Type First Received - - - - - - Type of Aircraft:
1943 - - - - - - - - - - Douglas SBD Dauntless (Slow But Deadly)
194? - - - - - - - - - - Grumman TBM Turkey
1952 - - - - - - - - - - Grumman F6F Hellcat
1952 - - - - - - - - - - Last Chance Vought F4U Corsair
1953 - - - - - - - - - - Douglas A-1H Skyraider
4 July 1958- - - - - - - Douglas A4D-2 (A-4B) Skyhawk *
13 October 1960- - - - - Douglas A4D-2N (A-4C) Skyhawk *
22 July 1964 - - - - - - Douglas A4D-5 (A-4E) Skyhawk *
1968 - - - - - - - - - - Grumman A-6A Intruder
1993 - - - - - - - - - - Boeing F/A-18D Hornet (two seater)
* November 30, 1962
The A4D-2 designation changed to A-4B
The A4D-2N designation changed to A-4C
The A4D-5 designation changed to A-4E
For A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this unit see lower in this page:
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1977 time period - - - - - - - - - - Lt.Col. Martin
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Summer 1943: VMSB-332 was commissioned in the summer of 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina and trained to fly the Douglas SBD (Slow But Deadly) Dauntless.
In 1944: VMSB-332 was in action in the South Pacific where they distinguished themselves flying from Ewa, Hawaiian Territory and Midway Island in the Grumman TBM Turkey.
1952: VMSB-332 was redesignated as VMA-332. After briefly flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat the squadron was assigned the Chance Vought F4U Corsair.
April 11, 1953: In 1953, VMA-332 deployed to Korea with their Chance Vought F4U-4 and F4U-4B Corsairs using the tailcode "MR." It appears the Squadron was first onboard the escort carrier USS Point Cruz CVE 119, showing up on station about April 11, 1953. VMA-332 was based ashore starting May 15, 1953. The Squadron also operated from escourt carrier USS Bairoko CVE 115. It appears the Squadron left Korea for CONUS December 18, 1953.
1953: During the Korean War VMA-332 flew from escort carriers and shore bases. The Squadron provided close air support for the mud Marines fighting the Chinese and North Korean Communists. Both Army and Marine ground troops preferred close air support provided by Marine Squadrons --- over Air Farce squadrons --- Marines squadrons got the job done!
December 1953: At the Korean War tour completion, VMA-332 was assigned the Douglas A-1H Skyraider.
1958: The VMA-332 "Polkadots" were assigned the Douglas A4D-2 Skyhawk.
January 13, 1960: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 144935, EA-12, was damaged in an accident and was stricken. Lt. Herb Fix was taking off from MCAS Futenma, Naha, Okinawa, and as he was gaining altitude there was a muffled explosion in the rear, he turned and came straight back in, when he got stopped the plane captain got the ladder and Lt. Fix was able to get out unharmed. Fuel leaked down on the hot brakes and ignited. The plane was a total loss. No injuries. From Darrell Carter.
March 31, 1960: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 144934, EA-11, was damaged in an accident and was stricken. The plane had just came in to Gangshan, Taiwan and was being refueled (hot?) from a portable bladder tank when the fuel nozzle slipped and sprayed fuel up into the engine compartment where it ignited. The plane was a total loss. One of the refueling crew received some burns (not major), no pilots were involved. From Darrell Carter.
June 8, 1960: 1st Lt. Al Haugo was killed Wednesday night when the landing gear collapsed and his plane flipped over and burned while landing at Osan, AB, Korea. The A4D-2 (BuNo 144928) was one of eight which arrived here from MCAF Iwakuni to participate in training exercises in Korea, Stars and Stripes, Saturday, 11 June 1960.
A former Air Force crash rescue firefighter assigned to Osan AB, Korea in 1960 responded to the crash of a Marine Corps A4D-2 on June 8, 1960. The Skyhawk suffered a left gear failure and the pilot did not survive. He was the first firefighter on the scene. Ken Tollefson
1st Lt. Al Haugo, a fellow pilot from VMA-332 had an unsafe left main landing gear indication. Our maintenance officer, Doug Wallace, did an inflight visual inspection in which it appeared that the gear was down and locked. The Air Force had an open trench along the left side of the runway for a runway edge lighting repair. Al made a gentle landing on centerline, and as his roll-out speed decreased, his left main landing collapsed and his left wing contacted the runway. The A4 skidded off the runway, the left wingtip hit the ditch, cartwheeling the aircraft to a stop alongside the runway. There was a small amount of left tip wing fuel burning. As Al jumped out of the cockpit, the A4 erupted in flames. The autopsy indicated that Al's lungs also were burned. The nut on the bottom of the landing piston was broken and laying on the bottom of the cylinder preventing the landing gear to fully extend. This happened a couple of times on previous flights. However, after recycling the gear, the nut just happened to fall into the depressions to give a safe landing gear indication on those flights. Thus, because of these previous right ups, one was led to believe is was just another "glitch." After many drop tests, a black landing gear alignment stripe was painted on all A4s. Al was an excellent pilot, athlete, and a great human being. From Don Langrock, former VMA-332, 121, 223, and 211 driver.
The A4D-2 loss at K55 Osan Korea was Lt. Alan Haugo, after he landed at K-55. Lt Haugo had an unsafe landing gear indication, and Capt. Doug Wallace, VMA 332 Maintenance Officer, who was airborne at the same time, did a visual check of the landing gear and reported the gear looked down and locked. Upon making an excellent center line runway landing and upon roll out the left main landing gear collapsed, and the aircraft veered off the runway. There was a 18 inch ditch or trench dug along the side of the runway to lay underground wiring for runway lights. Upon the aircraft impacting the mound of dirt behind the trench, the A4 pitched up on its nose. A flash fire came around the bird just as Lt Haugo opened the clam shell cockpit canopy and as he rolled out of the cockpit, the aircraft burst into a flash fire, killing Lt. Alan Haugo. As a result of this accident, a black landing gear alignment stripe was painted on all A4s for in-flight visual checks. Al was an excellent pilot, athlete, and a great human being. and as Don Langrock said, "God is always in control". From Herb Fix, aka, Yogi Bear.
October 13, 1960: VMA-332 began transitioning to Douglas A4D 2N (A-4C) Skyhawk when they were assigned BuNos 147775, 147776, 147777, 147784, 147786 & 147787.
December 4,1961: LCol. Arthur W. Nehf, XO, MAG-12, 1st MAW ejected safely when his VMA-332 A4D-2N Skyhawk (BuNo 148539) crashed Monday into the Inland Sea near MCAF Iwakuni. Nehf was making practice field mirror landings on a simulated carrier deck when the low-level flame-out occurred. Pacific Stars & Stripes, Tuesday, December 5, 1961.
SN Raymond Germer, Air Facility Surface Div. underwater diver, secures lines around the fuselage of a downed A4D Skyhawk during recent salvage operations at Iwakuni, Japan. Pacific Stars & Stripes, Tuesday, April 10, 1962. USN photo.
July 1962: As part of a show of force regarding the activities of the Soviet supported Communist Pathet Lao in Laos, VMA-332 was deployed to Udorn, Thailand in May of 1962 as part JTF 116 which included 3000 men of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Bridgade. While enroute, VMA-332 was air refueled by VMA-211 A-4s from Cubi Point and VMA-332 was the first element of the JTF to arrive in Udorn. The Marine show of force was out of Thailand by August 7 without any combat action.
April 23 1962: 1st Lt. Norman F. Suedekum, 27, was killed Monday when his plane (BuNo 147778) crashed yesterday in Thailand during SEATO Exercise Air Cobra. He had recently deployed to Japan from the Philippines. Garden City Telegram, Tuesday, April 24, 1962. Unidentified pilot was killed Monday when his A4D crashed approximately 125 miles north of Bangkok during SEATO Exercise Air Cobra. The Salt Lake Tribune, Tuesday, April 24, 1962.
April 11, 1964: 1st Lt. Frederick R. Harshbarger, 23, suffered a back injury and Lt. James Barbosa, was unhurt after they ejected south of Fentress Airfield near Virginia Beach Saturday when their jet fighters (A-4C BuNo 145130 & A-4C BuNo 147774) collided while making a turn over a farm field while on a routine training flight from MCAS Cherry Point, NC. The Danville Bee, Danville, VA, Monday, April 13, 1964. A flight of three A-4C's were returning to home base and remained in a loose vee during letdown. Approximately five mile out at 5,000 feet the flight leader gave his right wingman the signal to cross under and form a left echelon. The left wingman moved over to make room for the right wingman who realized he was closing too fast and decided to go below and outside of the left wingman. Seeing this the left wingman assumed the right wingman wanted the outside position so he moved into position on the leaders wing. After regaining control of his closure rate the right wingman started back to the position on the leaders wing and proved once again that two airplanes can't occupy the same space at the same time. NAN, Pettibone, September 1964.
December 16, 1965: Capt. James C. Vaughan of Cherry Point was killed Thursday when his A4D Skyhawk (BuNo 151063) crashed on a practice bombing run at the Point of Marsh bombing range at the mouth of the Neuse River near MCAS Cherry Point. The Pensacola News, Friday, 17 December 1965.
March 4, 1966: LCol. Gordon D. Hodde ejected safely yesterday before his A-4E (BuNo 151197) crashed while on a training mission 60 miles east of Yuma after the engine quit at an altitude of 3,000 feet. Arizona Republic, Saturday, March 5, 1966.
February 8, 1967: 2nd Lt. K.W. Kwmch, 25, ejected safely when his MCAS Cherry Point A-4 Skyhawk (BuNo 149582) crashed on a farm about 10 mile south of Cherry Point and 5 miles west of Morehead Wednesday night after the fire warning light came on. The Danville Register, Danville, VA, Thursday, February 9, 1967.
August 17, 1967: Capt. Michael Sandlin (BuNo 148506) and Capt. Paul Wilting (BuNo 149610) ejected safely when their A-4C Skyhawks collided in flight Thursday NE of MCAS Cherry Point and crashed into a wooded area. Both pilots were recovered by USMC and USCG rescue crews near Gun Point, NC. Capt. Wilting suffered a broken arm and Capt. Sandlin suffered minor injuries. Albuquerque Journal, August 18, 1967.
Capt. Paul Whitting flying A-4C BuNo 149610 flew through A-4C BuNo 148506 flown by Capt. Michael Sandlin. Both A/C are buried in the Dismal Swamp and both pilots survived. Capt. Paul Whitting was booted out of the Corps. From Michael Sandlin.
1968: VMA-332 was assigned the Grumman A-6A Intruder and took on the AW (All Weather) mission.
1993: VMA-332 was the last Marine squadron to fly the Grumman A-6 Intruder.
1993: VMA-332 was re-designated VMFA-332 AW and assigned the Boeing F/A-18D Hornet (two seater) The squadron added the Forward Air Control Airborne (FAC) mission.
1994: VMFA-332 AW FAC deployed to Aviano, Italy to support the United Nation combat operation in Yugoslavia. The Moonlighters led a number of strike missions including the large mission against Ubdina Airfield, Krajina, Coatia.
1996: VMFA-332 AW FAC again deployed to Aviano, Italy.
1958-59: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142809, EA-10, inflight refueling EA-9. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1958-59: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142807, EA-8, inflight refueling BuNo 142813, EA-6, which also is configured as a tanker. VMF-533 Nighthawks F9F Cougars ED-9 and ED-8 off the wing of EA-6. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1958-59: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142813, EA-6, configured as a tanker and being refueled. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1958-59: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 142818, EA-14, BuNo 142837, EA-20, BuNo 142809, EA-10, BuNo 142833, EA-18, BuNo 144921, BuNo 142807, EA-4, and BuNo 142807, EA-8. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1958-59: A4D-2 Skyhawks EA-4, EA-8, EA-14, BuNo 142833, EA-18, and BuNo 142837, EA-20. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1958-59: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 144942, EA-15, touches down. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1958-59: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 144921, EA-4, JATO takeoff. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1959-60: A4D-2 Skyhawks BuNo 144932, EA-9, and BuNo 144935, EA-12, onboard the USS Ticonderoga, CVA-14. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1959-60: A4D-2 Skyhawks BuNo 144940, EA-13, BuNo 144944, EA-16, BuNo 144941, EA-14, and BuNo 144934, EA-11, inflight. Photo from Darrell Carter.
13 January 1960: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 144935, EA-12, was damaged in an accident and was stricken, MCAS Futenma, Naha, Okinawa. Photo from Darrell Carter.
31 March 1960: A4D-2 Skyhawk BuNo 144934, EA-11, was damaged in an accident and was stricken, Gangshan, Taiwan. Photo from Darrell Carter.
1960: Good connection is made by Capt Charles C. Heijde in VMCJ-1 F8U-1 Crusader BuNo 146879, RM-16, as contact is made with the Skyhawk tanker. Both aircraft are attached to MAG-12, First Marine Aircraft Wing. Naval Aviation News.
1960 Polka Dots Skyhawk BuNo 144942, EA-15, makes a JATO launch during Operation Blue Star.
1960: Polka Dots Skyhawk BuNo 144942, EA-15, makes a MOREST landing during Operation Blue Star. Naval Aviation News Photo.
1963: BuNo 147762 on the elevator during A-4 Carquals - USS Lexington. R. Clapp photo, from Gary Verver.
JUL - AUG 1963: Polka Dots Skyhawk BuNo 148608 and squadron officers Edens, Barbosa, Dixen, Floyd, Walker, Wright, James, Emery, Clark, Clapp, Morrison, Prigmore, Scarborough, Morgan, McDaniel, Peacock, Schwab & Padios. Navy Photo.
01 FEB 1988: Skyhawk BuNo 159483, QR-64, as it taxis NAS Dallas, TX. U.S. Navy photo by Whited.
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A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to this VMA-332: