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"WW2 USAAF, USN, USMC fighter squadron structure?" Topic

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983 hits since 11 May 2017
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SteelVictory Inactive Member11 May 2017 10:14 a.m. PST

Didn't think it would be this difficult to find because there are so many for ground units but does anyone have a source for a website or book with a good description hopefully including diagrams or organizational chart for USAAF, USN and USMC fighter squadrons?

I know the three weren't organized exactly the same but hopefully can get a starting point.

Focused on the PTO for now but anything will be of help, thanks!

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2017 10:26 a.m. PST

The First Team: Pacific Naval Air Combat from Pearl Harbor to Midway by John B. Lundstrom and the 2nd book on Guadalcanal

Starfury Rider11 May 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

I've got some info on USMC Sqns for 1944-45.

VMF based on 18 fighters plus 2 liaison aircraft. Not listed on the T/O but from what I can gather Sqns carried a surplus of 6 fighters, so total 24. For Okinawa the standard looks to have gone to 24, making 32 with the surplus.

VMF(N) based on 12 night fighters, not sure if they carried spares.

VMSB based on 18 scout bombers, not sure if they carried any spare.

VMTB based on 18 torpedo bombers, as for VMSB.

VMB based on 12 bombers, I've seen refs to make me think they carried a surplus of 3 or 4.

VMR based on 15 transports, don't know if there were spare aircraft.


SteelVictory Inactive Member11 May 2017 10:42 a.m. PST

Thanks so much for aircraft numbers! What about the internal structure of a squadron? How were the aircraft, pilots and ground crews organized? That's the detail I'm looking for.

I'm sure they were organized differently and situational dependent so just looking for a starting point. Is there even an Osprey book on the subject?

GuyG1311 May 2017 11:55 a.m. PST

Can Aviators really be organized? :)

Starfury Rider11 May 2017 12:06 p.m. PST

From T/O ref E-601 of 21Apr44

Forward Echelon, split into Headquarters, Flight, Intelligence and Operations. HQ included Sqn CO and XO (both carried in the Flight element), Staff Sergeant (clerk) and Flight Surgeon (USN). Flight included 40 officers (all Naval Aviators). Intelligence 1 officer and 1 clerk, Ops 1 officer, 1 clerk and 1 line sergeant.

Rear Echelon consisted of HQ (1 offr, 12 EM), Commissary (1 offr, 11 EM), Communication (2 offr, 27 EM), Construction & Maintenance (1 offr, 43 EM), Engineering (1 offr, 90 EM), Material (1 offr, 4 EM), Medical (8 USN), Ordnance (1 offr, 37 EM) and Transportation (1 offr, 21 EM).

Total Sqn strength 309 all ranks.

Vehicles included 4 tractors (3 crawlers, 1 wheeled), 8 Jeeps, 1 wpns carrier, 1 fire truck, 4 cargo trucks and 6 gasoline tankers.

Lots of specialist trades, which included 37 airplane armorers and 63 mechanics. They also had 4 M1917 and 4 M2 (water-cooled) .50-cals for defensive duties.

The other Sqn types followed the same layout, with the VMB adding a Photographic det to the forward echelon.


SteelVictory Inactive Member14 Aug 2017 8:05 p.m. PST

T/O ref E-601 of 21Apr44

Any way to get this document?

Starfury Rider15 Aug 2017 10:57 a.m. PST

Drop me an email at my old address, prefix is garygjk.


SteelVictory Inactive Member22 Aug 2017 3:51 p.m. PST

Thanks! Sent

SteelVictory Inactive Member03 Sep 2017 10:16 a.m. PST

What I'm searching for now: a timeline or list of the combat tour dates for each USMC fighter squadron during the Solomons Campaign.

I'm slowly tracking down each squadron and trying to piece it all together into a calendar and spreadsheet so was wondering if there is one source for the information.
I do have the dates for VMF-124 and VMF-214, and the two VMF's first on Cactus (223, 224).

I have a few books that I'm going through but the one I sold off last year and now regret is Sherrod's history of USMC aviation (although I don't know if it has the information I need). Most sources I found so far have only a general timeframe during which the squadron served in theater but not the individual tour dates.

Lion in the Stars09 Sep 2017 9:50 a.m. PST

You should be able to get the official unit histories from the Naval Historical Center. Write them a nice letter telling them what you're trying to do, they love stuff like this.

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