Skip to Content

VMA-214 Black Sheep

VMA-214 - Black Sheep

Point of Contact - Squadron Duty Officer (SDO)

Refer to the CONTACT LIST under "THE ASSOCIATION" drop down menu.

Courtesy of Jimmie Little

1963 - 1964

Courtesy of R. H. Melville Jr.

  • 07 AUG 1943 to present: Black Sheep
    Most versions were the black shield of illegitimacy, the bar sinister, a black sheep superimposed, surrounded by a circle of twelve stars, and crowned with the image of their aircraft, the F4U-1 Corsair.

  • 01 JUL 1942 to AUG 1943: VMF-214 "Swashbucklers"
  • 07 AUG 1943 to present: Black Sheep

Home Ports
  • 1942: MCAS Ewa, Hawaii.
  • 29 JAN 1944: MCAS Goleta, Santa Barbara CA.
  • APR 1945: MCAS El Centro CA.
  • OCT 1945: MCAS El Toro CA.
  • MAY 1965: Air Station Iwakuni Japan
  • APR 1967: MCAS El Toro CA
  • SEP 1987: MCAS Yuma AZ

Air Wings
  • 1953: MAG-13
  • MAY 1965: WE - MAG-12 - Iwakuni, Japan
  • APR 1967: MAG-33 - El Toro, CA
  • DEC 1970: MAG-13

    • 1942 --------- 1945 ---------------------------------- Western Pacific WWII
  • Post WWII:
    • 194x ------------------------------------------------- USS Rendova (CVE-114)
    • 194x ------------------------------------------------- USS Baroko (CVE-115)
    • 194x ------------------------------------------------- USS Badoeng Straight (CVE-116)
    • 194x ------------------------------------------------- USS Boxer (CV-21)
    • AUG 1950 ---- 1952 ----------------------------------- Korea
    • 1950 ------------------------------------------------- USS Boxer (CV-21)
    • 1963 ------------------------------------------------- Viet Nam
    • Oct 10 1963 - Apr 15 1964 - DET.N - A-4B - CVS-12 - CVSG-57 - WE-81/84 - WestPac
    • Jun 01 1965 - Jun 21 1965 --------- A-4C - MAG-15/MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
    • Jun 21 1965 - Feb 16 1966 --------- A-4E - MAG-12/Chu-Lai, South Vietnam
    • Feb 16 1966 - Apr 29 1966 --------- A-4C - MAG-15/MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
    • Apr 29 1966 - Mar 1967 ------------ A-4E - MAG-12/Chu-Lai, South Vietnam
    • Jul 1977 ---- Jul 1978 ------------ A-4M - MAG-12/MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
    • Jun 1980 ---- Dec 1980 ------------ A-4M - MAG-12/MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
    • Dec 1981 ---- Jun 1982 ------------ A-4M - MAG-12/MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
    • Dec 1986 ---- Jun 1987 ------------ A-4M - MAG-12/MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
    • Jun 1988 ---- Dec 1988 ------------ A-4M - MAG-12/MCAS Iwakuni, Japan
    • OCT 1991 --------------------------------------------- Iwakuni Japan
    • DEC 1993 --------------------------------------------- U.S.S. Peleliu LHA-5
    • OCT 1994 --------------------------------------------- Det. deployment on U.S.S. Essex LHD-2.
    • APR 1996 --------------------------------------------- Det. on U.S.S. Tarawa LHA-1
    • 1997 ------------------------------------------------- Det. on the U.S.S. Peleliu LHA-5.
    • 1998 -------- 1999 ----------------------------------- Deployment on U.S.S. Boxer LHD-4.
    • 2000 ---------2001 ----------------------------------- Dets. to Iwakuni, Japan and U.S.S. Tarawa (LHA-1)

Commanding Officers
  • July 1, 1942 ------------------------- Captain C. W. SOMMERS
  • July 21, 1942 ------------------------ Captain G. F. Britt
  • June 9, 1943 ------------------------- Major H. A. ELLIS JR
  • July 12, 1943 ------------------------ Major W. A. PACE
  • August 7, 1943 ----------------------- Captain J. R. BURNETT
  • September 7, 1943 to January 3, 1944 - Major G. R. Boyington
  • February 9, 1944 --------------------- 2nd Lt R. R. TILTON
  • March 1, 1944 ------------------------ Major W. H. McPHERSON
  • April 10, 1944 ----------------------- Major S. R. BAILEY
  • June 11, 1945 ------------------------ Major J. W. MERRITT
  • July 1, 1945 ------------------------- Lt R. J. McDONNELL
  • August 1, 1945 ----------------------- Major G. L. HOLLOWELL
  • November 1, 1945 --------------------- Major T. W. FURLOW
  • March 7, 1946 ------------------------ Major S. GIER
  • March 20, 1946 ----------------------- Major H. A. PETERS
  • April 15, 1947 ----------------------- Major D. H. SAPP
  • November 19, 1948 -------------------- Major S. G. CORTELYOU
  • July 16, 1949 ------------------------ Lt Colonel H. A. YORK
  • July 8, 1950 ------------------------- Lt Colonel W. E. LISCHEID (KIA)
  • November 1, 1950 --------------------- Major W. M. LUNDIN
  • January 1, 1951 ---------------------- Lt Colonel J. A. FEELY JR
  • May 16, 1951 ------------------------- Lt Colonel J. W. POINDEXTER
  • November 4, 1951 --------------------- Major C. M. KUNZ
  • December 4, 1951 --------------------- Lt Colonel C. C. LEE
  • March 11, 1952 ----------------------- Major M. C. GREGORY
  • April 9, 1952 ------------------------ Lt Colonel M. M. COOK JR
  • June 3, 1953 ------------------------- Lt Colonel W. J. CARR JR
  • December 15, 1953 -------------------- Lt Colonel J. T. McDANIEL JR
  • March 10, 1954 ----------------------- Lt Colonel A. S. WALKER
  • October 26, 1954 --------------------- Lt Colonel R. F. FLAHERTY
  • March 23, 1955 ----------------------- Lt Colonel H. M. TURNER
  • December 2, 1955 --------------------- Lt Colonel A. N. NEHF
  • November 5, 1957 --------------------- Lt Colonel J. F. BOLT
  • August 15, 1959 ---------------------- Lt Colonel R. BAIRD
  • January 10, 1961 --------------------- Major H. D. HUFFSTUTTER
  • July 29, 1961 ------------------------ Major G. KUPRASH
  • December 15, 1961 -------------------- Lt Colonel R. WULLANE
  • January 8, 1963 ---------------------- Lt Colonel E. B. LONG
  • October 9, 1963 ---------------------- Lt Colonel O. E. HOWE JR
  • July 11, 1964 ------------------------ Lt Colonel K. O'KEEFE
  • April 2, 1966 ------------------------ Lt Colonel D. L. DAVIS
  • June 9, 1966 ------------------------- Lt Colonel R. D. WALLACE
  • December 1, 1966 --------------------- Major R. E. HEMMINGWAY
  • April 1, 1967 ------------------------ Lt Colonel D. D. PARISH
  • April 4, 1968 ------------------------ Lt Colonel J. J. WENT
  • January 29, 1969 --------------------- Lt Colonel W. R. SMITH
  • February 4, 1970 --------------------- Lt Colonel R. J. REID
  • June 5, 1971 ------------------------- Lt Colonel J. J. McCARTHY
  • August 15, 1972 ---------------------- Lt Colonel D. F. NEWTON
  • July 10, 1973 ------------------------ Lt Colonel C. L. DAVIS
  • June 15, 1974 ------------------------ Lt Colonel R. H. ALLEY
  • August 16, 1975 ---------------------- Lt Colonel J. R. THOMPSON
  • August 26, 1976 ---------------------- Lt Colonel D. C. FITZGERALD
  • August 4, 1978 ----------------------- Lt Colonel J. L. UNDERWOOD
  • May 4, 1979 -------------------------- Lt Colonel P. B. WYRICK
  • December 20, 1980 -------------------- Lt Colonel E. E. HASTINGS
  • July 16, 1982 ------------------------ Lt Colonel J. P. OPPENHUIZEN
  • December 10, 1983 -------------------- Lt Colonel J. D. JEWELL
  • November 23, 1985 -------------------- Lt Colonel N. N. KIRBY
  • August 29, 1987 ---------------------- Lt Colonel T. R. CARSTENS
  • July 6, 1989 ------------------------- Lt Colonel R. M. STROMBERG
  • August 3, 1990 ----------------------- Lt Colonel R. V. DELONEY
  • July 16, 1992 ------------------------ Lt Colonel H. J. COBLE
  • May 26, 1994 ------------------------- Lt Colonel M. J. KELLY
  • April 26, 1996 ----------------------- Lt Colonel R. S. SIDERS
  • October 25, 1997 --------------------- Lt Colonel D. H. TIERNEY

  • Events
    • July 1, 1942
      VMA-214 was commissioned at Station Ewa, Oahu Hawaii. They were de-commissioned after their combat tour. They were know as the "Swashbucklers".

    • <
    • August 7, 1943
      The orginial "Black Sheep" of twenty seven men led by Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington formed a new VMF-214 at Espiritu Santo in the Western Pacific. Major Boyington had recently returned from a year's tour with the American Vounteer Group (aka "Flying Tigers") in China.

    • January 8, 1944
      Commanding officer Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington is shot down and captured by the Japanese.

    • Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington USMC.

      Medal of Honor holder, Marine Aviator and AVG Flying Tiger Pilot.

      Also awarded the Navy Cross.
      • Rank and organization: Major, United States Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Squadron 214.

      • Place and date: Central Solomons area, from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944.

      • Entered service at: Washington.

      • Born: 4 December 1912, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.


      For extraordinary heroism and valiant devotion to duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Central Solomons area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944.

      Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Major Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations, and aerial forces.

      Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Major Boyington led a formation of 24 fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where 60 hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down 20 enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship.

      A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Major Boyington personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and, by his forceful leadership, developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area.

      Colonel Boyington was the total victor in many more than twenty-six aerial combats during World War II in the Pacific and Asia. "Pappy" Boyington was finally shot down and captured. As a prisoner of war Colonel Boyington suffered brutal and horrible prolonged torture at the hands of the Japanese before being released at war's end. Colonel Boyington died of cancer January 12, 1988.

      Pappy in Nam

    • January 13, 1944
      VMF-214's combat tour ends and the unit is dis-established.

    • January 29, 1944
      VMF-214 is re-established at MCAS Goleta, Santa Barbara CA.

    • February 4, 1945
      VMF-214 deploys aboard the U.S.S. Franklin, CV-13 to the Western Pacific for combat operations against Okinawa and Japan.

    • March 19, 1945
      A Japanese Bomber strikes CV-13 and the resulting fire kills 772 crew members, including 32 Black Sheep. This ended the unit's involvment in WWII.

    • April 1945
      VMF-214 are relocated to MCAS El Centro CA.

    • October 1945
      VMF-214 relocated to MCAS El Toro CA.

    • 1945-5x
      VMF-214 deploys aboard U.S.S. Rendova (CVE-114), U.S.S. Baroko (CVE-115), U.S.S. Badoeng Straight (CVE-116), and the U.S.S. Boxer (CV-21).

    • August 1950
      VMF-214 is the first Marine Squadron to see combat in Korea. They were flying from the U.S.S. Boxer, CV-21.

    • 1952
      VMF-214 gave up their Corsairs for their first jets, the F9F Panther.

    • 1953
      The Panthers gave way to the F2H-4 All Weather Banshee.

    • December 31, 1956
      VMF-214 is re-designated VMF-21(AW), for "All Weather".

    • February 1957
      The Black Sheep become the first Marine Squadron to be qualified in the delivery of "Special Weapons" aka "Nukes".

    • July 9, 1957
      The Black Sheep's unit designation VMF is changed to VMA.

    • March 1958: VMA-214 get new aircraft, the FJ-4 Fury.

    • January 1958
      VMA-214 again gets new aircraft, the FJ-4B.

    • January 23, 1962
      VMA-214 receive the A4D-2 Skyhawk. They were to fly Skyhawks for the next 27 years.

    • May 1965
      The Black Sheep were Assigned to Marine Air Group 12 and relocated to Iwakuni Japan.

    • June 21, 1965
      The first division of Black Sheep Skyhawks fly into Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam utilizing a new 4,000 foot Marine "SATS" runway.

    • September 24, 1965
      An unidentified pilot of A-4C BuNo 148508 pulled out of a dive a little too late and caught the tree tops heavily damaging the underside of the epannage and flew the thing home. Pilot was uninjured.
      Photo by MSgt Russell Richard Bell coutesy of Ralph Bell Jr.

    • February 1966
      VMA-214 is rotated out of Vietnam.

    • March 28, 1966
      Captain Jack D. Rothwell:
      VMA-214 MAG-13 1stMAW FMFPAC. Capt. Rothwell was stationed in Da Nang in March, 1966 when he was sent TDY to the Philippines for training. His A-4C BuNo 145109 crashed during night ordnance delivery in the Cubic Bay area on March 28 and he did not survive. Posthumously promoted to the rank of Major.
      Jim Rothwell
      Cedar Rapids, IA Cedar Rapids Gazette, Friday, April 1, 1966.

    • April 1966
      the Black Sheep return to Chu Lai in force. The unit won the Navy Unit Commendation w/ Bronze Star for their efforts.

    • March 17, 1967
      A-4C BuNo 148585 out of Chu Lai, South Vietnam lost to automatic weapons fire - Capt. Robert Boughton Beale - KIA

    • Post April 1967
      VMA-214 returns to MCAS El Toro CA and is assigned to MAG-33. Their new mission is to train pilots for Vietnam combat tours.

    • July 15, 1968
      Capt. D. W. Bittig perished when A-4C BuNo 147769 crashed on a desert plateau 218 miles north of NAS Fallon
      Reno, NV, Reno Evening Gazette, Wednesday, July 17, 1968

    • September 14, 1969
      Major Charles C. McLennan, was killed when his A-4C BuNo 149644 crashed in the rugged 5 miles west of Lake City, CO while on a routine high level navigation cross-country training flight.
      San Mateo, CA, San Mateo Times, Friday, September 19, 1969

    • December 28, 1969
      Capt. Robert P. Rogers, escaped serious injury yesterday when his A-4C BuNo 148511 crashed while landing at MCAS Yuma while enroute from Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ, to MCAS EL Toro at Santa Ana, CA. High winds apparently made the aircraft veer off the runway.
      Pheonix, AZ, The Arizona Republic, Monday, December 29, 1969

    • May 7, 1970
      Capt. Jack A. Chiarmonte was presumed killed after his A-4E BuNo 150046 crashed in the Pacific off Santa Catalina Island.
      Long Beach, CA, Independent Press-Telegram, Saturday, May 8, 1970

    • September 8, 1970
      APPLE VALLEY UPI - Marine Capt. Patrick G. Carroll, 27, ejected safely Tuesday moments before his A4-e BuNo 150089 Skyhawk jet crashed in a remote area 20 miles north of Big Bear in Lucerne Valley. A 10-acre brush fire was touched off when the plane crashed in the desert area. Carroll, a Vietnam veteran, was picked up by a rescue helicopter from George Air Force Base and was not injured. Marine officials would only say the plane developed a "malfunction" before it crashed. Carroll was on a navigation training flight from El Toro Marine Corps Air Station.
      Redlands, CA, Daily Facts, Wednesday, September 9, 1970

    • April 21, 1971
      Capt. James E. Stroupe perished when his A-4F BuNo 154985 crashed while on a practice bombing run near Yuma, AZ.
      Republic City, AZ, The Arizona Republic, Thursday, April 22, 1971

    • July 22, 1972
      Denver, CO, Rocky Mountain News, Sunday, July 23, 1972.
      I just opened the old log book, because I was on the periphery of that event at Buckley.
      'Twas 21/22 Jul 72 and I (1stLt Steve Linder) was on a cross-country with our skipper, LtCol J.J. McCarthy (VMA-214) flying A-4Fs from El Toro to RON at Buckley. There was another flight of three from our squadron RONing at Buckley that same night. On the 22nd, the skipper and I departed late in the morning without incident. About 1/2 hour later we received a call on guard from the Buckley tower asking if there was a LtCol McCarthy aboard. After the affirmative reply, we were asked to return to the scene of the accident. We saw the wreckage of Dash two off to the left side of the runway (I think it was runway 35 or 36).
      To the best of my recollection, here is how it unfolded. The flight of three behind us had seen us depart and expected the same conditions. They were cleared for takeoff with winds reported as light and variable. Lead (Capt Mike Ozment - A-4F BuNo 154192) rolled with Dash two (1stLt Carl Chappell A-4F BuNo 154186) 10 seconds behind. The 60 knot gust (90 degree crosswind from the left) did come out of nowhere hitting Lead and Dash two.
      Lead had enough speed that he did not weathervane, but was pushed hard over to the right, blowing the starboard main tire, some of which was thrown forward and ingested into the engine intake. Lead got airborne, declared an emergency and turned left downwind. About abeam the runway on downwind, Lead's engine quit and he ejected, landing in a sewage treatment pond, but otherwise unhurt.
      Dash two was at a slower airspeed, about halfway through his takeoff roll, when hit by the wind gust. The A/C weathervaned to the left and departed the runway heading for a drainage ditch. Dash two chose to eject rather than face the drainage ditch and landed on the upwind (left side) of the runway with his chute still inflated. He was on his hands and knees trying to stop himself from being blown away and was drug across the runway from left to right, sustaining major injuries to his hands and knees before he could jettison the chute.
      After witnessing these calamities, Dash three (Capt Hal Widener) pulled his power to idle and taxied back to the line.
      I don't remember what the skipper and I did once we returned. There was nothing we could do but help our two squadron mates who had to hit the silk. I think, as mentioned, no blame was assessed because of the freak nature of the event.
      Well, that left an indelible impression on me as a young 1stLt myself.

    • August 3, 1976
      1st Lt. Wade C. Straw ejected safely before A-4M BuNo 158432 crashed in the desert near Needles, CA, while on a training mission.
      Oxnard, CA, The Press-Courier, Wednesday, August 4, 1976
      Naval Aviation News, Grampa Pettibone, February 1977

    • June 9, 1981
      Capt. Joseph J. Krejmas ejected safely from A-4M BuNo 159481 due to power loss on approach.

    • September 1987
      VMA-214 is relocated to MCAS Yuma AZ.

    • June 1989
      The Black Sheep became the first Marine Squadron to fly the AV8B Harrier.

    • October 1991
      Twenty Black Sheep Harriers deply to Iwakuni Japan.

    • July 1993
      VMA-214 deploys Harriers to 29 Palms CA for a "Night Sytems" operation.

    • December 1993 to July 1994: Deployment aboard the U.S.S. Peleliu LHA-5.

    • October 1994
      a Black Sheep Detachment deploys aboard the U.S.S. Essex LHD-2.

    • April 1996
      deployment on the U.S.S. Tarawa LHA-1. The participated in "Operation Southern Watch" and "Operaton Desert Strike"

    • 1997
      Black Sheep Detachment on the U.S.S. Peleliu LHA-5.

    • 1998-99
      VMA-214 deployment on U.S.S. Boxer LHD-4. They participated in "Operaton Desert Fox".

    • 2000-2001
      detachments to Iwakuni Japan and aboard the U.S.S. Tarawa LHA-1.
    • 1943: Presidential Unit Citation
    • 29 AUG 1961: CMC Safety Award
    • 1966: Navy Unit Commendation: With Bronze Star
    • OCT 1982: Lawson H.M Sanderson Award (Attack Squadron of the Year)
    • 17 OCT 1987: Lawson H.M Sanderson Award (Attack Squadron of the Year)
    • AUG 1997: Lawson H.M Sanderson Award (Attack Squadron of the Year)

    Marine Corps Air Station Ewa

    CW2 Matt Hobbs

    CW2 Matt Hobbs

    CW2 Matt Hobbs

    To VMA-214 SDO Steve Linder:
    Hi, my name is Matt Hobbs. I'm an Army Blackhawk pilot stationed in Hawaii.
    Long story short, I was exploring what was once known as MCAS Ewa today. I did a google search to find more info, and saw that VMA-214 had formed there back in 1943. Quite a bit of history. I saw that you were listed as a point of contact for the unit history page, so I thought I'd pass some photos along of what MCAS Ewa looks like today.
    CW2 Matt Hobbs

    Source of information:
    CW2 Matt Hobbs (Blackhawk Pilot)

    VMA-214 Photographs

    VMA-214 1942 through 1962
    VMA-214 Personnel 1943
    Twenty-three VMA-214 pilots are shown seated behind the men in the numerals.
    BB (Before Boyington and Black Sheep) VMA-214 Officers and Men are pictured at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Territory of Hawaii in February 1943, near completing combat training requirements.
    VMA-214 had been established July 1, 1942 under Commanding Officer Captain C. W. Sommers, USMC at Ewa. On July 21, 1942 Captain George F. Britt, USMC took command - Britt was promoted to Major before deploying.
    Other VMA-214 Commanding officers, Before Boyington, were: June 9, 1943 - Major H. A. Ellis Jr., USMC ; July 12, 1943 - Major W. A. Pace, USMC; and August 7, 1943 - Captain J. R. Burnett, USMC.
    USMC photograph courtesy of Roberta Lowe.

    VMA-214 at Guadalcanal:
    From a Navy NATOPS, a picture of the "Black Sheep" briefing.
    From Joseph C. Baldwin Jr., son of Marine Aviator Lt.Col. J.C. Baldwin.

    VMA-214 Pilots 1958
    Picture of Black Sheep pilots taken at MCAS Kaneohe Bay in 1958/59. Squadron FJ-4B Furies are in the background. The Commanding Officer, Lt.Col. Jack Bolt, is in the center of the photo, Lloyd Gailey is sitting at the far right.
    Photograph from Lloyd Gailey.

    VMA-214 Det N Men 1963
    Photograph from the Hornet cruise book.

    VMA-214 Officer in Charge Major R. J. Kern.
    Photograph from the Hornet cruise book.

    VMA-214 Pilot Captain I. C. Archibold.
    Photograph from the Hornet cruise book.

    VMA-214 Pilot Captain W. H. Hale.
    Photograph from the Hornet cruise book.

    VMA-214 Pilot Captain A. G. Potenza.
    Photograph from the Hornet cruise book.

    VMA-214 Pilot First Lieutenant R. L. Crane.
    Photograph from the Hornet cruise book.

    VMA-214 Pilot First Lieutenant J. E. Gardner.
    Photograph from the Hornet cruise book.

    BuNo.147755 and Captain Melville with the Blacksheep.
    Photo provided by Robert H. Melville Jr., son of Captain Melville.

    Blacksheep Drivers "huddle up" for briefing.
    Photo provided by Robert H. Melville Jr.

    Blacksheep Drivers getting a "good hunting" handshake.
    Photo provided by Robert H. Melville Jr.

    1964 Blacksheep DET N Skyhawk BuNo 142875, WE-84, assigned to the USS Hornet parked on the ramp.
    Naval Aviation News Photo.

    A-4C Skyhawk Jato Takeoff - 1965
    A VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4C taking off using JATO from Naval Air Station Cubi Point, Philippines, June 1965.
    Photograph courtesy of Russell Williams.

    Over the South China Sea - 1965
    A Blacksheep Skyhawk is pictured flying over the "tropic Q" clouds somewhere over the South China Sea between NAS Cubi Point, Philippines and Chu Lai, Vietnam, June 22, 1965.
    Photograph courtesy of Rusty Williams.

    A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148548 - 1965
    VMA-214's A-4C Skyhawk BuNo. 148548 side number WE-10 near Chu Lai, South Vietnam - taken during period July to November 1965 over Vietnam. Note reddish dirt on fuselage and wings from Chu Lai clay.
    Photograph courtesy of Russell Williams.

    Greg Boyington - 1965
    Greg Boyington (white shirt) visiting VMA-214's Blacksheep at Chu Lai, South Vietnam during the fall of 1965.
    Blacksheep in the picture from the upper left: "Slats" Combs, unk, unk, Bill Bartlett, unk, Pappy, Pete Wyrick (later CO 214), Russell Williams, CO Keith O'Keefe, Larson, Rooke, Major unk (O-3).
    From the lower left:
    Moore, Lee Burns, Bill Fitts, Frank Bryant, WO unk.
    Photograph by and courtesy of Russell Williams.

    right rear in-flight view of VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4C Skyhawk BuNo 147788
    , WE-8, with a MER with two Snakeyes on each wing station and a centerline tank.
    Photographer unknown.

    A-4C BuNo 145108, WE-18, after an encounter with a hill top, circa November 1965. Photo from Gary Clark

    VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4E Skyhawk BuNo 150027
    , WE-22, at Chu Lai.
    COL Robert Clapp.

    Circa 1966:
    The VMA-214 Black Sheep headquarters at Chu Lai.
    Photo from John Stum

    Circa 1966: BuNO 147799 Black Sheep loaded with iron bombs.
    Harry Gann photo from Joe Baldwin Jr.

    Circa 1966: Chu Lai Skyhawk Line and tent area.
    John Stum

    Circa 1966: Black Sheep Skyhawks BuNo 148482 and 148508 on the taxiway at Chu Lai.
    John Stum

    Circa 1966: Black Sheep Skyhawk BuNo 148548 on the taxiway at Chu Lai.
    John Stum

    Circa 1966:
    BuNo 148436 in-flight
    over Vietnam.
    Photo from Stummer

    01 Feb 1966: Black Sheep Skyhawk line: BuNo 148494, WE-19, in the foreground followed by WE-13, WE-2, WE-11 and WE-22.
    U.S. Navy

    BuNo. 145117 on the VMA-214 line in Nam - 1966.

    NOV 1966: BuNo 148531, WE-4, assigned to MAJ Dave Caylor as she taxis by the photographer. USAF O-1E Bird Dog s/n 56-2569 at left.
    Unknown photographer via W. Mutza

    1966-67: BuNo 148436, WE-12, parked on the ramp.
    Unknown photographer via W. Mutza

    1965-67: Skyhawk BuNo 148471, WE-2, parked on the ramp next to a Skyknight.
    Unknown photographer

    JUL 1967:
    VMA-214 A-4C 150586
    , WE-1, location unknown
    Photographer unknown.

    APR 1968: BuNo 148471, WE-2, parked on the ramp with an MBER and Snakeyes on the port side.
    Unknown photographer

    APR 1968: BuNo 148531, WE-1, with Black Sheep Officers at MCAS El Toro.
    APR 1968: BuNo 148531, WE-1, with Black Sheep Operations (S-3) at MCAS El Toro.
    APR 1968: BuNo 148531, WE-1, with Black Sheep Admin (S-1) at MCAS El Toro.
    USMC from Jim Hockenberry

    VMA-214 Blacksheep Squadron snapshots taken at MCAS El Toro in 1968 by Jim Larkin:
    VMA-214 maintenance hanger and fix-um-up shop.
    VMA-214 revetment from the fix-um-up shop.
    VMA-214 Skyhawks parked in a line.
    VMA-214 Skyhawk business end.
    Close-up of a Skyhawk wing's air flow tabs.

    JUL 1969: Blacksheep Skyhawk BuNo 148531, WE-1, assigned to LCOL William R. Smith parked on the flightline next to VA-128 A-6 Intruder BuNo 151818, NJ-45.
    Nick Williams

    BuNo 147742 WE-24,
    FCLP practice at MCAS El Torro 1969.
    1st Lt. Steve Sanford in BuNo 148531, WE-23, over San Francisco bay area 1969. Taken by wingman 1st Lt. R. P. "Hans" Vogelpohl
    BuNo 149644 WE-27 landing at MCAS El Torro.
    Photos by Richard "Hans" Vogelpohl

    BuNo 149536,WE-22, assigned to 1/LT D.L. Peem parked on the ramp.
    Jim Brady

    BuNo 149644, WE-2, assigned to MAJ R.J. Reid parked on the line.
    Nick Williams

    A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 158428 - 1972
    Captain Hans Vogelpohl leads his wingman Captain Hal Widener in A-4M Skyhawk BuNo: 158428 side number WE 2 over southwest Texas from El Paso to Randolph on November 11, 1972. Two days later Captain Hal Widener returned in A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 158428 to Marine Corps. Air Station El Toro --- his last military flight.
    Hans Vogelpohl photograph from Hal Widener.

    BuNo.158428 with the Blacksheep.
    Photo provided by Robert H. Melville Jr.

    BuNo.158428 with the Blacksheep.
    Photo provided by Robert H. Melville Jr.

    02 Sep 1976 Blacksheep Skyhawk BuNo 158430, WE-10, parked on the flight line.
    Photo by T.R. Waddington, Gary Verver collection.

    1972-1973: Left side view of VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4F Skyhawk BuNo 155064, WE-5, on the ramp, location unknown, 1972-1973. Copyright R.W. Harrison.

    VMA-214 07 APR 1973:
    VMA-214 A-4M BuNo 158433, WE-8,
    07 April 1973 at Hill AFB. Name below the canopy is Capt. Vogelpohl.
    Photographer unknown, from Gary Verver Collection.

    Date unknown:
    VMA-214 A-4M BuNo 160044, WE-1.
    Also in the photo are WE-461, WE-460 and WE-453.
    Photo by W. Munzenmaier, from Gary Verver.

    NOV 1976:
    VMA-214 A-4M BuNo 158170,
    WE-9, NOV 1976.
    Photographer unknown from Verver collection.

    06 APR 1977: Blacksheep Skyhawk BuNo 160043, WE-000, parked on the ramp.
    Dr. C.A. "Sketch" Eddy

    VMA-214 Black Sheep A-4M Skyhawks passing through MCAS Kanehoe July 1977 or July 1978. Right to left A-4M BuNo 160045, WE-450, BuNo unknown WE-454 and BuNo 158164, WE-464.
    Spencer Sikder

    1977: A-4M Formation, WE-12 is BuNo 160023 and behind WE-12 are WE-5, WE-7 & WE-2. WE-2 could be 160043.
    Four Blacksheep A-4Ms cruise the friendly skies.
    Photograph by Harry Gann and courtesy of Fred Lewis.

    Nov. 1978, two Blacksheep Skyhawks, BuNo 160040, WE-3, in the foreground.
    U.S. Navy photo by Cpl E. Denton

    OCT 1978: Left front view of VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 159489, WE-12, on the ramp, Forbes ANGR, October 1978. Name below the canopy is 1STLT Hugh Elwood. Copyright R.W. Harrison.

    A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 158170 - 1980
    Black Sheep WE 20 approaching for landing at NAS Atsugi, Japan, September 15, 1980.
    Color photograph by and courtesy of Takafumi Hiroe of Yokohama, Japan.
    Do a search for Takafumi Hiroe's website index to his USN aircraft pictures.

    A-4M Skyhawk departs Cubi Point - 1980
    Bill Cline snapped this picture of a Blacksheep A-4M taking off from the field at Cubi Point, Phillipines. The VMA-214 Blacksheep under the command of Lt.Col. Hastings. This picture was taken from a vantage point at the upper MAU.

    Oct 1980 BuNo 158156, WE-24, taxiing out on the runway during exercise Cope North 80.
    U.S. Navy photo

    Oct 1980 BuNo 158165, WE-17, from Marine Light Attack Squadron 214 (VMA-214) during exercise Cope North 80.
    U.S. Navy photo, Tsgt Curt Eddings

    A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 159481 - 1981
    The pilot successfully punched out (of course), the plane skidded on the desert floor and came to a stop near Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. The Skyhawk was in the landing pattern for Yuma when it experienced a failure of the Pb4 (burner pressure) sensing line at the connection to the fuel control moisture trap. This failure caused the engine to immediately go to idle. If the pilot had more altitude he would have had time to switch to "manual" fuel control and recover, but he only had time to jam the throttle to the military stop, decide he was it trouble, and punch. The Skyhawk basically pancaked in, at the position shown in the picture. The fuselage was cut apart during the mishap investigation in order to remove the engine in an "as-is" condition for the E.I. at NARF Jax. With minor repair and replacement of the broken line we heard the engine ran 4-0 (perfectly). The pilot is reported to have been Captain Joe "Famous" Krejmas.
    Photograph from Bill Cline; text by John W. Street, MgySgt, USMC-Ret.

    May 1981 BuNo 158414, WE-16, with a pair of drop tanks and MBER's.
    Gary Verver Collection

    A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 159779 "Attacking the Hun" - 19??.
    A McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle from Luke Air Force Base and a VMA-214 Black Sheep A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 159779, WE 11 from Marine Corps Air Station El Toro, California.
    Photograph taken out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma by Harry S. Gann.

    05 May 1982 BuNo 160034, WE-01, parked on the ramp at an open house.
    M.J. Kasiuba, G. Verver collection.

    A-4M Skyhawk BuNo. 160041 Bites the Dust - 1982-3
    If there's an A-4 on static display at 29 Palms, it's probably from VMA-214's mishap occurring in late 1982 or early '83 at the "Stumps" expeditionary airfield.
    The pilot in BuNo. 150041 side number WE-7 landed short of the runway during a night approach to landing due to weathered lenses on the runway approach lights (Ball). To the pilot it looked just like a centered "ball" all the way to touchdown --- a quarter mile short of the runway threshhold.
    The landing ripped the main landing gear from the Skyhawk and the aircraft skidded overland to the runway and then down the runway until the nose gear caught the arresting gear cable and swung 180 degrees to a stop. Pilot walked away with a lot of help from the CFR guys.
    The engine and as many useable parts as possible were salvaged. The hulk was left for crash crew to play with; but maybe later someone tried to fix it up.
    Photographs and text by John W. Street, MgySgt, USMC-Ret.

    Poster shot of BuNo.158155 and 158416 in Blacksheep Clothing".
    Source unknown.

    1980s BuNo 160022, WE-19, on display at an open house.
    Photo by John Freeman

    1983-88: VMA-214 Black Sheep A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 160025, WE-11, in flight with VMFA-531 Grey Ghosts F/A-18A Hornet (possibly 161752) EC-15.
    Robert L. Lawson Photograph Collection

    1986: Black Sheep Skyhawk BuNo 160022, WE-19, as the pilot suits up atop the port wing.
    Phil Jarvis

    1986 Blacksheep Skyhawk flightline during a CAX exercise. WE-8 in the center and WE-15 at right.
    F. Nunez

    1986 Blacksheep Skyhawk loaded with four 500lb bombs on the centerline and two 300 gallon drop tanks during a CAX exercise.
    F. Nunez

    1986 Blacksheep Skyhawk WE-8 taxies out loaded with 2 sets of 500lbs bombs and a center drop tank.
    F. Nunez

    1986 -87 Blacksheep Skyhawk prepares to fly over Okinawa. VMA-214 was at Kadena AFB, during WestPac 86-87.
    F. Nunez

    May 1986 BuNo 158176, WE-4, parked on the flight line.
    Gary Verver Collection

    Unidentified pilot preflights VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 160022
    , WE-19, and we're a go ... the engine is still in there.
    photo by Jarvis.

    Unidentified pilot suits up on the wing of VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 160022
    , WE-19, which is on the ramp with a centerline tank and a TER on #4.
    photo by Jarvis.

    close-up as unidentified pilot suits up on the wing of VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 160022
    , WE-19, which is on the ramp with a centerline tank and a TER on #4.
    photo by Jarvis.

    Unidentified pilot boards VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 160022
    , WE-19, the hard way... without a ladder and via the refueling probe.
    photo by Jarvis.

    Unidentified pilot clambers into the cockpit of VMA-214 Blacksheep A-4M Skyhawk BuNo 160022
    , WE-19, after successfully negotiating the trip out on the refueling probe.
    photo by Jarvis.

    SEP 1986:
    VMA-214 A-4M BuNo 159778,
    WE-5, SEP 1986.
    Photographer unknown from Verver collection.

    28 April 1989 BuNo 160030, WE-01, parked on the ramp.
    Gary Verver Collection

    BuNo 158424, WE-5, parked on the ramp with a pair of drop tanks at an open house.
    Gary Verver Collection

    01 JUL 1992:
    Fighter Squadron 126 (VF-126)
    T-2C Buckeye (BuNo 1585xx, NJ-643, & BuNo 158889, NJ-642) aircraft and an A-4 Skyhawk (VMA-214, A-4M BuNo 160034) aircraft stand on the flight line prior to an exercise. The Buckeyes are used for out-of-control flight training for fighter aircrews based at Miramar.
    Photo by LCDR Dave Parsons.

    Off-Duty Photos

    Pappy visits Nam

    VMA-214 Marines at Chu Lai.
    Photos provided Robert H. Melville Jr.

    • Bill Cline
    • Lloyd Gailey
    • Takafumi Hiroe
    • Jim Larkin
    • Fred Lewis
    • Roberta Lowe
    • Terry McGinnis
    • Rusty Williams
    • Bill Cline
    • John Street
    • Hans Vogelpohl
    • Hal Widener
    • Robert H. Melville Jr.
    • John Gabbard

page | by Dr. Radut