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VMB-624 | VMTB-624


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VMB-624 | VMTB-624


Commissioned: VMB, 20 Jun 1944, MCAS Cherry Point. (Training for carrier-based combat in the Pacific Theater under training syllabus of MASG-51.) MCAS Mohave.

Re-designated VMTB, 10 Feb 1945, MCAS Cherry Point.

Known Stations. 20 Jun 1944, MCAS Cherry Point. 10 Feb 1945, MCAS Mohave. 2 Sep 1945 (VJ Day), MCAS Santa Barbara. 10 Sep 1945, Carrier Group (Second Division) Pacific, MCAG-51, MCAS Mohave.

Date Deactivated: 10 Mar 1946, MCAS Ewa (TH).

Aircraft: VMB: PBJ-1 Mitchell (B-25). VMTB: TBF-IC, TBM-1, TBM-1 C, TBM-3E



Artist: Al Capp


Proposed design, no indication it was ever produced as an insignia.






American embroidery on wool. | 1944-1945




A post distinguishing the genuine WWII-issue with an unknown patch is here.


While the Marines had possessed like bombing squadron's since 1937, the existing units were redesignated scout-bombing in 1941. The first new (medium) bombing squadron (VMB-413) was organized in March 1943. Starting in early 1943 and extending into 1945, the Naval Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer) accepted a total of 706 B-25s with assigned bureau numbers under the designation PBJ: 50 B-25Cs (PBJ-lC), 152 B-25Ds (PBJ-lD), one B-25G (PBJ- lG), 248 B-25Hs (PBJ-lH) and 255 B-25Js (PBJ-1J). With an exception of a small number used by the Navy for test purposes, all of the PBJs were allocated to the Marine Corps and subsequently organized into medium bombardment squadrons (VMB).


Between March and October 1943, eight PBJ combat squadrons were activated at Cherry Point: VMB-413, -423, -433, -443, -611, -612, -613, and -614, and these eight would ultimately be the only units to deploy overseas. The seven PBJ squadrons that saw combat in the Pacific suffered the loss of 45 aircraft, 26 in combat and 19 in non-combat operations, and 173 crew, 62 officers and 111 enlisted men. Eight more PBJ squadrons were activated at Cherry Point during 1944: VMB-453, -473, -483, -621, -622, -623-, and -624-but none ever deployed overseas and beginning in early 1945, seven were redesignated as carrier group torpedo-bomber squadrons [VMTB(CVS)].

The two major missions assigned to the Marine PBJs were anti-shipping strikes and night interdiction. For night operations, the PBJs were initially retrofitted with an APS-4 search radar system in a retractable radome in the place of the ventral turret but later upgraded to an APS-4 system mounted in a nose radome above the bombardier's station on PBJ-IDs and on the right wingtip on PBJ-lHs; and some PBJ-lJs came with a factory installed radome on the right wingtip. Modifications to Marine PBJ-lDs included installation of four fixed .SO-calibre machine guns in the nose and four in blister packs on the sides and addition of a .SO-calibre gun in larger waist windows on each side and one .50-calibre gun in the tail.





PBJ-1D of VMB-611 on USS Manila Bay 1944



TBF-IC, TBM-1, TBM-1 C, TBM-3E have been highlighted in other posts.


The first combat missions were flown in May 1944. The rationale for the Marines organizing these units has often been questioned. One of the few reasonable explanations is that the medium bombers were access to the Army air forces and simply available. Regardless, the squadrons were effectively employed for low-and high-altitude horizontal bombing, long range ship attack, and reconnaissance. The squadrons had twelve (fifteen in some cases) PBJ-1 series (B-25) Mitchells. The squadron began operational training with PBJs and by the end of December VTMB-624 had ten PBJ-1Hs and one PBJ-1J.

As of 21 December 1944, Marine aviation was organized into 5 wings with 93 tactical squadrons, 29 replacement training squadrons, 3 operational training squadrons and was assigned 2,342 aircraft. At that time there were 192 VMBs, 144 shore-based and 24 replacement training.

On 31 January 1945, VMB-621 and -622 of MAG-62, 9th MAW, were redesignated VMTBs and assigned to escort carriers. The next month, on 15 February, VMB-623 and 624 of the same organization were similarly redesignated and reassigned. At the same time, all four squadrons were transferred from the east to the west coast. VMTB-624 was equipped with Eastern Aircraft TBM Avengers.




PBJ-1D Mitchell at NAS Patuxent River in 1943





PBJ-1H USMC in flight c1944




DivAvn OpDs, Jan-Feb45; FMF Air Status Rpts, Dec44-Feb45.

Frank, Benis M. and Shaw, Henry I, Jr. History of U. S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II. Historical Branch, USMC. 1968. Vol V.

Millstein, Jeff. U. S. Marine Corps Aviation Unit Insignia 1941-1946.

Rottman, Gordon L. U. S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle: Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939-1945. Greenwood Press. Westport, 2002.

Tillman, Barrett. U. S. Marine Corps Fighter Squadrons of World War II.




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