U.S. Skyhawk Marine Units


Marine Tail Codes and Call Signs

Marine Aviation Organization

Texas Tech University's Vietnam Center

This page is dedicated to
First Lieutenant Augusto Xavier USMC.

Please read about him below.


This page is also dedicated to
First Lieutenant Ronald D. Layton USMC.

Please read about him below.

Douglas Poster courtesy of Gary Verver

A4D-2's Span the Atlantic

Use 'Buddy' Refueling in Flight Two A4D-2 Skyhawk jets from the Second Marine Aircraft Wing spanned the Atlantic in a little over five hours. This was the first flight of a single-engine jet across the ocean using the "buddy" system of in-flight refueling. The flight covered a 2270-mile span from Argentina, Newfoundland, to NAS Rota, Spain.
Led by Col. Homer G. Hutchinson, who was accompanied by 1st Lt. George N. Bailey, Jr., the flight was made to evaluate the A4D-2's long-range self-supporting aerial staging capability which permits Marine Corps deployment of its attack aircraft to any corner of the world.
The A4D-2's were refueled in flight by other A4D-2's equipped with Buddy Stores slung on the external racks.
The A4D-2 jet is the smallest and lightest U.S. jet-powered combat aircraft. It carries either atomic weapons or various conventional weapons.
Naval Aviation News July 1959 - Provided by John "Gabby" Gabbard.

The Marines kept the A-4 Skyhawk active longer than the Navy. Here, in a colorful display of flags illustrating those that uilized the Skyhawk, is the last Skyhawk produced. BuNo 160264 served with the Marines for a short time before being retired to a musuem. She was the last in a run of 2,960 Skyhawks.

MARINE AIR GROUP (MAG), with Headquarters and Maintenance Squadrons (H&MS) and Marine Aviation Logistics Squadrons (MALS).

H&MS-12 Outlaws
H&MS-15 Angels
H&MS-31 Aggressors
H&MS-32 Bandits
MARS-37 MAG-41
Det A Memphis

H&MS-42 Flying Gators, MALS-42, VMA124(Regulars)

Det B Alameda
Det South Weymouth


VMA-121 Green Knights
MCAS El Toro, CA - MCAS Cherry Point, NC - NAS Miramar, CA
NAS Los Alamitos, CA
VMA-124 Whistling Death / Bantam Bombers (Reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code = 6M)
NAS Memphis, TN
VMA-124 (Regulars) - MAG-42
NAS Memphis, TN
VMA-131 Diamondbacks (Reserves- Pre 1970 Tail Code=7R) AND VMA-132 which was merged into 131)
MARTD Willow Grove, PA
VMA-131 (Regulars) - MAG-49
Willow Grove, PA
VMA-133 Dragons (Reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code=6G, Post=5G)
NAS Alameda, CA
VMA-133 (Regulars) - MAG-42
NAS Cecil Field, FL
VMA-134 Skyhawks (Reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code=7L, Post=5L)
NAS Los Alamitos, CA
VMA-134 (Regulars) - MAG-46
NAS Alameda, CA and NAS South Weymouth, MA
VMA-142 Flying Gators (Reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code=6F, Post=5F)
NAS Jacksonville, FL
VMA-142 (Regulars) - MAG-42 Det A
NAS Jacksonville, FL
VMA-143 (reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code = 7X)
NAS New Orleans, LA
VMA-144 (Reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code=6F, Post=5F)
MAG-42 Det A (Regulars)
NAS Jacksonville, FL and NAS Cecil Field, FL
VMA-211 Wake Island Avengers
MCAS El Toro, CA and MCAS Yuma, AZ
VMA-212 Devil Cats
MCAS Kaneohe Bay, HI
VMA-214 Blacksheep
MCAS El Toro, CA
VMA-217 (Reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code=7Z)
NAS South Weymouth, MA
VMA-223 Bulldogs
MCAS El Toro, CA, MCAS Cherry Point, NC, NAS Atsugi, Japan and MCAS Yuma, AZ
VMA-224 Bengals
MCAS El Toro, CA and MCAS Cherry Point, NC
VMA-225 Vagabonds / Vikings
NAAS Edenton, NC and MCAS Cherry Point, NC
VMA-233 (Reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code=6S)
NAS Norfolk, VA
NAS Los Alamitos, CA
MCAS Cherry Point, NC
VMA-311 Tomcats
MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, MCAS El Toro, CA. and MCAS Yuma, AZ.
VMA-322 Fighting Gamecocks (Reserves - Pre 1970 Tail Code=7Z)
NAS South Weymouth, MA and NAS Squantum, MA.
VMA-324 Vagabonds / Devil Dogs MAG 32
MCAS Beaufort, SC and MCAS Yuma, AZ
VMA-331 Bumblebees
MCAS Opa Loca, Miami Fl and MCAS Beaufort, SC.
VMA-332 Polkadots / Moonlighters
MCAS Opa Loca, Miami Fl and MCAS Beaufort, SC.
VMF(N)-533, VMF(AW)-533, VMA(AW)-533, VMFA(AW)-533 Nighthawks
MCAS Cherry Point, NC
VMA-543 (Pre 1970 Tail Code =7V, Post=5V)
NAS Glenview, IL and NAS Pensacola, FL


VMAT-102 Skyhawks, MCAS Yuma, AZ.

VMT-103. MCAS El Toro, CA and MCAS Yuma, AZ.

VMAT-203 Hawks. MCAS Cherry Point, NC.


MCAS Beaufort SC. This battered Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is one of several abandoned aircraft hulks in use for ground training purposes in a desolate corner of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, in South Carolina.


Station Operations and Engineering Squadron (SOES): AES-12 (Aircraft Engineering Squadron). - MCAS Quantico VA.

Navy Fleet Air Gunnery Unit (FAGU), NAS El Centro CA., MCAS Yuma AZ., MCAS Beaufort, SC.

MCAS Cherry Point.

MCAS Kaneohe Bay, HI.

MCAS El Toro, CA.

This Skyhawk Association website page is dedicated to:
First Lieutenant Augusto Xavier United States Marine Corps.

09 MAR 1966;
1LT Augusto Xavier, flying an A-4C SKYHAWK from VMA-311, was killed while flying close air support for the A Shau Special Forces Camp. His body has never been recovered. Lieutenant Xavier was posthumously awarded the Silver Star.

Silver Star

This Skyhawk Association website page is also dedicated to:
First Lieutenant Ronald D. Layton United States Marine Corps.

R.D. Layton was commissioned on 01 SEPT 1966 after completing OCS at Quantico. After flight training, he shipped out to Vietnam in SEPT 1968 and was stationed at Chu Lai with VMA-211.


On April 4, 1969 First Lieutenant Ronald D. Layton, flying a VMA-211 A-4 Skyhawk against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam, was shot down and killed by enemy ground fire. His actions during this mission earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross.
"For heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight while serving as a Pilot with Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 211, Marine Aircraft Group Twelve, First Marine Aircraft Wing in connection with operations against the enemy of the Republic of Vietnam. Early on the afternoon of 4 April 1969, First Lieutenant Layton launched as Section Leader of a flight of two A-4 Skyhawk aircraft assigned to destroy an enemy staging area seventeen miles southwest of DaNang in Quang Nam Province. Arriving over the designated area, he found that visibility was extremely poor due to a heavy ground haze and that friendly units were within 300 meters of the target. Effectively coordinating with the Ground Forward Air Controller, he skillfully maneuvered his aircraft on the initial pass against the hostile position and delivered his ordnance with pinpoint accuracy, causing numerous fires. Undaunted by the threat of enemy fire and the smoke and haze which nearly obliterated the target, he completely disregarded his own safety as he fearlessly maneuvered his Skyhawk into the hazardous area a second time and released his rockets with devastating effectiveness against the hostile position. As his A-4 began its climb out of the dangerous area, it came under intense hostile ground fire and sustained severe battle damage, forcing the aircraft to crash and fatally injuring First Lieutenant Layton. First Lieutenant Layton’s courage, resolute determination and unfaltering devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

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