Saturday, September 22, 2012


If anybody has imagery of these attacks please send it in . . . S.L.

Marines from VMA-211 at Camp Bastion, two weeks before the attack.

The Taliban attack on an air base in southern Afghanistan on Friday drew coverage for the way the insurgents cloaked themselves in U.S. army uniforms to gain a tactical advantage, but few have taken note of the historical proportions of the damage inflicted. John Gresham at the Defense Media Network, has published a detailed account of the attack on Camp Bastion, in which two Marines were killed, six U.S. Marine Corps jet fighters were destroyed, and two more "significantly" damaged. Those facts were all carried in most reports, but if that just sounds like a typical damage report from a decade-long war, you're wrong. Gresham explains the devastating damage done to VMA-211 the Marine Corps attack squadron that was most affected last week, noting that it is "arguably the worst day in [U.S. Marine Corps] aviation history since the Tet Offensive."


  1. VMA-211 became combat ineffective with the loss of eight harriers and their CO (who died with his M9 in his hand). The last time VMA-211 became combat ineffective was at Wake Island in December 1941. Their squadron insignia has been, for the last 70 years, including when I flew with them in Vietnam) the words "Wake Island Avengers."


  2. I became aware of this USMC aviation unit and their unique heritage during SOCPAC training deployments to Wake Island in the early 90's. I have actually been to Wake four times; once as a kid, crossing the Pacific by Pan Am 707 in 1967; on a refueling stop from Okinawa to the States by USAF C-141, and then later in the 90's. I saw VMA-211's unique insignia with the distinctive red outline of Wake and the lion.

    VMA-211 is one of those iconic military units; now even more than ever.