Marines in World War II Commemorative Series
Planning for the Philippines
Marine Artillery Arrives
Problems on Leyte
Full-Scale Operations
Phase Two: Luzon Dive Bombers
After Manila
Plans for the Southern Islands
Close Support for Guerillas
Close Air Support for the Army
Corsair Action
Phase Three: Mindanao
Turning Point
Major General Ralph J. Mitchell
Colonel Clayton C. Jerome
Lieutenant Colonel Keith B. McCutcheon
Special Subjects
VMF(N)-541 Commended
MAG-12 Squadrons Commended
Marine Aircraft Group Twelve Commendation
Marine Aircraft Group Twenty-Four Commendation
Marine Aircraft Group Thirty-Two Commendation
Marine Aircraft Groups Zamboanga
Marine Aircraft in the Philippines

. . . AND A FEW MARINES: Marines in the Liberation of the Philippines
by Captain John C. Chapin, USMCR (Ret)


There are three main sources for Marine aviation operations in the Philippines. They are: I. George W. Garand and Truman R. Strobridge, Western Pacific Operations, vol IV, History of U.S. Marine Corps Operations in World War II (Washington: Historical Division, Headquarters, USMC, 1971). 2. Maj Charles W. Boggs, Jr., USMC, Marine Aviation in the Philippines (Washington: Historical Division, Headquarters, USMC, 1951). 3. Robert E. Sherrod, History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II, (Washington: Combat Forces Press, 1952).

In addition to these, there is a more popularized account in John A. DeChant, Devilbirds (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1947). A brief summary may be found in Jeter A. Isely and Philip A. Crowl, The U.S. Marines and Amphibious War (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951).

There are references to Marine aviation scattered throughout the official Army history of the Luzon and Mindanao campaigns: Robert Ross Smith, Triumph in the Philippines—United States Army in World War II—The War in the Pacific, vol X, (Washington: Office of the Chief of Military History, Department of the Army, 1963).

A large collection of LtGen Keith A. McCutcheon's personal papers can be found in the Personal Papers Collection of the MCHC (Box 5A 33) and his report n close air support in the Philippines can be found as enclosure A to "Air Support Reports," Headquarters, USMC.

Also in Personal Papers is some useful material from SSgt Paul Arlt (Box 2B 35, Bx 4), Capt Elton A. Barnum (Box 4A 42), Col Warren E. Sweetser, Jr. (Box 3A 37, Bx 3), and TSgt John W. Andre (Box SB 26, Bx 1911).

The Reference Section files at the MCHC proved invaluable, both for photographs and documentation. The latter includes two summary studies by the Intelligence Section, Division of Aviation, Headquarters, USMC. One is "Marine Dive Bombers in the Philippines," which covers the VMSB operations in February 1945 on Luzon, written in May 1945. The other, written in June 1945, is "Marine Fighter Squadrons in the Philippines," which covers the VMF Corsair operations of period February-April 1945. In addition, the individual files for the groups and squadrons were helpful. VMB-611, for instance, printed a brochure for a squadron reunion with some of its pilots' memories of missions.

About the Author

Captain John C. Chapin

Captain John C. Chapin earned a bachelor of arts degree with honors in history from Yale University in 1942 and was commissioned later that year. He served as a rifle platoon leader in the 24th Marines, 4th Marine Division, and was wounded in action during assault landings on Rol-Namur and Saipan.

Transferred to duty at the Historical Division, Headquarters Marine Corps, he wrote the first official histories of the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions. Moving to Reserve status at the end of World War II, he earned a master's degree in history at George Washington University with a thesis on "The Marine Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1922."

Now a captain in retired status, he has been a volunteer at the Marine Corps Historical Center for 12 years. During that time he wrote History of Marine Fighter-Attack (VMFA) Squadron 115. With support from the Historical Center and the Marine Corps Historical Foundation, he then spent some years researching and interviewing for the writing of a new book, Uncommon Men: The Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps, published in 1992 by the White Mane Publishing Company.

Subsequently, he wrote four monographs for this series of historical pamphlets, commemorating the campaigns for the Marshalls, Saipan, Bougainville, and Marine Aviation in the Philippines operations.

insignias from 50th Anniversary

THIS PAMPHLET HISTORY, one in a series devoted to U.S. Marines in the World War II era, is published for the education and training of Marines by the History and Museums Division, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., as a part of the U.S. Department of Defense observance of the 50th anniversary of victory in that war.

Editorial costs of preparing this pamphlet have been defrayed in part by a grant from the Marine Corps Historical Foundation.


Brigadier General Edwin H. Simmons, USMC (Ret)


Benis M. Frank

George C. MacGillivray

Robert E. Struder, Senior Editor; W. Stephen Hill, Visual Information Specialist;
Catherine A. Kerns, Composition Services Technician, R.D. Payne, Volunteer—Web Edition

Marine Corps Historical Center
Building 58, Washington Navy Yard
Washington, D.C. 20374-5040


PCN 190 003140 00

ISBN 0-16-049374-9

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Commemorative Series produced by the Marine Corps History and Museums Division