Friday, April 2, 2010
Marine Fighter Squadron VMFA-451 (Warlords) has been resurrected from the dead, at least for a little while. The squadron stood up this week after a 13 year absence.
VMFA-451 started it's service back in 1944. It saw action in every major conflict the US has had, up to and including Desert Storm. The squadron last flew F-18As, and was deactivated back in 1997 as the military drawdown of the Clinton Administration rolled on.
The Navy, Marines, and Air Force try hard to keep historical lineage going in its flying squadrons. VMFA-451 was re-established in order to officially keep it's heritage intact. The squadron will be renumberd VMFA-501 today at Eglin AFB, where it's initial cadre will begin training in preparation to receive the F-35B (when it finally makes it into fleet service). The resurrection of -451 and then renaming it to -501 keeps the Warlords lineage intact. However, I really don't know why they didn't just leave it as -451.
Photos - F-18A 163118, seen landing at NAS Dallas on Dec. 7, 1991, while conducting ACM missions against the locally based Phantoms of VMFA-112.
F-4J 153860 carrying the spectacular markings the squadron had during the BiCentennial of 1976, seen at its home base of MCAS Beaufort.