USMC Skyraiders

of VMA-211 and VMA-225


In the A-1 Skyraider Association web site under A-1 Skyraider Squadrons, USMC section, the subject squadrons during the time period specified in that section, operated the AD-4B until early 1958 when VMA-211, followed by VMA-225, transitioned to A-4 Skyhawks. Each squadron had 24 AD-4B aircraft. That number dropped to 20 when the A-4's arrived.

Both attack squadrons, along with Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron-14 (H&MS-14), which had two AD-5's and two R4D-8's, and Marine Air Base Squadron-14 (MABS-14), comprised Marine Aircraft Group-14 (MAG-14) of the Second Marine Aircraft Wing (2d MAW), and were based at NAAS Edenton, NC, until 1959 or 1960, when NAAS Edenton was decommissioned and the Air Group moved to Cherry Point. I left active duty at Edenton in July of 1958, so I can only approximate the date NAAS Edenton closed. 2d MAW, then and now, is headquartered at MCAS Cherry Point, NC.

VMA-225 has been decommissioned, but VMA-211 (known as the Wake Island Avengers) is still an active squadron. VMA-225 operated the AD-5 up until early 1955, when they transitioned to the AD-4B. I joined VMA-225 after completing the Naval Aviation Cadet program at NAAS Cabannis in Corpus Christi, TX, in August of 1955. At that time they had a full complement of AD-4B's and one or two AD-5s on the flight line awaiting transfer to another squadron or O & R. The tail letters for VMA-225 were "WI" and VMA-211 used "AF."

I have attached a picture which I took of one of our AD-4B's while we were over the James River near Norfolk, Virginia; also a picture of myself in December of 1955 in front of the squadron building. Can't believe I was ever that young.:-), and me and my g-suit after a 3 hr flight, sans the outer fireproof tan colored flight suit we were required to wear but seldom did in the summer because of the heat and humidity.

Note that the AD-4B's in the background are painted navy blue, and the one airborne is painted the camouflage two tone gray. The latter paint scheme came along in 1956, and was impossible to keep clean. When I arrived in 1955, the aircraft were all painted navy blue. The pilot of the AD-4B in the picture is, or I should say, was 1/Lt. Ed Ballinger, USMCR, and I was his wingman on this particular section hop in 1956. Note the WI on the vertical stabilizer.

Hope this response to your plea for help, helps.

Warmest regards,

Bill Holmes, Jr.
Hardy, AR.