VMM-263's long and distinguished service includes action in the Dominican Republic (1964), two tours in Vietnam (1965, 1971), the Gulf War (1990-91), and Somalia (1992-93). Aircraft from HMM-263 rescued USAF pilot Capt. Scott O'Grady, shot down over Kossovo in 1995. In 2003, HMM-263 was the Aviation Combat Element for the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable (MEU(SOC)) and participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003).
HMM-263 went into cadre status on 3 June 2005 in order to begin training with VMX-22 on the MV-22 "Osprey". On 3 March 2006, VMM-263 stood up, formally becoming the first Marine Corps combat MV-22 squadron. The "Thunder Chickens" deployed to Iraq in October 2007 in support of Operaton Iraqi freedom.
Activated 16 June 1952 at Cherry Point, NC, as
MARINE HELICOPTER TRANSPORT SQUADRON 263 (HMR-263).
Redesignated 31 December 1956 as MARINE HELICOPTER TRANSPORT SQUADRON (LIGHT) 263 (HMR(L)-263).
Redesignated 1 June 1958 as MARINE HELICOPTER TRANSPORT SQUADRON (COMPOSITE) 263 (HMR(C)-263).
Redesignated 29 February 1960 as MARINE HELICOPTER TRANSPORT SQUADRON (LIGHT) 263 (HMR(L)-263).
Redesignated 1 February 1962 as MARINE MEDIUM HELICOPTER SQUADRON 263 (HMM-263).
PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION STREAMER with 2 bronze stars
JOINT MERITORIOUS UNIT AWARD STREAMER
NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION STREAMER with 1 silver and 1 bronze star
MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION STREAMER with 4 bronze stars
MARINE CORPS EXPEDITIONARY STREAMER with 2 bronze stars
NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE STREAMER with two bronze stars
ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY STREAMER
VIETNAM SERVICE STREAMER with 2 silver and 1 bronze stars
SOUTHWEST ASIA SERVICE STREAMER with 2 bronze stars
GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM EXPEDITIONARY STREAMER