MARINE OBSERVATION SQUADRON 2
VMO-2 was activated at Quantico, Virginia on 1 November 1943,
with the designation (Artillery Spotting Division) VMO-251. After
an initial training period with their OY "Grasshopper" aircraft,
VMO-251 departed for San Diego, where it carried out more
training. In January 1944 the squadron was redesignated VMO-2,
and in February, moved to Hawaii. In Hawaii, VMO-2 trained with
the 2d Marine Division. VMO-2 deployed to Saipan in June, flying
in support of 2d Marine Division operations there, and at Tinian.
During March and April 1945, VMO-2 flew spotting missions on
Okinawa before being ordered back to Saipan. From September 1945
to January 1946, VMO-2 was attached to Marine Observation Group
1, and performed occupation duties in Japan. The squadron then
relocated to Cherry Point*, and deactivated 26 August 1946.
VMO-2 was reactivated at Santa Ana, California, on 15 June
1951. Besides the OY-2 and OE-1 fixed-wing aircraft, the squadron
also operated a mixture of light helicopters, including the
HOK/OH-43D, HO5S-1, and HTL-4/5. In July 1953, VMO-2 deloyed to
Camp Gifu, Japan. Three years later the squadron moved to Camp
Sukiran, Okinawa. In October 1960 VMO-2 moved to new quarters at
VMO-2 began operations in Vietnam with a small detachment of OE-1
(O-1B) "Birdogs" which were attached to Operation Shufly in 1962.
In 1965, the entire squadron deployed to Vietnam. All its OH-43s
and O-1s were left in Okinawa, and the squadron began to fly the
UH-1E. In 1968, VMO-2 began operating the first OV-10A "Broncos"
in Vietnam. In 1969 squadron capabilities were increased with the
addition of the AH-1G "Cobra". All the squadron's helicopters
were transferred out to other units in 1969, leaving only the
OV-10s. VMO-2 remained in Vietnam until April 1971, when it
relocated to MCALF Camp Pendleton.
VMO-2 was busy during the 1970s and 1980s, supporting the 1st
Marine Division and 3d Marine Aircraft Wing at home, while
rotating detachments to Okinawa to support MAG-36 operations
there. In 1990, VMO-2 deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation
Desert Shield/Storm. The squadron's OV-10As and Ds flew the
entire distance From California to Kuwait. During the combat in
Kuwait, VMO-2 lost one aircraft and crew (2 POW). Following its
return to Camp Pendleton in 1991, the squadron began transferring
all its OV-10As. In December 1992, VMO-2 finished its final
Okinawa deployment. VMO-2 was deactivated 23 May 1993 at Camp
Pendleton, ending nearly 50 years of service.
Activated 1 November 1943 at Quantico, Virginia, as Artillery
Spotting Division, Marine Observation Squadron 251.
- Relocated during December 1943 - March 1944 to Camp Tarawa,
Hawaii, and assigned to Marine Air, Hawaiian Area.
Redesignated 1 February 1944 as Marine Observation Squadron
- Reassigned during May 1944 to the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet
Participated in the following World War II campaigns
- Redeployed during September 1945 to Nagasaki, Japan, and assigned
to Marine Observation Group 1, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet
Participated in the Occupation of Japan, September 1945 - June
Relocated during June 1946 to Cherry Point, North Carolina, and
reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 22, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing,
Fleet Marine Force.
Deactivated 26 August 1946.
1951 - 1964
Reactivated 15 June 1951 at Santa Ana, California, and assigned
to Air Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.
Deployed during July - August 1953 to Camp Gifu, Japan, and
assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 16, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing,
Fleet Marine Force.
Detached during March 1955 from Marine Aircraft Group 16.
Reassigned during November 1955 to Marine Aircraft Group 16.
Redeployed during April 1956 to Camp Sukiran, Okinawa.
Redeployed during February - March 1958 to Cubi Point,
Returned during December 1958 to Camp Sukiran, Okinawa.
Redeployed during October 1960 to Futenma, Okinawa.
1965 - 1971
Redeployed during May 1965 to Da Nang, Republic of Vietnam with
the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Fleet Marine Force,
Participated in the war in Vietnam, May 1965 - April 1971,
operating from Da Nang and Marble Mountain Air Facility, Marine
Aircraft Group 16, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force,
Pacific, with detachments at Dong Ha and Khe Sanh, Republic of
Relocated during February 1970 to Da Nang and reassigned to
Marine Aircraft Group 11, 1st marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine
Relocated during April 1971 to Camp Pendleton, California, and
reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing,
Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.
1971 - 1989
Reassigned during July 1978 at Camp Pendleton, California, to
Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine
Between 1983 to 1985, participated in twelve Drug Enforcement
Agency interdiction operations.
In January 1988 Detachment, VMO-2 was assigned to WestPac,
In 1988, Detachment, VMO-2 flew in support of Philippine volcano
and earthquake relief.
Redeployed to Maracaibo, Venezuela in May 1989.
Returned to Camp Pendleton.
1990 - 1993
Redeployed during August 1990 to Saudi Arabia for Operation
- Participated in Operation Desert Shield from August 1990
- January 1991.
Participated in Operation Desert Storm from January 1991
- April 1991.
Relocated to Camp Pendleton, California, in August 1991.
Deactivated 20 May 1993 at Marine Corps Air Station, Camp
- PRESIDENTIAL UNIT CITATION
1965 - 1967
NAVY UNIT COMMENDATION STREAMER with 4 bronze
1967 - 1968
1968 - 1969
1990 - 1991
MERITORIOUS UNIT COMMENDATION STREAMER with 1 bronze
1986 - 1988
ASIATIC-PACIFIC CAMPAIGN STREAMER with 3 bronze
WORLD WAR II VICTORY STREAMER
NAVY OCCUPATION SERVICE STREAMER with 'ASIA'
NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE STREAMER with 2 bronze
KOREAN SERVICE STREAMER
VIETNAM SERVICE STREAMER with 2 silver and 3 bronze
SOUTHWEST ASIA SERVICE STREAMER with 2 bronze
VIETNAM CROSS of GALLANTRY with PALM
VIETNAM MERITORIOUS UNIT CITATION CIVIL ACTIONS
- Nicknames: "Cherry Deuce"
- ID Code: LS 1951-56; VS
1957-72; UU 1972-93
- Aircraft:OY-1 "Grasshopper"; SNB-5/C-45J;
HOK-1/OH-43D; OE-1,2/O-1B,C; UH-1E; OV-10A,D,D+
- Squadron Web Page: VMO-2 "Cherry