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VO-6M


VMO-6

vmo6_ww2 (4K)

WW2

vmo6_51 (4K)

1951

vmo6_korea (9K)

Korean War

vmo6sylvester (11K)

"Sylvester - Viet Nam

vmo6_reaper (9K)

"Eyes of Death"

vmo6a (8K)

MARINE OBSERVATION SQUADRON 6
VMO-6
"Tomcats"
"Cherry Deuce"

Marine Observation Squadron 6 (VMO-6) traces it history to 1 December 1920, when Flight E, 3d Air Squadron was activated at Quantico, VA. Within the next seven years the squadron underwent a series of re-designations (Division 1, VF-1M; Division 1, VO-3M; Division 1, VO-6M) as new aircraft were assigned. VO-6M was assigned to the East Coast Expeditionary Force in 1927 and deployed to Nicaragua the following year. During 1928, VO-6M carried out counter-insurgency operations against the Sandinista forces until 1 September 1928, when the squadron was administratively relocated to Quantico (Squadron designation and colors only; personnel and aircraft remained in Nicaragua).

From 1930 to 1933, the squadron was engaged in training new pilots and mechanics, flying support for the Marine Corps schools at Quantico, and flying daily fire patrols for the Virginia Forest Service. In 1931, a flight demonstration team, the "Helldivers", was formed, and began performing at airshows as far away as Montreal and Cleveland.

In 1933, budget cuts led to a reduction in the number of Marine Corps aviation squadrons, and on 30 June 1933, VO-6M was deactivated.

World War Two saw the reactivation of Marine Observation Squadron 6. The "new" squadron was assigned to support the 6th Marine Division during the upcoming Okinawa operation. VMO-6 moved to San Diego, then to Hawaii, before embarking for Okinawa. From March through July 1945, VMO-6 participated in the Okinawa operation, flying from the Yontan airstrip. This would be the squadron's base until the end of the war.

In October 1945, VMO-6 deployed to Northern China to provide aerial reconaissance for Marine units operating there. VMO-6 relocated to Camp Pendleton in 1947.

With the start of the Korean War in 1950, VMO-6 was assigned to the 1st Provisional Brigade. Helicopters and crews were sent out from HMX-1 and joined the squadron. Over the next five years, VMO-6 performed numerous missions including artillery spotting, reconaissance, and search and rescue. VMO-6 helicopters performed countless medevac missions.

VMO-6 returned to Camp Pendleton in 1955. This would be its home for the next five years. In 1962, a detachment deployed in support of the Cuban Crisis operations; it was recalled before reaching the East Coast.

VMO-6 went to war again, deploying to South Vietnam in August 1965. At this time the squadron was operating UH-1E "Hueys"; in 1968, O-1C "Bird Dogs" were added, along with the OV-10A "Bronco". In 1967, Capt. Stephen W. Pless and his crew extracted four soldiers, under fire, from a beach where they were about to be overrun. For their heroism, Pless's crew were awarded the Navy Cross, while Pless was awarded the Medal of Honor.

In 1969, VMO-6 relocated to Okinawa as part of the drawdown of troops from Vietnam. The squadron supported the 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (Rear), and took part in numerous training exercises. The squadron rotated crews to Vietnam to fly with VMO-2, and in 1972, took custody of seven AH-1J "Sea Cobras" and trained replacement pilots for HMA-369.

VMO-6 was deactivated 1 January, 1977. It's personnel and aircraft were assigned to H&MS-36.


LINEAGE

1920 - 1933

1944 - 1949

1950 - 1962

1962 - 1977


HONORS*

* VMO-6 was considered to be the lineal descendant of Marine Observation Squadron 6 (VO-6M) which deactivated in 1933. It was granted the Lineage and Honors of that squadron.