VMF(N)-312 (Marine Fighter Squadron (Night) 312)


This patch is one of those made by the Hashimoto's insignia shop located in Osaka, Japan. Each patch, from a service command to the most exotic Airborne, is a work of art done with embroidery. More details about the Hashimoto patch collection are availabe from The American Society of Military Insignia Collection Quarterly publication, The Trading Post (January-March 2008)

The squadron transferred to Marine Aircraft Group 12, MCAS El Toro in July 1950 and was alerted for deployment and service in the Korean Conflict. The first VMF-312 aircraft flew in Korea on September 19, 1950. Flying out of Wonson Air Base, the Checkerboards flew missions in support of the 1st Marine Division during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. Redeployed in March 1951 aboard the light carrier USS Bataan (CVL-29), the Checkerboards were assigned escort and blockade missions. Leaving the ship in June 1951, the squadron amassed 4,945 accident-free hours of carrier operations while logging 1,920 carrier landings. After a short period of ground based close air support operations, the squadron returned to sea, first with Bairoko, then with Bataan, and later with Sicily.

While aboard Bataan, the Checkerboards became the first piston engine squadron to shoot down a jet aircraft, when Captain Jesse Folmar shot down a MiG-15 jet fighter with 20 mm cannon fire. On June 8, 1953, the Checkerboards were relieved by VMF-332, and returned to the United States in anticipation of transitioning to F9F Panthers at Marine Corps Air Station Miami, Florida.