VMF(N)-542 (Marine Fighter Squadron (Night) 542)

VMA-542 Korean era Sqdn patch. Sold on ebay 8.30.11 for $207.

In November 1950, VMF(AW)-542 was relocated to Yonp’o Airfield in order to assist the vastly outnumbered 1st Marine Division and Army 7th Division located at Chosin Reservoir. From December 1st to the 13th, the "Tigers" flew 127 missions, shot 38,305 20mm rounds, fired 534 5”rockets, and dropped 116 bombs in support of the ground forces. For their critical support at Chosin Reservoir, VMF(AW)-542 was awarded both the Navy and Army Presidential Unit Citations. On December 13th, the "Tigers" departed the airfield to continue combat operations from Itazuke Air Base, Japan. For their actions in the East Central Front in 1951, the "Tigers" received their third Presidential Unit Citation of the war. Returning to El Toro, CA in March 1951, VMF(AW)-542 transitioned to jet age with the acquisition of the F3D-2 (F-10) "Skynight". The "Skynight" was the first carrier-borne jet night fighter. The F3D-2 incorporated the APQ-35 search and acquisition radar for detecting enemy aircraft. The Tigers used the “Skynight” to train pilots and Radar Intercept Officers for duty in Korea. During the Korean War, more enemy aircraft were destroyed by F3D's than by all other Navy platforms.


Going to disagree on this last one, the squadron (542) received the VMA designation in 1972. During the Korean War period, they were VMF(AW) or referred to as VMF(N), flying the F7F and F3D. Patch below belonged to a backseater who was with the squadron in '53-54. Mark