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VMB-443 Squadron Insignia

Marine Bombing Squadron Four Forty-Three

 

PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM: PAGE 1

M.S. Brastagi

MS BRASTAGI: VMB-443's ground echelon was transported from San Diego, California to Emirau aboard the MS Brastagi.  This ship was a Dutch merchantman that was converted to a troopship in 1942.

Photograph: U.S. Navy Historical Archives

Bon Voyage

BON VOYAGE: Members of VMB-443 bid farewell to well-wishers as the MS Brastagi departs from San Diego.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Ray Peeler)

Mormon Temple

MORMON TEMPLE: While enroute to the Southwest Pacific, some members of VMB-443 were able to visit some of the sites on Oahu.  One of those sites was the Mormon Temple with its lavishly manicured grounds.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Darla Harry)

PBJ Outbound

PBJ OUTBOUND: This VMB-443 aircraft has just departed from Emirau and is headed on its assigned mission.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Doug Yirka)

Emirau Airstrip

EMIRAU AIRSTRIP: An aerial view of VMB-443's airstrip at the northern end of Emirau.  The runways can be seen through the haze on the upper right of the photograph.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

Enroute to Target

ENROUTE TO TARGET: Taken from the tail-gunner's station, an accompanying VMB-443 PBJ is seen in formation on its way to a Japanese target.  The large dark-colored area on the right of the photograph is the rudder of the PBJ in which the cameraman was located.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Darla Harry)

Bomb Run

BOMB RUN: A pair of VMB-443 PBJs release their bomb loads over an unidentified Japanese target.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

Bombs Away!

BOMBS AWAY: On his 24th mission, Sergeant Duane M. Yirka took this photograph of an accompanying PBJ-1J releasing its bomb load from 10,000 feet over Rabaul.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Doug Yirka)

Returning to Base

RETURN TRIP: A VMB-443 aircraft returns to its base on Emirau following a mission.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Darla Harry)

ISLANDERS ASSIST WAR EFFORT: Natives of the Bismarck Archipelago took up arms to assist the allied war effort in ridding their homeland from the Japanese invaders.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Darla Harry)

LST-578

LST-578: In August of 1945, VMB-443 departed Emirau for the Philippine Islands aboard LST-578.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

Tent City

TENT CITY: Billeting for squadron consisted of a seemingly endless line of tents.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank Gricus)

Squadron Office

SQUADRON OFFICE: VMB-443's compound at Malabang, Philippines.  The tent on the left served as the squadron office.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

Chow Hall

CHOW HALL: This tent-cover chow hall served as VMB-443's dining facility at Malabang.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

Filipino Guerrillas

FILIPINO GUERRILLAS: These three Filipinos fought the Japanese during their occupation of the Philippine Islands. 

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

REPLACEMENT AIRCRAFT: This aircraft is one of the J-model aircraft that the squadron received as a replacement for those damaged and lost.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Russie McDerment-Fogarty)

Malabang Church

MALABANG CHURCH: This church was located just outside the airstrip perimeter at Zamboanga, Philippines.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

Wreckage of Japanese Fighter

JAPANESE FIGHTER: A threat no more, this Japanese fighter plane lies a broken wreck.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

Sad End for a PBJ

SAD END: Following the end of the war, VMB-443's PBJs were broken up and scrapped at Malabang—a sad end indeed for these great aircraft.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank V. Gricus)

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