#1597 The Flying Nightmares F-35B Lightning II

The Flying Nightmares F-35B Lightning II
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£10.00 €11.62 $12.40
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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F-35B Lightning II
168722
VMFAT-502
MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina
US - Marine Corps
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Description

Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1597 - 168722 '502', F-35B Lightning II, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 502 (VMFAT-502), MCAS Beaufort, SC.

Marine Attack Squadron 513 was first commissioned as VMF-513 on 15 February 1944 at Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Field Oak Grove, North Carolina, flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat. Soon after, the squadron moved to Mojave, California, transitioning to the Vought F4U Corsair and was re-designated as VMF(CVS)-513. In June 1945, the squadron embarked aboard the USS Vella Gulf and participated in carrier operations in the Pacific, including support of the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa. Between World War II and the Korean War, VMF-513 was re-designated as Marine Night Fighter Squadron 513 (VMF(N)-513), operating from Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) El Toro, California. The squadron deployed to Japan in 1950 where they received their first jet aircraft in 1952, the Douglas F3D Skynight. It was with this aircraft in 1952, during the Korean War, that VMF(N)-513 made aviation history with the first night radar kill of an enemy jet, and by the end of the conflict was credited with ten night-kills. It was also during this time that the name “Flying Nightmares” was born based on the squadron’s formidable record at night inflicting heavy damage to Chinese and North Korean Forces in the air and on the ground in places such as the Chosin Reservoir. Following the Korean War, VMF(N)-513 went through another transitional period, this time to the Douglas F4D Skyray in 1958, then in 1963 to the McDonnell Douglas F-4B Phantom and with the new aircraft came a new re-designation to VMFA-513. With the F-4B Phantom, the Nightmares deployed again to Japan in November 1964, from there participating in combat operations against the North Vietnamese Army and flying from Da Nang Air Base in support of the 7th Marine Regiment in some of the earliest operations of the Vietnam War. Following combat operations in Vietnam, VMFA-513 returned to the United States initially being stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, then eventually arriving at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, in 1971. While in Beaufort, VMFA-513 became the first Marine Corps Squadron to adopt the McDonnell Douglas AV-8A Harrier and with it a new designation of VMA-513. With the AV-8A, VMA-513 continued their support to Marine Forces as part of Marine Amphibious Units, the precursor to today’s Marine Expeditionary Units. In 1976, VMA-513 moved to MCAS Yuma, Arizona, which it would call home until 2013. In 1987 the Nightmares received the improved McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II. Flying the AV-8B Harrier II, the Nightmares of VMA-513 would support Marine and coalition units across the Central and Pacific combatant command areas of responsibility from both amphibious ships as well as operations ashore; including combat operations as part of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and the broader war on terror. In 2013, the Flying Nightmares flew their last Harrier sortie, landing in Okinawa – a fitting end for a squadron with such a long history in Japan. On July 12, 2013, VMA-513 was decommissioned after 69 years of support to Marines across the globe in nearly every major marine combat operation since World War II. On June 26, 2020 aboard MCAS Beaufort, SC; after nearly seven years of slumber, the formidable Flying Nightmares were re-activated and once again transitioned to a new aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II, as well as a new designation, VMFAT-502.