VMD-954 - Kinston, NC 1945

MCARA Units > VMD-954 (1944-1946)

Marine Photographic Squadron 954 (VMD-954) History

In the Spring of 1944 not long after the last of VMD-154’s personnel arrived back in San Diego from its deployment to the South Pacific after having been relieved by VMD-254, orders came for most to report to one of two new squadrons being formed on the East coast under the Second Marine Airwing. The first of these squadrons was VMD-354 which was to be assigned PB4Y-1P multiengine aircraft and F6F-3P Hellcats. VMD-954 was the second squadron to be commissioned and joined VMD-354 at the outlying field at nearby Kinston, North Carolina in October 1944. By that time the decision had been made to turn the PB4Y-1Ps over to the Navy and rely solely on faster fighter type aircraft more suitable for low level reconnaissance. VMD-954 began training with the F6F-3P Hellcats and later in the Spring of 1945 was among the first to transition to the photo variants of the new F7F Tigercats. The squadron was deployed to the Pacific in late Summer of 1945 with intentions to join VMD-354 in pre-invasion reconnaissance of the Japanese home islands only to arrive after the Japanese surrendered. After a few months in the Pacific, the squadron returned to CONUS and was decommissioned on 31 January 1946.

(Write up by Col. H. Wayne Whitten, USMC (ret) November, 2008)