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Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 243
Vmsb243 insig.jpg
VMSB-243 Insignia
Active June 1, 1942 - September 25, 1945
Country United States
Allegiance United States of America
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Dive Bomber squadron
Role Reconnaissance
Air Interdiction
Close air support
Part of Inactive
Nickname(s) Flying Goldbricks
Engagements World War II
* Bougainville campaign (1943-45)
* Philippines campaign (1944–45)
Aircraft flown
Bomber SBD Dauntless

Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 243 (VMSB-243) was a dive bomber squadron in the United States Marine Corps. The squadron, also known as the “Flying Goldbricks”, fought in World War II during the Battle of Bougainville and later in the Philippines campaign (1944–45). They were deactivated shortly after the end of the war on September 25, 1945.


VMSB-243 was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara on June 1, 1942.[1] On January 18, 1943 the squadron departed San Diego for Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii. Upon arrival at Ewa they were split into two echelons with one going to Johnston Atoll and the other to Palmyra Atoll. The squadron remained split until September 1943 when they returned to MCAS Ewa.

A Douglas SBD-5 Dauntless of VMSB-243.

On October 26, 1943 the squadron departed for the South Pacific, The flying echelon of the squadron was based out of Munda (Solomon Islands) while the ground echelon was based at Efate. From here they attacked Ballale, Kahili and Kara in support of the Bougainville Campaign. In December 1943 the flight echelon joined the ground echelon on Efate where they remained until March 1944.

In June 1944 the squadron moved to Emirau. The squadron remained here until the end of the year when they began moving for the Philippines to take part in the campaign to retake the country. The squadron fought through the entire campaign as part of Marine Aircraft Group 32 and later MAGSZAM.

The squadron ended World War II in the Philippines and deployed back to MCAS Santa Barbara in September 1945 and were decommissioned shortly after that.

Unit awards[]

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. VMSB-243 has been presented with the following awards:

Ribbon Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Navy Unit Commendation with one Bronze Star
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg
  Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal

See also[]


  1. Rottman(2002): 443.


  • Rottman, Gordon L. (2002). U.S. Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle - Ground and Air Units in the Pacific War, 1939 - 1945.’’. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31906-5. 
  • Sherrod, Robert (1952). History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Combat Forces Press. 
  • Shettle Jr., M. L. (2001). United States Marine Corps Air Stations of World War II. Bowersville, Georgia: Schaertel Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-9643388-2-3. 

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