Service of Skyhawk with US Marine Corps

Last revised November 16, 2001

The first Marine Corps squadron to be issued with the A4D-1 was VMA-224, based at MCAS El Toro, California. It received its first planes in January of 1957. The A4D-2 entered service with VMA-211 in September of 1957. The A4D-2N entered service with VMA-225 in March of 1960.

The Marine Corps attack squadrons rotated to Vietnam beginning in 1965, and carried out close-support missions. These missions continued until June 28, 1973.

The first Marine Corps unit to receive the A-4M was VMA-324 at MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina. By 1976, all five active USMC light attack squadrons were using the A-4M.

The A-4Ms served with active-duty Marine Corps squadrons until February 27, 1990, when VMA-211 transferred its last A-4M to MAG-42, a reserve unit at NAS Alameda, California. This ended the operational career of the Skyhawk as an attack aircraft with Marine Corps and Navy regular squadrons. The A-4M continued to serve with Reserve units until 1994, when VMA-131 finally relinquished the last of its Skyhawks.

The following is a list of Marine Corps squadrons which operated the Skyhawk.  For more details, please check out the Skyhawk association web site.  I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has any additions or corrections.

Marine Corps Attack Squadrons


  1. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Vol 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988

  2. American Combat Planes, 3rd Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  3. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  4. Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Variant Briefing: Part 1, Harry S. Gann, Wings of Fame, Vol 4, 1996.

  5. Skyhawk Association web site,