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After Action Report
Operation Island Resort
Date of Action: December 14, 2007
VMF-251 lifted from task force CV-3 at 2300 in F4U-1Ds for strike on target 31. Strike was coordinated with 9GIAP, with escort provided by 325th Checkertails, 353rd and JG11. 251 made two circuits of task force to gather formation, as 1st Lt. Santana experienced difficulties on takeoff but successfully rejoined with squadron. After completion of second circuit, VMF-251 proceeded 045 to rally point at sector 9.12.6. Course later adjusted to 060.
At 2308 1st Lt. Dillon experienced mechanical failure and forced to relaunch. Squadron continued NE on 40" MAP for fuel conservation. At T+15 VMF-251 linked up with elements of 325th and JG11, then turned 090 in towards rally point, continuing climb. At T+30 Dillon experienced further mechanical problems and re-launched with permission from CM. At rally, squadron turned 135 on heading for target, levelling at 22,000ft for initial approach.
VMF-251 crossed radar circle at target area at T+40 and began descent to 15,000ft for attack run. Escort flights already engaged with small force of enemy over field, with 9GIAP holding station south of target. Turned in for approach from northeast and began attack runs at T+44. Target hit at T+46. Maj. Wyatt recorded off-pad bomber hangar and field gun destroyed, Capt. MEF4UD destroyed off-pad fighter hangar and nearby barracks. 1st Lts. Morgan and Dillon diverted to secondary targets as preceeding strikes by 325th, 353rd and JG11 destroyed assigned objectives. Morgan destroyed radar tower and Santana the base vehicle hangar. 1st Lt. DeVice dropped probable on off-pad arming hangar and did no damage. 1st Lt. Johnson records damage inflicted on pad bomber hangar but not destroyed. 9GIAP then made runs to cleanup target.
Squadron rallied outside radar cicle west of base. Wyatt, Santana, Johnson, MEF4UD and DeVice successfully rallied with no damage. Morgan crashed on field after release of ordinance. VMF-251 turned 270 and egressed on cruise power back to base. Wyatt reported to CiC target base flattened and primary objectives achieved. Dillon rendezvoused with squadron on return to carrier and all remaining pilots successfully landed aboard-ship and refueled and armed by T+75. Per instructions by CiC VMF-251 rearmed light and launched to join CAP over Allied bases on island. 1st Lt. Johnson ditched on takeoff. Remaining five proceeded south.
Once over islands VMF-251 made no contact with enemy. Sporadic action reported in northern part of island, but over before 251 could intercept. Squadron returned to A10 and all remaining aircraft landed safely by 0045.