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After Action Report
Marine Fighting Squadron 251

Date of Action: February 13, 2009
Base of Operations: A114
Division Assignment: Attack Group North

Squadron took off at 2332 with twelve N1K2-Js, tasked to strike A110. Squadron formed up by flights.

Red Flight
Maj. Wyatt
2nd Lt. Coronado
Capt. Sidle
2nd Lt. King

Blue Flight
Capt. MEF4UD
W.o. Downey
2nd Lt. Gwardyak
1st Lt. Santana

White Flight
Capt. Morgan
1st Lt. Bodie
2nd Lt. 1Duke1
1st Lt. Roche

W.O. Quanne launched late at 2343 and joined with White Flight.

VMF-251 turned 180 once formed and proceeded S to target, climbing to a cruise altitude of 15,000ft. Short of target area encountered single Yak-9 low, but bandit proceeded N without engaging. Shortly before roll-in additional bandits sighted high. Wyatt ordered full power for approach, with Blue Flight popping up to 17k, White to 16k.

Squadron rolled in at target area and attacked soft targets on the field. Sidle, Roche, Downey and Santana destroyed field guns and MEF4UD destroyed four town buildings, a field gun, and radar installation at 2356. Santana crashed 2356. At 2357 Coronado destroyed barracks and Wyatt destroyed a field gun and barracks, King destroyed a gun battery, and Downey destroyed another battery and ammo bunker.

Enemy CAP arrived over field and engaged strike group. Morgan suffered damage after collision and forced to withdraw. Bodie forced down Yak-9 at 2357. Quanne damaged and forced to bail out at 2359. King destroyed a fuel bunker at 0000. Wyatt forced down Yak-9 at 0000, shot down La-5 at 0001. Coronado shot down La-5 at 0001. Wyatt and 1Duke1 each shot down Yak-9s at 0004. Roche crashed at 0004.

Sidle shot down Yak-9 at 0005. Coronado claimed Yak at 0006. Gwardyak shot down Yak at 0007. Sidle took engine damage and ditched off 110 and MEF4UD shot down Yak at 0009. 1Duke1 shot down Yak at 0011. Morgan ditched short of 114 at 0014.

VMF-251 withdrew from engagement and turned north to rearm. Wyatt ordered climb for altitude on egress. At about 0020 additional aircraft spotted at 12 o'clock level, identified as B-25s with escort. Wyatt ordered squadron to push through. Wyatt hit three B-25s on the way through. One down at 0021, one went down 0025 and the third at 0030. Quanne Downey damaged B-25, later confirmed down at 0025.

Short fight broke out with escorts. King shot down 0020. Wyatt, Coronado and 1Duke1 each shot down La-5s at 0023. MEF4UD shot down 0024.

Remained of squadron regrouped and egressed N, returning to A114. Under orders from CiC squadron to rearm and resume patrols. Downey rearmed at 0031. Wyatt, Coronado and 1Duke1 rearmed at 0035. While taxiing to runway Wyatt's landing gear collapsed. Command of squadron assumed by 1Duke1.

Gwardyak's landing gear failed while taxiing to rearm area at 0040. Bodie rearmed 0045.

Remainder of squadron returned to the air and continued patrolling between 110 and 114, but no further contact with enemy made. Returned to base. Downey recovered 0058. Coronado landed 0109, 1Duke1 at 0117 and Bodie at 0118.

Personnel Status
Maj. David Wyatt Landed Safely
2nd Lt. Eli Coronado Landed Safely
Capt. Michael Sidle Shot Down (Ditched)
2nd Lt. Frank King Shot Down
Capt. MEF4UD Shot Down
W.O. Phillip Downey Landed Safely
2nd Lt. Karl Gwardyak Ditched on Field
1st Lt.Jonathan Santana Crashed
Capt. Charlie Morgan Collision, Ditched
2nd Lt. Norwood Bodie Landed Safely
2nd Lt. 1Duke1 Landed Safely
1st Lt. Neil Roche Crashed
W.O. Joe Quanne Bailed Out

Equipment Status
13 N1K2-J 4 Recovered Safely

2 Recovered (Damaged)

7 Lost
26 250kg Bombs 26 Expended
16 Drop Tanks 12 Expended

Pilot Victories
Maj. David Wyatt 7
2nd Lt. Eli Coronado 3
Capt. Michael Sidle 1
Capt. MEF4UD 1
W.O. Phillip Downey 1
2nd Lt. Karl Gwardyak 1
2nd Lt. Norwood Bodie 1
2nd Lt. 1Duke1 3

Pilot Objects
Maj. David Wyatt 2
2nd Lt. Eli Coronado 1
Capt. Michael Sidle 1
2nd Lt. Frank King 2
Capt. MEF4UD 6
W.O. Phillip Downey 3
1st Lt.Jonathan Santana 1
1st Lt. Neil Roche 1