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After Action Report
Marine Fighting Squadron 251

Date of Action: February 5, 2010
Base of Operations: USS Hornet
Division Assignment: Escort V54

VMF-251 took off from Hornet in 8 F4U-1Ds at 2354 ordered to escort 332nd Flying Mongrels to V54 for strike, arranged by flights:

Red Flight
Lt. Col. Wyatt
2nd Lt. Millsaps
1st Lt. Bodie
2nd Lt. Badgley

Blue Flight
Capt. Sidle
1st Lt. Trol
2nd Lt. King
2nd Lt. Coronado

Millsaps, Bodie, Badgley, Trol and King experienced accidents on takeoff, but all squadron in the air by 2356 and proceeded north towards the target.

Wyatt experienced mechanical failure at 2304, and rejoined flight at 2306, pushing to catch up. Strike package reached target area first, reporting sporadic contact with enemy, and attacked. VMF-251 followed and made supporting rocket attacks. Trol and Millsaps destroyed gun batteries at 2338, and Trol destroyed an ammo bunker and shot down A6M at 2339.

Remainder of package egressed S with VMF-251 bringing up the rear to cover stragglers. Ki-61s encountered withdrawing package and squadron engaged. Trol claimed Ki-61 at 2359. Wyatt shot down Ki-61 at 0000. King crashed 0001. Millsaps shot down 0001. Sidle claimed Ki-61 at 0002, shot down 0003. Trol shot down 0004. Bodie shot down Ki-61 at 0005, Badley shot down 0005.

Remainder of 332nd and VMF-251 continued S, but were overtaken by Ki-84s. Wyatt damaged and forced to withdraw. Coronado and Bodie shot down 0011. Wyatt limped S one sector before being shot down 0014.

Personnel Status
Lt. Col. David Wyatt Shot Down
2nd Lt. Billy Millsaps Shot Down
1st Lt. Norwood Bodie Shot Down
2nd Lt. John Badgley Shot Down
Capt. Michael Sidle Shot Down
1st Lt. Trol Shot Down
2nd Lt. Frank King Crashed
2nd Eli Coronado Shot Down

Equipment Status
14 F4U-1Ds 5 Wrecked

1 Mechanical Failure

8 Lost

16 External tanks 16 Expended

64 5" HVAR 64 Expended

Pilot Victories
Lt. Col. David Wyatt 1
1st Lt. Norwood Bodie 1
Capt. Michael Sidle 1
1st Lt. Trol 2

Pilot Objects Destroyed
2nd Lt. Billy Millsaps 1
1st Lt. Trol 2