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After Action Report
Marine Fighting Squadron 251

Date of Action: February 12, 2010
Base of Operations: USS Saratoga
Division Assignment: Escort Strike Foxtrot

VMF-251 took off from Saratoga in 7 F4U-1Ds at 2313 ordered to escort 327th Steel Talons and WD40 in strikes on P68 and Nagasaki. Squadron formed up by flights:

Red Flight
Capt. Sidle
1st Lt. Trol
2nd Lt. Coronado
2nd Lt. Millsaps

Blue Flight
1st Lt. King
2nd Lt. Badgley
1st Lt. Bodie

1st Lt. Neil Roche took off from Saratoga in an F4U-1P for bomb damage assessment on primary target.

Squadron proceeded northwest to rendezvous point in grip 5.6.5,climbing to 25,000ft to rendezvous with remainder of strike package on VLR mission. VMF-251 joined with strike and escorts of 327th, WD40 and 5th Airforce, and proceeded north to target.

Strike package was hit by large numbers of enemy aircraft at very high altitude. Trol shot down 2351, Badgley at 2352, King at 2353 and Sidle and Bodie at 2354. Millsaps shot down at 0001, followed by Coronado at 0002. Roche attempted to seek cover with main body, but shot down 0006.

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

Equipment Status
7 F4U-1Ds 7 Lost

1 F4U-1P 1 Lost

14 External tanks 14 Expended