Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314
Black Knights
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
San Diego, CA


VMFA-314 Tanking on the Iron Maiden

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Robert Ahern, an F-35C Lighting II pilot assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG)...


VMFA-314 TRANSPAC to Australia

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Michael O’Brien, the commanding officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 11, 3rd...


VMFA-314 F-35C Launches off the USS Abraham Lincoln

PHILIPPINE SEA (April 25, 2022) An F-35C Lightning II, assigned to the "Black Knights" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, launches from...


Carrier Air Wing 9 Airborne

Aircraft, assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9, fly over the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) during an air power...



The "Black Knights" of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN...


VMFA-314 receives its first F-35C

U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Cedar L. Hinton, commanding officer of Marine Wing Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 314, Marine Aircraft Group 11, 3rd...

VMFA-314 Leaders

Commanding Officer, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey "Wiki" Davis

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey C. Davis was born in Cherry Point, NC and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 2006 as a 2nd Lt in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon graduation with distinction from The Basic School in 2007, he attended flight training. Completing flight school as a...

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Executive Officer, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314

Major Erik Hopkins

Major Hopkins currently serves as the Executive Officer of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314.Major Hopkins graduated from the University of Delaware in May 2005 and 2007 with a B.A. in International Relations and MPA in Financial Management and Economic Development. Major Hopkins served on the US...

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Sergeant Major, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314

Sergeant Major Nibardo Serrano III

Sergeant Major Serrano was born in Bellflower, California, in January of 1981. He enlisted and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, California in January of 2000.  Upon completion he attended Marine Combat Training at Camp Pendleton followed by attending his MOS school...

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  • Duty Officer:
    • 858-307-5335
  • SDO Cell:
    • 928-530-1625

VMFA-314 Deployment Readiness Coordinator



PO BOX 452041
San Diego,
CA 92145-2041

VMFA-314 Unit History


Commissioned on 1 October 1943 at Cherry Point, North Carolina, VMF-314 was assigned to MAG-32 flying the F-4U Corsair and began training immediately for combat in the Pacific. The squadron was reassigned to MAG-23, 3D MAW upon deployment to Midway Island in June 1944. The Squadron moved to Ie Shima in May 1945 to take part in the invasion of Okinawa. During the ensuing campaign, VMF-314 pilots were credited with 14 kills and the squadron was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. At the conclusion of hostilities, VMF-314 moved to Kyushu, Japan as part of the occupation force. In March 1946 the squadron returned to Cherry Point, was re-assigned to MAG-22, 9th MAW and was decommissioned on 30 April 1947.

VMF-314 was recommissioned in 1952 at Miami, Florida and was assigned to MAG-31, 3d MAW flying the latest version of the Corsair. That same year, the squadron transitioned to the new F9F Panther. The next three years saw VMF-314 deployed twice, first to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico, and then to Atsugi, Japan for an eighteen-month tour. In 1955, VMF-314 returned from Japan and was assigned to MAG-15, 3D MAW.

In 1957, the squadron received the new F-4D Skyray and was designated VMF(AW)-314. During that same year, the squadron officially became the Black Knights, and deployed throughout the Far East both on land as well as onboard the fast attack carriers USS Hancock and USS Ticonderoga.

In 1961, the Black Knights became the first Marine squadron to transition to the new F-4B Phantom II and was designated VMFA-314. Between 1961 and 1964, the squadron deployed eight times.

In 1965, VMFA-314 deployed onboard the USS Valley Forge for combat operations in the Republic of Vietnam. From 1965 to 1970, the Black Knights flew more than 25,000 combat hours out of Chu Lai and Da Nang airfields, and employed more than 100 million pounds of ordnance in support of Marine riflemen and other Allied ground units. In September of 1970, VMFA-314 ended forty-nine months of deployed combat operations and received the Meritorious Unit Citation for its outstanding performance.

In 1982, VMFA-314 received the first of its F/A-18s, becoming the first tactical squadron in the Marine Corps and Navy to employ the Hornet. Tasked with spearheading the transition to a new generation Strike Fighter, the Black Knights were the first to undergo a MCCRE, scoring a 98% and flying 351.7 hours. Later that year, VMFA-314 completed carrier qualification aboard the USS Carl Vinson and the USS Constellation.

In 1985, VMFA-314 transferred to Carrier Air Wing 13, and embarked onboard the USS Coral Sea for duty with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. The Black Knights participated in Freedom of Navigation operations in the vicinity of Libya and took part in combat operations in support of Operation El Dorado Canyon in the Gulf of Sidra and in Libya.

In 1987, VMFA-314 deployed to Egypt as part of joint exercise Bright Star ‘87 with the Egyptian Air Force. In 1988, the squadron deployed to Balikesir, Turkey assigned to MAG-50 in support of the NATO Exercise Display Determination.

In 1989, VMFA-314 returned to the Western Pacific as part of the Unit Deployment Program for the first time since their return from the Republic of Vietnam in 1970. The Black Knights participated in two consecutive Cope Thunder exercises in the Republic of the Philippines and deployed throughout the Far East in support of Marine Corps frontline units. The squadron returned to MCAS El Toro in October 1989.

In the summer of 1990, while preparing to return to the Western Pacific, the Black Knights were rapidly deployed to the Persian Gulf and were the first Marine F/A-18 squadron to arrive in Bahrain for Operation Desert Shield as part of Marine Air Group 70. For nearly six months the Black Knights maintained 24 hour Combat Air Patrols over the Persian Gulf.

On 16 January 1991, Operation Desert Shield shifted to Desert Storm. The Black Knights flew over 1,500 hours and 814 combat sorties, more sorties than any other Navy or Marine Corps squadron.

In August 1992, VMFA-314 deployed onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln. During the deployment the squadron participated in Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the UN “no-fly-zone” in southern Iraq, and in Operation Continue Hope, providing Close Air Support to the 13th and 22nd MEUs off the coast of Somalia.

In June 1994, VMFA-314 was one of the first MAG-11 squadrons to move from MCAS El Toro to NAS Miramar. In February 1996, the Black Knights received new lot 18 F/A-18C aircraft. In 1997, VMFA-314 transferred to Carrier Air Wing Nine and deployed on an “Around the World” cruise onboard the USS Nimitz. During the deployment, the squadron again participated in Operation Southern Watch.

VMFA-314 deployed on 12 November 2001 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The Black Knights began flying combat sorties on 18 December 2001 and delivered over 69,000 pounds of ordnance in support of U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan. Returning in August 2002, the Black Knights deployed again in January 2003 aboard the USS Carl Vinson for another 9 month cruise in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

In January 2006 and again in July 2007 the Black Knights deployed for 6 months to Iwakuni, Japan as part of the Unit Deployment Program.  During these deployments they supported exercises in Guam, Korea, and Okinawa.

In March 2009, VMFA-314 deployed to Al Asad Air Base, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During this deployment, the Black Knights flew over 1,700 combat missions and over 4,600 flight hours during 179 days of sustained combat operations in Al Anbar Province.

In March 2011, the Black Knights once again deployed to MCAS Iwakuni, Japan in support of the Unit Deployment Program. While in the Western Pacific, VMFA-314 participated in Exercise Foal Eagle, Talisman Sabre, and Southern Frontier.

In September of 2012, VMFA-314 deployed to the Middle East where the Black Knights conducted flights from multiple locations in the Persian Gulf in support of theater contingency operations.

  In March 2013, the Black Knights deployed again to the Middle East. While deployed, the squadron supported Exercises Initial Link and Eager Lion then supported contingency operations in Djibouti, Africa while simultaneously executing the first combat missions of Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq and Syria.    

In January 2016, the Black Knights returned to the Western Pacific in support of the Unit Deployment Program. The squadron participated in Forceful Tiger II, Max Thunder, and RED FLAG Alaska.

The Black Knights recently returned from a deployment to Isa Air Base, Bahrain where they flew over 3300 hours and employed more than 30,000 lbs of ordnance during a four month combat deployment supporting Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command and Operation Inherent Resolve.

The Black Knights supported ITX in Twentynine Palms in July and August of 2018 and conducted a successful detachment to NAS Key West, FL in early 2019. These two detachments were their last as an F/A-18 Hornet squadron.

The Sundown for the Hornet was conducted on 21 June 2019. The squadron worked for the remainder of 2019 on transitioning to the F-35C Lightning II. VMFA-314 was the first Marine Corps squadron to transition to the F-35C, receiving its first aircraft on January 21, 2020. After the transition was complete, the squadron achieved Full Operational Capability in the F-35C and began integrating with U.S. Navy carrier air wings. On January 3, 2022, VMFA-314 departed Naval Air Station North Island onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) as part of Carrier Air Wing Nine. VMFA-314 was the first Marine Corps F-35C squadron to deploy on an aircraft carrier. They conducted operations for the next 8 months in the highly contested waters of Southeast Asia, returning back to Miramar in August 2022. During 2023, VMFA-314 assisted VMFA-311 in her standing up and reactivation to be completed in 2024. Also, during the summer of 2023, VMFA-314 flew across the Pacific to conduct training exercises with 3 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force, furthering relationships with partner nations. They returned from Australia in August 2023 and will once again begin training for their future deployment on the USS Abraham Lincoln during the summer of 2024.

Squadron Honors include the Presidential Unit Citation Streamer with two Bronze Stars; the Navy Unit Commendation Streamer with four Bronze Stars and the Meritorious Unit Citation Streamer With one Bronze Star.

"Once A Knight Is Never Enough"