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History

Commissioned on 1 October 1943 at Cherry Point, North Carolina, VMF-314 was assigned to MAG-32 flying the F-4U Corsair and immediately began training for combat in the Pacific. Upon deployment to Midway Island in June of 1944, the squadron was reassigned to MAG-23, 3D MAW. 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 again commissioned 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 squadron 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 the Marine rifleman 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. 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 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 a day 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. The BLACK KNIGHTS returned from the Middle East in March of 1991.

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 MEU 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.

In January of 2000 the squadron deployed aboard the USS John C. Stennis, with Carrier Air Wing Nine, for a six month deployment to the Western Pacific and Persian Gulf in support of Operation Southern Watch. While in the Gulf, the BLACK KNIGHTS flew contingency operations under combat conditions in support of UN Resolutions, delivering accurate air-to-ground ordnance under hostile fire. The squadron returned to MCAS Miramar in July 2000 and was reassigned to MAG-11.

After the attacks on September 11th, 2001, the BLACK KNIGHTS participated in Operation Noble Eagle in Southern California. VMFA-314 deployed on 12 November 2001 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The BLACK KNIGHTS delivered over 69,000 pounds of ordnance in support of U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan. In January of 2003, the BLACK KNIGHTS deployed on board the USS Carl Vinson for a 9 month cruise in support of 7th Fleet's mission in the Western Pacific.

In January of 2006, the BLACK KNIGHTS transitioned to the Unit Deployment Program and deployed to Iwakuni, Japan for six months where they participated in Exercise Foal Eagle and Northern Edge. In July of 2007, the BLACK KNIGHTS deployed again for six months to Iwakuni, Japan on a Unit Deployment Program. Of these six months, four were spent detached to Kadena AFB in Okinawa, Japan.

In March of 2009, the BLACK KNIGHTS 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.

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.


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