The Bengals of Majuro
Here we see a F4U-1 Corsair #252 (possibly that of 1/Lt. William ‘Bill” Boshart) of the “Fighting Bengals ” of VMF 224, Marine Corps 4th Marines Aircraft Wing, Majuro Airstrip, Marshall Islands, in 1944.
The 100th Naval Construction Battalion (Seabee) moved into Majuro only days after the primitive strip was captured from the Japanese in February 1944 and soon created a very nice (for the Pacific War) coral-surfaced 5,800-foot runway that covered most of the island itself linked to aprons on two close atolls connected by newly-built causeways.
4th Airwing’s Marine Air Group 13 (MAG-13) relocated to Majuro Atoll in mid-March 1944 and included VF-39 operating the F6F Hellcat, VMF-155 and VMF-224 operating F4Us and VMSB-231 operating SBDs.
The base proved popular for about a year, with MAG-13 (including our Corsairs of the Bengals) heading to Yomitan airfield in Okinawa for that campaign.
While the 100th NCB was disestablished after the war and Majuro was abandoned by the Navy in 1947 (and altogether by the Marshall Islands government in 1972), VMF 224 has maintained a long history and is still flying high as VMFA(AW)-224, pushing F/A-18Ds with MAG-31.