Thank you, Nightmares, For Your Service
Thank you, Nightmares.
After nearly seven decades of service, Marine Attack Squadron 513 — better known as the VMA-513 Flying Nightmares — wrapped up its final mission Monday.
The squadron, which is based at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, is slated to be decommissioned next month.
VMA-513 has a proud, rich history dating back to its commission as VMF-513 on Feb. 15, 1944, at Marine Corps Auxiliary Field Oak Grove, N.C. At the time, they were flying the Grumman F6F Hellcat. It became VMA-513 officially with the arrival of the first Marine AV-8A Harrier while at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., and moved to MCAS Yuma in 1976.
Since then, the squadron has provided support for a variety of wars and conflicts, from World War II and Korea to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Along the way, it has entered the history books a variety of times.
According to the U.S. Marine Corps’ website, the squadron made aviation history during the Korean Conflict with the first radar kill of an enemy jet aircraft at night, as well as the first kill of a supersonic drone with a Sidewinder missile in 1964.
It’s also the only squadron in the world to simultaneously employ all three variants of the AV-8B in 2001 and the first squadron to employ the Lightning II targeting pod in combat.
And, it was the first AV-8B squadron to perform land-based expeditionary infrared lighting blackout flight operations in Afghanistan, as well as the first squadron to fly missions as part of a MAG operating from a foreign warship, the HMS Illustrious in 2007.
For Yumans, the squadron has been a part of our aviation family for more than 30 years.
Yuma’s children have grown up watching Harriers train and exercise in our skies, with the comfort of knowing that our region had an added layer of safety with VMA-513 stretching its wings nearby.
To the members of VMA-513, we say thank you for your service and dedication.