Marine Aircraft Group 32 - History - World War II

World War II

Marine Aircraft Group 32 was commissioned on 1 February 1943 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. They trained there until January 1944 when they moved to the West Coast to prepare for follow on movement to the South Pacific. The group next went to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii where they remained until October 1944. November saw them move to Emirau as they prepared to support the campaign to recapture the Philippines.

MAG-32 arrived on Mangaldan on 27 January 1945 where they became part of Marine Air Groups, Dagupan (MAGSDAGUPAN) along with Marine Aircraft Group 24 (MAG-24). MAGSDAGUPAN fell under neath the 308th Bombardment Wing of the United States Army Air Forces which was supporting the 6th Army on Luzon. Portions of the group went ashore with the assault troops on Zamboanga on 10 March 1945. Two days later they were operating out of an expeditionary airfield. During this time they became part of Marine Air Groups Zamboanga (MAGSZAM) along with Marine Aircraft Group 12 and Air Warning Squadron 4 (AWS-4). The SBD Dauntless aircraft of MAG-32 arrived on 23 March and began providing close air support. The first major operation that they supported was the landing of the 41st Infantry Division on Jolo Island on 9 April. Forty four dive bombers from MAG-32 were directed against Japanese positions by tactical air control parties. The group also went on to cover amphibious landing on the islands of Parang-Cotabato, Sibago, Macajalar and Sarangani.

MAGSZAM was finally dissolved on 30 August 1945. During the recapture of the Philippines beginning in January 1945, MAG-32 and MAG-24 would fly a total of 8,842 combat sorties and drop more than 19,000 bombs as part of the Fifth Air Force in support of the Sixth Army.

Following the end of World War II, MAG-32 participated in the occupation of Northern China. The group returned to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in June 1946 and was deactivated in April 1947 at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro.

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