The Marines' Lost Squadron The Odyssey of VMF-422


Finally, there is a book that reveals the truth about the worst air disaster to strike a Marine Corps fighter squadron during the Second World War. Marine Fighter Squadron 422 was a group of twenty-four typical young Americans trained to fly the famous F4U Corsair into combat with the legendary Japanese Zero. When they arrived in the Pacific, they suddenly found that not all their enemies carried guns in savage Banzai charges. Their two most dangerous and merciless adversaries were the fury of a tropical typhoon and the cold heartless whims of a Marine Corps general. Together, these two foes seal the fate of VMF-422 and cause the greatest disaster ever to strike a Marine squadron. 

Aviation historian Mark Carlson has written the first full account of a group of ordinary young men who were suddenly challenged beyond their experience and which forever changed the lives of the survivors. The Marines’ Lost Squadron is the dramatic true story of a desperate and courageous fight for survival against the forces of nature and a conspiracy of silence. The Marines’ Lost Squadron is a saga of courage and conspiracy, patriotism and pride, fate and futility in a struggle to survive the ferocity of a huge typhoon in the midst of the Second World War.


I came across this book a while back and forgot to do the review. First let me say I had never heard of this lost squadron in any WWII book that I have read before, even one about Marine Corps Aviation. So I was totally surprised by this title. The author takes you through the events that led up to squadron VMF-422 and the storm they are about to encounter but are not aware of it. Really they should have never been given clearance to flight in the first place, but having outdated or faulty weather information later said in the investigation they were given approval by General Merritt. The author has done years of research and interviews with any of the survivors or their families. You also get some background on the pilots themselves. Then into the flight which heads right into one of the largest Pacific typhoons ever trying to avoid it when they saw it did not work and they got blown off course. One would end up on an Island, most in the ocean on rafts six were never seen again and 22 planes were lost not by a single shot but by mother nature and commanding officers. (I’m always a little bias since my father was a master Sgt & a WWII & Korea Vet) Anyway, even when the search party was sent out the General still did not send out the right craft. He would be censored, but not really because of political friends, yet it took decades for the Captain of the USS Indianapolis to get cleared and his men said he did nothing wrong and the war was over. Anyway, this was a very good book about a story I had never even heard about. Well researched and a very good history book. I received this book from I gave it 5 stars. Follow us at 

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