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Location Decided! 2017 Reunion
The results are in and the voting between Seattle and La Jolla was a dead heat. Ultimately the VMFA-333 BOD chose Seattle for the below listed reasons. We hope that all of you will try to attend because Seattle is loaded with fun things to see and do. Attached are some photos of the hotel which is loaded with amenities. I will advise when you can start making reservations later this year.
The MCAA Symposium is an enormous-complex event and they have booked all the event space in the hotel so there was not a room available for us to use as our hospitality suite. Their event coordinator stated it would be April next year before they would know if they could release a small room for us. This just can't work for us as at that point it would be to late for us to back out. Since you have attended previous reunions you know even a small room would not work.

The least inexpensive banquet dinner at the Hyatt would cost at least $100 pp with no entertainment or wine. It was also questionable if we would be allowed to bring in our own food and beverage into the hospitality suite. There are usually 1000+ in attendance and real easy for our people to get mixed up in the shuffle. This did happen to people in the past when we joined the MCAA because they got confused between the events. Also the hotel is not near San Diego City Center.
The Maxwell lowered our expected rooms per night to a more comfortable quota to meet. We can bring in all the food and beverage we want and we have full use of their banquet space with foyer all four nights. They have a free shuttle van to City Center and West Lake Center plus free parking. They are walking distance to the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum, EMP Museum (pop culture), Pacific Science Center, The Ballet, Key Arena, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitor Center, The Armory, QFC 24 hour grocery Store, numerous restaurants and the Monorail which takes you to West Lake Center in downtown Seattle then walking distance to the famous Pike's Place Market. The Pacific Aviation Museum is 10 minutes away so lots of stuff to see and do in close proximity to the hotel.
We want to thank everyone who took the time to vote. Visit Seattle has already contacted me and will assist with helping us to plan our event so we are on the move. I will keep you posted as plans progress. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions.
Semper Fi,
 Connie G.

MIG Killers!



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F-8 and F-18 Marines!

Marines, we have very little info on the F-18 era of 333. And we have virtually no information concerning the F8 era and earlier Marines. This site is not complete without your history. Are there any folks out there that would care to provide pics and stories of their time in 333 history?  Scanned cruise books would be wonderful. If you would like to contribute something. Please email images and/or information to:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Don't Let it Die

I know that there are many, many stories to be told of 333. From gunners being told to bail out of their SBD-5 to "Oh McDonald had a farm" soirees in the Q to close calls on the boat. We all know that our stories are what keeps 333 alive and breathing. It's what keeps the magic in it.

What happens when we're all gone or too old to remember them. What happens to the squadron then? Those stories that are embellished just a tad more every year are us, they are what make 333 now. When there are no more gunners, pilots, RIO's, plane captains, AMO's or NCOIC's to tell them, laugh or cry at them. If those stories leave this world with us.

Who will remember 333 then? .... sadly, no one. 333 will only be a few lines in some official historians books.

You got a good story that deserves to be shared. Start now. EMail your story to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for publication on this web site and storage. Come'on don't be shy... I know you got a doozey.... Let's see now...  how was it that Captain Schmidle ended up with I think 9th Marines on Okinawa for 30 days or so. Oh yea...  and how did Gunny Riggles "Binjo-Bomber" end up at the top of a flag pole in a snow storm or that night of "Shore Patrol" in Iwakuni 1982 for all Staff NCO's and Officers. Just a few things that come to mind.

How about you?

Historian Needed

The VMFtun tavernA-333 Association is looking for an Historian!

As we Shamrocks age. We have a responsibility to record the deeds of VMFA-333. Deeds of the Squadron as a whole, individual heroics and group and individual stories. If we do not ensure that these things are recorded. So that after we all have received our PCS orders MCAS Heavenly Gates. Then VMFA-333 will cease to exist. Oh we have our plaque in place and honestly it's better than nothing. But all those good times and events that made 333 great will be gone. These things will be gone unless you, yes you. Write those things down and our Historian puts them in a readable order for those folks to come can see what you did. What you accomplished and what 333 accomplished.

If someone had not recorded the events and importance of Tun Tavern. We would not know of that heritage.

The Association Board of Directors recognizes this and by asking for a Historian is attempting to ensure 333's greatness lives beyond us.

 This is a volunteer, non-paid position. It may be a labor of love for you. If you have time on your hands, can write reasonably well and are interested  in helping. Contact the webmaster (hey that's me!).

John McCain: F-35 program has been a 'scandal'

Richard Lardner, The Associated Press 1:55 p.m. EDT April 26, 2016

WASHINGTON — The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's record on cost, schedule and performance has been a scandal and a tragedy, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee told senior Pentagon officials Tuesday during a withering critique of the most expensive weapons program in U.S. military history.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said during an oversight hearing held by the committee that the aircraft's development schedule has stretched to 15 years, deliveries of the F-35 have been delayed, and costs have skyrocketed.

"It's been a scandal and the cost overruns have been disgraceful," McCain said. "And it's a textbook example of why this Committee has placed such a high priority on reforming the broken defense acquisition system."

Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall and Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 program manager, said the they are "making solid progress" with the F-35 and are confident of overcoming the challenges.

"The F-35 is no longer a program that keeps me up at night," Kendall said.

The Pentagon plans to spend close to $400 billion to buy nearly 2,500 F-35s for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The budget request for fiscal year 2017 includes $8.3 billion to purchase 63 aircraft. The F-35, which is being designed to meet the specific requirements of each of the services, cost over $100 million each. Bogdan said he anticipates reducing the per-unit cost of the Air Force's version to under $85 million by

2019.McCain quizzed Bogdan on how many people are needed to oversee the F-35 program. The general told him there are about 2,600 people and it costs $70 million a year to operate the program office.

"The information that I have is it's nearly 3,000 (people), and the cost is $300 million a year, "McCain said. "But $70 million a year to run an office is ... pretty disturbing."

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Not 333 but....

U.S. Naval Flight Officer Lt. Cmdr. Edward Lin Accused of Giving U.S. Secrets to China

By: Sam LaGrone
From USNI News
 ed lin

A U.S. naval flight officer with an extensive signals intelligence background was accused by the service of passing secrets to China, USNI News has learned.

Lt. Cmdr. Edward C. Lin, who served on some of the Navy’s most sensitive intelligence gathering aircraft, faces several counts of espionage and other charges outlined during a Friday Article 32 hearing in Norfolk, Va.

Lin, originally a Taiwanese national before his family moved to the U.S., had a career as a signals intelligence specialist on the Navy’s Lockheed Martin EP-3E Aries II reconnaissance aircraft, several sources confirmed to USNI News.

Several sources familiar with the case told USNI News the country to which Lin passed secrets was China, however, few other details are known about the case given much of the evidence is classified.

The redacted charging documents say Lin allegedly transported secret information out of the country without permission and then lied about his whereabouts when he returned to duty. The charging documents allege he successfully committed espionage twice and attempted espionage on three other occasions.

In addition to the accusations related to transmitting secrets to a foreign power, Lin was also accused of violating military law by patronizing prostitutes and committing adultery.

Lin is currently assigned to commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group in Norfolk and has been held in pre-trial confinement at the Naval Consolidated Brig Chesapeake, Va. for the last eight months, sources told USNI News.

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China’s Increasingly Good Mock Air Battles Prep Pilots for Real War

For 11 days in November, the sky over the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu witnessed some of the most intensive dogfighting to ever take place in China. Jet fighters screamed overhead, twisting and turning in complex aerial maneuvers. Heavily laden bombers lumbered through the tangle of fighters, dodging enemy defenses as they lined up for bombing runs.

The warplanes and their crews were the real deal. It featured the best of the best of the Chinese military, which with 2,700 aircraft possesses the world’s third largest aerial arsenal, after the U.S. and Russia. But the combat over the sprawling Dingxin Air Force Test and Training Base was simulated. Despite the ferocity of the maneuvers, no live weapons were fired. The mock battles of the annual “Red Sword/Blue Sword” exercise are meant to prepare the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) for the possibility of actual high-tech combat.

In terms of authenticity, China’s pretend air battles are getting pretty close to the real thing. That improving realism, combined with Beijing’s new fighters and other hardware, has some observers in the U.S. feeling uneasy. For decades the Pentagon has counted on highly realistic aerial training to mitigate the increasing age and decreasing size of its warplane holdings. “That [training] used to be a significant advantage U.S. air forces held relative to the PLAAF,” Dave Deptula, a retired Air Force general who flew F-15 fighters, tells Danger Room.

The Pentagon still maintains other aerial edges, with more and better fighters — including stealth models — and support planes plus decades of combat experience in the Balkans, the Middle East and Central Asia. But with every scripted dogfight over Dingxin, the American war game advantage shrinks — and with it the overall U.S. margin of superiority.

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WWII Finds 333 at Ewa Field

The first 333 squadron spent time here at Ewa Field in Hawaii while transitioning to and from the Pacific Theatre of action.

333 2

VMSB-333 SB2C-4 HellDivers on the line at Ewa field circa 1945
The SB2C was the last divebomber made

ewa 1941

Marines at Ewa Field, Hawaii fire at Japanese aircraft
overhead as they attacked Pearl Harbor

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An F8 from VMF-333