VMF-333 "Fighting Shamrocks "
Activated in August 1943 as VMSB-333, the "Fighting Shamrocks" or "Trip trey" were the first Marine unit to receive the F8U-2 Crusader on November 6, 1959. The unit was based at MCAS Beaufort.
In 1961, the squadron conducted carrier qualifications aboard the USS
On August 14, 1962, the squadron performed a non-stop air-refuelled deployment to NAS Roosevelt Road, Puerto Rico and Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Out of a squadron strength of 22 aircraft, 4 were based in Guantanamo and remained on the hot pad, fully armed and ready to intervene at a moment's notice. The rest of the squadron at NAS Roosevelt Road underwent combat training, operating from a tent city.
When the Cuban Crisis began, the number of alert aircraft at Guantanamo was increased in anticipation of possible strikes at targets in Cuba. VMF-333, joined by VMF-331, also assumed the defence of Puerto Rico.
In 1965, VMF-333 became the first USMC F-8 unit to fly across the Atlantic when they participated in a joint US-Norwegian exercise named Operation Bar Drink.
On February 1, 1966, the squadron was redesignated VMF(AW)-333, having received the all-weather capable F-8E model.
On June 20, 1968, the squadron traded its Crusaders for the F-4 Phantom II and was redesignated VMFA-333. It was disestablished in March 1992.
Crusader models used: