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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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Mike Yunck Squadron’s “Happy Hour” celebrates MCAS Camp Pendleton’s 75th Anniversary

By Lance Cpl. Keely Dyer | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | April 21, 2017


The Marine Corps Aviation Association’s Mike Yunck Squadron hosted a “Happy Hour” at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, April 21, 2017 celebrating the 75th anniversary of the air station.

As the oldest Marine Corps air facility on the west coast, it has been the birthplace to many Air-Ground integration innovations. This MCAA’s squadron was named for Colonel Mike Yunck, a Marine Corps and Camp Pendleton legend. Yunck is remembered for his heroics in World War II as a Marine Corps ace who shot down five enemy aircraft in aerial combat and was awarded the Silver Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was later awarded a second Silver Star when he was with VMO-251 in Vietnam where he was shot, resulting in the loss of his leg.

“Colonel Yunck was a distinguished World War II Aviator,” said Col. Ian Clark, the Commanding Officer of MCAS Camp Pendleton. “When the squadron was named, at Tustin Air Station I believe, it was because of his impact he had on the Marine Corps as a whole. We have all of these squadrons and they’re named after fairly well-known and highly regarded Marines who had shown heroism in combat. Mike Yunck is one of those Marines in a long line of Aviators who did that.”

Many distinguished, veteran and current, Marines from units throughout 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing attended the event. The guest of honor was the Commanding General of Marine Corps Installations-West, Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea.

“With the 75th anniversary of this air station, I can’t think of a better time to stand up for Mike Yunck than this year,” said Brigadier Gen. Killea. “

The air station celebrates its 75th anniversary of dedicated service alongside Camp Pendleton. The base is named in honor of Maj Gen Joseph H. Pendleton and was dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on September 25, 1942. The land was chosen by the Marine Corps due to its unique terrain, on which Marines train for their ship-to-shore missions today.