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US Marine Corps, June 05, 2014 - MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif by Lance Cpl Michael Thorn - Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 363 celebrated 62 years of service with the unveiling of their new squadron insignia and their fully operational capabilities aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., June 2.
Marines with the squadron came together after their workday to eat together, learn about their history and see the new insignia, which is recreated each time the squadron becomes deployable.
“Today’s unveiling of the new insignia celebrates everything we worked towards coming together to become fully operational,” said 1st Lt. Michael Rivers, civil military relations officer-in-charge with VMM-363. “That means we are ready to deploy when we’re needed.”
VMM-363 started out as Marine Helicopter Transport Squadron (HMR) 363 at Santa Ana, Calif., June 2, 1952. Their initial activation was brought upon by the demands of the Korean War. On Sept. 1, 1965, the squadron engaged in their first combat mission during the Vietnam War. That mission, in collaboration with Korean Marines, led to the most successful Korean offensive in the war. The Korean Marines presented an award to the squadron, VMM-363’s current insignia, which led to their nickname, the “Lucky Red Lions”. The squadron has since then continued to develop further over the years.
“It feels great to be a part of this squadron’s history,” said Lance Cpl. Jason C. Cheng, an aviation logistics information management and support technician with VMM-363. “I can say later on that I was part of something big, that I was here for our 62nd anniversary.”
The Red Lions are currently in the process of building an MV-22B Osprey squadron that will continue to provide assault support to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force.
“Throughout its rich history, the Red Lions have received countless honors and decorations for their ability to get the job done under fire,” said Capt. Joshua Showalter, aviation safety officer with VMM-363. “With such a tremendous legacy, there is no doubt that the Red Lions of today will continue with the same esprit de corps in the finest tradition of the Marine aviation and the United States Marine Corps.”