10 Replies Latest reply on Jan 7, 2022 6:57 PM by Paul Perot

    Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan

    Paul Perot Wayfarer

      I have been researching my father Remy Perot's time in the military during WW2. He was in the Marines at Battle of Saipan. My research indicates he was with Air Warning Squadron 1. I have found a unit history of Air Warning Squadron 1(AWS-1). I have also found a report about Air Warning Squadron 1 being bombed on the island of Engebi. I have not been able to find anything about  Air Warning Squadron 1 movements during the Battle of Saipan. I am looking for information about  Air Warning Squadron 1 movements during the Battle of Saipan. Like a lot of veterans, my Dad would hardly ever talk about the war. One thing he did tell me was that while under attack on an airfield he boarded a transport plane and flew to another airfield on the same island and continued fighting. There are two airfields on Saipan.

        • Re: Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan
          Alex Daverede Scout

          Paul,

           

          A review of the Marine Corps History Division monograph on the Battle of Saipan (The Battery Press, 2000), Marine Air Warning Squadron (AWS) 1 was not assigned to the Saipan operation—AWS-5 was.  I have not found any mention of this organization’s deployment during the battle; however, Army Air Forces fighter and night fighter aircraft were assigned to Aslito Field (the southernmost of the two airfields you mentioned) during the three-week battle.  The Marine Air Warning Squadron would have provided fighter direction by day and night to those Army aircraft.

           

          The monograph speaks to a Japanese attack on Aslito Field on the night of 26-27 June (pages162-163) as forces isolated on Nafutan Point attempted to break through Army and Marine lines to reach the main Japanese force in the north of the island.  There is no mention of air evacuation operations on Saipan alone as the other airfield (located on Marpi Point) would not be captured for several more days.  However, medical evacuation flights from Aslito Field to the Marshall Islands did begin on 25 June.

           

          I hope you find this information useful.

           

          Good luck in your research!

          A. J.

          1 person found this helpful
            • Re: Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan
              Paul Perot Wayfarer

              Thank you so much for looking into that. On the back of his discharge from the Marines it says 'participated in the capture and occupation Saipan,Marianas Islands'. This is part of the file I received ftom the National Personnal Records Center. It shows 'designation changed to air regulating squadron 5' on 5 March 1944,'HQSQ' on 14 March and 'air warning squadron 1' on 3 May.

                • Re: Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan
                  Alex Daverede Scout

                  Paul,

                   

                  It’s so good that information can line up correctly every once in a while. The HqSq assignment is the Headquarters Squadron for a Marine Air Group (MAG), in this case MAG 32 or 33.  Usually Headquarters Squadron assignments were temporary duty until the Marine got to his permanent duty post somewhere else in the Group.  There are two ships listed, USS Cowpens (CVL-25) and USS Long Island (CVE-1).  Both ships, indeed all carriers, could be called upon to transport Marine aircraft and personnel to the fighting theater, which is the case here.  I do not know what the designation Cas sq (2/18/44 entry) unless it stood for Casualty Squadron.  That may make sense with the change in unit name to Air Regulating Squadron 5, as that name implies administration of personnel movement by air, which is what a casualty evacuation situation becomes.

                   

                  Again, good luck with your research!

                  A. J.

                  1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan
                      Paul Perot Wayfarer

                      Alex thank you again for your helpful answers. I really appreciate it.

                       

                      In a previous comment you said 'Army Air Forces fighter and night fighter aircraft were assigned to Aslito Field (the southernmost of the two airfields you mentioned) during the three-week battle.  The Marine Air Warning Squadron would have provided fighter direction by day and night to those Army aircraft.'

                       

                      Would you happen to know if the Marine Air Warning Squadron would be encamped on Saipan or another island?

                        • Re: Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan
                          Alex Daverede Scout

                          Paul,

                           

                          I don’t have documentary proof, just my background in naval history—but I would say that the air warning squadron personnel would have to be quartered near the radar equipment they operated, just like the Army pilots and ground crew at the airfield had to be close to their aircraft.  At the time of the Saipan operation, the U.S. did not have any nearby islands to house personnel—the distance between Eniwetok and Saipan is over 1,800 kilometers.

                           

                          A. J.

                          1 person found this helpful
                            • Re: Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan
                              Mark Murphy Adventurer

                              Paul,

                                  I have some of the documentary proof you are seeking.  Give me a day or to take what you provided above and do a deeper dive.  My area of specialty is the Marine Air Warning Squadrons and I have a pretty large database of information.  From what I see above he did spend some time on Engebi with AWS-1 but departed AWS-4 right before they left for the Philippines.  While with 1st MAWG in 1945 he would have been responsible for training new night fighter personnel.  You can also contact me.

                               

                              Cheers,

                              Mark

                              1 person found this helpful
                            • Re: Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan
                              Mark Murphy Adventurer

                              Paul,

                                  Here is a rough sketch that may answer a few questions.

                               

                              Remy Perot joined Headquarters Squadron MAG-23 at Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Territory of Hawaii on September 20, 1943. He was a radar mechanic by trade.  At this time the Air Warning Squadrons had just started being commissioned so the MAG headquarters still had radars attached to them. Remaining at MCAS Ewa, he transferred to Headquarters Squadron MAG-32 in March 1944.

                               

                              On May 3, he was administratively joined by Air Warning Squadron 1 (AWS-1) but he did not serve with the unit.  During this period, he was assigned to duty as a radar mechanic with VMF(N)-532.  (Note: VMF(N)-532 was headquartered at Roi but was responsible for providing night fighter coverage for Roi, Kwajalein, Engebi & Eniwetok. The squadron had a detachment on Engebi which is why he was most likely administratively attached to them.)  VMF(N)-532 received orders to prepare for movement on July 5, 1944.  As part of VMF(N)-532, Remy Perot arrived at Isley Field, Saipan on July 12, 1944.

                               

                              In August 1944 he joined Air Warning Squadron 4 (AWS-4) back at MCAS Ewa.  AWS-4 departed Hawaii onboard USS LST-1029 on October 17, 1944, arriving at Los Negros in November 1944.  He departed Los Negros on January 28, 1945, onboard the USS Long Island.  He eventually arived at MCAS Cherry Point in February 1945 where he served as a radar mechanic with 1st MAWG.  During that time, he also went TAD to Veo Beach where AWS-13 was training with Marine Night Fighter Squadrons.

                               

                              There are still some gaps in this timeline, but I think this fills in some of the holes in your research.

                               

                              Cheers,

                              Mark

                              1 person found this helpful
                          • Re: Looking for records of Air Warning Squadron 1 on Saipan
                            Paul Perot Wayfarer

                            Alex and Mark I have shared this information with my brothers and sisters and they send their thanks also. You guys are the best!