1st U.S Marine Air Wing Rank Coin
This brass coin salutes the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing of the U.S.M.C. Struck in a brass alloy, this coin has an attractive use of enamel, making a striking impression. The reverse contains the logo of the Marines set in a semitransparent red enamel that allows the look of radiance. The coin comes packaged in a polybag with a header card.
The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing is an aviation unit of the United States Marine Corps which is headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on the island of Okinawa, Japan. This unit, as the Aviation Combat Element of the III Marine Expeditionary Force, conducts air operations in support of the Fleet Marine Forces, including offensive air support, anti-air warfare, assault support, aerial reconnaissance, and control of aircraft and missiles. As a collateral function, the Wing may participate as an integral component of Naval Aviation in the execution of such other Navy functions as the Fleet Commander may direct.
In late 1940, Congress authorized a naval air fleet, from which the Marine Corps was allotted a percentage to be formed into 2 air wings with 32 operational squadrons. On the advice of Navy and Marine advisors returning from observing the war in Europe these numbers were doubled. Under this expansion program the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing was activated at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia on July 7, 1941, formed from the First Marine Aircraft Group.
The first deployment for 1st MAW came in August of 1942 on Guadalcanal where it supported the 1st Marine Division during the Battle of Guadalcanal. At the beginning of the Korean War, the 1st Marine Airwing was part of the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade. Their job was to provide close air support, resupply, and Medevac for Marine ground forces. The 1st MAW served in Vietnam from April 1962 through April 1975. While early missions involved Marine helicopters providing logistical support for South Vietnam, this role quickly expanded when 1st MAW pilots and crewmen were called upon to perform their traditional role of providing close air support for Marine combat units as American involvement in the war escalated.