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HISTORY - LINEAGE
The following is the latest lineage as provided by the USMC Historical Center:

Lineage of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251 (VMFA-251)

1941 - 1945
Activated 1 December 1941 at San Diego, California, as marine observation squadron 251 and assigned to marine aircraft group 21, 2d marine aircraft wing, fleet marine force.
Detached during April 1942 from Marine Aircraft Group 21. Deployed during June 1942 to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides. Reassigned during August 1942 to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. Participated in the following world war ii campaigns:

Guadalcanal
Southern Solomons
Northern Solomons
Santa Crux
Luzon
Southern Philippines

Relocated during May - July 1943 to Mojave, California, and reassigned to Marine Base Defense Aircraft Group 44. Relocated during November 1943 to Camp Pendleton, California, and reassigned to Marine Base Defense Aircraft Group 41, Marine Fleet Air, West Coast. Deployed during February - March 1944 to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, and reassigned to the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. Reassigned during October 1944 to Marine Aircraft Group 14.
Re-designated 1 February 1945 as Marine Fighting Squadron 251. Deactivated 1 June 1945 at Samar, Philippine Islands.

1946 - 1956
Reactivated 1 July 1946 at Grosse Isle, Michigan, as Marine Fighting Squadron 251, USMCR. Re-designated 1 December 1946 as Marine Fighter Squadron 251. Recalled to active duty 1 March 1951. Relocated during April 1951 to El Toro, California, and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 13, Air, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Re-designated 26 April 1951 as Marine Attack Squadron 251. Reassigned during January 1952 to Marine Aircraft Group 15. Deployed during June 1953 to Pyongtaek, Korea, and reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force. Participated in the Korean war, July 1953, operating from western front.
Participated in the occupation of the Korean demilitarized zone, July 1953 - January 1956.
Redeployed during January 1956 to Iwakuni, Japan.

1957 - 1964
Relocated during April 1957 to Miami, Florida, and reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 31, Air, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic.
Re-designated 20 April 1957 as Marine fighter squadron 251. Relocated during April 1958 to El Toro, California, and reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 33, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing.
Deployed during October 1959 to Atsugi, Japan, and reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 11, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Air, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific. Relocated during January 1961 to Beaufort, South Carolina, and reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 32, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Air, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. Deployed during August - October 1961 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Re-designated 1 November 1964 as Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251.

1971 - Present
Reassigned during March 1971 to Marine Aircraft Group 31. Participated in the unit deployment program between the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, Iwakuni, Japan, and the 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, Beaufort, South Carolina, during the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s. Participated in operations in Bosnia-Herzegovnia, January-April 1994, September-October 1995, December 1995 and January 1996. Participated in Operation Southern Watch, Iraq, November-December 1995, November 1997 - April 1998 and November 1999 - February 2000. Participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan,  October 2001 - March 2002.