VB1 was flying SBDs at NAS Kaneohe when its first SB2C-1s were received in January 1944. Transition to the new aircraft continued into March, with a further upgrade to newer SB2C-1Cs soon following. The squadron then had two months to hone its skills before embarking on Yorktown at the end of May and sailing for the forward base at Majuro.

During June and July 1944 VB1 was almost wholly engaged in supporting the invasion of the Marianas. Apart from a few strikes on Pagan and Rota, it concentrated on Guam and so the Orote and Agana areas of that island soon became familiar targets to the crews. On two days in June and one in July, however, it hit Iwo Jima and Chichi Jima in the Bonins. VB1 also participated in the dusk attack against the Japanese Fleet on 20 June. Thirteen Helldivers dove on the carrier Zuikaku, helping to wreck its flight deck, and although eight of these were forced to ditch on the way home owing to fuel exhaustion, no pilots or rearseatmen were lost. After Guam was invaded on 21 July Yorktown's Task Group sailed west to the Caroline Islands where three days of attacks on Yap completed the carrier's, and Air Group 1's, first combat cruise. They arrived at the Bremerton Navy Yard on 17 August.

VB1 reformed at Alameda in October 1944 and started training for its next combat cruise. November and December were spent at NAAS Fallon, then it was back to Alameda until March 1945. At the beginning of that month the Air Group moved west to Kaneohe and continued training there with SB2C-4s until mid-May. Ferried by CVE, VB1's next destination was its first cruise target airfield at Agana on Guam, where it spent two weeks in June before finally arriving at Leyte Gulf on the 16th and relieving VB82 aboard Bennington.

On 1 July, as part of Task Force 38, Bennington sailed for the Japanese home islands. Initial strikes were flown against airfields around Tokyo, then it was north to Hokkaido and attacks on transportation targets. After this, four days were spent in bombing remnants of the Japanese Fleet at Yokosuka and Kure. The month closed with more airfield attacks, this time in the Nagoya area. After a pause for replenishment and weather avoidance, the offensive resumed on August 9 and 10 against northern Honshu. VB1 bombed Matsushima airfield and shipping at Shiogama and in Onagawa Wan. Coming south once more, the squadron's final strike of the war took place on the 13th when 14 SB2Cs hit the Shibaura Electric plant in Tokyo.

Following the end of hostilities Bennington spent several weeks off Japan before departing for Saipan, which she reached on 24 September. Here Air Group 1 was relieved by Air Group 8. Squadron personnel arrived back at Alameda on 22 October and three days later VB1 was decommissioned.

LtCdr. J.W. Runyan to August 1944
Lt. H.W. Liffner (acting) 1 October to 6 October 1944
LtCdr. A.B. Hamm 6 October 1944 to 28 July 1945 (MIA)
Lt. Mc.D. Tyre28 July to 25 October 1945


Marianas Invasion
Chichi Jima
Iwo Jima
Battle of the Philippine Sea
Japanese Home Islands (1945)


29 February 1944Ens. F.E. Schultz
19 June 1944Lt. S.W. Roberts/ARM1c W.O. Warmoth  (C---AA Guam)
19 June 1944Ens. J.T. Delmore/ARM3c L.F. Flanagan  (C---AA Guam)
4 July 1944Lt W.K. Wright/ARM2c F.E. Pryor  (C---AA Chichi Jima)
4 July 1944Ens. O.M. Hintz/ARM2c L.R. Woellhof (C---AA Chichi Jima; Woellhof captured and executed)
4 July 1944Ens. J. Drysdale/ARM3c B.W. Dalton (C---AA Chichi Jima)
16 July 1944Lt.(jg) P.N. Mullen/ARM2c N.J. Boutos
17 July 1944Lt.(jg) O.W. Diem/ARM2c J.D. Stevens (C---AA Guam)
18 July 1944Ens. J.O. McCall/ARM2c F.G. Metzenbauer (C---AA Guam)
27 July 1944ARM2c C.L. Wright  (C---AA Yap;pilot Lt(jg). J.K. Beling bailed out,rescued)
5 February 1945Lt.(jg) G. Damaskos
29 June 1945ARM3c F.B. Spence (Ens. A.C. Davis,pilot, rescued)
18 July 1945Ens. R.E. Christ/ARM3c J.T. Pollok  (C---AA Yokosuka)
24 July 1945Ens. W. Troyan/ARM3c R.W. Richards  (C---AA Kure)
28 July 1945LtCdr. A.B. Hamm/ACRM G.F. Rumrill  (C---AA Kure; Rumrill bailed out, POW)

USN/MC Squadrons