[Michael R. Yunck oral history interview (Part 2 of 2)]

[Michael R. Yunck oral history interview (Part 2 of 2)]
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[Michael R. Yunck oral history interview (Part 2 of 2)]


In this two-part oral history, Michael R. Yunck is interviewed about his military service with the United States Marine Corps. In part two, he describes his final World War II assignment as commander of Marine Fighting Squadron 311 (VMF-311), based out of Okinawa. He then discusses other assignments from his career, including his time with Marine Air Group 33 (MAG-33) in Korea and with the 1st Marine Air Wing in Vietnam. Topics discussed include his service history, his thoughts on military preparedness and the future of aerial warfare, and an assault helicopter mission on December 10, 1965 in which he was wounded by ground fire and ultimately lost his right leg.

The interview is conducted by fellow fighter ace Eugene A. Valencia.




1 sound reel (1 hr., 17 min., 16 sec.) : analog ; 1/4 in



Bibliographic Citation

The American Fighter Aces Association Oral Interviews/The Museum of Flight





Biographical Text

Michael R. Yunck was born on August 19, 1918 in Detroit, Michigan. After attending the University of Michigan and the U.S. Naval Academy, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Aviation Cadet. He completed flight training and earned his naval aviator designation in 1941. Yunck first served with Marine Observation Squadron 251 (VMO-251) in Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands), where the squadron transitioned from its initial observation role to flying fighter missions. In November 1942, he was shot down near Santa Isabel Island and spent several weeks with a coast-watcher before making his way back to base. He then joined Marine Fighting Squadron 112 (VMF-112), as most of VMO-251 had been rotated home during his absence. In 1945, Yunck took command of Marine Fighting Squadron 311 (VMF-311), flying missions out of Okinawa (Japan).

After the end of World War II, Yunck served as a test pilot at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (Maryland) and with Air Development Squadron 5 (VX-5) at Moffett Field (California). He also served as logistics officer of Marine Air Group 33 (MAG-33) during the final months of the Korean War and as operations officer of the 1st Marine Air Wing during the Vietnam War. On December 10, 1965, while flying copilot during a helicopter mission, Yunck was critically wounded by ground fire, which resulted in the amputation of his right leg. He retired as a colonel and passed away in 1984.


This recording is presented in its original, unedited form. Please note that some interviews in this collection may contain adult language, racial slurs, and/or graphic descriptions of wartime violence.