Riding shotgun with the US Marine Corps’ sole reserve component fighter squadron — VMFA-112 ‘Cowboys’.

A gorgeous shot of a section of ‘Cowboys’ Hornets over the ranges near Twenty nine Palms, California.

IN THE 1970s and 1980s, the US Marine Corps’ aviation component was in the midst of transitioning from third-generation tactical air (TACAIR) platforms such as the A-4 Skyhawk and F-4 Phantom II to newer AV-8B Harrier IIs and F/A-18 Hornets, which are now, in turn, making way for F-35s. As the switch occurred, sufficient surplus A-4s and F-4s became available to equip multiple squadrons in what was then known as the US Marine Corps Reserve. When the old airframes finally timed-out, and with early Hornets being superseded by newer variants on the front line, the reserve squadrons either disestablished, or converted to the F/A-18.

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