Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 341 (VMSB-341) was commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina, on 1 February 1943 as the senior squadron of Marine Aircraft Group 34 (MAG-34), a component of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing (3d MAW).  Captain William E. Classen, USMCR, recently returned  from Midway was the first commanding officer.  On 1 March 1943 the squadron was transferred to the newly opened outlying Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Field Atlantic, North Carolina.  Administratively the squadron was transferred on I August to MAG-31 at Cherry Point,  but remained operational at Atlantic Field until its departure overseas on I September 1943.

 The squadron was detached-from the 3d MAW, FMF, on 1 September and the ground echelon with all squadron material departed Newbern by train and arrived at Marine Corps Air Depot (MCAD) Miramar, San Diego, California where it became a component of Marine Fleet Air, West Coast on 9 September 1943.  The flight echelon, consisting of pilots and radio gunners flew the squadron aircraft cross country  departing on 1 September and arriving at NAS North Island, San Diego on 5 September.  A detachment of mechanics, ordnancemen and radiomen were sent from Miramar to North Island on 11 September to prepare the SBD's for overseas shipment.  This group then became the air echelon for embarkation purposes. This air echelon embarked on the USS NASSAU (CVE-16) at North Island with the squadron aircraft on 25 September and  sailed that day.  The ground-echelon with the remainder of the squadron material, including motor transport, embarked on the Army Transport USAT Pueblo and departed San Diego on 20 September. 

Upon arriving in the harbor of Pago Pago, Tutuila, American Samoa on 6 September, the USS NASSAU catapulted several of the SBD's off while tied to the jetty.  The remainder were off loaded on the dock and all aircraft and personnel transferred to NAS Tafuna.  The following day, aircraft and personnel were flown to NAS Faleola, Upola, British Samoa.  This red rock field parallel to the lagoon  was to be home for the next two months while the squadron finished its training .and conducted anti-submarine patrols. 

After an extended trip, the ground echelon arrived in the harbor of Apia on 27 October.  All material had to be- unloaded into lighters for transfer to the beach and then trucked to the airfield. 

The squadrons first casualty occurred on 31 October when Second Lieutenant Louis F. Zimmerman, USMCR, and Pfc James P. Madden, USMCR, crashed and were killed on the island of Savaii.  This island is reputed to have been the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson  who lived on Upola at the time he wrote Treasure Island.  He is buried on a hillside overlooking the town of Apia.

All squadron personnel, less pilots and radio gunners, embarked on the USS PRINCE WILLIAM (CVE-31) with all squadron material on 17 December 1943, and sailed from Apia, Upola, Western Samoa the following day bound for the New Hebrides. Arriving in Vila Harbor, Efate, New Hebrides on 23 December,  the squadron disembarked and moved to Bauer Field that day.  This field was named in memory of Medal of Honor winner and Ace Lt. Colonel Harold W. Bauer, C.O. of VMF-312, killed in the Guadalcanal battle.  The flight echelon flew the squadrons SBD's to Bauer Field from Faleola Field, Upola, via Wallis and Nandi, departing on 18 December and arriving on 21 December. 

On 22 December, the squadron was transferred to MAG-21, 2d MAW. The squadron was organized to include its own ground defense unit which was equipped with cal..50 and cal.. 30 water cooled machine guns and Browning Automatic Rifles (BAR).  In order to fully utilize these men, the majority were now as-signed to the ordnance section to augment the bomb handling and loading crew.  As time progressed this became their primary duty although the weapons were carried as part of the T.O.  equipment all the way to Zamboanga, Philippine Islands.

On 31 December, the flight echelon was transferred to Munda, New Georgia, where it joined MAG-14 and the Strike Command.  From the time the squadron was split at Efate, it existed as two units:  the flight echelon composed of the pilots and radio gunners and  the ground echelon composed of all other enlisted men and the Aviation Ground Officers.  This splitting of tactical squadrons was standard policy in Marine Corps aviation.  When the flight personnel had completed a prescribed tour  in the combat zone, they were sent to the rear for a rest period.  However, the ground component remained in position operating the squadron aircraft which were flown by flight crews from another squadron.  The rest period - 3 -  for the ground crew came as the war passed them by and before they moved north again.

VMSB-341's baptism of fire came on I January 1944, when the squadron participated in a strike against a bridge on the Puriata River, Bougainville.  By staging through Torokina Fighter Strip on Bougainville, VMSB-341 participated in the first land-based bomber attack against the Japanese stronghold of Rabaul on 9 January, let by Major James T. McDaniels, USMC, of VMSB-236.  Major McDaniels later became the C. O. of VMSB-341. 

Less than a week later, on 14 January, the squadron shared in the first large-scale strike on Rabaul shipping by land-based bombers.  On that day, considerable damage was inflicted on enemy shipping (although not confirmed by JANAC) and the following commendations were received for the destruction wrought. ComAirSols:  "The outstanding achievements on yesterday's strike on Rabaul are most gratifying.  It is with extreme pride that I extend to you a highly merited well-done.  Mitchell." ComThirdFleet: "The SoPac crew Is again cheering your hard-driving boys for the way they keep pouring It on.  Your deliveries at Rabaul are more regular than the Uncle Sugar Hall and equally good for moral.  Best wishes for continued good hunting". CIncPac:  "Hearty congratulations to all concerned on the damage Inflicted on ships and aircraft In Simpson Harbor Strike.  Admiral Nimitz"

One of the two SBD's lost in that outstanding strike belonged to VMSB-341.  Both pilot. First Lieutenant Harold R. Tuck, USMCR, and his radio gunner, Private First Class Paul F. McCleaf, USMCR, spun in and were lost when anti-aircraft fire clipped  ff the tail of their aircraft.  During this raid a Mitsubishi A6M Zero was shot down by Private First Class Martin A. Houlroyd and two additional Zeros were claimed by Sergeant Sheplor and Corporal Skowronski of VMSB-236, who were flying in VMSB-341 aircraft.

On 17 January, VMSB-341 exceeded the exploits of the fourteenth, since the tour transports claimed sunk on the latter date were confirmed, whereas the five it claimed a share in sinking previously were not.  The following commendations from Admiral Halsey (ComThirdFIt) and Major General Ralph J. Mitchell, USMC, (ComAirSols) were received: ComThirdFIt:  "A large platter of disintegrated and sinking AK makes a very fine breakfast dish.  Loud Cheers from the boys again for another magnificent job." ComAirSols: "Your blasting of Rabaul shipping on 17th has well-merited applause of this entire command.  Well done.  Mitchell."   Unfortunately, so were the casualties.  An SBD piloted by First Lieutenant Robert E. Bishop, USMCR, and radio gunner Private First Class Richard L. Parrow, USMCR, failed to return.  Before the end of January, First Lieutenant Howard M. Conley, USMCR, and his radio gunner Private First Class Jack B. Thommann, USMCR, were shot down over Lakunai, one of the Rabaul airfields. 

Strikes continued against Rabaul targets until 9 February 1944, when the squadron flight echelon was relieved and sent to Sidney, Australia, on rest leave.  Following a brief rest, they returned to Efate, New Hebrides. The ground echelon embarked on the USS ALNITA (AK-127)  -  5  -  at Vila Harbor 3 March, and sailed the following day.  Several days were spent at Empress of Augusta Bay, Bougainville as reserves in the landing operation there. 

Green Island was reached on 20 March, and off-loading while underway commenced three miles at sea.  Camp and operating facilities were readied in preparation for the arrival of the flight echelon on 6 April.  The squadron was transferred from MAG-21, 2d MAW to MAG-13, 1st MAW effective 16 March 1944. Flight operations were conducted primarily against targets in the New Ireland and New Britain area.  During this period shuttle flights were conducted against Rabaul and Kavieng.  The flight would start at Green Island, bombing Rabaul and proceeding to Emirau, St. Matthias, where they would be rearmed.  The return flight would be to Kavieng  and return home empty to Green Island.

VMSB-341 suffered its first casualties of the third combat tour on 2 May.  On a mission to Tobera Field, Rabaul, two SBD's with crews were lost to anti-aircraft fire.  Captain Walter L. Jordan, USMCR, and Staff Sergeant Van Cicero Swearingen, USMCR, crashed in flames on the runway.  First Lieutenant William K. Harkins USMCR, and Sergeant Robert W. Anderson, USMCR, his radio gunner, made a forced landing in the water a mile off Birara, New Britain, and were not recovered. Once again the squadron designation was changed, when on 7 May 1944 it was transferred from MAG-14 to MAG-12, 1st MAW. However, they were returned to MAG-14 prior to the end of the month. 

After the early morning strike was launched on 9 May, - 6 -  the squadron was informed that they had to leave that day.  After much work, the squadron did embark on the USS MINTAKA (AK-94) that afternoon, having struck camp, packed all equipment and rearmed the aircraft for the following days strike.  The following morning, the ship sailed and arrived and disembarked all personnel and equipment at Emiru on 12 May.  The flight echelon was relieved by VMSB-244 flight echelon and after a short health and recreation trip to Sidney, Australia, returned to Emirau via Efate. 

On 22 June, the South Pacific Air Trans-port Command (SCAT) aircraft commenced airlifting them, and two days later, the squadron was together again. 

Because of intensive anti-aircraft fire over Kavieng, which caused a minimum altitude restriction being imposed, which was higher than the normal push-over altitude of the SBD's, the squadron was ordered back to Green Island. The ground echelon and equipment embarked on the USAT Sacajawea and sailed from Emirau on 26 June, arriving and disembarking once again at Green Island on 28 June 1944.  They were joined by the flight echelon on I July, and combat operations commenced on 7 July against enemy gun positions in the Vunapope area of New Britain.  Bridges, buildings, huts, gun positions and small surface craft in the New Britain, New Ireland area were the targets for the squadron the remainder of the year. 

On 14 September, the original members of the squadron, pilots and radio gunners, were relieved having completed their tour of overseas duty.  However, the original ground echelon was retained for the pending invasion of Luzon so that the  squadron would not be composed of new replacements at the time of the Invasion.

From the day the SBD first entered service, there had been an attempt to increase its fire power and bomb load.  During VMSB-341's stay at Green Island, several of these ideas were sent to the field for evaluation.  The squadron was one of the first In the area to utilize aircraft rockets - both 3'.'5 and 5"0 AR.  This was a self-taught project from one small brief manual.  The aircraft carried eight rocket rails, similar to those used by the British, which extended about three feet for-ward of the leading edge of the wing.  None of these aircraft were taken to the Philippines.  Kits were also sent for evaluation that were supposed to allow three or four 100 pound General Purpose bombs to be banded together and hung on the wing bomb-racks.  This system never worked satisfactorily  because of the difficulty in fabricating the straps in the field to the length necessary to properly secure the bomb-cluster.  Caliber 50 machine gun packages were also provided which were to be carried on the wing bomb racks.  The lack of any charger system in the pod, making it impossible to "safety" the guns on the deck, made this a very dangerous installation and was not adopted.

In preparation for the forthcoming invasion of Luzon, Philippine Islands, administrative control of VMSB-341 was transferred from MAG-14 to MAG-24, 1st MAW on 5 October 1944. During October, a program for providing close air support for U. S. Army troops was inaugurated and preparations commenced . for departure.  The ground echelon embarked on the SS Julian departed Green Island the following day.  This was a cargo vessel with no troop accommodations.  Shortly after boarding Tokyo Rose Informed the squadron that it would never make it to the Philippines.  After several days the squadron personnel had their doubts too.  Field ranges were set up on deck to feed the troops.  Shower facilities consisted of a length of pipe, with numerous holes drilled in it, secured to the rigging and connected to a fire hose pumping seawater.  Head facilities were equally primitive.  The following month was spent in transit aboard this ship.

VMSB-341 arrived at Hollandia, New Guinea, and alternated between that anchorage and Lae, New Guinea, until departing Hollandia on 8 January 1945.  As a component of the resupply convoy, the squadron arrived at Leyte, Philippine Islands on 16 January 1945 and sailed the following day, arriving at Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippine Islands on 21 January 1945.  Disembarking the following day VMSB-341 proceeded approximately twelve miles inland and helped establish the airfield at Malgalden, Pengasinan Province, as a component of MAGS-DAGUPAN.  In addition to establishing the camp area the squadron participated in the off loading of its material and transportation from the beach to the camp area.

The flight echelon remained at Green Island until 22 January when it flew to Emirau staying until 26 January
, and then, by "island hopping" through Manus, Los Negros, Oui Island and Peleliu Island arrived at Malgalden, where operations were commenced on 30 January 1945.  The first close support mission was flown 12 February, in support of the 1st Cavalry and 11th -9 -  Airborne Divisions in the Wawa - Lobac area during the advance on Manila, and later on the same day, in support of troops in Tarlac Province.  The following day, Second Lieutenant Eiton A.Barnum, USMCR, was hit by anti-aircraft fire and reported missing  but turned up safe after an emergency landing on a friendly airstrip. At some time prior to the Luzon operation the nickname "Torrid Turtles" was adopted by VMSB-341.

On 15 February in anticipation of the move to Zamboanga, the squadron was transferred from MAG-24 to MAG-32. Dock and gun emplacements on historic Corrigidor, buildings at Bagulo, installations at Fort Stolsenburg, then in enemy hands, were the targets in February.  Once again the squadron was divided, when on 21 February, eight pilots and part of the ground echelon were ordered to  San Jose, Mindoro, arriving on 25 February.  The remainder of the pilots, plus 134 enlisted men, and all aircraft, remained at Malgalden to continue operations. The ground echelon at Mindoro embarked on LST 626 at Mingarin Bay on 13 March 1945, and departed for Zamboango, Mindanao on 15 March, arriving and disembarking on 17 March - they proceeded to Moret Airfield the following day.  This field was named for Lt. Colonel Paul Moret, killed in a transport crash at New Caledonia about June 1943.  Colonel Moret had been a fighter and dive bomber pilot and commanded the first Marine Corps Torpedo Bombing Squadron VMSB-131 which served at Henderson Field beginning 12 November 1942.  VMSB-10 131 was not redesignated VMTB-131 until June 1943. 

On 25 March, the remainder of the squadron embarked in Army Air Force C-46's for the flight to Zamboango.  The SBD's were flown to Moret Field the same day reuniting the squadron.  Shortly after becoming established at Moret Field, the original members of the squadron ground echelon were relieved and returned to CONUS. Close support was furnished the guerrillas during April at Malaybalay, and missions were flown in support of U. S.  Army troops at Jolo Island and Malabang. 

In May, Davo targets became the most important objectives. Operations in Kibawe Trail area north of Davo and Saraganin Bay area on the southern tip of Mindanao during the month of July, brought to a close the operations of VMSB-341, with the final strike taking place on 31 July.  The most noteworthy achievement of the Mindanao campaign was, that there were neither combat or operational losses of pilots from March till the final mission.

 During the first half of August, all personnel were standing by for transfer from MAG-32, which was effected on 15 August.  At this time, all personnel who had completed their tour of duty, the Squadron Adjutant and six clerks, who were assigned to accompany the squadron records back to the United States, were attached to Marine Fleet Air, West Coast.  This detail left for the U. S. Naval Receiving Station, Samar, Philippine Islands on 17 August, and departed that facility on board the SS Sea Partridge on 23 August.  Arriving on 9 September 1945, the detail disembarked at Seattle, Washington - II -  and left for Marine Corps Air Depot, Miramar, California where they joined Marine Fleet Air, West Coast (MarFair, West Coast).  VMSB-341 was decommissioned upon arrival of the detail on 13 September 1945, by authority of Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Naval Operations dispatch, date/time group 311836 dated August 1945.