South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command

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South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command
MAG-25 WWII Logo.jpg
SCAT insignia
Active August 1942 – February 1945
Country United States
Type Transport
Role Assault support
Part of AirSols, ComAirSoPac, South Pacific Area
Nickname(s) SCAT
Flying Boxcars
Engagements World War II
* Battle of Guadalcanal
* Battle of New Georgia

South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command (SCAT) was a joint command of US military logistics units in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II. It contributed notably to the success of U.S. forces in the battles for Guadalcanal (1942–1943) and New Georgia (1943).[1] It reported to AirSols, then to Commander, Air, South Pacific, part of the South Pacific Area.


The operations of SCAT started as a response to developments in Guadalcanal, with the initial deployment of Marine Aircraft Group 25[2] in August 1942, comprising the United States Marine Corps transport squadron VMJ-253.[3] The composite transport group was then formally organized in November 1942. Other units in SCAT were VMR-152 and VMR-153; and the 13th Troop Carrier Squadron of the United States Army Air Forces. SCAT was dissolved in February 1945.

The nickname "Flying Boxcars" was widely used for the Douglas R4D aircraft flown by Marine Corps units in SCAT, predating its attachment to the post-war Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar aircraft.

VMJ-152 received a Presidential Unit Citation for executing the longest over-water flight in a two engine aircraft for their initial flight to Guadalcanal from Camp Kearney Mesa (now Miramar Naval Air Station)in 1942. They arrived in September, carrying General Geiger and his staff with them.


SCAT personnel who later became notable include:

See also



  1. ^ Sherrod History of Marine Aviation in WWII, p. 152.
  2. ^ Marine Air Group 25, accessed at [1] 2 August 2006
  3. ^ Jack McKillop, R4D, Douglas "Gooneybird" (section on Operational History) on Brown-Shoe Navy: U.S. Naval Aviation website accessed at [2] 2 August 2006
  4. ^ Hove, Duane T. American Warriors: Five Presidents in the Pacific Theater of WWII, Burd Street Press, 2003 ISBN 1-57249-307-0; summary accessed at [3] 2 August 2006
  5. ^ David Douglas Duncan Archive, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin, accessed at [4] 2 August 2006: includes a photo of Duncan taken by Richard Nixon


  • Sherrod, Robert. (1952). History of Marine Corps Aviation in World War II. Combat Forces Press. ISBN 0-933852-58-4.

Further reading

  • Capt. Robert Joseph Allen and 1st Lt. Otis Carney, The Story of SCAT: Part I and The Story of SCAT: Part II, in Air Transport magazine, December 1944 and January 1945, accessed at The DC3 Aviation Museum [5] and [6] 2 August 2006
  • Capt. John M. Rentz, Marines in the Central Solomons (Ch.6, The Role of Aviation: pp. 141–145), USMC Monograph accessed at [7] 2 August 2006
  • Maj.Gen. Norman J. Anderson and Col. William K. Snyder, SCAT, Marine Corps Gazette, September 1992 accessed at [8] 2 August 2006
  • Seth P. Washburne, The Thirsty 13th, [9]
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