Commissioned at Quantico in mid-1941. Four days after Pearl Harbor, the squadron headed for the West Coast. The forward flight echelon touched down at Guadalcanal in late September; all pilots arrived by Oct. 9, 1942. VMF-121 scored 160+ victories in Wildcats (the most of any USMC or Navy squadron) before transitioning to F4U Corsairs in June, 1943. After serving three combat tours in the Solomons, the squadron was re-organized. The new VMF-121 served at Peleliu from Sept. 1944 until the end of the war, including strikes against Yap. VMF-121 was credited with downing 208 Japanese planes.
Capt Joseph Lawson Narr, Ace pilot with 8 confimed kills, was declared Missing In Action on 11 Nov 1942.
Body Not Recovered
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Navy Cross (Posthumously) to Second Lieutenant Joseph Lawson Narr (MCSN: 0-10336), United States Marine Corps Reserve, for extraordinary heroism and distinguished service in the line of his profession while serving as a Pilot in Marine Fighting Squadron ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE (VMF-121), Marine Air Group FOURTEEN (MAG-14), FIRST Marine Aircraft Wing, in aerial combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area during a period of intense enemy activity from 13 October 1942 to 30 October 1942. Pressing home his attacks against the enemy with skill and determination, Second Lieutenant Narr shot down seven Japanese aircraft during this period, thereby contributing to the security of our forces in that area. His cool courage, splendid airmanship and indomitable fighting spirit were an inspiration to all the members of his squadron and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. Action Date: October 13 - 30, 1942