Capt. Alexis Louise McCabe

Pilot : F/A-18 Hornet. Second female Hornet pilot in the Marine Corps and the first in a single-seat squadron (VMFA-312, MCAS Beaufort, SC)

mccabe_vt7_200.jpg F/A-18 Hornet hits 5 million flight hours

By Michael Kerr, Tue, Dec 17, 2002, Beaufort Gazette staff writer

Capt. Alexis McCabe was in the middle of a dogfight Thursday afternoon when her aircraft reached a milestone.

McCabe was one of three Beaufort Marines in the air last Thursday when the Hornet reached 5 million flight hours

The F/A-18 Hornet, which has been flown by the Marine Corps since 1983, has logged more than 5 million hours of flight time.

McCabe, who was training one-on-one with Capt. Oscar Alvarez, a fellow pilot from the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 "Checkerboards" stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, said she wasn't aware of the historic significance of the flight until she touched down.

"It's great to be a part of this accomplishment," McCabe said. "I feel honored to be a part of this milestone, but even more honored to be flying in defense of my country." ...more

mccabe_1_200.jpg Capt. Alexis McCabe of the Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 312 "Checkerboards" stands next to an F/A-18 Hornet at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

McCabe was one of three Beaufort Marines in the air on Thursday Dec 12, 2002, when the F/A-18 Hornet reached 5 million flight hours

McCabe is a 1994 graduate of the University of Northern Colorado where she received a B.A in Sociology and became carrier qualified Dec. 8, 2000 in the Boeing T-45C Goshawk on board USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69).

vmfa-312_200.jpg Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-312

Marine Fighter Squadron 312 (VMF-312) was commissioned on 1 June 1943 at Page Field, Parris Island, South Carolina. Commanded by Major Richard M. Day, the squadron began flight operations with 10 North American SNJ-4 Texans and one F4U-1D Corsair.

Transitioning within one year to 11 F4U-1D's and one SNJ-4, the squadron began combat training due to the urgency of the war effort. Departing Parris Island on 2 January 1944, the squadron prepared to begin combat operations in the Pacific theater.

Embarked upon USS Hornet (CV-12), the squadron was initially assigned to defend the Hawaiian Islands under the operational control of the Hawaiian Sea Frontier Command. Reassigned to Marine Aircraft Group 11 on 25 June 1944, the squadron was transported to Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, where they received 24 Goodyear FG-1 Corsairs. With newly installed 3.5 and 5 inch rocket launchers, the squadron prepared for its first combat action from the recently captured Kadena airstrip.

VMF-312's first taste of blood occurred on 12 April 1945, when four squadron aircraft intercepted 20 Japanese Zero's and achieved eight kills without loss. VMF-312 continued to operate from Kadena Air Base until the cessation of hostilities. By war's end the squadron had accounted for 60 and one half air combat kills in the Pacific Theater. ...more


F/A-18 Hornets from VFMA 312

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