VMTB-131 was the first Marine Torpedo Squadron. When we originally left and went to Hawaii for six weeks before proceeding westward we were a Scout Bombing Squadron. VMSB-131, and while we had been flying SB2U'3, prior to leaving NAS, North Island Naval Air Station at San Diego, when we arrived in Hawaii we were given SBD's for a couple of weeks and then assigned the TBF's. The Bureau of Naval Air did not actually change our designation a Torpedo Squadron until June of 43 when we returned stateside.
I was on and off Guadalcanal from mid November 1942 until May 1943. Our camp area was just off of Henderson Field on the east side of the air strip. Aftrerwards, we returned to the states to form two additional Marine Torpedo Squadrons from what remained of VMTB-131. I was initially in the Ordnance Section and then after went into the Engineering section of the squadron.
While I was not a member of an aircraft combat group, I never had the pleasure and I am sure privilege of visiting Australia. I have a favorite story to tell, a friend of mine Captain Arthur Manthey, a pilot went to Sydney for R&R, he was staying at one of the large hotels, met an Australian Lassie, who's Father was a Retired Australian Officer. They had gone to lunch, all three of them and when they were returning to their assigned rooms, this as he described her beautiful Blondw haired young lady, looked at him and said, " Arthur I am knocked up", well he was flabbergasted, as the meaning of this expression as used in the States was much different from what it meant in Australia. As soon as she saw the expression on his face, she quickly stated that it meant she was extremely tired and ready for an afternoon nap. Unfortunately Captain Manthey was lost at sea, during a violent storm, along with his crew and the crew from three or four other TBF's the squadron's largest single days loss 7 months of service there.