The Death Angels of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-235 (VMFA-235) were activated at Marine Corps Air Station EI Centro, California, on 1 January 1943 as Marine Scout Bombing Squadron (VMSB)-235, equipped with SBD-5 Dauntless dive-bombers. Known as the Flying Wolves, VMSB-235 entered combat in September 1943, operating from Guadalcanal and Bougainville. The squadron flew missions against Japanese targets on Bougainville and the Bismarck Archipelago. Withdrawn from combat in September 1944, VMSB-235 was deactivated on 10 November 1944.
Reactivated in 1946 as Reserve Marine Fighting Squadron (VMF)-235, the Death Angels were called to active duty on 18 September 1950, stationed at Miramar with F4U-4 Corsair fighters, and redesignated a Marine Fighter Squadron (VMF) in April 1951. In 1952, the squadron traded its Corsairs for F9F-2 Panther jet fighters, upgrading to the FJ-2 Fury in 1954. Posted to NAS Atsugi, Japan, that year, VMF-235 flew the FJ-3M and FJ-4. After a transfer to MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, in 1957, VMF-235 moved to MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina, to transition to the supersonic FSU-1 Crusader.
The Death Angels upgraded to the FSU-2N (F-8D) version in February 1962, and the squadron was redesignated VMF(A W)-235, a Marine All-Weather Fighter Squadron. The squadron upgraded to the F–8E in 1964.
VMF(AW)-235 made two deployments to Da Nang, South Vietnam. Most of the squadron's missions involved close air support of Marine ground units; it lost nine F-8Es to enemy action during the war deployments, and three pilots were killed and one was taken prisoner.
The Marine Corps' last F-8 squadron was redesignated VMFA-235 on 6 September 1965, flying the F-4J Phantom II fighter. The squadron sent crewmen and aircraft to augment VMFA-212 during that squadron's 1972 emergency deployment to Nam Phong, Thailand.
From 1977 until 1996, VMFA-235 rotated with other squadrons in six-month deployments to Japan. The squadron upgraded to the F-4S in November 1981, and switched to the F/A-18CHornet in August 19S9. During the Gulf War, the Death Angels flew more than SOO sorties, losing no aircraft to enemy action.
VMFA-235 moved to MCAS El Toro, California, in August 1994, and then to NAS Miramar in 1996. On 30 June 1996, VMFA-235 was officially deactivated, the third of four Marine Corps F/A-18Csquadrons to be deactivated as part of the post-Cold War drawdown.