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|Wing:||66th Combat Bombardment Wing|
|Division:||3rd Bombardment Division|
|Squadrons:||503th Fighter Squadron|
504th Fighter Squadron
505th Fighter Squadron
|Details:||Equipped with A-24's and A-25's; converted to P-39's in Jul 1943. Redesignated 339th Fighter-Bomber Group in Aug 1943. Trained and participated in maneuvers.
Moved to England, Mar-Apr 1944. Assigned to Eighth AF and equipped with P-51's. Began operations with a fighter sweep on 30 Apr. Redesignated 339th Fighter Group in May 1944. Engaged primarily in escort duties during its first five weeks of operations, and afterwards flew many escort missions to cover the operations of medium and heavy bombers that struck strategic objectives, interdicted the enemy's communications, or supported operations on the ground. Frequently strafed airdromes and other targets of opportunity while on escort missions.
Received a DUC for operations on 10 and 11 Sep 1944. On the first of those days, when it escorted bombers to a target in Germany and then attacked an airdrome near Erding, the group destroyed or damaged many enemy planes despite the intense fire it encountered from antiaircraft guns and small arms. The following day the bomber formation being escorted to Munich was attacked by enemy fighters, but members of the 339th group destroyed a number of the interceptors and drove off the others; at the same time, other members of the 339th were attacking an airdrome near Karlsruhe, where they encountered heavy fire but were able to destroy or damage many of the aircraft parked on the field.
The group provided fighter cover over the Channel and the coast of Normandy during the invasion of France in Jun 1944. Strafed and dive-bombed vehicles, locomotives, marshalling yards, antiaircraft batteries, and troops while Allied forces fought to break out of the beachhead in France. Attacked transportation targets as Allied armies drove across France after the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul. Flew area patrols during the airborne attack on Holland in Sep. Escorted bombers to, and flew patrols over the battle area during the German counterattack in the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Provided area patrols during the assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Among all these varied activities, the outstanding feature of this group's combat record is the large number of enemy aircraft it destroyed in the air or on the ground during its one year of operations. Returned to the US in Oct. Inactivated on 18 Oct 1945.
Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Maurer, Maurer: USAF, 1986
|Accident Reports:||Number of Non-Combat-Related Accident reports for this group:|