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339th Fighter Group

Aircraft:P-51
Group Emblem:
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Wing:66th Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:3rd Bombardment Division
Airfield(s)
Squadrons:503th Fighter Squadron
504th Fighter Squadron
505th Fighter Squadron
Tail Marking:
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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.

    Commanders:
  • 2d Lt Harold Garret, c. 18 Aug 1942
  • Lt Col Marvin S Zipp, Feb 1943
  • Maj Harry L Galusha, 19 Feb 1943
  • Col John B Henry Jr, Aug 1943
  • Lt Col Harold W Scruggs, c. 1 Oct 1944
  • Lt Col Carl T Goldenberg, 24 Dec 1944
  • Col John B Henry Jr, 29 Dec 1944
  • Lt Col William C Clark, 14 Apr 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: