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357th Fighter Group

Aircraft:P-51
Group Emblem:
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Wing:66th Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:3rd Bombardment Division
Airfield(s)
Squadrons:362th Fighter Squadron
363th Fighter Squadron
364th Fighter Squadron
Tail Marking:
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Details:Used P-39's in preparing for duty overseas. Moved to England in Nov 1943 and became part of Eighth AF.

Trained with P-51's and began operations on 11 Feb 1944 by making a fighter sweep over Rouen. Served primarily as an escort organization, providing penetration, target, and withdrawal support for bombers that attacked strategic objectives on the Continent. Participated in the assault against the German Air Force and aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944.

Received a DUC for two escort missions in which heavy opposition was encountered from enemy fighters: on 6 Mar 1944 provided target and withdrawal support during the first attack that heavy bombers of Eighth AF made on Berlin; on 29 Jun 1944 protected bombers that struck targets at Leipzig.

Received second DUC for operations on 14 Jan 1945 when the group, covering bombers on a raid to Derben, broke up an attack by a large force of interceptors and in the ensuing aerial battle destroyed a number of the enemy planes. In addition to escort the group conducted counter-air patrols, made fighter sweeps, and flew strafing and dive-bombing missions in which it attacked airdromes, marshalling yards, locomotives, bridges, barges, tugboats, highways, vehicles, fuel dumps, and other targets. Participated in the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944; the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul; the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; and the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Flew its last mission, an escort operation, on 25 Apr 1945.

Moved to Germany in Jul and assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe for duty with the army of occupation. Inactivated in Germany on 20 Aug 1946.

    Commanders:
  • Lt Col Loring F Stetson Jr, 1 Dec 1942
  • Lt Col Edwin S Chickering, 7 Jul 1943
  • Col Henry R Spicer, 17 Feb 1944
  • Col Donald W Graham, 7 Mar 1944
  • Lt Col John D Landers, 11 Oct 1944
  • Col Irwin H Dregne, 2 Dec 1944

Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Maurer, Maurer: USAF, 1986

Accident Reports:Number of Non-Combat-Related Accident reports for this group: