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|Wing:||67th Combat Bombardment Wing|
|Division:||1st Bombardment Division|
|Squadrons:||55th Fighter Squadron|
77th Fighter Squadron
79th Fighter Squadron
|Details:||Equipped successively with P-12, P-16, and P-36 aircraft prior to World War II; used P-39's and P-40's during the early part of the war; converted to P-38's in Jan 1943. Trained, participated in maneuvers and tactical exercises, and took part in aerial reviews and demonstrations during the period 1930-1939. Provided personnel for and helped to train new units during 1940-1941. Served as an air defense organization after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Began intensive training late in 1942 for combat duty overseas.
Moved to England in Aug 1943 and became part of Eighth AF. Entered combat with P-38's late in Dec 1943 and for several months was engaged primarily in escorting heavy and medium bombers to targets on the Continent. Frequently strafed targets of opportunity while on escort missions. Retained escort as its primary function until the end of the war, but in Mar 1944 began to fly fighter-bomber missions, which became almost as frequent as escort operations. Strafed and dive-bombed airfields, trains, vehicles, barges, tugs, bridges, flak positions, gun emplacements, barracks, radio stations, and other targets in France, Belgium, and Germany.
Became known as the "Loco Group" because of its numerous and successful attacks on locomotives. Received a DUC for performance on 8 Apr 1944 when the group struck airfields in central Germany and then, after breaking up an attack by enemy interceptors, proceeded to hit railroad equipment, oil facilities, power plants, factories, and other targets. Flew patrols over the Channel during the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944. Supported the invasion force later that month by escorting bombers that struck interdictory targets in France, Belgium, and Holland, and by attacking troops, transportation targets, and airfields.
Converted to P-51's in Jul 1944 and continued to fly escort and fighter-bomber missions as the enemy retreated across France to the Siegfried Line. Participated in the airborne attack on Holland in Sep 1944. Escorted bombers to Germany and struck rail lines, trains, vehicles, barges, power stations, and other targets in and beyond the Siegfried Line during the period Oct-Dec 1944. Took part in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, by escorting bombers to the battle area. Flew patrols to support the airborne attack across the Rhine, Mar 1945. Carried out escort and fighter-bomber missions as enemy resistance collapsed in Apr 1945. 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:|