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359th Fighter Group

Aircraft:P-47; P-51
Group Emblem:
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Wing:67th Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:1st Bombardment Division
Squadrons:368th Fighter Squadron
369th Fighter Squadron
370th Fighter Squadron
Tail Marking:
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Details:Apparently not manned until Mar 1943. Moved to England in Oct 1943 and became part of Eighth AF.

Entered combat in mid-Dec, after some of the pilots had already flown combat missions with another fighter group. Began operations with P-47's; converted to P-51's in Apr 1944. In combat, Dec 1943-May 1945, flew escort, patrol, strafing, dive-bombing, and weather-reconnaissance missions.

At first, engaged primarily in escort activities to cover bombers that attacked airfields in France. Expanded area of operations in May 1944 to provide escort for bombers that struck rail centers in Germany and oil targets in Poland. Supported the invasion of Normandy (Jun 1944), patrolling the English Channel, escorting bombardment formations to the French coast, and dive-bombing and strafing bridges, locomotives, and rail lines near the battle area. During the period Jul 1944-Feb 1945, engaged chiefly in escorting bombers to oil refineries, marshalling yards, and other targets in such cities as Ludwigshafen, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Berlin, Merseburg, and Brux.

Received a DUC for operations over Germany on 11 Sep 1944 when the group protected a formation of heavy bombers against large numbers of enemy fighters. In addition to its escort duties, the group supported campaigns in France during Jul and Aug 1944, bombed enemy positions to support the airborne invasion of Holland in Sep, and participated in the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944-Jan 1945). Flew missions to support the assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945, and escorted medium bombers that attacked various communications targets, Feb-Apr 1945. Returned to the US in Nov 1945. Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945.

  • Col Avelin P Tacon Jr, Jan 1943
  • Col John P Randolph, 12 Nov 1944
  • Lt Col Donald A Baccus, 8 Apr 1945
  • Lt Col Daniel D McKee, c. 16 Sep 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: