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479th Fighter Group

Aircraft:P-38; P-51
Group Emblem:
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Wing:65th Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:2nd Bombardment Division
Airfield(s)
Squadrons:434th Fighter Squadron
435th Fighter Squadron
436th Fighter Squadron
Tail Marking:
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Details:Equipped with P-38's. Trained for combat and served as an air defense organization. Moved to England, Apr-May 1944, and assigned to Eighth AF. From May 1944 to Apr 1945, escorted heavy bombers during operations against targets on the Continent, strafed targets of opportunity, and flew fighter-bomber, counter-air, and area-patrol missions.

Engaged primarily in escort activities and fighter sweeps until the Normandy invasion in June 1944. Patrolled the beachhead during the invasion. Strafed and dive-bombed troops, bridges, locomotives, railway cars, barges, vehicles, airfields, gun emplacements, flak towers, ammunition dumps, power stations, and radar sites while on escort or fighter-bomber missions as the Allies drove across France during the summer and fall of 1944; flew area patrols to support the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul and the airborne attack on Holland in Sep.

Received a DUC for the destruction of numerous aircraft on airfields in France on 18 Aug and 5 Sep and during aerial battle near Munster on 26 Sep. Continued escort and fighter-bomber activities from Oct to mid-Dec 1944, converting to P-51's during this period. Participated in the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944-Jan 1945) by escorting bombers to and from targets in the battle area and by strafing transportation targets while on escort duty. Flew escort missions from Feb to Apr 1945, but also provided area patrols to support the airborne attack across the Rhine in Mar. Returned to the US in Nov 1945. Inactivated on Dec 1945.

    Commanders:
  • Lt Col Leo F Dusard Jr, c. 28 Oct 1943
  • Maj Francis Pope, c. 14 Nov 1943
  • Lt Col Kyle L Riddle, c. 16 Dec 1943
  • Col Hubert Zemke, 12 Aug 1944
  • Col Kyle L Riddle, 1 Nov 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: