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52nd Fighter Group

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Details:Trained with P-39 and P-40 aircraft, and participated in maneuvers. Moved to the British Isles, the air echelon arriving in Jul 1942 and the ground echelon in Aug. Received Spitfire aircraft and, as part of Eighth AF, flew missions from England to France during Aug and Sep.

The pilots of the group flew Spitfires from Gibraltar to Algeria during the invasion of North Africa on 8 Nov 1942; the remainder of the group, moving by ship from England, arrived after the campaign for Algeria-French Morocco had ended. Assigned first to Twelfth AF and later (after May 1944) to Fifteenth, the group served in combat in the Mediterranean theater until the end of the war. Flew escort, patrol, strafing, and reconnaissance missions to help defeat Axis forces in Tunisia. Took part in the conquest of Sicily. Attacked railroads, highways, bridges, coastal shipping, and other targets to support Allied operations in Italy. Converted to P-51's during Apr-May 1944 and afterwards engaged primarily in escorting bombers that attacked objectives in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, and Yugoslavia. Received a DUC for a mission of 9 Jun 1944 when the group protected bombers that struck aircraft factories, communications centers, and supply lines in Germany.

In addition to escorting bombers of Fifteenth AF, the group made strafing attacks on important targets in Italy, France, central Europe, and the Balkans. Received second DUC for a strafing raid in which the group destroyed a great number of fighter and transport planes on a landing ground in Rumania on 31 Aug 1944. Returned to the US in Aug 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.

  • Maj Earl W Barnes, 16 Jan 1941
  • Lt Col Robert L Schoenlein, 15 May 1941
  • Col Dixon M Allison, 27 Feb 1942
  • Lt Col Graham W West, 1 Mar 1943
  • Lt Col James S Coward, 24 Jun 1943
  • Lt Col Richard A Ames, 1 Sep 1943
  • Col Marvin L McNickle, 6 Sep 1943
  • Lt Col Robert Levine, 25 Feb 1944
  • Col Marion Malcolm, 27 Aug 1944-1945

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

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