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358th Fighter Group

Aircraft:P-47
Group Emblem:
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Wing:66th Fighter Wing
Division:VIII Fighter Command
Airfield(s)
Squadrons:365th Fighter Squadron
366th Fighter Squadron
367th Fighter Squadron
Tail Marking:
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Details:Trained with P-47's. Moved to England during Sep-Oct 1943.

Began operations on 20 Dec 1943 and served in combat with Eighth and, later, Ninth AF until V-E Day. Engaged in escort work until Apr 1944 to cover the operations of bombers that the AAF sent against targets on the Continent. Dive-bombed marshalling yards and airfields during Apr to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy. Continued attacks on enemy communications and flew escort missions during May. Escorted troop carriers over the Cotentin Peninsula on 6 and 7 Jun, and attacked bridges, rail lines and trains, vehicles, and troop concentrations during the remainder of the month. Moved to the Continent in Jul and took part in operations that resulted in the Allied breakthrough at St Lo. Continued to fly escort, interdictory, and close-support missions during the allied drive across France and into Germany, earning four citations before the end of the war.

Received first DUC for operations from 24 Dec 1944 to 2 Jan 1945 when the group not only supported Seventh Army by attacking rail lines and rolling stock, vehicles, buildings, and artillery, but also destroyed numerous fighter planes during a major assault by the German Air Force against Allied airfields.

Received second DUC for 19-20 Mar 1945, a period in which the 358th destroyed and damaged large numbers of motor transports and thus hampered the evacuation of German forces that were withdrawing from the area west of the Rhine.

Received third DUC for performance between 8 and 25 Apr 1945 when the group attacked enemy airfields in the region of Munich and Ingolstadt, engaged the enemy in aerial combat, and supported advancing ground forces by attacking such targets as motor transports, tanks, locomotives, guns, and buildings.

Received fourth citation, the French Croix de Guerre with Palm, for assisting in the liberation of France. Returned to the US in Jul 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.

    Commanders:
  • Col Cecil L Wells, 1 Jan 1943
  • Col James B Tipton, 20 Sep 1944
  • Lt Col John M Thacker, 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: