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339th Fighter Group
339thFG-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 339th Fighter Group
Active 1942-1945
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Force
North American P-51 Mustangs of the 505th Fighter squadron. All are P-51D's with the exception of 42-10657 (2nd from front) which is a P-51B. Serials visible are 44-72437 (front), 42-10657, 44-11427 and 44-11215 (top)

The 339th Fighter Group is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the 66th Fighter Wing, being stationed at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. It was inactivated on 18 October 1945.

During World War II the group was an Eighth Air Force fighter unit stationed in England assigned to RAF Fowlmere. It had the highest claims of air and ground enemy aircraft victories in one year, and was the only group to claim over a hundred ground strafing victories on two occasions - 105 on 4 April 1945 and 118 on 16 April 1945.

Contents

History

For additional lineage and history, see 107th Fighter Group
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Lineage

  • Constituted as 339th Bombardment Group (Dive) on 3 Aug 1942
Activated on 10 Aug 1942
Redesignated 339th Fighter Group in May 1944
Inactivated on 18 Oct 1945
  • Redesignated 107th Fighter Group and Allotted to ANG (New York) on 24 May 1946

Assignments

Attached to: 3d Bombardment (later Air) Division 15 Sep 1944-Oct 1945

Components

  • 503rd Fighter Squadron (D7) 10 Aug 1942-18 Oct 1945 (Was 482d Bombardment Squadron, 10 Aug 1942-10 Aug 1943)
  • 504th Fighter Squadron (5Q) 10 Aug 1942-18 Oct 1945 (Was 483d Bombardment Squadron, 10 Aug 1942-10 Aug 1943)
  • 505th Fighter Squadron (6N) 10 Aug 1942-18 Oct 1945 (Was 484th Bombardment Squadron, 10 Aug 1942-10 Aug 1943)

Stations

Operations

Formed at Hunter AAF as a Third Air Force OTU, equipped with A-24's and A-25's. Moved to California in September 1943 as part of Desert Training Center in Mojave Desert. Converted to P-39s and became combat ready, being reassigned to VIII Fighter Command in England, April 1944. Re-equipped with P-51s and operations with a fighter sweep on 30 April. The unit engaged primarily in B-17/B-24 escort duties during its first five weeks of operations, and afterwards flew many escort missions to cover the operations of medium and heavy bombers that struck strategic objectives, interdicted the enemy's communications, or supported operations on the ground.

The group frequently strafed airfields and other targets of opportunity while on escort missions. the 339th received a Distinguished Unit Citation for operations on 10 and 11 September 1944. On the first of those days, when it escorted bombers to a target in Germany and then attacked an aerodrome near Erding, the group destroyed or damaged many enemy planes despite the intense fire it encountered from anti-aircraft guns and small arms. The following day the bomber formation being escorted to Munich was attacked by enemy fighters, but members of the 339th group destroyed a number of the interceptors and drove off the others and at the same time, other members of the 339th were attacking an airfield near Karlsruhe, where they encountered heavy fire but were able to destroy or damage many of the aircraft parked on the field.

The 339th provided fighter cover over the English Channel and the coast of Normandy] during the invasion of France in June 1944. Strafed and dive-bombed vehicles, locomotives, marshalling yards, anti-aircraft batteries, and troops while Allied forces fought to break out of the beachhead in France. Attacked transportation targets as Allied armies drove across France after the breakthrough at St Lo in July. Flew area patrols during the airborne attack on Holland in September. Escorted bombers to, and flew patrols over the battle area during the German counter attack in the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), December 1944-Jan 1945. Provided area patrols during the assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

Among all these varied activities, the outstanding feature of this group's combat record is the large number of enemy aircraft it destroyed in the air or on the ground during its one year of operations.

Returned to the US in Oct. Inactivated on 18 Oct 1945. Redesignated 107th Fighter Group and allotted to New York Air National Guard on 24 May 1946.

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.

External links


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