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362d Fighter Group
328thfightergroup-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 362nd Fighter Group
Active 1943-1946
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Force
Type Fighter

The 362d Fighter Group is an inactive United States Army Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Tactical Air Command, stationed at Biggs Field , Texas. It was inactivated on 3 August 1946.

During World War II, the unit was assigned to Eighth and Ninth Air Forces, entering combat on 8 February 1944. The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission against the harbor at Brest, France on 25 August 1944 when, in spite of heavy overcast and intense enemy fire, the group attacked at low altitude, hitting naval installations, cruisers, troop transports, merchant vessels, and other objectives. It flew its last combat mission on 30 April 1945.

The 362d was one of the original groups of the postwar Tactical Air Command when the command was activated on 21 March 1946, however the unit was inactivated as an active Air Force unit on 1 August due to budget restrictions. It was immediately reassigned to the reconstituted Air National Guard, being allocated to the Wisconsin ANG on 2 August 1946 and was redesignated as the 128th Fighter Group.

Contents

History

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Lineage

  • Constituted as 362d Fighter Group on 11 Feb 1943
Activated on 1 Mar 1943
Inactivated on 1 Aug 1946

Assignments

Attached to: Boston Air Defense Wing, 22 Jun-19 Oct 1943
Attached to: New York Fighter Wing, 19 Oct-12 Nov 1943
Attached to: IX Air Support Command, 13 April 1944
Attached to: XIX Tactical Air Command, 1 Aug 1944, Aug 1945

Stations

Components

  • 377th Fighter Squadron (E4): 10 Feb 1943-1 Aug 1946
  • 378th Fighter Squadron (G8): 10 Feb 1943-1 Aug 1946
  • 379th Fighter Squadron (B8): 10 Feb 1943-1 Aug 1946

Aircraft

Operations

Trained for combat with P-47's. Moved to England in Nov 1943. Assigned to Eighth Air Force. flew first mission, escorting B-24's that attacked V-weapon launching sites near Pas de Calais, on 8 Feb 1944. Until Apr 1944, engaged chiefly in escorting bombers that struck factories, railroads, airfields, and other targets on the Continent.

Reassigned to Ninth Air Force on 13 Apr 1944 and repeatedly attacked communications in northern France and in Belgium during Apr and May, in preparation for the invasion of Normandy.

Escorted C-47's that dropped paratroops over Normandy on 6 and 7 Jun. Afterward, engaged primarily in interdictory and close-support activities, flying strafing and dive-bombing missions designed to assist the operations of ground forces. Moved to the Continent early in Jul 1944 and bombed enemy troops to aid the Allied breakthrough at St Lo later that month. Supported the subsequent advance of ground forces toward the Rhine by attacking railroads, trucks, bridges, power stations, fuel dumps, and other facilities.

Received a DUC for a mission against the harbor at Brest on 25 Aug 1944 when, in spite of heavy overcast and intense enemy fire, the group attacked at low altitude, hitting naval installations, cruisers, troop transports, merchant vessels, and other objectives. Bombed and strafed such targets as flak positions, armored vehicles, and troop concentrations during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944- Jan 1945.

Received second DUC for action over the Moselle-Rhine River triangle despite the intense antiaircraft fire encountered while flying armed reconnaissance in close cooperation with infantry forces in that area on 16 Mar 1945, the group hit enemy forces, equipment, and facilities, its targets including motor transports, armored vehicles, railroads, railway cars, and gun emplacements. Continued operations until May 1945 then was assigned to occupation duty.

The group was reassigned back to the United States in August-September 1945, and assigned to First Air Force at Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina, being programmed for deployment to Okinawa to take part in the planned Invasion of Japan. As a result of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the sudden end of the Pacific War, the deployment plans were canceled, however the unit was retained as part of the Second Air Force under Continental Air Forces and reassigned to Biggs Field, Texas, being equipped with P-51 Mustangs.

The 362d became one of the original groups of the postwar Tactical Air Command when the command was activated on 21 March 1946, however was inactivated on 1 August due to postwar budget restrictions. It was immediately allocated to the reconstituted Air National Guard, being allocated to the Wisconsin ANG and was redesignated as the 128th Fighter Group.

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.
  • Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

External links


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