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368th Fighter Group
368thfightergroup-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 368th Fighter Group
Active 1943-1946
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Force
Type Fighter

The 368th Fighter Group is an inactive United States Army Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the XII Tactical Air Command stationed at Fliegerhorst Straubing (R-68), Germany. It was inactivated on 20 August 1946.

During World War II the unit was assigned to Ninth Air Force in England, flying its first combat mission on 14 March 1944. Comprising the 395th FS “Panzer Dusters”, the 396th “Thunder Bums,” and the 397th “Jabo Angels,” the Group distinguished itself during six campaigns in Europe and was the recipient of the Distinguished Unit Citation. Before the D-Day invasion, the Group operated fighter sweeps and attacks on marshalling yards, locomotives and rolling stock, road and rail bridges, key roads, submarine pens, and rocket sites. After the invasion, they provided air cover for the First and Third Army sweeps across France, Belgium, Austria, and Germany. It flew its last combat mission on 7 May 1945.

The 368th was redesignated as the 136th Fighter Group, and allotted to the Texas Air National Guard on 27 August 1946.

Contents

History

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Lineage

  • Constituted as 368th Fighter Group on 24 May 1943
Activated on 1 Jun 1943
Inactivated in Germany on 20 Aug 1946

Assignments

Attached to: New York Fighter Wing, 23 Aug-20 Dec 1943
Attached to: IX Tactical Air Command, 1 Aug 1944
Attached to: IX Tactical Air Command, 1 Oct 1944
Attached to: XII Tactical Air Command, 16 Nov 1945-20 Aug 1946

Stations

Components

  • 395th Fighter Squadron (A7): 1 Jun 1943-20 Aug 1946
  • 396th Fighter Squadron (C2): 1 Jun 1943-20 Aug 1946
  • 397th Fighter Squadron (D3): 1 Jun 1943-20 Aug 1946

Aircraft

Operations

Republic P-47D of the 397th Fighter Squadron

Moved to England, arriving in Jan 1944. Began operations with Ninth Air Force on 14 Mar when the group flew a fighter sweep over the coast of France. Made strafing and bombing attacks on airfields, rail and highway bridges, trains, vehicles, flak positions, and V-weapon sites to help prepare for the invasion of France.

Supported the landings in Normandy early in Jun 1944 and began operations from the Continent later the same month. Aided in the taking of Cherbourg, participated in the air operations that prepared the way for the Allied breakthrough at St Lo on 25 Jul, and supported ground forces during their drive across France.

Received a Distinguished Unit Citation for support operations in the vicinity of Mons on 3 Sep 1944 when the group, dispatching seven missions against the enemy on that day, not only destroyed large numbers of motor transports, horse-drawn vehicles, and troops, but also attacked enemy positions that obstructed the progress of ground forces. Continued to support ground forces, participated in the assault against the Siegfried Line, and took part in the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944-Jan 1945) by attacking rail lines and trains, marshalling yards, roads and vehicles, armored columns, and gun positions. Operated with the Allied forces that pushed across the Rhine and into Germany.

After V-E Day, served with the army of occupation, being assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Inactivated in Germany on 20 Aug 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.
  • 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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