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373d Fighter Group
373dfightergroup-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 373d Fighter Group
Active 1943-1945
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Force
Type Fighter

The 373d Fighter Group is an inactive United States Army Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with First Air Force stationed at Mitchel Field , New York. It was inactivated on 7 November 1945.

During World War II the group was assigned to Ninth Air Force in Western Europe. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission on 20 March 1945, that greatly facilitated the crossing of the Rhine River by Allied ground forces: without losing any planes, the group repeatedly dived through barrages of antiaircraft fire to bomb vital airfields east of the river; also attacked rail lines and highways leading to the Rhine, hitting rolling stock, motor transports, and other objectives.

The 373d was redesignated as the 146th Fighter Group, and allotted to the California Air National Guard on 24 May 1946.

Contents

History

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Lineage

  • Constituted as 373d Fighter Group on 25 May 1943
Activated on 15 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945

Assignments

Attached to: New York Fighter Wing, 23 Oct 1943-15 Mar 1944
Attached to: XIX Tactical Air Command, 4 Apr 1944

Stations

Components

  • 410th Fighter Squadron, 15 Aug 1943-7 Nov 1945
  • 411th Fighter Squadron, 15 Aug 1943-7 Nov 1945
  • 412th Fighter Squadron, 15 Aug 1943-7 Nov 1945

Aircraft

Operations

410th Fighter Squadron Republic P-47D-28-RA Thunderbolt 42-28473

Trained for combat with P-47's. Also performed air defense mission over New York while training.

Moved to England, Mar-Apr 1944. Assigned to Ninth Air Force. Flew first combat mission, a fighter sweep over Normandy, on 8 May 1944, and then took part in preinvasion activities by escorting B-26's to attack airdromes, bridges, and railroads in France. Patrolled the air over the beachhead when the Allies launched the Normandy invasion on 6 Jun 1944, and hit troops, tanks, roads, fuel depots, and other targets in the assault area until the end of the month.

Moved to the Continent in Jul 1944; struck railroads, hangars, boxcars, warehouses, and other objectives to prevent enemy reinforcements from reaching the front at St Lo, where the Allies broke through on 25 Jul 1944. Bombed such targets as troops, gun emplacements, and armored vehicles to aid ground troops in the Falaise-Argentan area in Aug 1944.

During the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944—Jan 1945, concentrated on the destruction of bridges, marshalling yards, and highways. Flew armed reconnaissance missions to support ground operations in the Rhine Valley in Mar 1945, hitting airfields, motor transports, and other objectives.

Received a DUC for a mission, 20 Mar 1945, that greatly facilitated the crossing of the Rhine by Allied ground forces: without losing any planes, the group repeatedly dived through barrages of antiaircraft fire to bomb vital airfields east of the river; also attacked rail lines and highways leading to the Rhine, hitting rolling stock, motor transports, and other objectives. Continued tactical air operations until 4 May 1945.

Returned to the US, Jul—Aug 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.

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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