Army Air Forces in Europe

world war II

359th Fighter Group

8th Air Force 359 FG

Squadrons of the 359th FG

368th Fighter Squadron
369th Fighter Squadron:
370th Fighter Squadron:

Assigned 8th AAF: 19 October 1943

Wing/Command Assignment

VIII FC, 66 FW: 20 Oct. 1943
VIII FC, 67 FW: Nov. 1943
1 BD, 67 FW: 15 Sep. 1944
1 AD, 67 FW: 1 Jan. 1945

Combat Aircraft:



EAST WRETHAM 19 0ct. 1943 - 2 Nov. 1945

Group COs

Col Avelin P. Tacon Jr: Jan. 1943-11 Nov. 1944.
Col John P. Randolph: 12 Nov. 1944-7 Apr. 1945.
Lt Col Donald A. Baccus: 8 Apr. 1945-Sep 1945.
Lt Col Daniel D. McKee: 16 Sep. 1945-Nov. 1945.

First Mission: 13 December 1943
Last Mission: 20 April 1945
Aircraft MIA: 106
Total Missions: 346

Enemy Aircraft Claims: 253 air; 98 ground.

Major Awards:

Distinguished Unit Citation: 11 Sep. 1944: Merseburg in defence of bombers

Unit Claims to Fame

Ray Wetmore, leading 8AF air ace during 1945 flew with 359th.

Early History:

Activated 15 Jan. 1943 at Westover Fd, Mass. Trained at air bases in the north eastern states with P-47s: Grenier Fd, NH. from the 7 April 1943: Farmingdale AAB, NY. 11 July 1943 and back to Westover Fd on the 23 August 1943. Commenced overseas movement on the 2 October 1943; Camp Kilmer, NJ. and then sailing on the USAT Argentina on 8 October 1943. (369FS personnel sailed on Thurston and 370FS on Sloterdylk in same convoy). Group arrived in Liverpool on the 19 October 1943 (369 and 370FS disembarked in Clyde).

Subsequent History:

Remained in UK until Nov. 1945. Many personnel transferred and aircraft to depots in Sep. 1945. Remaining personnel sailed on the Queen Mary on 4 Nov. 1945, and arriving in New York on 9 Nov. 1945. Group was established at Camp Kilmer, NJ. and inactivated there on the 10 Nov. 1945. Redesignated 123FG and allotted to Ky ANG in 1946. Ordered to active service in Oct. 1950 and based at Manston UK, early in 1952. Reestablished as ANG organization on July 1952. In later years unit was assigned to a tactical reconnaissance role flying RB-57 and RF-84F, and Later RF-101.

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