58th Fighter Group (USAAF)

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History

The 58th Fighter Group took part in the long New Guinea campaign, the invasion of the Philippines and attacked targets in Korea and on Kyushu.

The group was constituted as the 58th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 20 November 1940 and activated on 15 January 1941, and equipped with a mix of aircraft. It was used as a replacement training unit until 1943, when it was chosen for service in the Pacific and converted to the P-47 Thunderbolt (it would keep this aircraft to the end of the war, despite some efforts to replace it as its requirement for long runways sometimes prevented it from moving up to the front as quickly as other fighters). There was a plan to convert the group to the P-51 in 1945, but that had to be abandoned because of a shortage of aircraft.

In October-December 1943 the group moved to New Guinea to join the Fifth Air Force. It entered combat in February 1944, flying a mix of patrols over US bases and transport escort missions. It then moved on to escorting bombers as they attacked Japanese bases on New Guinea, as well as escorting convoys heading to the Admiralty Islands.

In August 1944 the group moved to Noemfoor, off the north-western coast of New Guinea, with the first part of the group arriving on 30 August and the aircrew on 6 September. From there it attacked Japanese targets on Ceram, Halmahera and the Kai Islands, in the Dutch East Indies.

In November 1944 the group moved to the Philippines. It was used to attack Japanese airfields, support the advancing American armies, and escort convoys and protect transport routes. The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for attacked a Japanese naval force that was heading towards the American base on Mindoro on 26 December 1944, just as the group was moving up to that island.

The group moved to Okinawa in July 1945, and spent the rest of the war attacking targets in Korea and on Kyushu, including railways and airfields.

After the end of the war the group briefly joined the Far East Air Forces, but returned to the US in December 1945 and was inactivated on 27 January 1946.

Books

Pending

Aircraft

1942-1943: Seversky P-35, Curtiss P-36 Hawk, Bell P-39 Airacobra, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
1943-1945: Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

Timeline

20 November 1940 Constituted as 58th Pursuit Group (Interceptor)
15 January 1941 Activated
May 1942 Redesignated as 58th Fighter Group
October-December 1943 To Australia and Fifth Air Force
August 1944 To Noemfoor
July 1945 To Okinawa
October 1945 To Japan
December 1945 To Philippines
27 January 1946 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Capt John M Sterling: 15 Jan 1941-unkn
Maj Louis W Chick. Jr: unkn
Col Gwen G Atkinson: 8 Dec 1942
Lt Col Edward F Roddy: 12 Mar 1945-unkn.

Main Bases

Selfridge Field, Mich: 15 Jan 1941
Baton Rouge, La: 5 Oct 1941
Dale Mabry Field, Fla: 4 Mar 1942
Richmond AAB, Va: 16 Oct 1942
Philadelphia Mun Aprt, Pa: 24 Oct 1942
Bradley Field, Conn: c. 3 Mar 1943
Green Field, RI: 28 Apr 1943
Grenier Field, NH: 16 Sep-22 Oct 1943
Sydney, Australia: 19 Nov 1943
Brisbane, Australia: 21 Nov 1943
Dobodura, New Guinea: 28 Dec 1943
Saidor, New Guinea: c. 3 Apr 1944
Noemfoor: 30 Aug 1944
San Roque, Leyte: 18 Nov 1944
San Jose, Mindoro: c. 30 Dec 1944
Mangaldan, Luzon: 5 Apr 1945
Porac, Luzon: 18 Apr 1945
Okinawa: 10 Jul 1945
Japan: 26 Oct 1945
Ft William McKinley, Luzon: 28 Dec 1945-27 Jan 1946

Component Units

67th: 1941-1942
68th: 1941-1942
69th: 1941-1946
310th: 1942-1946
311th: 1942-1946

Assigned To

October 1942-March 1943: Philadelphia Fighter Wing; I Fighter Command; First Air Force
March-April 1943: New York Fighter Wing, I Fighter Command; First Air Force
April-October 1943: Boston Fighter Wing, I Fighter Command; First Air Force
1943-1945: V Fighter Command; Fifth Air Force
  1944-45: 86th Fighter Wing; Fifth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 June 2018), 58th Fighter Group (USAAF) , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/58th_Fighter_Group.html

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