339th Fighter Group (USAAF)

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P-51B or P-51C, 540th Fighter Squadron
P-51B or P-51C,
504th Fighter Squadron

The 339th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Eighth Air Force, mainly as a bomber escort group, but with some other missions added.

The group was constituted as the 339th Bombardment Group (Dive) on 3 August 1942 and activated on 10 August. It was originally equipped with the A-24 Banshee and A-25, both generally naval ships (the SBD Dauntless and SB2C Helldiver) for training purposes, but converted to the P-39 in July 1943 and became the 339th Fighter-Bomber Group in August 1943.

The group moved to Britain in March-April 1944 where it converted to the P-51 Mustang and joined the Eighth Air Force.

The group's first combat mission was a fighter sweep on 30 April 1944, but after this its main role was to escort the heavy and medium bombers of the Eighth Air Force. The group also carried out ground attack missions on suitable targets during its escort missions.

The group provided part of the fighter cover over the invasion beaches and the English Channel during Operation Overlord of June 1944.

During the battle of Normandy it was used to attack transport targets, anti-aircraft batteries and troop concentrations.

During the breakout from Normandy the group attacked transport targets.

During Operation Market-Garden the group was used to fly fighter patrols over the battlefield.

The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions on 10-11 September 1944. On 10 September it escorted bombers attacking Germany and then attacked an airfield near Erding, and on 11 September it defended a bomber formation heading for Munich and attacked an airfield near Karlsruhe. On both days the group destroyed a large number of German aircraft.

During the battle of the Bulge the group flew patrols over the battle area.

The group flew area patrols to support the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945.

The group returned to the United States in October and was inactivated on 18 October 1945.




August 1942-July 1943: Douglas A-24 Banshee (SBD Dauntless ) and Curtiss A-25 (SB2C Helldiver)
July 1943-April 1944: Bell P-39 Airacobra
April 1944-1945: North American P-51 Mustang


3 August 1942 Constituted as 339th Bombardment Group (Dive)
10 August 1942 Activated
August 1943 Redesignated 339th Fighter-Bomber Group
March-April 1944 To Britain and Eighth Air Force
October 1945 To United States
18 October 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

2nd Lt Harold Garret: c. 18 Aug 1942-unkn
Lt Col Marvin S Zipp: Feb 1943
Maj Harry L Galusha: 19 Feb 1943
Col John B Henry Jr: Aug 1943
Lt Col Harold W Scruggs: c. 1 Oct 1944
Lt Col Carl T Goldenberg: 24 Dec 1944
Col John B Henry Jr: 29 Dec 1944
Lt Col William C Clark: 14 Apr 1945-unkn

Main Bases

Hunter Field, Ga: 10 August 1942
Drew Field, Fla: February 1943
Walterboro AAFld, SC: July 1943
Rice AAFld, Calif: Sept 1943-Mar 1944
Fowlmere, England: 4 April 1944-October 1945
Camp Kilmer, NJ: c.16-18 October 1945

Component Units

485th: 1942-1943
503rd: 1942-1945
504th: 1942-1945
505th: 1942-1945

Assigned To

Eighth Air Force: 1944-1945

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 August 2018), 339th Fighter Group (USAAF) , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/339th_Fighter_Group.html

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