356th Fighter Group (USAAF)

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The 356th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a fighter unit that served as a bomber escort group with the Eighth Air Force late in 1943 before becoming a group attack unit early in 1944.

The group was formed in the United States in December 1942 and moved to Britain in August-September 1943. It joined the Eighth Air Force and became operational in October 1943. The group flew bomber escort missions for next few months, but from 23 January 1944 it became a ground attack unit, strafing and bombing a range of targets across occupied Europe.

The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for attacks on German gun emplacements around Arnhem on 17, 18 and 23 September.

The group's last combat mission was another escort mission,. but this time accompanying B-17s dropping leaflets on 7 May 1945.

The group returned to the United States in November 1945 and was inactivated on 10 November.





1942-November 1944: Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
November 1944 onwards: North American P-51 Mustang


8 December 1942 Constituted as 356th Fighter Group
12 December 1942 Activated
August-September 1943 To England and Eighth Air Force
October 1943 Into combat
7 May 1945 Last combat
November 1945 To United States
10 November 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

2nd Lt Joseph Moris Jr: 28 Dec 1942
Capt Harold J Lister: 29 Dec 1942
Lt Col Harold J Rau: 9 Feb 1943
Col Einar A Malmstrom: 28 Nov 1943
Lt Col Philip E Tukey Jr: 24 Apr 1944
Lt Col Donald A Baccus: 3 Nov 1944
Col Philip E Tukey Jr: 11 Jan 1945-unkn.

Main Bases

Westover Field, Mass: 12 Dec 1942
Groton AAFld, Conn: 12 Mar 1943
Mitchel Field, NY: 30 May 1943
Grenier Field, NH: 4 Jul-15 Aug 1943
Goxhill, England: 27 Aug 1943
Martlesham, England: 5 Oct 1943-4 Nov 1945
Camp Kilmer, NJ: 9-10 Nov 1945

Component Units

359th Fighter Squadron: 1942-45
360th Fighter Squadron: 1942-45
361st Fighter Squadron: 1942-45

Assigned To

May-July 1943: New York Fighter Wing; I Fighter Command; First Air Force
1943-September 1944: 67th Fighter Wing; VIII Fighter Command; Eighth Air Force
September 1944-1945: 67th Fighter Wing; 1st Air Division; Eighth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 July 2014), 356th Fighter Group (Second World War), http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/356th_Fighter_Group.html

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