372nd Fighter Group

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The 372nd Fighter Group was a home based training unit that served with the Fourth and Third Air Forces.

The group was activated on 28 October 1943 with the Fourth Air Force on the West Coast. The group was used as an Operational Training Unit for the P-4o Warhawk.

In March 1944 the group was moved to the Third Air Force, in the US South-East. At about the same time it took part in the 1944 Louisiana Manoeuvres, the last in a series of massive Army manoeuvres that had helped prepare the US army for war.

In April 1944 the group became the 372nd Fighter-Bomber Group, reflecting the way in which fighter aircraft were now being used. In June 1944 it changed back to being the 372nd Fighter Group.

In June 1945 the group converted to the P-51 Mustang, but very few of its Mustang trainees can have reached the Pacific before the war ended. The group was inactivated on 7 November 1945.




1943-June 1945: Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
June-November 1945: North American P-51 Mustang


12 October 1943 Constituted as 372nd Fighter Group
28 October 1943 Activated with Fourth Air Force
March 1944 To Third Air Force

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Maj Francis E Brenner: 28 Oct 1943
Maj Darrell G Welch: 21 Dec 1943
Maj Joseph S Wakefield: 4 Feb 1944
Maj John R Harrison: 16 Feb 1944
Lt Col Sam W Westbrook: 3 Mar 1944
Lt Col Robert W Stephens: 17 Mar 1945
Lt Col Jack J Oberhansly: 30 May 1945
Col George R Bickell: 6 Aug-7 Nov 1945.

Main Bases

Hamilton Field, Calif: 28 Oct 1943
Portland AAB, Ore: 7 Dec 1943
Esler Field, La: 29 Mar 1944
Pollock AAFld, La: 14 Apr 1944
Esler Field, La; 9 Feb 1945
Alexandria AAFld, La: 14 Sep-7 Nov 1945

Component Units

407th: 1943-1945
408th: 1943-1945
409th: 1943-1945

Assigned To

1943: San Francisco Fighter Wing; IV Fighter Command; Fourth Air Force
1943-44: Seattle Fighter Wing; IV Fighter Command; Fourth Air Force
March 1944 onwards: Third Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (2 September 2016), 372nd Fighter Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/372nd_Fighter_Group.html

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