506th Fighter Group (USAAF)

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The 506th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-51 group that operated with the Twentieth Air Force in the Pacific, carrying out a mix of ground attack and bomber escort missions.

The group was constituted on 5 October 1944 and activated on 21 October. It was equipped with the P-51, which it used for the rest of the war.

The group moved to the Pacific in February-April 1945. The air echelon moved to Tinian, where it flew a number of patrols, before the group came together on its official base at Iwo Jima.

The first mission from Iwo Jima was a bomb and gun attack on a Japanese airfield on the Bonin Islands on 18 May 1945. After that the group flew a mix of missions, including bomber escort for B-29s going from the Marianas to attack Japan, air defense for Iwo Jima and ground attack missions over Japan and the Bonin Islands, hitting a mix of military and transport targets.

The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for a series of escort missions on 7-10 June 1945 in which it helped fight off Japanese fighters.

The group returned to the United States in December 1945 and was inactivated on 16 December.




1944-1945: North American P-51 Mustang


5 October 1944 Constituted as 506th Fighter Group
21 October 1944 Activated
Feb-April 1945 To Asiatic-Pacific Theatre and Twentieth Air Force
18 May 1945 Combat Debut
December 1945 To United States
16 December 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Col Bryan B Harper: 25 Oct 1944-1945.

Main Bases

Lakeland AAFld, Fla: 21 Oct 1944-16 Feb 1945
North Field, Iwo Jima: 24 Apr-3 Dec 1945
Camp Anza, Calif: 15-16 Dec 1945

Component Units

457th: 1944-1945
458th: 1944-1945
462nd: 1944-1945

Assigned To

1944-45: 301st Fighter Wing; Twentieth Air Force
1945-46: 301st Fighter Wing; Eighth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (26 September 2018), 506th Fighter Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/506th_Fighter_Group.html

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