54th Fighter Group (USAAF)

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The 54th Fighter Group was mainly used as a training unit in the US, but also took briefly took part in the campaign in the Aleutian Islands in 1942.

The group was constituted as the 54th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 20 November 1940, and activated on 15 January 1941. It trained with the P-40 Warhawk.

After the US entry into the Second World War the group formed part of the defence force for the Pacific north-west, although this didn't involve any contact with the Japanese.

In June 1942 the air echelon, now equipped with the Bell P-39 Airacobra, moved to Alaska, in response to the Japanese attack on Dutch Harbor and the invasions of Attu and Kiska in the Aleutian Islands. The group remained in Alaska until December 1942, so took part in the defensive portion of the Aleutian campaign. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in the defence of Alaska and the remaining Aleutian Islands.

After returning to the continental United States the air echelon joined the rest of the group in the South-East, where it was part of the Third Air Force. The group was used as a replacement training unit for P-51 Mustang pilots, before being disbanded on 1 May 1944.




1941-1942: Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
1942: Bell P-39 Airacobra
1942-1944: North American P-51 Mustang


20 November 1940 Constituted as 54th Pursuit Group (Interceptor)
15 January 1941 Activated
May 1942 Redesignated 54th Fighter Group
1 May 1944 Disbanded

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Capt Harry A Hammond: 15 Jan 1941
Col Phineas K Morrill: Feb 1941
Col Charles M McCorkle: 12 Sep 1942
Lt Col George B Greene Jr: 11 Aug 1943
Lt Col Ward W Harker: 17 Sep 1943
Col Joseph S Holtoner: 6 Mar-1 May 1944

Main Bases

Hamilton Field, Calif: 15 Jan 1941
Everett, Wash: 26 Jun 1941
Harding Field, La: 31 Jan 1942
Bartow AAFld, Fla: 11 May 1943-1 May 1944

Component Units

42nd: 1941-1944
56th: 1941-1944
57th: 1941-1944

Assigned To

1941: 11th Fighter Wing; US West Coast
1941: II Fighter Command (later V Fighter Command); Second Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (21 May 2018), 54th Fighter Group (USAAF) , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/54th_Fighter_Group.html

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