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18th Fighter Group

Organized as 18th Pursuit Group in Hawaii in Jan 1927. Redesignated 18th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) in 1939, and 18th Fighter Group in 1942. Before World War II the group engaged in routine flying and gunnery training and participated in joint Army-Navy maneuvers, using DH-4, PW-9, P-12, P-26, P-36, and other aircraft. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941, the group, which had recently converted to P-40's, sustained severe losses. The two planes that its pilots were able to get into the air during the attack were quickly shot down. The group, assigned to Seventh AF in Feb 1942, had to be re-equipped before it could resume training and begin patrol missions.

Moved to the South Pacific in Mar 1943. Assigned to Thirteenth AF. Began operations from Guadalcanal. Flew protective patrols over US bases in the Solomons; later, escorted bombers to the Bismarcks, supported ground forces on Bougainville, and attacked enemy airfields and installations in the northern Solomons and New Britain. Used P-38, P-39, P-61, and P-70 aircraft. Moved to New Guinea in Aug 1944. Equipped with P-38's. Escorted bombers to targets in the southern Philippines and Borneo, and attacked enemy airfields and installations in the Netherlands Indies. Received a DUC for actions at Ormoc Bay: on 10 Nov 1944 the group withstood intense flak and vigorous opposition from enemy interceptors to attack a Japanese convoy that was attempting to bring in additional troops for use against American forces that had landed on Leyte; on the following day a few of the group's planes returned to the same area, engaged a large force of enemy fighters, and destroyed a number of them. Moved to the Philippines in Jan 1945. Supported ground forces on Luzon and Borneo, attacked shipping in the central Philippines, covered landings on Palawan, attacked airfields and railways on Formosa, and escorted bombers to such widely-scattered targets as Borneo, French Indochina, and Formosa.

Remained in the Philippines as part of Far East Air Forces after the war. Flew patrols and trained with F-80's. Lost all personnel in Mar 1947 but was remanned in Sep 1947. Equipped first with F-47's, later with F-51's, and still later (1949) with F-80's. Redesignated 18th Fighter-Bomber Group in Jan 1950.

Moved to Korea in Jul 1950 and entered combat, using F-51's. Supported UN ground forces and attacked enemy installations and supply lines. Maj Louis Sebille was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his action on 5 Aug 1950: although his plane was badly damaged by flak while attacking a concentration of enemy trucks, Maj Sebille continued his strafing passes until he crashed into an armored vehicle. The group converted to F-86's early in 1953 and remained in Korea for some time after the war. Moved to Okinawa in Nov 1954.

Squadrons. 6th: 1927-1943. 12th: 1943-. 19th: 1927-1943. 36th: 1931-1932. 44th: 1941-1942, 1943-. 55th: 1931. 67th: 1945-. 68th: 1945-. 70th: 1943-1945. 73d: 1929-1931, 1941-1942. 74th: 1929-1932. 78th: 1940-1943. 333d: 1942-1943. 419th: 1943-1944.

Stations. Wheeler Field, TH, Jan 1927; Espiritu Santo, 11 Mar 1943; Guadalcanal, 17 Apr 1943; Sansapor, New Guinea, 23 Aug 1944; Lingayen, Luzon, c. 13 Jan 1945; San Jose, Mindoro, c. 1 Mar 1945; Zamboanga, Mindanao, 4 May 1945; Palawan, 10 Nov 1945; Floridablanca, Luzon, Mar 1946; Clark Field, Luzon, 16 Sep 1947; Taegu, Korea, 28 Jul 1950; Ashiya, Japan, 8 Aug 1950; Tongnae, Korea, 8 Sep 1950; Pyongyang, Korea, c. 21 Nov 1950; Suwon, Korea, 1 Dec 1950; Chinhae, Korea, 9 Dec 1950; Hoengsong, Korea, 26 Dec 1952; Osan-Ni, Korea, 11 Jan 1953; Kadena AB, Okinawa, 1 Nov 1954-.

Commanders. Unkn, 1927-1940; Maj Kenneth M Walker, 22 Mar 1940; Maj William R Morgan, 1941; Lt Col Aaron W Tyer, Dec 1941; Lt Col W H Councill, 10 Dec 1943; Col Milton B Adams, 8 Jul 1944; Col Harry L Donicht, 24 May 1945; Lt Col Bill Harris, 1 Aug 1945; Lt Col Wilbur Grumbles, 18 Oct 1945-unkn; Col Victor R Haugen, 1946; Col Homer A Boushey, 7 Aug 1946-Mar 1947; Maj Kenneth M Taylor, 16 Sep 1947; Lt Col Joseph Kruzel, 1 Oct 1947; Col Marion Malcolm, 3 Sep Lt Col Henry H Norman Jr, 24 Jul 1949; Col Ira L Wintermute, 16 Jun 1950; Lt Col Homer M Cox, 20 Feb 1951; Col William P McBride, May 1951; Col Ralph H Saltsman Jr, 5 Jun 1951; Col Seymour M Levenson, 30 Nov 1951; Col Sheldon S Brinson, 17 May 1952; Lt Col Albert Freund Jr, 25 Nov 1952; Col Maurice L Martin, 24 Jan 1953; Lt Col Edward L Rathbun, 17 Dec 1953; Col John H Buckner, 1 Feb 1954; Lt Col Edward L Rathbun, 24 May 1954; Lt Col Clifford P Patton, 17 Aug 1954; Col Nathan Adams, 7 Sep 1954; Col John B Murphy, 1 Nov 1954; Lt Col Clifford P Patton, 10 Nov 1954; Col Paul E Hoeper, 1 Jan 1955; Lt Col Joseph E Andres, 22 Jul 1955; Col Leo C Moon, 21 Nov 1955-.

Campaigns. World War II: Central Pacific; China Defensive; New Guinea; Northern Solomons; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines. Korean War: UN Defensive; UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; 1st UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1953.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Philippine Islands, 1-11 Nov 1944; Korea, 3 Nov 1950-24 Jan 1951; Korea, 22 Apr-8 Jul 1951. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations: 24 Jul 1950-31 Jan 1951; 1 Feb 1951-31 Mar 1953.

Insigne. Shield: Or, a fighting cock with wings displayed sable wattled and combed gules. Crest: On a wreath or and sable two wings conjoined and displayed tenne (orange). Motto: Unguibus Et Rostro - With Talons and Beak. (Approved 21 Feb 1931.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986


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