Army Air Corps Library and Museum Logo

Please Support Our Mission With Donations Beginning at $5.00. Thank You

33rd Fighter Group

Constituted as 33rd Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Began training with P-39's but soon changed to P-40's. Served as part of the defense force for the east coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Redesignated 33rd Fighter Group in May 1942. Moved to North Africa, part of the group (including the pilots and their planes) arriving with the invasion force on 8 Nov 1942, and the remainder arriving shortly afterwards. Operated with Twelfth AF in the Mediterranean theater until Feb 1944. Provided close support for ground forces and flew bombing and strafing missions against personnel concentrations, port installations, fuel dumps, bridges, highways, and rail lines during the campaigns in North Africa. Received a DUC for action on 15 Jan 1943: when enemy aircraft attempted to knock out the group's base in Tunisia, the 33rd drove off the enemy's escort and destroyed most of the bombers. Took part in the reduction of Pantelleria and flew patrol missions while Allied troops landed after the enemy's garrison had surrendered. Participated in the invasion and conquest of Sicily. Supported landings at Salerno, Allied operations in southern Italy, and the beachhead at Anzio.

Moved to India in Feb 1944. Assigned to Tenth AF. Trained with P-38 and P-47 aircraft. Moved to China in Apr, became part of Fourteenth AF, continued training, and flew some patrol and interception missions. Returned to India in Sept 1944 and, as part of Tenth AF, flew dive-bombing and strafing missions in Burma until the Allied campaigns in that area had been completed. Returned to the US, Nov-Dec 1945. Inactivated on 8 Dec 1945.

Activated in Germany on 20 Aug 1946. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe and equipped with P-51's. Transferred, less personnel and equipment, to the US in 1947. Remanned and equipped with P-51's; converted to F-84's in Jun 1948 and F-86's in Feb 1949. Redesignated 33d Fighter-Interceptor Group in Jan 1950. Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952.

Redesignated 33rd Fighter Group (Air Defense). Activated on 18 Aug 1955. Assigned to Air Defense Command.

Squadrons. 58th: 1941-1945; 1946-1952; 1955-. 59th: 1941-1945; 1946-1952. 60th: 1941-1945; 1946-1952; 1955-.

Stations. Mitchel Field, NY, 15 Jan 1941; Philadelphia, Pa, 13 Dec 1941-Oct 1942; Port Lyautey, French Morocco, 10 Nov 1942; Casablanca, French Morocco, c. 13 Nov 1942; Telergma, Algeria, 24 Dec 1942; Thelepte, Tunisia, 7 Jan 1943; Youks-les-Bains, Algeria, 8 Feb 1943; Telergma, Algeria, c. 20 Feb 1943; Berteaux, Algeria, c. 2 Mar 1943; Ebba Ksour, Tunisia, c. 12 Apr 1943; Menzel Temime, Tunisia, 20 May 1943; Sousse, Tunisia, 9 Jun 1943; Pantelleria, 19 Jun 1943; Licata, Sicily, c. 18 Jul 1943; Paestum, Italy, 13 Sep 1943; Santa Maria, Italy, 18 Nov 1943; Cercola, Italy, c. 1 Jan-Feb 1944; Karachi, India, c. 20 Feb 1944; Shwangliu, China, c. 18 Apr 1944; Pungchacheng, China, 9 May 1944; Nagaghuli, India, 3 Sep 1944; Sahmaw, Burma, 26 Dec 1944; Piardoba, India, 5 May-c. 15 Nov 1945; Camp Shanks, NY, 7-8 Dec 1945. Neubiberg, Germany, 20 Aug 1946; Bad Kissingen, Germany, Jul-25 Aug 1947; Andrews Field, Md, 25 Aug 1947; Roswell AAFld, NM, 16 Sep 1947; Otis AFB, Mass, 16 Nov 1948-6 Feb 1952. Otis AFB, Mass, 18 Aug 1955-.

Commanders. Maj Minthorne W Reed, c. Jan 1941; Col Elwood R Quesada, 7 Oct 1941; Col William W Momyer, 29 Jun 1942; Col Loring F Stetson Jr, 17 Oct 1943; Lt Col Oliver G Cellini, 7 Jun 1944; Col David D Terry Jr, 9 Sep 1944; Col Frank L Dunn, 2 Mar 1945-unkn. Col Barton M Russell, 20 Aug 1946; Lt Col Albert A Cory, unkn; Col Gwen G Atkinson, Jan 1948; Lt Col Woodrow W Korges, c. May 1949; Col Charles H MacDonald, c. Aug 1949; Col Harrison R Thyng, 15 Jun 1950; Lt Col Willard W Millikan, c. Aug 1951-6 Feb 1952. Col Fred G Hook Jr, 1955-.

Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; India-Burma; China Defensive; Central Burma.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Central Tunisia, 15 Jan 1943.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, on a pale nebuly or a sword point to chief in pale of the field, flammant gules, all within a border of the second. Motto: Fire From The Clouds. (Approved 21 Feb 1942.)

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

Museum Collection

   Arrow David Terry


Do you have items such as papers, photos, uniforms, gear and other artifacts? Read more about Supporting the AALCM.

Volunteers Needed

We need help with transcribing data. Unit histories, personnel rosters and group records to digital. Want to help? Contact Us

Servicemen Data

If you have any data on servicemen rosters and their units and would like to submit it to our digital library; please Contact Us