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356th Fighter Group

Constituted as 356th Fighter Group on 8 Dec 1942 and activated on 12 Dec. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1943, and assigned to Eighth AF. Served in combat from Oct 1943 tO May 1945, participating in operations that prepared for the invasion of the Continent, and supporting the landings in Normandy and the subsequent Allied drive across France and Germany. Used P-47's until they were replaced by P-51's in Nov 1944. From Oct 1943 until Jan 1944, operated as escort for bombers that attacked such objectives as industrial areas, missile sites, airfields, and communications. Engaged primarily in bombing and strafing missions after 3 Jan 1944, with its targets including U-boat installations, barges, shipyards, airdromes, hangars, marshalling yards, locomotives, trucks, oil facilities, flak towers, and radar stations. Bombed and strafed in the Arnheim area on 17, 18, and 23 Sep 1944 to neutralize enemy gun emplacements; received a DUC for this contribution to the airborne attack on Holland. Flew its last combat mission, escorting B-17's dropping propaganda leaflets, on 7 May 1945. Returned to the US in Nov. Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945.

Redesignated 118th Fighter Group. Allotted to ANG (Tenn) on 24 May 1946. Extended federal recognition on 2 Oct 1947. Redesignated 118th Composite Group in Nov 1950, and 118th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Feb 1951. Ordered to active duty on 1 Apr 1951 and assigned to Tactical Air Command. Used RF-47, RF-51, RF-80, and RB-26 aircraft for training and maneuvers. Relieved from active service and returned, without personnel and equipment, to control of ANG (Tenn) on 1 Jan 1953.

Squadrons. 106th: 1951-1953. 185th: 1951-1953. 359th (later 155th): 1942-1945; 1951-1953. 360th: 1942-1945. 361st: 1942-1945.

Stations. Westover Field, Mass, 12 Dec 1942; Groton AAFlD, Conn, 12 Mar 1943; Mitchel Field, NY, 30 May 1943; Grenier Field, NH, 4 Jul-15 Aug 1943; Goxhill, England, 27 Aug 1943; Martlesham, England, 5 Oct 1943-4 Nov 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 9-10 Nov 1945. Berry Field, Tenn, 1 Apr 1951; Memphis Mun Aprt, Tenn, 12 Apr 1951; Shaw AFB, SC, 15 Jan 1952-1 Jan 1953.

Commanders. 2d Lt Joseph Moris Jr, 28 Dec 1942; Capt Harold J Lister, 29 Dec 1942; Lt Col Harold J Rau, 9 Feb 1943; Col Einar A Malmstrom, 28 Nov 1943; Lt Col Philip E Tukey Jr, 24 Apr 1944; Lt Col Donald A Baccus, 3 Nov 1944; Col Philip E Tukey Jr, 11 Jan 1945-unkn. Lt Col Enoch B Stephenson, 1 Apr 1951; Lt Col William J Johnson Jr, May 1951; Lt Col Ralph F Newman, 16 Aug 1951; Col James L Rose, Jan 1952; Lt Col Stanley W Irons, 2 Jun 1952; Col Robert R Smith, Nov 1952-Unkn.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Holland, 17, 18, and 23 Sep 1944.

Insigne. On a blue oval with a yellow border an aerial camera supporting binoculars and a torch, the whole group winged, all yellow with flame proper and lenses blue and white, above the torch and between the tips of the wings three white stars. (Approved 5 Jan 1954.)

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


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