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358th Fighter Group

Constituted as 358th Fighter Group on 20 Dec 1942. Activated on 1 Jan 1943. Trained with P-47's. Moved to England during Sep-Oct 1943. Began operations on 20 Dec 1943 and served in combat with Eighth and, later, Ninth AF until V-E Day. Engaged in escort work until Apr 1944 to cover the operations of bombers that the AAF sent against targets on the Continent. Dive-bombed marshalling yards and airfields during Apr to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy. Continued attacks on enemy communications and flew escort missions during May. Escorted troop carriers over the Cotentin Peninsula on 6 and 7 Jun, and attacked bridges, rail lines and trains, vehicles, and troop concentrations during the remainder of the month. Moved to the Continent in Jul and took part in operations that resulted in the Allied breakthrough at St Lo. Continued to fly escort, interdictory, and close-support missions during the allied drive across France and into Germany, earning four citations before the end of the war. Received first DUC for operations from 24 Dec 1944 to 2 Jan 1945 when the group not only supported Seventh Army by attacking rail lines and rolling stock, vehicles, buildings, and artillery, but also destroyed numerous fighter planes during a major assault by the German Air Force against Allied airfields. Received second DUC for 19-20 Mar 1945, a period in which the 358th destroyed and damaged large numbers of motor transports and thus hampered the evacuation of German forces that were withdrawing from the area west of the Rhine. Received third DUC for performance between 8 and 25 Apr 1945 when the group attacked enemy airfields in the region of Munich and Ingolstadt, engaged the enemy in aerial combat, and supported advancing ground forces by attacking such targets as motor transports, tanks, locomotives, guns, and buildings. Received fourth citation, the French Croix de Guerre with Palm, for assisting in the liberation of France. Returned to the US in Jul 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.

Redesignated 122d Fighter Group. Allotted to ANG (Ind) on 24 May 1946. Extended federal recognition on 9 Dec 1946. Ordered into active service on 1 Feb 1951. Assigned to Air Defense Command. Redesignated 122d Fighter-Interceptor Group. Trained with F-51 and F-84 aircraft. Inactivated on 7 Feb 1952. Relieved from active service, returned to ANG (Ind), redesignated 122d Fighter-Bomber Group, and activated, on 1 Nov 1952.

Squadrons. 113th: 1951-1952. 166th: 1951-1952. 365th (later 163d): 1943-1945; 1951-1952. 366th: 1943-1945. 367th: 1943-1945.

Stations. Richmond AAB, Va, 1 Jan 1943; Baltimore, Md, 28 Apr 1943; Camp Springs AAFld, Md, 28 May 1943; Philadelphia Mun Aprt, Pa, 16 Jun 1943; Richmond AAB, Va, 13 Aug-25 Sep 1943; Goxhill, England, 20 Oct 1943; Leiston, England, 29 Nov 1943; Raydon, England, 31 Jan 1944; High Halden, England, 13 Apr 1944; Cretteville, France, 3 Jul 1944; Pontorson, France, 14 Aug 1944; Vitry-le-Francois, France, 14 Sep 1944; Mourmelon, France, 16 Oct 1944; Toul, France, 9 Nov 1944; Sandhofen, Germany, 2 Apr 1945; Reims, France, c. 23 Jun-Jul 1945; La Junta AAFld, Colo, Aug-7 Nov 1945. Stout Field, Ind, 1 Feb 1951; Baer Field, Ind, 10 Mar 1951-7 Feb 1952.

Commanders. Col Cecil L Wells, 1 Jan 1943; Col James B Tipton, 20 Sep 1944-unkn; Lt Col John M Thacker, 1945. Col John A Carey, 1951-c. Feb 1952.

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

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Ardennes, 24 Dec 1944-2 Jan 1945; ETO, 1-0 Mar 1945; Germany, 8-25 Apr 1945. French Croix de Guerre with Palm.

Insigne. Shield: Azure (light blue) bordure or (Air Force yellow), overall and saltirewise an escutcheon in prospect, (per bend or and sable, in chief four mullets of the last) and a jet type aircraft with exhaust fire all proper. Motto: Conquer Above. (Approved 28 Jul 1954.)

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


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