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366th Fighter Group

Constituted as 366th Fighter Group on 24 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jun 1943. Prepared for overseas duty with P-47's. Moved to England, Dec 1943-Jan 1944. Assigned to Ninth AF. Entered combat on 14 Mar 1944 with a fighter sweep along the French coast, then took part in operations designed to prepare the way for the invasion of the Continent. Flew fighter sweeps over Normandy on 6 Jun 1944, attacking such targets as motor convoys and gun emplacements. Moved to the Continent soon after D-Day and engaged primarily in dive-bombing missions against enemy communications and fortifications until May 1945. Received a DUC for supporting ground forces on 11 Jul 1944: approaching the assigned target - pillboxes in the vicinity of St Lo - the group discovered an enemy tank column unknown to Allied infantry; despite driving rain and intense antiaircraft fire, the group not only attacked assigned objectives but also severely damaged the enemy's armored force. Among other operations, the group supported Allied armored columns during the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul 1944; attacked flak positions near Eindhoven during the airborne landing in Holland in Sep 1944; flew armed reconnaissance missions over the battle area during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945 and escorted bombers during the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. The 366th frequently attacked such targets as railroads, highways, bridges, motor transports, gun emplacements, supply depots, and troops; often escorted bombers that hit airfields, factories, and marshalling yards; sometimes flew area patrols; and on occasion dropped leaflets. Flew last mission, attacking harbors at Kiel and Flensburg, on 3 May 1945. Remained in Germany after the war and, assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe, became part of the occupation force. Inactivated in Germany on 20 Aug 1946.

Redesignated 366th Fighter-Bomber Group. Activated in the US on 1 Jan 1953. Assigned to Tactical Air Command. Trained with F-51, F-84, and F-86 aircraft.

Squadrons. 389th: 1943-1946; 1953-. 390th: 1943-1946; 1953-. 391st: 1943-1946; 1953-.

Stations. Richmond AAB, Va, 1 Jun 1943; Bluethenthal Field, NC, 9 Aug 1943; Richmond AAB, Va, 3-17 Dec 1943; Membury, England, 10 Jan 1944; Thruxton, England, 1 Mar-12 Jun 1944; St Pierre du Mont, France, 17 Jun 1944; Dreux/Vermouillet, France, 24 Aug 1944; Laon/Couvron, France, 8 Sep 1944; Assche, Belgium, 19 Nov 1944; Munster/Handorf, Germany, 11 Apr 1945; Bayreuth/Bindlach, Germany, 25 Jun 1945; Fritzlar, Germany, 14 Sep 1945-20 Aug 1946. Alexandria AFB, La, 1 Jan 1953-.

Commanders. Maj Morris C Crossen, 1 Jun 1943; Col Dyke F Meyer, 11 Jul 1943; Lt Col James P Tipton, 19 Apr 1944; Lt Col Donald K Bennett, 30 Apr 1944; Col Harold N Holt, c. 22 May 1944; Lt Col Ansel J Wheeler, 28 Apr 1945; Col Clarence T Edwinson, May 1946-unkn. Col Harold J Whiteman, 1953; Lt Col Carroll B McElroy, 9 Jul 1953; Col Timothy F O'Keefe, 8 Aug 1953; Col Gerald J Dix, i Sep 1954; Col Clyde B Slocumb Jr, 16 Feb 1955-.

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

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Normandy, 11 Jul 1944. Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 6 Jun-30 Sep 1944; 1 Oct 1944-; 18 Dec 1944-15 Jan 1945. Belgian Fourragere.

Insigne. Shield: Vert, a tiger's face proper, armed and embrued gules. Motto: Audentes Fortuna Juvat - Fortune Favors the Bold. (Approved 6 Oct 1954.)

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


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