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354th Fighter Group

Group Emblem:
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Wing:3rd Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:VIII Air Service Command
Tail Marking:
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Details:Trained with P-39's and served as part of the air defense force. Moved to England, Oct-Nov 1943.

Assigned to Ninth AF and engaged in combat from Dec 1943 to May 1945, using P-51's except for the period from Nov 1944 to Feb 1945 when the group operated with P-47's.

Received a DUC for its activities up to mid-May 1944, a period in which the 354th was instrumental in the development and execution of long-range missions to escort heavy bombers on raids deep into enemy territory. During that same period Maj James H Howard won the Medal of Honor for his single-handed efforts to defend a bomber formation that was attacked by a large force of enemy planes while on a mission over Germany on 11 Jan 1944.

In addition to its escort work, the group began fighter-bomber operations, strafing and dive-bombing enemy airfields, gun positions, marshalling yards, and vehicles in France, Belgium, and Holland. Supporting the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944 by escorting gliders on D-Day and by dive-bombing and strafing bridges and railways near the front lines for the next few days. Moved to the Continent in Jun and assisted the Allied drive across France by flying close-support, armed-reconnaissance, fighter-sweep, dive-bombing, strafing, and escort missions.

Received second DUC for a series of fighter sweeps in which the group destroyed a large number of enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground on 25 Aug 1944. Flew missions to support the airborne attack on Holland in Sep 1944. Attacked and destroyed many enemy barges, locomotives, vehicles, buildings, and troops to assist the Allied assault on the Siegfried Line. Participated in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, by supporting ground forces and by conducting armed reconnaissance operations to destroy enemy troops, tank artillery, and rail lines. Assisted ground forces in their advance to and across the Rhine, Feb-May 1945.

After V-E Day served with the army of occupation, being assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the US in Feb 1946. Inactivated on 31 Mar 1946.

  • Col Kenneth R Martin, c. 26 Nov 1942

Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Maurer, Maurer: USAF, 1986

Accident Reports:Number of Non-Combat-Related Accident reports for this group: 3


Click on the date to see mission details

1December 05, 1943VIII FC FO 196Escort and support for heavy bombers
2December 11, 1943VIII FC FO 198Escort and support for heavy bombers1
3December 13, 1943VIII FC FO 199Escort for heavy bombers
4December 16, 1943VIII FC FO 203Escort and support for heavy bombers
5December 20, 1943VIII FC FO 204Escort and support for heavy bombers4
6December 22, 1943VIII FC FO 207Escort and support for heavy bombers
7December 24, 1943VIII FC FO 209General area support for heavy bombers
8December 30, 1943VIII FC FO 210Escort and support for heavy bombers2
9December 31, 1943VIII FC FO 211Escort and support for heavy bombers1
10January 04, 19448AF FC FO 212Fighter support for Kiel bombers1
11January 05, 19448AF FC FO 213Fighter support for Kiel bombers
12January 07, 19448AF FC FO 215Fighter escort for 8AF 178
13January 11, 19448AF FC FO 216Fighter escort for 8AF 182
14January 21, 19448AF FC FO 221Fighter support for 8AF 187
15January 24, 19448AF FC FO 222Fighter support for 8AF 1912
16January 29, 19448AF FC FO 226Fighter support for 8AF 198
17January 30, 19448AF FC FO 227Fighter support for 8AF 200
18February 03, 19448AF FC FO 233Fighter support for 8AF 2061
19February 04, 19448AF FC FO 234Fighter support for 8AF 208
20February 05, 19448AF FC FO 235Fighter support for 8AF 210
21February 06, 19448AF FC FO 236Fighter support for 8AF 212
22February 08, 19448AF FC FO 238Fighter support for 8AF 214 (Frankfurt)4
23February 10, 19448AF FC FO 239Fighter support for 8AF 216
24February 11, 19448AF FC FO 240Fighter support for 8AF 218 (Frankfurt)2
25February 20, 19448AF FC FO 245Fighter support for 8AF 226
26February 21, 19448AF FC FO 246Fighter support for 8AF 2282
27February 22, 19448AF FC FO 247Fighter support for 8AF 2301
28February 24, 19448AF FC FO 250Fighter support for 8AF 233
29February 25, 19448AF FC FO 251Fighter support for 8AF 235
30February 29, 19448AF FC FO 255Fighter support for 8AF 2401
31March 02, 19448AF FC FO 257Fighter support for 8AF 244 (Chartres)
32March 03, 19448AF FC FO 259Fighter support for 8AF 2461
33March 04, 19448AF FC FO 260Fighter support for 8AF 2472
34March 06, 19448AF FC FO 262Fighter support for 8AF 2501
35March 08, 19448AF FC FO 263Fighter support for 8AF 2521
36March 09, 19448AF FC FO 264
37March 16, 19448AF FC FO 270Fighter support for 8AF 2621
38March 18, 19448AF FC FO 273Fighter support for 8AF 2641
39March 20, 19448AF FC FO 275Fighter support for 8AF 269
40March 22, 19448AF FC FO 277Fighter support for 8AF 2733
41March 23, 19448AF FC FO 278Fighter support for 8AF 2753
42March 24, 19448AF FC FO 279Fighter support for 8AF 2773
43March 27, 19448AF FC FO 282Fighter support for 8AF 282
44March 29, 19448AF FC FO 284Fighter support for 8AF 283 (Brunswick)
45April 01, 19448AF FC FO 286Fighter support for 8AF 287
46April 08, 19448AF FC FO 291Fighter support for 8AF 2914
47April 09, 19448AF FC FO 292Fighter support for 8AF 293
48April 10, 19448AF FC FO 293Fighter support for 8AF 295
49April 11, 19448AF FC FO 295Fighter support for 8AF 2982
50April 12, 19448AF FC FO 296Fighter support for 8AF 300
51April 13, 19448AF FC FO 298Fighter support for 8AF 3012
52April 15, 19448AF 303Strafing sweeps of western and central Germany3
53April 18, 19448AF FC FO 304Fighter support for 8AF 306
54April 24, 19448AF FC FO 312Fighter support for 8AF 315
55April 25, 19448AF FC FO 313Fighter support for 8AF 3172
56April 26, 19448AF FC FO 315Fighter support for 8AF 3193
57April 29, 19448AF FC FO 320Fighter support for 8AF 3273
58April 30, 19448AF FC FO 321Fighter support for 8AF 329 and fighter bomber attacks
59May 04, 19448AF FC FO 326Fighter support for 8AF 338
60May 11, 19448AF FC FO 336Fighter support for 8AF 3511

Non-Combat Related Accidents

11944-03-26Aircraft: P-51B5 (#43-6430).
Organization: 353FS / 354FG of .
Pilot: Leach, Jerry D.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Boxted, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
21944-05-19Aircraft: P-51B10 (#43-7195).
Organization: 353FS / 354FG of .
Pilot: Montijo, John G Jr.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: RAF West Walling England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
31945-04-12Aircraft: P-51D20 (#44-63738).
Organization: 353FS / 354FG of Y64.
Pilot: Overfield, Loyd J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Ober-Ulm/Y-64 Germany.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/


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