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357th Fighter Group

Group

The 357th Fighter Group was the first P-51 Mustang Group in the Eighth Air Force, training with them from November 1943 at Raydon, England and entering combat with them in the February of the following year from their new base at Leiston. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, first for defending bombers on what was their first mission over Berlin on 6 March 1944 and on a mission over Leipzig on 29 June 1944. The second was awarded for breaking up a group of enemy aircraft endangering bombers and destroying many of them on mission over Derben, Germany on 14 January 1945. On this mission the Group made a claim for 56 air victories, the highest enemy aircraft claim for a single mission.

Structure

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Missions

  • VIII Fighter Command FO 238 BOMBER ESCORT

    8 February 1944
    A combined force of 553 fighters of types: P-38, P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort for heavy bombers attacking the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany and Targets of Opportunity in the Frankfurt area. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO 240 BOMBER ESCORT

    11 February 1944
    This fighter escort operation is conducted by two separate fighter elements in support of heavy bomber missions attacking at Siracourt, France and Frankfurt, Germany. ...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO 241 BOMBER ESCORT

    12 February 1944
    A combined force of 125 fighters of types: P-47 and P-51 provide escort to heavy bombers attacking at Siracourt, France. The despatch includes 84 P-47s from 4FG and IX Fighter Coommand 362FG. There are no losses or claims in this force. ...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO 242 BOMBER ESCORT

    13 February 1944
    A combined force of 232 fighters of types: P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. Mission summary follows: ...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO 245 BOMBER ESCORT

    20 February 1944
    A combined force of 835 fighters of types: P-38, P-47 and P-51 is assembled and despatched to provide escort to the first BIG WEEK mission heavy bombers attacking at Leipzig and Brunswick, Germany. The combined total of all claims against enemy...

  • 8th Air Force FO 246 BOMBER ESCORT

    21 February 1944
    A combined force of fighters of types: P-38; P-47; and P-51s are despatched to escort the heavy bombers attacking airfields in Germany. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force FO 247 BOMBER ESCORT

    22 February 1944
    A combined force of 659 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are desdpatched to provide escort to the heavy bomber attacking the GErman aircraft industry on Day of of BIG WEEK. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force FO 250 BOMBER ESCORT

    24 February 1944
    A combined force of 767 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort to the heavy bombers attacking the German aircraft industries at Gotha, Germany and the ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt, Germany as part of Day 5 of BIG...

  • 8th Air Force FO 251 BOMBER ESCORT

    25 February 1944
    A combined force of 899 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking the German aircraft industries at Regensberg, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Furth, Germany in the final Day 6 operation of BIG WEEK....

  • 8th Air Force FO 255 BOMBER ESCORT

    29 February 1944
    A combined force of 554 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despacthed to provide fighter escort for heavy bombers attacking at Brunswick, Germany. The 357FG begins its transition from P-47s to P-51s. Mission Summary follows: ...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Based Raydon 30 November 1943 – 31 January 1944
Based Leiston 31 January 1944 – 8 July 1945

Connections

People

  • Alan Abner

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot | 357th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 363FS, 357FG, 8AF USAAF. Fifty missions under his belt, including one where he was shot down into the English Channel and rescued. ...

  • James Ackley

    Military | First Sergeant | 357th Fighter Group

  • Fletcher Adams

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 357th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 362FS, 357FG, 8AF USAAF. Nine confirmed kills. Failed to Return (FTR) from bomber escort mission to Bernburg, section bounced out of the sun by four Bf109's. Shot down near Celle in P-51B 43-12468. Baled out safely only to become the 1st...

  • Thomas Adams

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 357th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 364FS, 357FG, 8AF USAAF. 4.5 air victories and 1 ground victory credited. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

  • Ray Allbright

    Military | 357th Fighter Group

  • Merle Allen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 357th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 364FS, 357FG, 8AF USAAF. Credited 1 Victory and 2 shared. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: DFC, AM (6 OLC), WWII Victory.

  • Alan Alner

    Military | Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 357th Fighter Group
    Flew 50 missions and was shot down over the English Channel and rescued by the American forces Air Medals w/4Oak Leaf Cluster; DFC; French Croix de Guerre

  • Bryant Anderson

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 357th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 82FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 364FS, 357FG, 8AF USAAF. Completed (End) Tour of Duty (ETD). 2nd tour with 6th Fighter Wing. Awards: WWII Victory. Post War: Remained in USAF serving in Korea and Vietnam, retiring as Colonel.

  • Charles Anderson

    Military | Major | Pilot | 357th Fighter Group
    Flew P-51's 16.25-2-2 air 1.0 ground

  • Clarence Anderson

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine | 357th Fighter Group
    Clarence "Bud" Anderson enlisted shortly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour. He earned his pilots wing in September 1942 and joined the 357th Fighter Group a year later. In late 1943, Anderson and the 357th arrived in Europe, where they quickly...

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Aircraft

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Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 April 2015 17:30:39 usxpat Changes to nicknames and mission associations
Sources

http://www.friendsofleistonairfield.co.uk/

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:13:31 rossingtonj Changes to type and mission associations
Sources

Type added.

Date Contributor Update
27 November 2014 12:58:30 Lucy May Changes to mission associations and stations
Sources

Dates at different bases in England: http://www.8thafhs.org/fighter/357fg.htm

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:45 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / The Mighty Eighth. A History of the Units, Men and Machines of the US 8th Air Force.' by Roger A. Freeman (1989). 'Air Force Combat Units of World War II' compiled by the Department of the US Air Force, edited by Maurice Maurer (1983). / Units in the UK from ETOUSA Station List, as transcribed by Lt. Col. Philip Grinton (US Army, Retired) and extracted by IWM; air division data from L.D. Underwood, based on the 8th Air Force Strength Report of 6th August 1944, as published in 'The 8th Air Force Yearbook' by Lt. Col. John H Woolnough (1980)

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