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359th Fighter Group

Group

The 359th Fighter Group flew 346 missions from East Wretham between December 1943 and April 1945. In the main these missions were escorting bombers flying over occupied Europe. The Group, soon after converting from Thunderbolts to Mustangs, were awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for defending heavy bombers against enemy fighters in a mission over Merseberg, Germany on 11 September 1944.

Structure

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Missions

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-200 FIGHTER SWEEP

    13 December 1943
    This is the first combat mission for 359th Fighter Group. A force of 36 P-47s is despatched to fly a fighter sweep in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. No German aircarft are encountered and there are no losses or claims.

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-204 BOMBER ESCORT

    20 December 1943
    This mission is a combined force of 491 fighter aircraft despatched to escort bombers attacking at Bremen, Germany. NOTE: Fighter claims of 16-3-6 on enemy aircraft were not allocated in source data, so they have been bundled with P-47 statistics. The...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-206 BOMBER ESCORT

    21 December 1943
    A force of 208 P-47s from: 78FG; 356FG; 358FG; and 359FG is despatched to provide escort to B-26 bombers of 9th Air Force attacking in the Pas-de-Calaise area. 1 aircraft with battle damage makes a crash landing at Manston, UK on return. The aircraft...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-207 BOMBER ESCORT

    22 December 1943
    This fighter mission is composed of three elements despatched to provide escort to bombers attacking as Osnabruck and Munster Germany. It is composed of three elements. The first element is a forcr of 40 P-38s from 55FG. 2 aircraft Failed to Return ...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-209 BOMBER ESCORT

    24 December 1943
    This fighter mission is despatched to provide escort to bombers that are attacking V-Weapon sites near the Pase-de-Calaise, France. The operation has three elements. The first element is a force of 40 P-38s from 55FG. There are no losses or claims. ...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-210 BOMBER ESCORT

    30 December 1943
    A force of 583 fighter aircraft are despatched to provide escort to bombers attacking at Ludwigshafen, Germany. The force is composed of three elements. The first element is a force of 79 P-38s from 20FG and 55FG. There are no losses or claims in this...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-211 BOMBER ESCORT

    31 December 1943
    This is the last fighter operation of 1943. It is composed of three elements despatched to escort bomber formations attacking German airfield in France. The first element is a forc of 74 P-38s from 20FG and 55FG. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR)1POW...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO 213 BOMBER ESCORT

    5 January 1944
    This is a VIII Fighter Command operation of the despatch of fighter elements to escort bombers attacking targets in Germany and France. The operation consists of four elements. The first element is a despatch of 70 P-38s from 20FG and 55FG. These are...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO 215

    7 January 1944
    A combined fighter force of 571 aircraft are despatched to provide escort for the bombers attacking at Ludwigshaven, Germany. Three elements of fighters are despatched. ...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO 216

    11 January 1944
    This is a large fighter operation composed of a total of 592 aircraft. This operation is divided into two fighter elements with a combined force of 221 aircraft (P-47s and P-51s) providing escort for the Oshersleben - Halberstat B-17 bomber formations...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Based East Wretham 19 October 1943 – 2 November 1945

Connections

People

  • Robert Addleman

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 368FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Flewover 60 combat missions, including on D-Day. Ended Tour Duty (ETD). Following the war, he attended the Indiana University School of Medicine, graduating with an M.D. degree in 1950. In 1951-2, he re-entered the...

  • Boyd Adkins

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    On 3 April 1945 Adkins was part of a friendly fire incident where yellow flight engaged and fired upon P-51s of the 3rd Scouting Force, after mistaking them for enemy aircraft. ...

  • Benjamin Albertson

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 369FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 370FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return FTR bomber escort Fredrickshafen. ...

  • Robert Alexander

    Military | Flight Officer | Fighter Pilot | 356th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 495FTG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 361FS, 356FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 3rd Gunnery & Tow Target Flight. Transferred to 368FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

  • John Allen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 368FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) ramrod to Lisieux, section bounced 25 Fw190's, during melee strayed behind formation and was picked of by Fw190, ...

  • Vincent Ambrose

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 370FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. 92 missions, 325 hours. Completed (End) Tour of Duty (ETD).

  • Carl Anderson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 368FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bomber escort mission to Merseburg, dropped out of formation with engine difficulties, abandoned P-51D 44-14444 when oil pressure hit zero, A/C crashed near Harleshausen 22-Nov-44. Prisoner of...

  • David Archibald

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 368FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort to Kassel, left formation as ailerons were freezing, reduced his altitude accompanied by wingman. Overflying a crashed B-17 the pair made ready to destroy it by dropping fuel tanks and...

  • Joseph Ashenmacher

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 368FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Completed (End) Tour Duty (ETD).

  • Merle Auhspaugh

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 359th Fighter Group
    KIS

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Aircraft

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Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
24 June 2015 19:33:50 Lucy May Changes to mission associations and stations
Sources

Added dates to the 'based' event - from information in the unit history field.

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:14:38 rossingtonj Changes to type and mission associations
Sources

Type added.

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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