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363rd Fighter Group

Group

Equipped with P-51s, the Group entered combat from England in February 1944, flying bomber escort and ground-strafing missions. They took part in the invasion of Normandy, protecting gliders and troop carriers on 6 and 7 June. In September 1944, now based at Le Mans, France, the group was redesignated as the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance. Flying F-5 and F-6 aircraft, the group collected photographic evidence of the location and strength of enemy positions in support of both air and ground operations. They were particularly involved in supporting the Battleof the Bulge in the winter of 1944-1945 and in Allied efforts to break through the Siegfried line in the early part of 1945.

Structure

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Encompassing
Previously was
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Became
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Missions

  • 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: ...

  • 8th Air Force FO 260 BOMBER ESCORT

    4 March 1944
    A combined force of 770 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to heavy bombers attacking at Berlin. The weather is terrible and many of the bomber formations either abort of seek Targets of Opportunity in the Ruhr valley. The P-38...

  • 8th Air Force FO 261 BOMBER ESCORT

    5 March 1944
    A combined force of 307 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking German airfields in France. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force FO 263 BOMBER ESCORT

    8 March 1944
    A combined force of 891 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking the VKF ball bearing factories at Berlin/Erkner. Mission summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force FO 264 BOMBER ESCORT

    9 March 1944
    A combined force of fighters of types: P-38s; P-47s and P-51s are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking at Berlin, Hannover, Brunswick and Nienburg, Germany. Mission summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force FO 275 BOMBER ESCORT

    20 March 1944
    A force of 594 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to escort heavy bombers attacking at Frankfurt and Mannheim, Germany. Dispatch summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force FO 277 BOMBER ESCORT

    22 March 1944
    A combined force of 540 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to escort heave bombers attacking ad Berlin and surrounding areas. 275 of these aircraft are contributed by IX Fighter Command units. Despatch summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 279 BOMBER ESCORT

    24 March 1944
    A force of 540 fighters of types: P-38; P-47 and P-51 are despatched to provide escort to heavy bombers attacking at Schweinfurt, Germany and St. Dizier, France airfield. 266 of the 540 aircraft (both P-47 and P-51) are supplied by IX Fighter Command...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Based Keevil 23 December 1943 – January 1944
Based Rivenhall January 1944 – April 1944
Based Staplehurst April 1944 – 4 July 1944
Based Maupertus 4 July 1944 – August 1944
Based Azeville August 1944 – September 1944
Based Le Mans September 1944 – 1 October 1944

Connections

People

  • Lester Aldrich

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group

  • Richard Asbury

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine | 354th Fighter Group
    1st tour Wingman/Element leader 382nd FS 363rd FG Aug. 1943 - Aug. 1944. ...

  • Daren Benbenek

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 363rd Fighter Group

  • Roy Benson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Elmo Berglind

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Evaded capyure. Plane was hit by enemy fire and he bailed out over Europe. He escaped over the Pyrenees Mtns into Spain, arriving 1 day before D Day.

  • John Brown

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group

  • Lloyd Bruce

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group

  • Edward Cahill

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 363rd Fighter Group

  • Feodor Clemovitz

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 363rd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 380FS, 363FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort mission to Dessau shot down Gardelegen, Germany Prisoner of War (POW). 28-May-44 MACR 5136. Awards: POW,WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Marshall Cloke

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine/Squadron Commander | 354th Fighter Group
    Col USAF retired CO 380th FS 363rd FG CO 355th FS 354th FG 2 air kills

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Aircraft

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Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 August 2017 21:24:30 WD-C Mustang Changes to media associations
Sources

Key image

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2017 13:41:55 general ira snapsorter Changes to stations
Sources

Stations added with details from:
- "Battle Colors Volume III - Insignia and Tactical Markings of the Ninth Air Force in World War Two' by Robert A. Watkins;
- http://www.ixengineercommand.com/airfields/physical.php

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:33:15 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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