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325th Fighter Group

Group

The 325th was first activated as the 325th Fighter Group at Mitchel Field, New York in August 1942 with the 317th,[7] 318th,[8] and 319th Fighter Squadrons[9] assigned. It trained at Hillsgrove Army Air Field with Curtiss P-40 Warhawk aircraft[10] before moving to North Africa by ship and transport planes in January through February 1943. The group entered combat in April 1943 and began escorting medium bombers, flying strafing missions, and conducting sea sweeps from bases in Algeria and Tunisia.[10] The 325th participated in the defeat of Axis forces in Tunisia, the reduction of Pantelleria, and the conquest of Sicily.[10] The 325th received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for action over Sardinia on 30 July 1943 when the group, using diversionary tactics, forced a superior number of enemy planes into the air and destroyed more than half of them.[10] The group did not fly combat missions from the end of September to mid-December 1943 as the 325th converted to Republic P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft and moved to Italy.[10]

The 325th began operations with Fifteenth Air Force in December 1943, and primarily engaged in bomber escort operations.[10] It received a second DUC for a mission on 30 January 1944 when the group flew more than 300 miles at very low altitude to surprise the enemy fighters that were defending German airfields near Villaorba, Italy; by severely damaging the enemy's force, the 325th enabled heavy bombers to strike vital targets in the area without encountering serious opposition.[10] The group converted to North American P-51 Mustang aircraft in May 1944 and provided the fighter escort on the first shuttle bombing mission from Italy to Russia in early June 1944, and became the first American group to score a victory while flying from a Russian base.[11] It escorted heavy bombers during long-range missions to attack the Messerschmitt factory at Regensburg, the Daimler-Benz tank factory at Berlin, oil refineries at Vienna, and other targets, such as airfields, marshalling yards, and communications targets in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. It also covered operations of reconnaissance aircraft and strafed such targets as trains, vehicles, and airfields. The group continued combat operations until May 1945.[10] The group moved back to the U.S. and was inactivated after V-E Day.[10

Commanding officers
  • Robert Baseler

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot - Group Commander | 325th Fighter Group

Structure

Part of
Encompassing
  • 317th Fighter Squadron

    317th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 317th Fighter Squadron was activated on 1 July 1942 at Theodore Green Airport, Providence, Rhode Island, as part of the 325th Fighter Group, the "Checker Tails". After six months of intensive training in the P-40 Warhawk, the 317th embarked for...

  • 318th Fighter Squadron

    318th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    It was established in mid-1942 as a fighter squadron, and trained under I Fighter Command primarily in the northeast with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks. It was deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in Algeria, and took part in the North...

  • 319th Fighter Squadron

    319th Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    It was established in mid-1942 as a fighter squadron, and trained under I Fighter Command primarily in the northeast with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts. It was deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in Algeria, and took part in the North...

Previously was
Not yet known
Became
Not yet known

Stations

Station Location Date
Based Montesquieu Airfield 5 April 1943 – 3 June 1943
Based Mateur Airfield 19 June 1943 – 4 November 1943
Based Soliman Airfield 4 November 1943 – 11 December 1943
Based Lesina Airfield 29 March 1944 – 5 March 1945

Connections

People

  • William Aron

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine | 325th Fighter Group
    WILLIAM E. ARON was born in New Jersey in 1923. He was the son of Emil Aron and Harriet Aron, of 28 West Beechwood Ave Oaklyn NJ. The Arons had lived in Pennsylvania, where older sister Henrietta was born, before moving to Oaklyn, to the home of...

  • Robert Baseler

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot - Group Commander | 325th Fighter Group

  • Mack Bunderson

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot 1055-single engine/Ground Adjutant | 325th Fighter Group
    318th FS 325th FG Squadron Adjutant. (off flying ststus due to wounds received) 44th FS 18th FG 87 missions 2 air kills WIA SWP Sept 1943. Flight Class 42G Moore Field, Mission, TX Aug 1942

  • William Cheney

    Military | Captain | Fighter pilot | 352nd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 317FS, 325FG, 15AF USAAF. Transferred to 487FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals.

  • Lewis Chick

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot - Squadron Commander | 14th Fighter Group
    Commanded 318th FS Jan-March 1944. Member of the 355th Fighter Group Association. Awards: DFC, AM (13OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Frank Gaunt

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot-1056 Twin Engine | 325th Fighter Group
    Flight leader 318th FS 325th FG MTO P-51D 23 missions Flight leader 44th FS 18th FG SWP P-40/P-38 8 air kills 143 missions

  • Herschel Green

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot - Squadron Commander | 325th Fighter Group
    18 Victory Ace - 2nd highest score in the 15th AF. Leading ace of the 325th FG ...

  • Gordon McDaniel

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 325th Fighter Group

  • Norman McDonald

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot - Squadron Commander | 52nd Fighter Group
    11.5 Victory Ace (7.5 with the 52nd FG & 4.0 with the 325th FG)

  • George Novotny

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 325th Fighter Group
    Pilot and Ace, 317 FS, 325 FG, 12th AF, Flew P-40's, P-47's & P-51's and finished tour, tour expired, he returned to the states as an instructor pilot and trained the Free French Air Force pilots at Oscoda Army Air Field (later to become Wurtsmith AFB...

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Aircraft

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Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 November 2016 22:37:04 466thHistorian Changes to commanding officers associations
Sources

http://www.checkertails.org/Archived_Webpages/325thfg/325%20His.htm

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2016 04:06:57 466thHistorian Changes to stations
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/325th_Operations_Group

Date Contributor Update
24 November 2016 03:49:32 466thHistorian Created entry with type, category, name, nicknames, description, air forces, aircraft types, unit encompassing associations and media associations
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/325th_Operations_Group

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