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66th Fighter Squadron

Squadron

Formed as a P-40 Warhawk pursuit squadron in January 1941 as part of the Army Air Corps Northeast Defense Sector (later I Fighter Command) at Mitchel Field, New York. Trained in New England and provided air defense of the northeast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Was reassigned to the U.S. Army Middle East Force in Egypt, July 1942, becoming part of IX Fighter Command. Took part in the British Western Desert Campaign, engaged in combat during the Battle of El Alamein and, as part of Ninth Air Force, supported the Commonwealth Eighth Army's drive across Egypt and Libya, escorting bombers and flying strafing and dive-bombing missions against airfields, communications, and troop concentrations until Axis defeat in Tunisia in May 1943. The unit participated in the reduction of Pantelleria (May–June 1943) and the conquest of Sicily (July–August 1943).

The squadron supported the British Eighth Army's landing at Termoli and subsequent operations in Italy, being reassigned to Twelfth Air Force in August 1943. It flew dive-bombing, strafing, patrol, and escort missions.

In 1944, converted to P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft and flew interdiction operations in Italy. They moved to Corsica on 30 March 1944 to operate as a separate task force. It flew interdiction missions against railroads, communication targets, and motor vehicles behind enemy lines, providing a minimum of 48 fighter-bomber sorties per day.

Participated in the French campaign against Elba in June 1944 and in the invasion of Southern France in August. It engaged in interdiction and support operations in northern Italy from September 1944 to May 1945.

The 66th flew its last combat mission on 2 May 1945. Remained in northern Italy after the end of the European War, demobilizing throughout the summer of 1945. It was reassigned to the United States in August 1945 without personnel or equipment and was inactivated at the end of August.

Commanding officers
  • James Curl

    Military | Major | fighter pilot-1055 single engine/squadron commander | 52nd Fighter Group
    CO 66th FS 57th FG and 2nd FS 52nd FG Awarded British DSO by Air Marshal Sir William Sholto Douglas KIA March 18, 1945 MACR 13066

Structure

Part of
  • 57th Fighter Group

    57th Fighter Group

    Group
    The group was first activated as the 57th Pursuit Group in January 1941, flying P-40 Warhawks as part of the Army Air Corps Northeast Defense Sector (later assigned to the I Fighter Command) at Mitchel Field, New York.[3] It trained in New England and...

Encompassing
Not yet known
Previously was
Not yet known
Became
Not yet known

Missions

Connections

People

  • Joseph Angelone

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 57th Fighter Group

  • James Curl

    Military | Major | fighter pilot-1055 single engine/squadron commander | 52nd Fighter Group
    CO 66th FS 57th FG and 2nd FS 52nd FG Awarded British DSO by Air Marshal Sir William Sholto Douglas KIA March 18, 1945 MACR 13066

  • Victor Glickman

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Ground Crew Chief | 57th Fighter Group

  • Dexter Hodge

    Military | Major | Command Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 41-23811.

  • Anthony Lambo

    Military

  • George Martin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 6/17/43. ...

Aircraft

Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
14 December 2016 23:08:59 466thHistorian Changes to commanding officers associations
Sources

"57th Fighter Group" - Carl Molesworth
page 120

Date Contributor Update
13 December 2016 04:54:30 466thHistorian Created entry with type, category, name, description, air forces, aircraft types and unit encompassing associations
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/66th_Weapons_Squadron

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