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78th Fighter Group

Group

The 78th Fighter Group was initially based at Goxhill but moved to Duxford in April 1943 and stayed there until October 1945. It flew all three of the USAAF's principal fighters. On D-Day every available Thunderbolt provided air cover to the Allied invasion fleet as it crossed the Channel. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for their missions in support of airborne forces in Holland, between 16-23 September 1944. The second was awarded for successfully ground strafing aircraft on five airfields near Prague and Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, on 16 April 1945.

Commanding officers
  • Arman Peterson

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer | 78th Fighter Group
    78th FG 84FS. Col Arman Peterson, came from Flagstaff, Arizona, and called his Thunderbolt “Flagari”. He was the first CO of 78th Fighter Group at Duxford and was killed in action 1st July 1943 on the day the group had destroyed four FW 190s, and...

  • Frederic Gray

    Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer | 78th Fighter Group
    Frederic C. Gray was born in 1911 near Palestine, Texas. He attended Rising Star High School and graduated in 1931 from Abilene Christian College with a bachelor of arts degree. ...

  • Melvin McNickle

    Military | Major General | Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) in Stalag Luft III. Mid air collision, crashed near Winterswijk on 30 July 43 in P-47 42-7961.

Structure

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Missions

  • VIII Fighter Command P-47 RODEO

    8 April 1943
    23 P-47s fly a Rodeo (offensive fighter sweep over enemy territory) between Dunkirk, France and Sangatte, France. 4FG (7); 56FG (4); and 78FG (12). There are no losses or claims. While the 4FG has been flying operations since 2-Oct-43, this is the...

  • VIII Fighter Command Field Order 01 - RAMROD 50.

    13 April 1943
    A combined force of 36 P-47s are depatched on a diversion for RAF Ramrod 50. A "Ramrod" is a short range (medium) bomber mission against ground targets. 4FG (20); 56FG (4); 78FG (12). Even though 78FG had participated in a Rodeo on 8-Apr-43, this...

  • VIII Fighter Command Field Order 01 - RAMROD 50.

    13 April 1943
    A combined force of 36 P-47s are depatched on a diversion for RAF Ramrod 50. A "Ramrod" is a short range (medium) bomber mission against ground targets. 4FG (20); 56FG (4); 78FG (12). Even though 78FG had participated in a Rodeo on 8-Apr-43, this...

  • VIII Fighter Command Field Order 03 - RODEO 204

    15 April 1943
    A combined fighter force of 59 P-47s despatched from 4FG, 56FG and 78FG participate in RAF Rodeo 204, a sweep of the Furnes/St.Omer area of France. Number contributed by each Fighter Group was not recorded in the source data. 4FG has 3 aircraft MIA,...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-04

    17 April 1943
    Two fighter operations are conducted on this date: a combined force of 81 P-47s is despatched from 4FG, 56FG and 78FG to perform sweeps in the Blankenburge/Bruges/Flushing area in support of RAF Rodeo 205. There are no losses or claims; 59 P-47s are...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO-04

    17 April 1943
    Two fighter operations are conducted on this date: a combined force of 81 P-47s is despatched from 4FG, 56FG and 78FG to perform sweeps in the Blankenburge/Bruges/Flushing area in support of RAF Rodeo 205. There are no losses or claims; 59 P-47s are...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO - 06 SWEEPS

    21 April 1943
    A combined force of 82 P-47s from 4FG, 56FG & 78FG fly high altitude sweeps over the Westhoofd/Noordwijk/The Hague area. No losses or claims. These operations are not drawing up the Luftwaffe.

  • VIII Fighter Command FO - 07 RODEO 211

    29 April 1943
    A combined force of 112 P-47s are despatched from 4FG, 56FG and 78FG to arry out high altitude sweeps of the Pas-de-Calaise/Hague area in support of RAF Rodeo 211. This is the first time that fighters from 56FG have encountered enemy fighters. 56FG has...

  • VIII Fighter Command FO - 08 FIGHTER SWEEP

    3 May 1943
    A combined force of 118 P-47s are despatched from 4FG, 56FG and 78FG to make a fighter sweep of the Walcheren Island/Knokke/Ostend/Nieuport area. No enemy aircraft are sighted and there are no losses of claims. The Luftwaffe is simply not taking the bait.

  • VIII Fighter Command FO - 10 FIGHTER SWEEP

    4 May 1943
    A combined force of 117 P-47s is despatched from 4FG, 56FG and 78FG to perform a sweep along the Belgium coast in support of the bomber mission. 1 P-47 is lost due to engine failure. The pilot is seen to bale out over the sea, but his parachute fails...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Based Goxhill 1 December 1942 – 3 April 1943
Based Duxford 3 April 1943 – 10 October 1945

Connections

People

  • Marion Abbott

    Military | Private First Class | 78th Fighter Group

  • Luther Abel

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 495th Fighter Training Group
    Assigned to 84FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 552FTS, 495FTG 8AF USAAF as instructor. P-47C 41-6234 lost engine on local training flight on 9 Jan 1944. A/C broke out of undercast too low and crashed into a plowed field near Loughborough,...

  • Ishmael Abernathy

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    Trained with 312FS, 338FG. Assigned to 82FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF.

  • Robert Abernathy

    Military | Flight Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 82FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF. Ended Tour of Duty (ETD).

  • Abdou Aboud

    Military | Master Sergeant | 78th Fighter Group

  • Sam Abramoff

    Military | Corporal | 78th Fighter Group

  • Marion Ackerman

    Military | Private | 78th Fighter Group

  • John Acord

    Military | Corporal | 78th Fighter Group

  • Robert Adamina

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 78th Fighter Group
    Robert Adamina served as a pilot with the 82nd Fighter Squadron, 78th Fighter Group. He was shot down on 14 May 1943 in P-47C (serial number 41-6198). He became involved in a dogfight with FW190's in support of B-17s. He came down in North Sea near...

  • Charles Adams

    Military | Corporal | 78th Fighter Group

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Aircraft

  • 41-6240

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47C-2-RE 41-6240 [WZ:E] was assigned to the 78FG/84FS at Duxford, UK. On 18-Oct-43 the aircraft, piloted by 2LT Frankin B. Resseguie, was despatched with other fighters from his group to provide escort to B-17 bombers planned to attack at Duren,...

  • 41-6374

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 41-6391

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 41-6411 Muscle Bound

    P-47 Thunderbolt
    P-47C-5-RE 41-6411 [HL:N], was assigned to 78FG/83FS at Duxford, UK. ...

  • 41-7576

    P-38 Lightning
    P-38F 41-7566 78FG/83FS was being transferred to Tafaroui, Algeria from Portreath, UK on 26-Jan-43 by 2Lt Donald S. Beals. He was flying with a flight of 8 others. The flight was to make a stop at Gibraltar but only 6 arrived. No traces of Lt. Beals'...

  • 42-22463 Apple Knockers

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-22467

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-22755

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-22776

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-25529

    P-47 Thunderbolt

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citations for Operation Market Garden and ground attacks in Czechoslovakia.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 September 2014 15:39:09 Carl Changes to citations, commanding officers associations, mission associations and stations
Sources

Duxford Diary, 1945 ( also available online here: http://www.ulongbeach.com/Duxford_Diary.html )

Date Contributor Update
28 September 2014 11:58:20 Carl Changes to nicknames, motto, insignia, aircraft types, mission associations and stations
Sources

Duxford Diary, 1945
Garry L Fry; Eagles of Duxford: 78th Fighter Group in World War II; (St Paul, 1991)

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:46 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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