Frank H Mears


Object Number - UPL 25395 - Colonel Frank H. Mears Commander - 57th Fighter Group

"If we are to look at firsts, the 57th Fighter Group is one, the first American Fighter Group to be used in the role of tactical air operations. With the activation of the 9th Air Force, the 57th F.G. was its first assigned fighter group. In turn it was ordered to join the R.A.F. Desert force in the North African campaign. The 57th was to fight WITH the R.A.F. The R.A.F. pilots taught the U.S. pilots the basics of Desert Air Warfare, and Ground personnel in turn learned about movement. As the U.S. Fighter force grew, the 57th F.G. was to teach the 79th and 324 F.G.'s about tactical air operations at the group level. The German Air Arm was soon taught that to take on the U.S. Fighter pilot in a turning, 50 Cal. armed P-40's was a no future deal. The 57th Fighter Group was asked to do a job, and then left to do it. We were FIRST."

--Frank H. Mears
Col. USAF (Ret.)


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Units served with

Ground personnel of the 57th Fighter Group work on the engines of a P-47 Thunderbolt, with the insignia of the 64th Fighter Squadron on its nose.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Ninth Air Force Twelfth Air Force
  • Type Category: Fighter


  • Site type: Airfield
  • Known as: Halfar Airifield


Event Location Date Description


Commander - 57th Fighter Group

North Africa 28 June 1942 - 23 December 1942


San Diego, CA, USA 4 August 2003


San Diego, CA, USA 9 August 2003 Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery San Diego San Diego County California, USA Plot: SECTION CBAA ROW 1 SITE 165


Los Angeles, CA, USA 15 December 2010


Date24 Aug 2020 23:27:46

NARA files verified Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and one Air Medal, all awarded under General Orders in 1943.

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