Frank H MearsMilitary
"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
- Unit Hierarchy: Group
- Air Force: Ninth Air Force Twelfth Air Force
- Type Category: Fighter
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|
NARA files verified Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and one Air Medal, all awarded under General Orders in 1943.