27th Fighter Group

Group
Personnel of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, 12th Air Force with an A-36 Mustang (serial number 42-84067) in Sicily. First handwritten caption on reverse:'27th F Bo Group. 12 AF A/C ABC Letter added.' Second handwritten caption on reverse: 'Bombed up with 500lb HE. Mission record on nose, 27th Fighter Bomber Group on Sicily Base, 1943. 42-84067 Veteran A-36A.'

Object Number - FRE 8776 - Personnel of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, 12th Air Force with an A-36 Mustang (serial number 42-84067) in Sicily. First handwritten caption on...

The 27th went through two different incarnations during the Second World War. As the 27th Bombardment Group it fought in the Philippines and Java in 1941-42. It was then reformed in the US and sent to North Africa, where it eventually became the 27th Fighter Group, serving in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.

The 27th Bombardment Group was formed in February 1940. It was equipped with the A-24, and on 1 November 1941 set sail for the Philippines, where it was to form part of the aerial garrison. The ground echelons arrived in the Philippines on 20 November, but the ship carrying their aircraft, the Meigs, couldn't be provided with a suitable escort for the stage from Hawaii until 24 November. The aircraft were thus nowhere near the Philippines when the Japanese attacked on 8 December, and it quickly became clear that it would be far to dangerous to try and sail to the islands. The convoy was diverted to Australia.

On 18 December the group's commander, Major John H Davies, with twenty of the pilots, were flown to Australia where they were to collect their aircraft. Instead the pilots were kept in Australia. On 21 December, still expecting their aircraft, the group's personnel were ordered to prepare three new airfields in the area around Manila. On 24 December this plan was abandoned, and the personnel were moved to Bataan, arriving on 25 December. There they served as infantry on Bataan and Corregidor.

Between 9-12 February the Group moved its A-24s from Australia to Java. On 19 February the Japanese made a heavy attack on Java, having just captured the island of Bali, cutting the ferry route from Australia. Two of the group's A-24s attacked and damaged two Japanese warships on the same day. Seven aircraft from the group took part in a larger attack on Bali on 19-20 February. Two aircraft were lost and the attack was a failure. Bali was lost, and Java soon had to be evacuated.

The remaining aircraft of the 27th Fighter Group were used to fly patrols in the Darwin area in March-April 1942, but the group itself was almost gone. The remaining aircraft and personnel were transferred to the newly arrived 3rd Bombardment Group, and in May 1942 the 27th was officially transferred back to the United States (this was a paper transfer as no men or equipment moved).

The 27th Fighter Group reformed in the US, where it was equipped with the A-20. It used these for training, and then in November 1942 began the move to North Africa. Once in Africa it converted to the A-36 Mustang and joined the Twelfth Air Force. The group served in the Mediterranean for the rest of the Second World War.

In June 1943 the group resumed operations, and took part in the campaign against the Italian islands of Pantelleria and Lampedusa, a massive aerial assault that forced the islands to surrender.

In the week before the invasion of Sicily (3-10 July 1943) the 27th attacked Axis supply centres in the south and centre of Sicily.

In August 1943 the group was redesignated as the 27th Fighter-Bomber Group.

In September it was used to cover the landings at Salerno (Operation Avalanche), which began on 9 September 1943. On 10 September the group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its part in preventing three armoured divisions from reaching the beachhead.

The group began to swap its Mustangs for P-40 Warhawks in January 1944, although it used its A-36s during the fighting at Anzio in January-February 1944.

In May 1944 the group became the 27th Fighter Group

In June 1944 the Warhawks were replaced with P-47 Thunderbolts. In the following month the group took its new aircraft to Corsica in preparation for the invasion of Southern France. The group also used its new location to attack German communications in northern Italy.

The group supported the invasion of Southern France. It moved from Corsica to France and supported the Seventh Army as it advanced up the Rhone Valley. The group briefly returned to Italy, but early in 1945 it transferred back to France, from where it attacked German communications in northern Italy and supported the Allied invasion of Germany. The group moved into Germany in April 1945, but didn't become part of the occupation force and in October-November 1945 it returned to the US. The group was inactivated on 7 November 1945.

Commanding Officers

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot/Deputy Group Commander/Group Commander
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot - Group Commander

Connections

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Unit stations

Station Location Date

Established

Barksdale Army Air Field 1940-02-01

Based

Hunter Army Airfield 1942-05-04 - 1942-07-01

Based

Nouvion 1943-04-07

Based

Korba

Based

Ponte Olivo

Based

La Luc

Based

Tarquinia

Based

1942-04-01 - 1942-05-04

Based

Biblis

Based

Pontedera, Italy

Based

Saint-Dizier

Based

Toul / Ochey 1945-04-03

Other

Assigned 12th Air Force

Other

Redesignated 27th Fighter Bomber Group

Other

Redesignated 27th Fighter Group

Encompassing

  • Unit Hierarchy: Squadron
  • Air Force: Twelfth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Squadron
  • Air Force: Twelfth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 31st Fighter Group 307th Fighter Squadron 522nd Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-416273
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Fighter pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 522nd Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-682627
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 17th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-662912
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 93rd Bomb Group 310th Ferry Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 17th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-794240
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Short Stuff
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 522nd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 523rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 17th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 522nd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group

Revisions

Date9 Jul 2020 15:44:46
ContributorRobertM
Sources

https://forgottenairfields.com/airfield-pontedera-546.html AND book "Tailend Charley" by James E Brown

Date9 Jul 2020 14:06:24
ContributorRobertM
Sources

Book Tailgunner Charley by James E Brown

Date9 Jul 2020 05:30:28
ContributorRobertM
Sources

Book "Tailend Charley" by James E Brown

Date9 Jul 2020 04:41:36
ContributorRobertM
Sources

Book "Tail-End Charley: Stories from American Fighter Pilot in WWII" by James E Brown contains details on 27th from just prior to move from Tarquinia in Dec 1944 to Pontedera, Italy. In Feb 1945 they moved to St Dizier, France. (Sorry, I don't see how to add a location yet)

Date1 Oct 2019 11:21:29
ContributorEmily
Date6 Dec 2016 21:27:08
Contributor466thHistorian
Date6 Dec 2016 04:21:55
Contributor466thHistorian
Date5 Dec 2016 03:27:48
Contributor466thHistorian
Date5 Dec 2016 03:03:07
Contributor466thHistorian
Date27 Sep 2014 18:42:44
ContributorAAM
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

27th Fighter Group: Gallery (14 items)