55th Fighter Group

Group
The insignia of the 55th Fighter Group.

Object Number - FRE 5235 - The insignia of the 55th Fighter Group.

The 55th Fighter Group were the first P-38 Lightning Group to go fully operational from England. The pilots flew long-range escort missions for bombers flying over occupied Europe and racked up 'kills' of their own by destroying enemy aircraft in aerial combat or by strafing them on the ground. After converting to the P-51 Mustang in July 1944, the Group went on to win two Distinguished Unit Citations. The first was awarded for the destruction of 106 enemy aircraft over eight missions between 3-13 September 1944 and the second was awarded for ground strafing achievements on targets in Germany on 19 February 1945.

Commanding Officers

Colonel Glenn E. Duncan, Commanding Officer of the 353rd Fighter Group from 25 November 1943 until 7 July 1944, when he was reported MIA. He evaded and resumed his command on 22 April 1945. Colonel Ben Rimerman, the officer on the right, was the 353rd Fighter Group's Commanding Officer in Col. Duncan's absence. May - August 1945. Colonel Rimerman was killed when the P-51 Mustang he was a passenger in crashed near Great Dunmow, Essex, on 11 August 1945. The pilot Captain William J. Maguire, who had flown w
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 353rd Fighter Group 55th Fighter Group 350th Fighter Squadron Headquarters (353rd Fighter Group) Headquarters (55th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: 17011259 / O-346830
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter pilot, Commanding Officer
Lieutenant-Colonel Elwyn G. Righetti, a pilot of the 338th Fighter Squadron, 55th Fighter Group.
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group Headquarters Squadron (55th Fighter Group) 338th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-396312
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot
Lieutenant-Colonel Frank B. James, a pilot with the 55th Fighter Group, at Nuthampstead air base. Passed for publication 12 November 1943. Printed caption attached to print: 'Lt. Col. Frank B. James, a Lightning P-38 Group Commander, of Huntington Park, Calif., about to set out on an operational flight.'
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: VIII Fighter Command 55th Fighter Group Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron (VIII Fighter Command) Headquarters (55th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-22529
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot / Director of Operations
Pilots of the 55th Fighter Group meet the Mayor of Colchester, 1944 - 1945. Left to right they are: Lieutenant-Colonel Elwyn G. Righetti; Colonel George T. Crowell; Mr. Arthur W. Piper, Mayor of Colchester; unknown; Colonel Joe Huddleston.
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group Headquarters (55th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-398631
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter pilot
Colonel Jack S. Jenkins of the 55th Fighter Group by the nose of his P-38 Lightning, named "Texas Ranger". Handwritten on slide:"K 1167"
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group Headquarters Squadron (55th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-022606
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 96th Bomb Group Headquarters (357th Fighter Group) Headquarters (55th Fighter Group)
  • Highest Rank: Brigadier General
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Unit stations

Station Location Date

Based

Nuthampstead 16 September 1943 - 16 April 1944

Based

Wormingford 16 April 1944 - 21 July 1945

Encompassing

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 38th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19081219 / O-743300
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 1601st Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Company
  • Service Numbers: 3267513?
  • Highest Rank: Private
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 343rd Fighter Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 1601st Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Company
  • Service Numbers: 37240717
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 97th Service Group 315th Service Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 13044784
  • Highest Rank: Corporal

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 343rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-38 Lightning
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 343rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-38 Lightning
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 338th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-38 Lightning
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group 38th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-38 Lightning
  • Unit: 55th Fighter Group

Revisions

Date22 Aug 2019 10:25:41
ContributorEmily
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of WWII

Date26 Feb 2015 15:19:50
Contributorrossingtonj
Sources

Key image chosen

Date27 Sep 2014 18:42:46
ContributorAAM
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)

55th Fighter Group: Gallery (387 items)