56th Fighter Group

Group
The insignia of the 56th Fighter Group.

Object Number - FRE 5239 - The insignia of the 56th Fighter Group.

Flying P-47 Thunderbolts throughout their time stationed in England, the Group, known as "the Wolfpack", had more ace pilots than any other Eighth Air Force Fighter Group. The 56th Fighter Group also destroyed more enemy aircraft in air combat than any other. Francis Gabreski and Robert Johnson, the Eighth Air Force's top aces were both with the 56th. Col. Hubert A. Zemke and Col. David C. Schilling, two of the Group's Cos, were also famous aces, rivalling the 4th Fighter Group's Don Blakeslee and Don Gentile.

Commanding Officers

Lieutenant-Colonel David C. Schilling, an ace P-47 Thunderbolt pilot of the 56th Fighter Group, holds an adapted hand gun. Schilling was Commanding Officer of the 56th FG between 12 August 1944 and 27 January 1945.
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 65th Fighter Wing 56th Fighter Group 5th Emergency Rescue Squadron 62nd Fighter Squadron 63rd Fighter Squadron Headquarters (56th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-393204
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot; Commanding Officer; Assistant Director Intelligence
Colonel Hubert Zemke of the 56th Fighter Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'First Lieutenant Hub Zemke, US Army Air Corps, 8th Pursuit Group, Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York. Taken just before dispersal to England as an Observer to the Royal Air Force.'
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 479th Fighter Group 56th Fighter Group Headquarters (479th Fighter Group) Headquarters (56th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-022353
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Commander; Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 62nd Fighter Squadron 63rd Fighter Squadron Headquarters (56th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-432184
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot/group commander
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: VIII Fighter Command 93rd Combat Bomb Wing 493rd Bomb Group 56th Fighter Group Headquarters (493rd Bomb Group) Headquarters (56th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-18868
  • Highest Rank: Major General
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot/Group Commander

Connections

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

Unit stations

Station Location Date

Based

Kings Cliffe 12 January 1943 - 4 April 1943

Based

Horsham St Faith 5 April 1943 - 7 July 1943

Based

Halesworth 8 July 1943 - 18 April 1944

Based

Boxted 18 April 1944 - 9 September 1945

Based

Little Walden 9 September 1945 - 10 October 1945

Encompassing

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 61st Fighter Squadron
  • Role/Job: Enlisted Man
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Air Transport Group 495th Fighter Training Group 56th Fighter Group 310th Ferry Squadron 61st Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15071213 / O-661268
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Role/Job: Enlisted Man
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Civilian
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 62nd Fighter Squadron
  • Role/Job: Enlisted Man
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Civilian
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 61st Fighter Squadron
  • Role/Job: Enlisted Man

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Nicknames: Half Pint
  • Unit: 36th Fighter Group 56th Fighter Group 61st Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 63rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt
  • Unit: 56th Fighter Group 63rd Fighter Squadron

Revisions

Date22 Aug 2019 12:56:35
ContributorEmily
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of WWII

Date10 Apr 2015 06:58:22
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date19 Mar 2015 11:18:36
Contributorrossingtonj
Sources

Nickname and aircraft types added. DUC's relocated to citations section.
Sources:
http://www.littlefriends.co.uk/56thfg.php
Information from unit history highlights.

Date13 Mar 2015 15:28:48
Contributorrossingtonj
Sources

Type added.

Date4 Feb 2015 16:06:52
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Changed key image.

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)

56th Fighter Group: Gallery (889 items)