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36th Fighter Group


The Group, as the 36th Pursuit Group, were part of the defence force for the Caribbean area and the Panama Canal in 1941, flying P-39s and P-40s out of Puerto Rico. By May 1944 the 36th Fighter Group were flying their first missions out of England using P-47s. They flew escort missions for bombers in the run up to D-Day and ground-strafed many tactical targets in northern France over that summer. The group moved through several bases in northern France and then to Le Culot in Belgium so that they could more effectively support Allied ground troops.


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Station Location Date
Based Kingsnorth April 1944 – July 1944
Based Brucheville 7 July 1944 – 23 August 1944
Based Le Mans August 1944 – September 1944
Based Athis September 1944 – October 1944
Based Le Culot October 1944 – March 1945
Based Aachen March 1945 – April 1945
Based Juvincourt October 1945



  • Verlan Bathurst

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 36th Fighter Group
    Verlan E Bathurst was born on November 17, 1921 in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma. ...

  • Albert Benneyworth

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 359th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 370FS, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Completed Tour of Duty (ETD). Transferred to 53FS, 36FG, 9AF USAAF. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Manuel Bretana

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 36th Fighter Group
    Killed in action during a dive bombing mission near Bergheim Germany. Bretana was leading the flight when he strafed a locomotive, after firing on the locomotive he pulled away from the target and his aircraft went into a nose dive. His aircraft...

  • Cyril Browne

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 36th Fighter Group
    Whilst attacking rail lines on 8 February 1945 Browne reported he was pinned down by light flak to his fellow Squadron leader Major Wilton H Earle. Earle later saw a P-47 crash and burn and a parachute hit the ground, believed to belong to Browne.

  • Robert Brunner

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 36th Fighter Group
    Missing in action on 25 January 1945. His P-47 Thunderbolt was last seen over Nemmenick, Germany.

  • Bob Burns

    Military | 36th Fighter Group

  • Robert Carr

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 36th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 53FS, 36FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) dive bombing mission to Wahn, Germany as the flight was rolling in to the attack they were set upon by Fw190's, jettisoning their bombs he was shot down and crashed near Wahn. MACR 11446.

  • Paul Chaufty

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 36th Fighter Group
    On armed reconnaissance mission to Argentan France 15 August 1944, flames were seen coming from the supercharger of Chaufty's aircraft. First Lt Philip E Frankfurt watched Chaufty bail out of the aircraft and his parachute fail to open.

  • John Church

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 36th Fighter Group
    2LT Church, 28 years old, of Plassburg, New York, took off from Blackbushe in the UK as part of Operation Rhubarb, attacking targets of opportunity in the P-47 Thunderbolt Serial number 42-25874. The plane went down on the banks of the canal 5oo meters...

  • Samuel Cole

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 36th Fighter Group
    Samuel Pittman Cole, Jr., or "Pitt" as he was called, was born in Rockwood, Tennessee to Samuel and Winnie (Spencer) Cole on 9 Oct 1921. He enlisted into the Army Air Corps at MacDill Field, Florida as an aviation cadet, in January 1942. Eventually he...

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The group received two Distinguished Unit Citations. The first was awarded for operations on 1 September 1944 when the group attacked columns of German troops south of the Loire river. The second was awarded for attacking airfields in southern Germany through heavy anti-aircraft fire on 12 April 1945.


Date Contributor Update
30 September 2019 13:41:11 Emily Changes to stations

USAAF Continental Airfields: ETO, D-Day to VE Day

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2017 10:39:13 general ira snapsorter Changes to stations

Additional station details added from:
- "Battle Colors Volume III - Insignia and Tactical Markings of the Ninth Air Force in World War Two' by Robert A. Watkins;

Date Contributor Update
25 July 2015 02:51:09 466thHistorian Changes to mission associations and stations

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
25 July 2015 02:46:14 466thHistorian Changes to mission associations and stations

"Battle Colors - Volume III" - Robert A. Watkins

Date Contributor Update
19 March 2015 11:35:45 rossingtonj Changes to citations, description, aircraft types and mission associations

Aircraft types added. DUC's moved to citations section.

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:34:15 rossingtonj Changes to type and mission associations

Type added.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:45 AAM AAM ingest

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)