55th Fighter Group

 

55th FG Unit Markings

Squadrons of the 55th FG

38th Fighter Squadron
338th Fighter Squadron
343rd Fighter Squadron

Assigned 8th AAF: 12 Sep 1942

Wing/Command Assignment

VIII FC: 16 September 1943
VIII FC ,66 FW: 5 October 1943
3 BD, 66 FW: 15 September 1944
3 AD, 66 FW: 1 January 1945

Combat Aircraft:

P-38H; 20 Sep. 1943 - end Dec. 1943.
P-38J; Dec. 1943 - 21 Jul. 1944.
P-51 D from 19 Jul. 1944.
P-51K Dec 1944 .

Stations

NUTHAMPSTEAD 16 Sep. 1943 - 16 Apr. 1944.
WORMINGFORD 16 Apr. 1944 - 21 Jul. 1945.

Group COs

Lt Col Frank B. James: 15 May 1943 - 3 Feb. 1944.
Col Jack S. Jenkins: 6 Feb. 1944 - 10 Apr. 1944, POW.
Col George T. Crowell: 10 Apr. 1944 - 22 Feb. 1945.
Lt Col Elwyn C. Righetti: 22 Feb. 1945 - 17 Apr. 1945, MIA.
Col Ben Rimerman: 22 Apr. 1945 - 20 May 1945. KAS
Lt Col Jack W. Hayes Jr 21 May 1945 - Unkn

First Mission: 15 October 1943
Last Mission: 21 April 1945.
Enemy Aircraft Claims: 316 1/2 air; 268 1/2 ground.
Aircraft MIA: 181

Major Awards:

Two Distinguished UnitCitations: 3 - 13 Sep. 1944, destruction of 106 enemy
19 Feb. 1945, ground strafing achievements.

Unit Claims to Fame

First P-38 group in combat with 8AF.
First 8AF aircraft over Berlin - 3 Man 1944.
Destroyed more Locomotive by strafing than any other Group
Lt Col Righetti was 'king' of 8AF strafers.

Early History:

Activated 15 Jan. 1941 at Hamilton Field, CA. Equipped with P-43s and moved Portland Field, Ore, 21 May 1941, and operated from there until Feb. 1942. Moved Paine Field, Wash, 10 Feb. 1942 and re-equipped with P-38s before moving McChord Field, Wash, 22 July 1942 where it remained for over a year. Originally activated with 37, 38 and 54FS but 54FS transferred to Pacific theatre on the 11 Sep. 1942, and replaced by the 338FS, and 37FS transferred to 14FG in North Africa on the 15 March 1943. Group left McChord for Camp Kilmer, NJ, 23 Aug. 1943 and sailed on Orion 5 Sep. 1943,