78thFighter Group

78th FG Unit Markings

Squadrons of the 78thFG

82nd Fighter Squadron:
83rd Fighter Squadron:
84th Fighter Squadron:

Assigned 8th AAF: 29 Nov. 42

Wing/Command Assignment

VIII 11 FC: 29 Nov. 42.
VIII FC, 4 ADW: 30 Jun. 43.
VIII FC, 65 FW: 7 Aug. 43.
VIII 11 FC, 66 FW: 1 8 Aug. 43.
3 BD, 66 FW: 1 5 Sep. 44
3 AD, 66 FW: 1 Jan. 45

Combat Aircraft:

P-38G, Dec. 42-Feb. 43.
P-47C, from late Jan. 43;
P-47D from Jun. 43-Jan. 45.
P-51 D (from block 20)
P-51 K, in combat from 29 Dec. 44.

Stations

GOXHILL 1 Dec. 1942 - 3 Apr. 1943
DUXFORD 3 Apr. 1943 - 10 Oct. 1945

Group COs

Col Arman Peterson: May 1942 - 1 Jul. 1943, KIA
Lt Col Melvin F. McNickle 12 Jul. 1943 - 30 Jul. 1943, POW
Col James J. Stone: 31 Jul. 1943 - 22 May 1944. (Acting 1 -12 Jul. 43).
Col Frederic C. Gray: 22 May 1944 - 1 Feb. 1945
Lt Col Olin E. Gilbert: 1 Feb. 1945 - 21 Feb. 1945
Col John D. Landers: 22 Feb. 45 - 1 Jul. 45
Lt Col Roy B. Caviness: 1 Jul. 1945 - Oct. 1945

First Mission: 13 Apr. 1943
Last Mission: 25 Apr 1945
Total missions: 450
Aircraft MIA: 167

Claims: Air 338 Ground 358.

Major Awards:

Distinguished Unit Citation:
6-23 Sep. 1944, Holland, Action in support airborne forces.16 Apr. 45. Ground strafing, Czecho-slovakia

Unit Claims to Fame

Produced first 8AF ace-Cpt Charles London.
First triple kill on one mission by VIII FC pilot - Maj Eugene Roberts, 30 Jul. 1943.
Only 8AF group to fly all three main US fighter types, P-38, P-47 and P-51.
First strafing attack by P-47 pilot - Lt Q. L. Brown 30 Jul. 1943.
Brought down first Me262 jet claimed by 8AF - 28 Aug. 1944.
Held record for highest claims of enemy aircraft while strafing - 135 destroyed 16 Apr. 1945.

Early History:

Activated 9 Feb. 1942 at Baer Fd, Ind. Expansion and training at Hamilton Field, CA. in May of 1942 as one of the first groups selected to fly the P-38. Departing Hamilton in Nov. 1942. Sailed from New York on the Queen Elizabeth on the 24 of Nov. 1942.

Subsequent History:

Remained in United Kingdom until Oct. 1945. Aircraft moved to depots for disposal on Sep. 1945. Unit sailed from Southampton on the Queen Mary on the 11 Oct. 1945 and arrived in New York on the 16 Nov. 1945. Inactivated at Camp Kilmer, NJ, 18 Oct. 1945. Reactivated on the 20 Aug. 1946 at Straubing, Germany, by a renumbering of 368 FG. as an occupation force of P-47s. By Jun. 1947 Group disbanded and unit transferred to Mitchel Field, NY. Remained unmanned until Nov. 1948 when rebuilt as F-84 unit at Hamilton AFB, CA. Converted at Hamilton as 78FW and was a part of ADC with F-106 Delta Darts.