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350th Fighter Group

The 350th Fighter Group was activated in England on October 1, 1942 by special authority granted to the Eighth Air Force prior to constitution as the 350th Fighter Group on October 2, 1942. The air echelon moved from England to North Africa from January through February 1943; the ground echelon, which had been formed in the US, arrived in North Africa about the same time. The group operated with the Twelfth Air Force from January 1943 until the end of the war, flying patrol and interception missions, protecting convoys, escorting aircraft, flying reconnaissance missions, engaging in interdictory operations, and providing close support for ground forces. The group used P-39s, P-400s and a few P-38s before converting to P-47s during August through September 1944. It operated against targets in Tunisia until the end of that campaign, and defended the coast of Algeria during the summer and fall of 1943.

P-47's from 347th Fighter Squadron (Screamin' Red Asses"), 350th Fighter Group, Twelfth Air Force in Italy. 1944.
A view of Maison Blanche airfield, Algeria. c. 1943. The 350th Fighter Group operated with the Twelfth Air Force from January 1943 until the end of the war. In the summer and fall of 1943, the 350th Fighter Group defended the coast of Algeria.

Afterward, the group operated primarily in support of Allied forces in Italy until the end of the war, bombing and strafing rail facilities, shipping docks, radar and transformer stations, power lines, bridges, motor transports, and military installations. The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for action in western Italy on April 6, 1944 when, despite intense flak and attacks by numerous enemy interceptors, the group flew ten missions, hitting troops, bridges, vehicles, barracks, and air warning installations. The group also covered Allied landings on Elba in June 1944 and supported the invasion of Southern France in August. 1stLt Raymond L. Knight was awarded the Medal of Honor for missions on April 24 and April 25, 1945: voluntarily leading attacks, through intense antiaircraft fire, against enemy airdromes in northern Italy, Lt Knight was responsible for eliminating more than 20 German planes intended for assaults on Allied forces; attempting to return his shattered plane to base after an attack on April 25, Lt. Knight crashed in the Apennines. The 350th Fighter Group moved to the United States, July – August 1945, and was inactivated on November 7, 1945.

A P-47D Thunderbolt of the 350th Fighter Group in April 1945.

Campaigns: Air Combat, EAME Theater; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Po Valley.