Back to
Normandy American Cemetery Welcome Screen

405th Fighter Group

The 405thFighter Group was constituted as the 405th Bombardment Group on February 4, 1943 and activated on March 1, 1943. It was redesignated 405thFighter-Bomber Group in August 1943, and 405thFighter Group in May 1944. The group was trained with A-4, A-25, P-39, and finally P-47 aircraft, the latter being used in combat. It moved to England, February - March 1944, and entered combat with the Ninth Air Force in April 1944. Until D-Day, the group engaged chiefly in bombing airdromes, marshalling yards, and bridges in France in preparation for the invasion of France. It flew patrols in the vicinity of Brest during the invasion and then flew armed reconnaissance missions to support operations in Normandy.

The members of the 510th Fighter Squadron, 405th Fighter Group pose around a P-47 on the frozen Saint-Dizier track January 1944, one of the coldest days for 80 years.

The group moved to the Continent at the end of June 1944 and engaged primarily in providing support for ground forces until May 1945. The group bombed enemy vehicles and gun positions at Saint-Lo in July 1944; attacked barges, troops, roads, and warehouses during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 - January 1945; and struck airfields and marshalling yards when the Allies crossed the Rhine in March 1945.

A P-47 arrives at Christchurch (AAF-461), a new home still under construction for the 405th Fighter Group. Members of the 833rd Engineers Aviation Battalion lay British-type landing mat.

The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission in France on September 24, 1944: answering a request from Third Army for support near Laneuveville-en-Saulnois, two squadrons, flying on instruments through rain and dense overcast, were directed by ground control toward a furious tank battle where, in spite of severe ground fire, one squadron repeatedly bombed and strafed enemy tanks; the second squadron, unable to find this target because of the weather, attacked a convoy of trucks and armored vehicles; later the same day, the third squadron hit warehouses and other buildings and silenced ground opposition in the area. For operations, June – September 1944, that aided the drive across Normandy and the liberation of Belgium, the group was cited by the Belgian government. The group flew its last mission on May 8, 1945. It returned to the United States between July and October 1945 and was inactivated on October 29, 1945.

Headquarters of the 17th SS (Schutzstaffel) Division G-2 Section at Peltre, France after low-level strike by the 405th Fighter Group on November 8, 1944.

Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.