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4th Fighter Group

The 4thFighter Group was constituted on August 22, 1942 and activated in England on September 12. Former members of Royal Air Force Eagle Squadrons formed the nucleus of the group, which served in combat from October 1942 to April 1945 and destroyed more enemy planes in the air and on the ground than any other fighter group of the Eighth Air Force. The group operated first with Spitfires but changed to P-47s in March 1943 and to P-51s in April 1944. On numerous occasions, the 4thescorted bombers that attacked factories, submarine pens, V-weapon sites, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, or Germany. It went out sometimes with a small force of bombers to draw up the enemy’s fighters so they could be destroyed in aerial combat. 

334th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group dispersal hut where pilots relax after being released due to bad weather on November 12, 1943.
Armorers of the 4th Fighter Group, Debden, England work on the guns of a P-47. May 1943.
4th Fighter Group Mustangs with 108 gallon tanks in flight during the late summer of 1944.

At other times it attacked the enemy’s air power by strafing and dive-bombing airfields. It also hit troops, supply depots, roads, bridges, rail lines, and trains. The group participated in the intensive campaign against the German Air Force and aircraft industry during Big Week (February 20- 25, 1944) and it received a Distinguished Unit Citation for aggressiveness in seeking out and destroying enemy aircraft and in attacking enemy air bases from March 5 to April 24. The group flew interdictory and counter-air missions during the invasion of Normandy in June; supported the airborne invasion of Holland in September; participated in the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945, and covered the airborne assault across the Rhine in March. The 4thmoved to the United Stated in November and was inactivated on November 10.

334th FS ground crewmen pose near P-47 Thunderbolt "Miss Plainfield." 4th Figther Group. Debden, Essex, England.

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

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