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355th Fighter Group

Activated on November 12, 1942, the 355thFighter Group and its three P-47 Thunderbolt-equipped squadrons, the 354th, 357th, and 358thmoved to England in July 1943. Assigned to the Eighth Air Force, the group flew its first combat mission, a fighter sweep over Belgium, on September 14. It served primarily as escort for bombers attacking industrial areas of Berlin, marshalling yards at Karlsruhe, an airfield at Neuberg, oil refineries at Misburg, synthetic oil plants at Gelsenkirchen, locks at Minden, and other objectives. The 355th also flew fighter sweeps, area patrols, and ground attack missions, striking such targets as airfields, locomotives, bridges, radio stations, and armored cars. 

The crew chief at work on Capt. Robert E. Woody's 'Woody's Maytag', probably trying to fix a cooling line. Woody was one of the first fighter aces in the 354th Squadron, 355th Fighter Group.

On April 5, 1944, shortly after converting to P-51 Mustangs, the group successfully bombed and strafed German airdromes during a serious snow squall. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for this daring mission. The group provided fighter cover for Allied forces landing in Normandy on June 6, and afterwards hit transportation facilities and cut enemy supply lines. It attacked fuel dumps, locomotives, and other targets in support of ground forces during the breakthrough at St. Lo in July. 

Line up of the 354th Fighter Squadron, 355th Fighter Group taken at Gablingne, Germany during the group's occupation duty. July 3, 1945.

The 355thcontinued operations until April 25, 1945 and remained in the theater after the war for duty with U.S. Air Forces in Europe. It moved to Germany in July as part of the army of occupation. The 355thFighter Group transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the United States on August 1, 1946 and inactivated on November 20.

Lt. Col. Claiborne H. Kinnard, 355th Fighter Group Headquarters with his P-51D "Man o' War".
The interior of a prefabricated hut that served as barracks for the 355th Fighter Group at Steeple Morden airbase, England. The beds each have two 'biscuit' mattresses, which were, as one soldier put it, 'the next best thing to sleeping on hard concrete'.

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