Activated on June 1, 1943, the P-47 Thunderbolt-equipped 389th, 390th, and 391stFighter Squadrons of the 366thFighter Group moved to England in December. Assigned to the Ninth Air Force, the group entered combat on March 14, 1944 with a fighter sweep along the French coast, and then participated in operations preparing for the invasion of Normandy. The 366thflew fighter sweeps over Normandy on D-Day, attacking such targets as motor convoys and gun emplacements. The group moved to France shortly thereafter, and dive-bombed enemy communications and fortifications until May 1945. It earned a Distinguished Unit Citation on July 11, 1944.
When attacking pillboxes near St. Lo, the 366thdiscovered an enemy tank column unknown to the ground forces. Despite driving rain and intense antiaircraft fire, the group mauled the enemy armored force while destroying its original targets as well. The 366thsupported Allied armored columns during the breakthrough at St. Lo in July, and attacked flak positions near Eindhoven in support of airborne landings in Holland in September. It flew armed reconnaissance during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 through January 1945, and escorted bombers during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.
The 366thattacked railroads, highways, bridges, motor transports, gun emplacements, supply depots, and troops, and escorted bombers attacking airfields, factories, and marshalling yards and dropping leaflets. The group flew its last combat mission against Kiel and Flensburg on May 3. The group remained in Germany after the war and after being assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe, and became part of the occupation force. The 366thFighter Group inactivated in Germany on August 20, 1946.
Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe