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325th Fighter Group

Constituted as 325th Fighter Group 01 24 Jun 1942. Activated on 3 Aug 1942. Trained with P-40's. Moved to North Africa during Jan-Feb 1943. Assigned to Twelfth AF. Entered combat on 17 Apr. Escorted medium bombers, flew strafing missions, and made sea sweeps from bases in Algeria and Tunisia. Participated in the defeat of Axis forces in Tunisia, the reduction of Pantelleria, and the conquest of Sicily. Received a DUC for action over Sardinia on 30 Jul 1943 when the group, using diversionary tactics, forced a superior number of enemy planes into the air and destroyed more than half of them. Flew no combat missions from the end of Sep to mid-Dec 1943, a period in which the group changed aircraft and moved to Italy. Began operations with Fifteenth AF on 14 Dec, and afterward engaged primarily in escort operations, using P-47's until they were replaced by P-51's in May 1944.

325th FG DVD
DVD Video with Combat Film footage of the 325th Fighter Group in WW2.

Escorted heavy bombers during long-range missions to attack the Messerschmitt factory at Regensburg, the Daimler-Benz tank factory at Berlin, oil refineries at Vienna, and other targets, such as airfields, marshalling yards, and communications in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, and Yugoslavia. Also covered operations of reconnaissance aircraft and strafed such targets as trains, vehicles, and airfields. Received second DUC for a mission on 30 Jan 1944 when the group flew more than 300 miles at very low altitude to surprise the enemy fighters that were defending German airdromes near Villaorba; by severely damaging the enemy's force, the 325th group enabled heavy bombers to strike vital targets in the area without encountering serious opposition. Continued combat operations until May 1945. Returned to the US in Oct. Inactivated on 28 Oct 1945.

Activated on 21 May 1947. Organized as an all-weather fighter group. Redesignated 325th Fighter Group (All Weather) in May 1498, and 325th Fighter-Interceptor Group in May 1951. Equipped with P-61's in 1947, F-82's in 1948, and F-94's in 1950. Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952.

Redesignated 325th Fighter Group (Air Defense). Activated on 18 Aug 1955. Assigned to Air Defense Command and equipped with F-86 aircraft.

Squadrons. 317th: 1942-1945; 1947-1952; 1955-. 318th: 1942-1945; 1947-1952; 1955-. 319th: 1942-1945; 1947-1952.

Stations. Mitchel Field, NY, 3 Aug 1942; Hillsgrove, RI, c. 31 Aug 1942-23 Jan 1943; Tafaraoui, Algeria, 28 Feb 1943; Montesquieu, Algeria, 5 Apr 1943; Souk-el-Khemis, Tunisia, 3 Jun 1943; Mateur, Tunisia, 19 Jun 1943; Soliman, Tunisia, 4 Nov 1943; Foggia, Italy, 11 Dec 1943; Lesina, Italy, 29 Mar 1944; Rimini, Italy, c. 5 Mar 1945; Mondolfo, Italy, Apr 1945; Vincenzo Airfield, Italy, July-9 Oct 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 26-28 Oct 1945. Mitchel Field, NY, 21 May 1947; Hamilton Field, Calif, 2 Dec 1947; Moses Lake AFB, Wash, 26 Nov 1948; McChord AFB, Wash, 23 Apr 1950-6 Feb 1952. McChord AFB, Wash, 18 Aug 1955-.

Commanders. Maj Leonard C Lydon, 3 Aug 1942; Lt Col Gordon H Austin, 10 Dec 1942; Lt Col Robert L Baseler, 5 Jul 1943; Col Chester L Sluder, 1 Apr 1944; Lt Col Ernest H Beverly, 11 Sep 1944; Col Felix L Vidal, 2 Mar 1945; Lt Col Wyatt P Exum, 6 Jun 1945; Lt Col Wilhelm C Freudenthal, c. 30 Aug 1945- unkn. Unkn, May-Dec 1947; Lt Col Gordon D Timmons, 2 Dec 1947; Col Harold E Kofahl, c. Jan 1948; Lt Col Walter C Hearne, 1948; Lt Col Kermit A Tyler, 6 Mar 1950; Col George W Prentice, 27 Mar 1950-unkn; Col Raymond K Gallagher, 1951-c. Feb 1952. Unkn, 1955-.

Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Sardinia, 30 Jul 1943; Italy, 30 Jan 1944.

Insigne. Shield: Per fess, sable and azure, a fess arched, argent, upper line nebuly, over all a lightning flash or, issuing from dexter chief. Motto: Locare Et Liquidare - Locate and Liquidate. (Approved 1 Oct 1951.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986


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