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343d Fighter Group

Constituted as 343d Fighter Group on 3 Sep 1942 and activated in Alaska on 11 Sep. Assigned to Eleventh AF. Began operations immediately. Provided air defense for the Aleutians; bombed and strafed Japanese camps, antiaircraft emplacements, hangars, and radio stations on Kiska; escorted bombers that struck enemy airfields, harbor facilities, and shipping. Flew its last combat mission in Oct 1943, but carried out patrol and reconnaissance assignments in the area until the end of the war. Later trained, carried mail, and served as part of the defense force for Alaska. Used P-38's and P-40's, and later (1946) P-51's. Inactivated in Alaska on 15 Aug 1946.

Redesignated 343d Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 20 Jun 1955. Activated in the US on 18 Aug 1955. Assigned to Air Defense Command and equipped with F-89's.

Squadrons. 11th: 1942-1946; 1955-. 18th: 1942-1946. 54th: 1942-1946. 344th: 1942-1946.

Stations. Elmendorf Field, Alaska, 11 Sep 1942; Ft Glenn, Alaska, Sep 1942; Elmendorf Field, Alaska, 3 Dec 1942; Adak, 7 Mar 1943; Amchitka, 25 Jul 1943; Alexai Point, Alaska, 22 Jan 1944; Shemya, 5 Oct 1945-15 Aug 1946. Duluth Mun Aprt, Minn, 18 Aug 1955-.

Commanders. Lt Col John S Chennault, 11 Sep 1942; Lt COl Edgar A Boadway, 16 Nov 1942; Maj Edgar A Romberg, 10 Dec 1942; Lt COl Anthony V Grossetta, 19 Mar 1943; Lt Col James R Watt, 19 Apr 1943; Maj Edgar A Romberg, 25 May 1943; Lt Col William E Elder, 3 Jun 1943; COl Robert H Jones, 17 Oct 1943; Lt Col Dean Davenport, 18 Oct 1945; Maj Benjamin H King, 19 Jul-15 Aug 1946. Col George L Hicks III, 18 Aug 1955-.

Campaigns. Aleutian Islands.

Decorations. None.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, fimbriated argent, within a diminutive border gules, an Indian arrow issuing from base, in pale, the shaft or, the arrowhead proper, markings and outline black, the thong fastening of the third, superimposed over the arrowhead a missile, in bend sinister, the power stream swirling upward to dexter chief all of the second, a sound barrier symbol in sinister chief sable. (Approved 3 Feb 1956.)

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


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