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371st Fighter Group

Constituted as 371st Fighter Group on 25 May 1943. Activated on 15 Jul 1943. Moved to the European theater during Feb-Mar 1944 and served in combat with Ninth AF from Apr 1944 to May 1945. Began operations, using P-47's, by making a fighter sweep over France. Flew fighter sweep, dive-bombing, and escort missions prior to the invasion of the Continent. Attacked railroads, trains, vehicles, gun emplacements, and buildings in France during the invasion of 6 Jun 1944. Patrolled beachhead areas and continued assaults against the enemy during the remainder of the Normandy campaign. Participated in the aerial barrage that prepared the way for the Allied breakthrough at St Lo on 25 Jul, and supported the subsequent drive across northern France. Operated in the area of northeastern France and southwestern Germany during the fall and winter of 1944-1945, attacking such targets as storage dumps, trains, rail lines, marshalling yards, buildings, factories, bridges, roads, vehicles, and strong points. Conducted operations that supported Allied ground action in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Launched a series of attacks against vehicles, factories, buildings, railroad cars, tanks, and gun emplacements during the period 15-21 Mar 1945, being awarded a DUC for this six-day action that contributed to the defeat of the enemy in southern Germany. Continued operations until May 1945. Returned to the US, Oct-Nov 1945. Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945.

Redesignated 142d Fighter Group. Allotted to ANG (Ore) on 24 May 1946. Extended federal recognition on 30 Aug 1946. Ordered into active service on 1 Mar 1951. Assigned to Air Defense Command. Redesignated 142d Fighter-Interceptor Group in Apr 1951. Supervised the training of attached squadrons that used F-51, F-84, and F-86 aircraft. Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952. Returned to ANG (Ore) and activated, on 1 Dec 1952.

Squadrons. 404th: 1943-1945. 405th: 1943-1945. 406th: 1943-1945

Stations. Richmond AAB, Va, 15 Jul 1943; Camp Springs AAFld, Md, 30 Sep 1943; Richmond AAB, Va, 18 Jan-14 Feb 1944; Bisterne, England, Mar 1944; Beuzeville, France, Jun 1944; Perthes, France, 18 Sep 1944; Dole/Tavaux, France, 1 Oct 1944; Tantonville, France, 20 Dec 1944; Metz, France, 15 Feb 1945; Frankfurt/Eschborn, Germany, 7 Apr 1945; Furth, Germany, 5 May 1945; Horsching, Austria, 16 Aug 1945; Stuttgart, Germany, Sep-Oct 1945; Camp Shanks, NY, 9-10 Nov 1945. Portland Mun Aprt, Ore, 1 Mar 1951; O'Hare Intl Aprt, Ill, 11 Apr 1951-6 Feb 1952.

Commanders. Col Bingham T Kleine, 27 Jul 1943; Lt Col William P McBride, c. Sep 1945-unkn. Col Harold W Scruggs, 1951-c. Feb 1952.

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

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany, 15-21 Mar 1945. Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 6 Jun-30 Sep 1944.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, issuing from a barrulet engrailed, argent, a demi sun in splendour, or; in chief a stylized futuramic aircraft gules, fimbriated of the second; issuing from base a mountain of three peaks vert, capped argent. Motto: Semper Vigilans - Always on Guard. (Approved 24 Jul 1951.)

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

Museum Collection

   Arrow Bing Kleine
   Arrow James Zweizig


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