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4th Fighter Group

Constituted as 4th Fighter Group on 22 Aug 1942. Activated in England on 12 Sep 1942. Former members of RAF Eagle Squadrons formed the nucleus of the group, which served in combat from Oct 1942 to Apr 1945 and destroyed more enemy planes in the air and on the ground than any other fighter group of Eighth AF. Operated first with Spitfires but changed to P-47's in Mar 1943 and to P-51's in Apr 1944. On numerous occasions escorted bombers that attacked factories, submarine pens, V-weapon sites, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, or Germany. Went out sometimes with a small force of bombers to draw up the enemy's fighters so they could be destroyed in aerial combat. At other times attacked the enemy's air power by strafing and dive-bombing airfields. Also hit troops, supply depots, roads, bridges, rail lines, and trains. Participated in the intensive campaign against the German Air Force and aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. Received a DUC for aggressiveness in seeking out and destroying enemy aircraft and in attacking enemy air bases, 5 Mar-24 Apr 1944. Flew interdictory and counter-air missions during the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944. Supported the airborne invasion of Holland in Sep. Participated in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Covered the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Moved to the US in Nov. Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945.

Activated on 9 Sep 1946. Equipped with P-80's. Converted to F-86 aircraft in 1949. Redesignated 4th Fighter-Interceptor Group in Jan 1950. Moved to Japan, Nov-Dec 1950, for duty with Far East Air Forces in the Korean War. Began operations from Japan on 15 Dec 1950 and moved to Korea in Mar 1951. Escorted bombers, made fighter sweeps, engaged in interdiction of the enemy's lines of communications, flew armed reconnaissance sorties, conducted counter-air patrols, served as an air defense organization, and provided close support for ground forces. One member of the group, Maj George A Davis Jr, commander of the 334th squadron, was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 10 Feb 1952 when, leading a flight of two F-86's, Davis spotted twelve enemy planes (MiG's), attacked, and destroyed three before his plane crashed in the mountains. The group returned to Japan in the fall of 1954. Redesignated 4th Fighter-Bomber Group in Mar 1955.

Squadrons. 334th: 1942-1945; 1946-. 335th: 1942-1945; 1946-. 336th: 1942-1945; 1946-.

Stations. Bushey Hall, England, 12 Sep 1942; Debden, England, Sep 1942; Steeple Morden, England, Jul-Nov 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, c. 10 Nov 1945. Selfridge Field, Mich, 9 Sep 1946; Andrews Field, Md, Mar 1947; Langley AFB, Va, c. 30 Apr 1949; New Castle County Aprt, Del, Aug-Nov 1950; Johnson AB, Japan, Dec 1950; Suwon, Korea, Mar 1951; Kimpo, Korea, Aug 1951; Chitose, Japan, c. 1 Nov 1954-.

Commanders. Col Edward W Anderson, Sep 1942; Col Chesley G Peterson, Aug 1943; Col Donald M Blakeslee, 1 Jan 1944; Lt Col Claiborne H Kinnard Jr, Nov 1944; Lt Col Harry Dayhuff, 7 Dec 1944; Col Everett W Stewart, 21 Feb 1945-unkn. Col Ernest H Beverly, Sep 1946; Lt Col Benjamin S Preston Jr, Aug 1948; Col Albert L Evans Jr, Jun 1949; Col John C Meyer, c. 1 Sep 1950; Lt Col Glenn T Eagleston, May 1951; Col Benjamin S Preston Jr, Jul 1951; Col Walker M Mahurin, 18 Mar 1952; Lt Col Ralph G Kuhn, 14 May 1952; Col Royal N Baker, 1 Jun 1952; Col Thomas D DeJarnette, 18 Mar 1953; Col Henry S Tyler Jr, c. 28 Dec 1953; Lt Col Dean W Dutrack, c. 19 Jul 1954; Col William D Gilchrist, c. 9 Aug 1954; Col George I Ruddell, c. 4 May 1955-.

Campaigns. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe. Korean War: CCF Intervention; 1st UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1953.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: France, 5 Mar-24 Apr 1944; Korea, 22 Apr-8 Jul 1951; Korea, 9 Jul-27 Nov 1951. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations: 1 Nov 1951-30 Sep 1952; 1 Oct 1952-31 Mar 1953.

Insigne. Shield: Azure on a bend or, a spear garnished with three eagle feathers and shaft flammant to base all proper. Crest: On a wreath of the colors, or and azure, a lion's face or. Motto: Fourth But First. (Approved 26 Sep 1949.)

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


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