as the 57th Pursuit Group.
|| Activated at Mitchell Field, LI, NY, with
personnel from the 8th and 33rd Groups.
|| John Allison assigned to 57th Pursuit Group
from 8th Pursuit Group as 66 Pursuit Squadron
19 officers assigned to 57th Pursuit Group from
8th Pursuit Group by Mitchell Field Air Base
Headquarters Special Orders #104.
|| 16 officers of 57th Pursuit Group temporarily
assigned to 8th Pursuit Group for administrative
and flight training.
57th moves from Mitchell Field to Windsor
Locks Field, CT (later named Bradley Field).
Major Clayton B.
Hughes, Group CO.
Leonard C. Lyden,
Earl B. Young, Adj.
2nd Lt. William
B. Schaffrath, Material
Earl B. Young, Hdq.
1st Lt. Frank Mears,
64 Sqd. CO.
65th Sqd. CO.
Capt. Peter McGoldrick,
66 Sqd. CO.
|| Lt. Jere Chase to Group
Adj. Lt. Howard Johnson to Group S-4. Lydon
King to 66 Sqd. CO.
|| Start of the ill fated cross-country “exercise”. [Please click here for more details]
|| Pearl Harbor attack.
|| Assigned to the defense of the Northeast
coast, Boston Air Defense Region.
|| Major Hughes replaced as
Group CO by Minthorn Reed.
|| Group and Squadron names are changed from
“Pursuit” to “Fighter”.
|| Redesignated the 57th Fighter
|| Ordered to depart for North Africa duty and
report to USAMEAF, General Brereton.
|| Combat Echelon departs Rhode
Island on aircraft carrier Ranger.
Air Echelon departs Miami to Trinidad; departs
Trinidad on July 4th for Belem Brazil; departs
Belem on July 5th for Natal Brazil; departs
Natal on July 6th for Fisherman’s Lake,
|| Ground Echelon departs the U.S.
Alfred P. Mallet to CO, 66 FS.
|| Group assigned to Army Middle
East Air Force. (Named 9th Air Force on Nov.
|| Combat Echelon flies off Carrier Ranger;
planes and pilots arrive in Africa.
|| Planes and pilots arrive
in the Middle East.
|| Pilots of Group go on first mission as part
of 233rd RAF Wing.
First Me-109 shot down by 66 FS.
|| Pilots in first combat with
enemy air as part of 233rd RAF Wing. Group suffers
first casualty – O’Neill, 65th FS,
back, claims one victory.
|| Montgomery takes command of British 8th Army
at El Alamein.
|| All Group personnel now
in the Middle East. Ground personnel arrive.
|| Fairlamb becomes CO of 66 FS.
|| Germans launch an attack
but are repulsed, lines stabilized in 5 days.
|| Group placed under the operational control
of the RAF 211 Group, on active reserve.
|| First combat operation as
a group (under 239 RAF Wing).
|| 66th Sqd. Attached to the 239th RAF Wing.
|| Dust storm – visibility
|| U.S. Desert Air Force activated (redesignation
of the USAMEAF).
||British 8th Army began offensive
at El Alamein.
|| Fuka and Daba occupied, captured by Montgomery.
|| Group temporarily assigned
to RAF 212 Group.
Pilots of the 79th Fighter Group assigned to
the 57th for training.
U.S. Army under Patton invaded Africa at Casablanca.
U.S. Army under Anderson and Ryder invaded Africa
|| Matruh occupied.
|| Sidi Barrani occupied.
|| 8th Army ordered to move through the wire
from Egypt into Libya. Halfaya occupied.
|| Ninth Air Force established
– General Orders #1. Took over functions
|| Tobruk captured/occupied.
|| R.A.F. Squadron 112 (Shark
Nose Squadron) attached to the 57th FG.
|| First D.F.C. awarded to a 57th FG pilot,
to Lyman Middleditch by Vice Marshall Conningham.
|| Group back to 211 RAF Group
under 244 RAF Wing for operations control.
|| Benghazi captured/occupied.
RAF Squadron 112 (Shark Nose) attached to the
66th Sqd. Rejoins the Group.
|| Belandah occupied.
|| Group bombed by one Ju-88, it was shot down.
|| Visitors to Group include:
Gen. Maxwell, Gen. Hurby, Gen. Brereton, Col.
|| Mears promoted to 8th Fighter Wing.
Salisbury assumed command
of the 57th.
Generals Brereton, Hurby, Maxwell, Strickland,
again visit Group.
El Agheila battle began.
|| Red Cross Club for Enlisted Men opened in
|| Sirte occupied.
|| Dust storm at Hamraiet.
|| First of 4 nights of bombing
of the field by the Axis. No casualties.
|| Bombed again, no casualties.
||Beural Line offensive begins.
|| Homs occupied.
|| Tripoli occupied.
|| Churchill visits the Group.
|| Group stood down until February
|| RAF Sqd 112 detached and returned to RAF
|| Zuara occupied.
|| Sand and dust storms for 2 days. Planes out
of commission until Feb. 18.
|| Spits land at night. Their
airfield was being threatened by German offensive.
|| 314th Sqd of 324th Fighter Group attached
to the 57th.
|| Archie Knight downed, returned
on Mar. 14th.
|| Attack begins on the Mareth Line by the British
8th Army. New Zealanders outflank German line.
|| El Hamma occupied.
|| Eisenhower visits Group
|| Wadi Akarit battle begins.
|| British 8th Army joined by American army
coming east from Algeria.
|| Sfax occupied.
|| Souse captured.
|| Von Arnhim replaces Rommel
as German Commander.
|| Palm Sunday Massacre. Group shoots down at
least 75 Axis planes. (The Goose Shoot).
|| First of 2 nights of bombing
by Axis. 1 killed (Smith), 7 wounded.
|| Tunis battle began – Tunis falls on
|| Tunis captured.
|| Gen. Von Arnhim and 175,000 Germans surrender.
|| All Axis forces in Tunisia
Wymond replaces Thomas as 65 FS CO.
|| Curl replaces Yates as 66 FS CO.
|| Air operations against Pantelleria
began. (Operation Corkscrew).
|| Sqd. 314 returned to its own Group 324.
|| Pantelleria surrendered
– as a result of air action only.
|| Lampedusa surrendered.
|| Move to Tripoli harbor,
to HMS Landing Barge, to Valetta, Malta.
|| Group’s airfield bombed.
|| Through July 13th, no operations
|| Sicily invaded (Operation Husky).
|| Parties arrive at Pachino,
Italy beachhead and on to Pachino L. G. (Landing
Ground) followed on same day by aircraft
|| First operation of a U.S. air group from
Captain Wymond (65 CO) injured in crash landing
near Syracuse, Sicily.
Edward “Duke” Ellington takes over
as CO of 65th FS.
|| Col. Salisbury downed by
flak (bailed out) – returned the next
|| Move to Scordia from Pachino started.
|| 2000th mission flown by
Major Knight awarded the Silver Star.
|| Sicily totally secure – in Allied hands.
Art Exon becomes CO of 64th FS.
|| Glen Reich replaces Curl
as CO of 66th FS.
|| 57th FG transfers from 9th Air Force to 12th
|| Invasion of Italy at Reggio
di Calabria by British and Canadian troops of
the 8th Army (Operation Baytown).
|| Italy surrenders.
|| Invasion of Italy at Salerno
|| Through the 18th, Group leaves Sicily via
LST, Ferry, etc., for Italy.
|| Naples falls/captured.
|| Through the 25th, first incursions by Group
|| Doolittle visited Group,
|| 6 Ju’s destroyed over Yugoslavia –
|| “C” Parties
that were left in Africa join Group in Italy.
Stephanic is CO of 66 FS from 11/1/43 to 11/5/43.
|| Reich is CO of 66th FS from 11/6/43 to 11/9/43.
|| Gardner is CO of 66th FS
from 11/10/43 to 11/30/43 (or 12/12/43?).
|| First delivery of the P-47 Thunderbolt, 12
of them, 4 to each squadron.
|| 64th FS flies 54 sorties,
a daily record for that squadron.
|| 12 P-47’s flown in from Africa.
|| Briefing on P-47’s.
|| All month – missions to Yugoslavia.
|| Lou Frank bails out over
|| First mission with P-47 Thunderbolts.
Group’s first mission with P-47’s,
first in area.
|| Generals Cannon, Spaatz,
Arnold visit Group.
||Lou Frank returns from Yugoslavia.
|| Red Benedict becomes CO
of 66th FS.
|| 66th FS Thunderbolts destroy several e/a
over Yugoslavia. No losses.
|| Typhus in Naples. City is
Most of the month, missions were flown supporting
|| Through the 13th, no operations – weather.
100 mph winds raise havoc with the camp.
|| More P-47’s arrive.
Training in P-47’s underway for several
|| Third anniversary of activation – party
and dance in Foggia.
|| Thunderbolts engage 15 Me-109’s,
destroy 6, probable 3 damaged. No losses.
|| Thunderbolts and Warhawks engage 5 Me-109’s,
3 destroyed. No losses.
|| Farewell party for Col.
|| Salisbury goes to England on Detached Service,
Last mission using the P-40’s, the Warhawk.
|| P-40’s departed.
Major Donery of XII Air Force inspects the Group.
Rating is Very Satisfactory.
64th FS flies its first mission with P-47’s.
|| G.G. Johnson, F.W. Snyder, W.E. Schneider,
J.J. Burke transferred to 79th FG, which is
short of pilots.
|| 64th FS sets fire to U-boat
in Yugoslavia’s Trager Harbor.
Humphrey Bogart and wife visited Group.
|| Bad weather – only 10 missions all
Last month under operational control by RAF.
Now under US operational control.
|| Group attacked by four Me-109’s,
one destroyed, one damaged. No losses.
|| John Aldis, flight surgeon of 65th FS, transferred
|| Real butter arrives at mess.
Replaces lard and axel grease.
|| No flying now for two weeks – weather.
Test of 150-gallon plastic gas tanks unsuccessful.
|| Two aborted missions.
|| Through the 21st – no missions.
|| Rumor of poisoned liquor
– all liquor to be tested.
|| 64th Sqd opens new club.
|| H.R. Williams parachutes
into no-mans land on the beachhead.
|| Enlisted men have party with Red Cross girls
and WACS. First contact with AmeriFeb. 28can
girls in two years.
|| 200-foot ship sunk by Leaf.
140-foot tugboat sunk by Benedict.
|| Leap Year day. Group receives orders to prepare
to move to Naples area.
|| Occupied field jointly with
324th FG – very crowded.
|| A shipment of Coca Cola arrived – first
since Group left the U.S.
|| Gen. Seville visited Group
– presented awards.
|| Officers from England arrive for close support
|| Several pilots from AF units
in England attached to Group to learn close
Operation Strangle began this month.
|| Col. Lydo, CO of 324th FG visits Group. He
was in the 57th FG in 1941.
|| Exon, 64th CO’s plane
shot up badly, gets back OK.
Col. Lydon invites all 57th personnel to all
364th FG movies.
|| Mt. Vesuvius erupts through March 23rd.
|| 64th FS Officers vacate
quarters at 2 am due to approaching lava.
|| Planes moved to Marchanise to protect them
C.A. Riley returns to U.S., Benjamin H. King
becomes 66th FS Engineering Officer.
|| Begin move from Cercola
Italy, to Alto Corsica.
|| Lt. Coughlin shot down by Spitfires –
|| “A Party” arrived
on Corsica (Ajaccio). Planes arrived March 30
(Alto). Operation Strangle all month.
|| Exon gets one Me-109, Lenihan damages another
|| Enemy aircraft becoming
scarce, only 5 damaged this month.
|| Gen. Cannon visits Group.
|| Private Dyer killed, another
wounded in nearby Corsican town.
|| Eleven Italian torpedo bombers encountered,
6 downed, 5 probable.
|| First missions to France.
|| M/Sgt. H. Beck wounded by shrapnel from bomb
dropped on runway by friendly squadron.
|| Benedict, 66 FS CO, went
down at sea – rescued.
|| Gen. Cannon and Col. Darey visited Group,
personnel of Group interviewed by Yank magazine.
|| Col. Knight replaces Col.
Salisbury as Group CO.
Col. Yates replaces Col. Mullins as Group Deputy
CO. Mullins returns to U.S.
Personnel issued summer clothes.
|| Art Exon 64th FS CO – downed by ammo
train explosion - MIA.
|| Lou Frank becomes CO of
|| Col. Salisbury visits group through April
Benedict destroys a tunnel by sliding a 1000
pounder into it.
Yates took over as Deputy CO of Group.
Bastia, Corsica shelled by enemy sub.
|| New pilot “Leave Plan”:
30-day travel, 30-day leave for pilots who return
to fight again.
Leaf to U.S. for 30-day leave and 30-day travel
|| Col. Salisbury returns to England.
|| Operation Strangle all month.
|| Group is officially cited for the Cape Bon
|| Joe Reynolds is made Group
Hunziker and Eaglen are temporary CO’s
of 65th FS through May to June 20th.
|| French 2/5 Squadron arrives at Alto, Corsica.
|| Night bombing at Alto Base
|| Sgt. A. Schoenfeld, and E.A. Ryan return
to the U.S.
|| W.W. Sorn transferred out
of the 66th FS.
Branchia and Hitchcock join 66th FS.
|| 11 planes on the ground destroyed (7 FW-190,
3 Ju-88, 1 Henschel).
|| 4 FW-190 downed; Kriss,
Flood, Ehney, Kaiser each get one.
Many P-38’s and P-51’s land at field
for refueling on a long mission.
|| Many formations of heavy bombers fly over
field on their way up north.
|| First P-47 with bubble canopy
and uncamouflaged arrives.
New plane, #45 bought by employees of Republic,
presented to Group.
|| Operation Strangle all month.
Supported the capture of Elba Island by the
|| S/Sgt. Percy Geuin severely
injured in swimming accident – he dies
|| Col. Paul, XII TAC Air Inspector visits Group.
|| Rome captured.
Benedict replaced by McCoy as CO of 66th FS
Benedict goes to 87 Fighter Wing.
|| D-Day up in Normandy France. All ears glued
to the radios.
|| 5 pilots lost today in Operation
Strangle. Most to date in any one day.
Bomb line is now between Rome and Florence.
|| Civitavechio falls to Allies.
|| 79th FG moves into field
just north of Alto.
Col. Darcy visited - decorated many.
|| French 2/5 and 2/3 Squadrons assigned from
57the FG to a French FG that has just arrived
|| Elba is invaded by the French.
The 57th provides aerial support.
|| George Kriss and George C. Ballow return
to the U.S.
|| S/Sgt. Louis J. Cooper and
Cpls. Douglas and Platz return to the U.S.
|| Operation Strangle all month.
|| A twelve-plane flight, short
of gas, refuels at Piscara and comes on home.
Second anniversary of Group being overseas.
Duo Ani party.
Gen. Cannon, Gen. Seville, and Col. Darcy visit
Group. Gen. Cannon presented 2 streamers, many
awards to individuals.
Gen. Alexander sent congratulations on 2 very
great years of combat.
Three pilots and one EM join the Group.
Six FW-190’s downed by 66th FS and one
probable. No losses. Bettinger – 1, T.O.
Davis -1, Claude Rahn – 1, Howard Cleveland
-2, R. Johnson -1. Two damaged.
|| Claude Rahn, KIA – Flak.
Howard Cleveland lands in sea, rescued by the
Lt. Col. William Wyler and his movie crew arrive
to film 57th FG action.
|| Col. Lydon, CO of the 324th
FG again visits the group.
|| Lou Pernicka ends up in the sea on his first
mission. Walrus rescues him.
64th FS plane catches fire on the runway, bombs
explode, plane destroyed.
French pilot strafed Alto runway – he
was trying to land.
Group instructed to send copies of all news
publications to Army Air Forces Library, Washington
Bastille Day in Corsica. Many men went to the
villages to join the activities.
|| Zuesloft finally gets paid.
Hadn’t been paid for 11 months.
|| Cap. McCoy (CO since June 5 – temporarily)
replaced by Charles Leaf.
Cap. McCoy returns to U.S.
|| Runway being repaired for
7 days. The hump in the middle of the runway
is being leveled and steel matting is being
Many Group planes are “stationed”
on the 79th FG in case of emergency.
|| Eleven new pilots join the Group.
|| J.B. Wise and C.J. Yoder
return to the U.S.
|| A-2 orders the group to report to 23rd Fighter
Wing – Temporary duty.
|| Group, to date, has flown
2066 missions, 23,193 sorties.
|| Col. Darcy visited the Group – presented
|| Gen. Cannon visited.
|| Skorpowski (name changed to Conrad after
the war) from Adj. to Engineering Officer 66
FS. Sexauer to Adj. 66 FS.
Fighter Groups to be stood down 1&1/2 days
for every 6 days of action.
Joe Louis put on boxing exhibition.
|| Archbishop Spellman visited
the Group unexpectedly.
|| Gen. Cannon presents 3rd Presidential Citation.
|| Invasion of Southern France.
57th FG in total support effort over invasion
Charlie Leaf leads first 57th flight off, one
hour before dawn.
By 8 am, the Group had 17 flights over the beach.
|| Armies in Southern France moving fast. Almost
out of fighter range.
Pridgeon gets his first Me-109.
|| Notice received to get ready
|| Paris falls to Allies.
Pernicka has “forced” landing on
the invasion beach.
|| Full attack on the Gothic
Line began – to drive the Germans into
the Po Valley.
|| Only one engagement with e/a all month, one
destroyed with no losses, e/a essentially non-existent.
|| Getting ready to move –
British 8th Army starts push against German
|| French FG moves to France.
|| 16 planes, (8 of 64th FS
and 8 of 66th FS) fly to Cecira Landing Ground
(LG) to fly a special mission for 232nd Wing.
Group to move, not to France, but back to Italy.
Group leaves Alto, Corsica, gets to Ombrone,
Italy (outside of Grosseto). All there by September
|| Group now reports to XII Tactical Air Command
instead of XII Fighter Command.
|| Much rain, Ombrone Airfield
under water, planes mired in mud.
|| Planes moved from Ombrone to Grosseto Main
(all weather) Airfield due to flooding.
|| Uncle Bud killed by Jeep.
|| No e/a encountered this month. 7 pilots MIA,
1 killed, 1 rescued by seaplane.
|| Men being instructed on
voting procedures on upcoming election –
|| Bridge between Grosseto Main and beach living
quarters that was destroyed by the retreating
Germans is rebuilt by the 57th personnel. It
cuts 3 miles off the trip between quarters and
|| Returning to the U.S. are
Bettinger, Carlson, Davenport, Casida, Fleming,
|| Letters home can now mention historical places
visited, but they cannot say when, or how you
got there, the direction or how far it was.
|| XII Fighter Command redesignated
XXII Tactical Air Command (TAC).
|| Former 66th FS CO Col. Curl visits Group.
|| No e/a encountered all month.
3 pilots MIA.
|| Through the 3rd, steady rain.
|| Flood, all bridges out.
|| Big flood – Grosseto.
66th FS camp area evacuated by boat.
|| German Marshall Kesselring
reported wounded by strafing planes.
Began “Operation Bingo” –
The Brenner Pass Operation.
|| Campaign from Corsica ads another battle
|| All personnel moved into
city of Grosseto.
|| U.S.O. Show. Leo Durocher, Tom Henry, Nick
Elton, et al.
|| Dyer goes home.
|| Thanksgiving meal; Turkey, dressing, cranberry
sauce, fruits, nuts, candy, et al.
|| One stray Me-109 found in
area all month. 5 pilots fought over who would
get him – each given credit for a fifth.
9 pilots MIA during the month.
|| XXII TAC inspects the Group.
|| Weaver becomes First Sgt.
Of 64th FS.
|| Gen. Chidlaw visits the Group.
|| 66th FS flies its 1000th
mission lead by Richard Johnson.
Enemy jet aircraft seen in the distance –
out of range.
|| 64th FS flies its 1000th mission.
|| Christmas spirits arrive
- $13.40 per bottle.
|| No missions after noon.
Gen. Cannon visited – Knight gets a Christmas
present – a couple of birds.
|| Dam at Grosseto breaks.
|| Enlisted Men of 64th FS ordered to quit urinating
in the front of the barracks.
|| 65th FS flies its 1000th
|| O’Laughlin replaces Weaver as 1st Sgt.
Of 64th FS.
|| 8 pilots MIA for the month.
3000th mission flown by the Group.
|| Sabotage suspected in flight line of 64th
FS because of 3 take off accidents.
|| S/Sgt. Robert Smith married
Lt. Patricia Thompson (Army Nurse).
|| 4th Anniversary of activation of the Group
– party time.
|| Col. Salisbury farewell
dinner – he’s off to England.
|| Chase moved up to XXII TAC.
|| No e/a encountered all month.
7 pilots MIA, 2 killed.
|| Chase visited the Group – must miss
|| Group for the first time
used “Auntie” – radar controller
for target location.
|| Spike cones dropped on runways of German
Villafranca Airfield to discourage their night
bombing of front lines.
|| 10 pilots MIA, 2 killed,
3 previous MIA’s confirmed as KIA, 2 previous
MIA now POW.
|| No e/a encountered all month, 6 pilots MIA,
1 KIA, 3 rescued, in friendly hands in enemy
|| Filer got his commission.
|| 3 Me-109’s found but they got away
only damaged – no scratches on 57th Group
|| A dog in the Group has rabies.
All dogs “quarantined” for rabies
|| Col. Salisbury visited the Group.
|| 163 sorties – probably
a record – over 400 motor transports plus
much else destroyed, 3 pilots lost.
|| One officer and 10 EM joined Group from 6755
Ord. Co. which was being disbanded.
|| Group moves from Grosseto
to Villa Franca.
|| Northern Italians welcome 57th FG as liberators.
|| Group “settled down”
for operating at Villafranca Airfield –
surrounded by many straggling Germans looking
for a place to surrender.
German General Von Brock – now a POW –
lands at Villafranca on his way south.
|| 10th German Army in Italy, German Armies
in Austria all surrender.
|| Group ordered to return
|| Through May 9th, Group returns to Grosseto.
Bronze Star awarded to Amacher, Boyle, Booker,
|| German Armies in all of
Europe surrender – VE Day.
|| Many German Generals - now POW’s -
passing through Villafranca on the way south.
|| Point system announced for
discharge from the Army – 85 got you out
– almost all ground personnel had them.
|| Knight went home.
|| Yates becomes Group Deputy
Hunziker becomes Group Deputy CO.
James Hare becomes Group Operations Officer.
Richard Johnson becomes Group Air Inspetor.
Quentin Goss becomes Assistant Air Inspector.
|| Rodeo at Grosseto Downs.
|| Men with 85 points got transferred
to units going home.
|| 3rd Anniversary overseas – party time.
|| 39 Officers and 220 Enlisted
Men of the 64th FS leave Grosseto by rail at
2300 hours for Bagnoli, Italy staging area #3,
arriving next day at 2000 hours.
|| 65th & 66 FS similarly proceed to staging
area arriving next day.
|| Last outgoing mail from
|| To Port of Naples, board Sea Owl next day.
|| Group departs Italian soil
aboard USAT Sea Owl bound for the Pacific Theatre.
Atom Bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
|| Atom Bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
|| Shipboard personnel receive
word of Japanese surrender, end of war announced
as Sea Owl heads for Panama Canal.
|| Sea Owl ordered to change course and proceed
to Boston. Parties erupt.
|| All men hanging on the rail
looking for land though not visible for two
|| Sea Owl steams into Boston Harbor at 11am
to “Welcome Home” banners and whistle
blowing by all boats in the harbor, and debarked.
First U.S. Army Air Force Fighter Group to return
to U.S. soil.
Moved by rail to Camp Miles Standish, MA, arrive
|| All personnel TDY. ASR score
lowered to 80 points.
|| All personnel are on TDY and receive orders
extending TDY for 15 more days.
|| Few personnel reported to
Drew Field, Florida according to TDY orders
and those who did and with sufficient points
were immediately diverted to various distribution
centers for discharge.
|| Group inactivated.