Personal Stories

Calendar of Events

Chronological history of notable events in the
life of the 57th FG. By Wayne S. Dodds, pilot 66th FS.

Nov. 20 Constituted as the 57th Pursuit Group.
Jan. 15 Activated at Mitchell Field, LI, NY, with personnel from the 8th and 33rd Groups.
May 1 John Allison assigned to 57th Pursuit Group from 8th Pursuit Group as 66 Pursuit Squadron CO.
19 officers assigned to 57th Pursuit Group from 8th Pursuit Group by Mitchell Field Air Base Headquarters Special Orders #104.
Aug. 7 16 officers of 57th Pursuit Group temporarily assigned to 8th Pursuit Group for administrative and flight training.
Aug. 19

57th moves from Mitchell Field to Windsor Locks Field, CT (later named Bradley Field). Officers are:

Major Clayton B. Hughes, Group CO.
Leonard C. Lyden, Group Operations.
Earl B. Young, Adj.
2nd Lt. William B. Schaffrath, Material
Earl B. Young, Hdq. Sq. CO.
1st Lt. Frank Mears, 64 Sqd. CO.
Phillip Cochran, 65th Sqd. CO.
Capt. Peter McGoldrick, 66 Sqd. CO.
Oct. 1 Lt. Jere Chase to Group Adj. Lt. Howard Johnson to Group S-4. Lydon King to 66 Sqd. CO.
Oct. 18 Start of the ill fated cross-country “exercise”. [Please click here for more details
Dec. 7 Pearl Harbor attack.
Dec. 8 Assigned to the defense of the Northeast coast, Boston Air Defense Region.
Dec. 12 Major Hughes replaced as Group CO by Minthorn Reed.
May 12 Group and Squadron names are changed from “Pursuit” to “Fighter”.
May 15 Redesignated the 57th Fighter Group.
Jun. 28 Ordered to depart for North Africa duty and report to USAMEAF, General Brereton.
Jul. 1 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, Liberia.
Jul. 16 Ground Echelon departs the U.S.
Alfred P. Mallet to CO, 66 FS.
Jul. 18 Group assigned to Army Middle East Air Force. (Named 9th Air Force on Nov. 12, 1942).
Jul. 19 Combat Echelon flies off Carrier Ranger; planes and pilots arrive in Africa.
Ju.. 30 Planes and pilots arrive in the Middle East.
Aug. 9 Pilots of Group go on first mission as part of 233rd RAF Wing.
First Me-109 shot down by 66 FS.
Aug. 12 Pilots in first combat with enemy air as part of 233rd RAF Wing. Group suffers first casualty – O’Neill, 65th FS, who swam
back, claims one victory.
Aug. 13 Montgomery takes command of British 8th Army at El Alamein.
Aug. 19 All Group personnel now in the Middle East. Ground personnel arrive.
Aug. 25 Fairlamb becomes CO of 66 FS.
Aug. 30 Germans launch an attack but are repulsed, lines stabilized in 5 days.
Sept. 16 Group placed under the operational control of the RAF 211 Group, on active reserve.
Sept. 19 First combat operation as a group (under 239 RAF Wing).
Oct. 6 66th Sqd. Attached to the 239th RAF Wing.
Oct. 16 Dust storm – visibility 5 feet.
Oct. 22 U.S. Desert Air Force activated (redesignation of the USAMEAF).
Oct. 23 British 8th Army began offensive at El Alamein.
Nov. 5 Fuka and Daba occupied, captured by Montgomery.
Nov. 6 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 at Oran.
Nov. 8 Matruh occupied.
Nov. 9 Sidi Barrani occupied.
Nov. 11 8th Army ordered to move through the wire from Egypt into Libya. Halfaya occupied.
Nov. 12 Ninth Air Force established – General Orders #1. Took over functions of U.S.D.A.F.
Nov. 13 Tobruk captured/occupied.
Nov. 14 R.A.F. Squadron 112 (Shark Nose Squadron) attached to the 57th FG.
Nov. 15 First D.F.C. awarded to a 57th FG pilot, to Lyman Middleditch by Vice Marshall Conningham.
Nov. 17 Group back to 211 RAF Group under 244 RAF Wing for operations control.
Nov. 20 Benghazi captured/occupied.
RAF Squadron 112 (Shark Nose) attached to the 57th Group.
66th Sqd. Rejoins the Group.
Dec. 11 Belandah occupied.
Dec. 12 Group bombed by one Ju-88, it was shot down.
Dec. 13 Visitors to Group include: Gen. Maxwell, Gen. Hurby, Gen. Brereton, Col. Strickland.
Dec. 22 Mears promoted to 8th Fighter Wing.
Dec. 23

Salisbury assumed command of the 57th.
Generals Brereton, Hurby, Maxwell, Strickland, again visit Group.
El Agheila battle began.

Dec. 24 Red Cross Club for Enlisted Men opened in Cairo.
Dec. 25 Sirte occupied.
Jan. 3 Dust storm at Hamraiet.
Jan. 5 First of 4 nights of bombing of the field by the Axis. No casualties.
Jan. 12 Bombed again, no casualties.
Jan. 15 Beural Line offensive begins. (Tripoli drive).
Jan. 20 Homs occupied.
Jan. 23 Tripoli occupied.
Jan. 25 Churchill visits the Group.
Jan. 26 Group stood down until February 25.
Jan. 28 RAF Sqd 112 detached and returned to RAF Wing 239.
Feb. 1 Zuara occupied.
Feb. 11 Sand and dust storms for 2 days. Planes out of commission until Feb. 18.
Mar. 1 Spits land at night. Their airfield was being threatened by German offensive.
Mar. 8 314th Sqd of 324th Fighter Group attached to the 57th.
Mar. 13 Archie Knight downed, returned on Mar. 14th.
Mar. 20 Attack begins on the Mareth Line by the British 8th Army. New Zealanders outflank German line.
Mar. 28 El Hamma occupied.
Mar. 31 Eisenhower visits Group
Apr. 6 Wadi Akarit battle begins.
Apr. 8 British 8th Army joined by American army coming east from Algeria.
Apr. 10 Sfax occupied.
Apr. 12 Souse captured.
Apr. 14 Von Arnhim replaces Rommel as German Commander.
Apr. 18 Palm Sunday Massacre. Group shoots down at least 75 Axis planes. (The Goose Shoot).
Apr. 19 First of 2 nights of bombing by Axis. 1 killed (Smith), 7 wounded.
May 4 Tunis battle began – Tunis falls on May 7.
May 7 Tunis captured.
May 12 Gen. Von Arnhim and 175,000 Germans surrender.
May 13 All Axis forces in Tunisia surrendered.
Wymond replaces Thomas as 65 FS CO.
May 14 Curl replaces Yates as 66 FS CO.
May 18 Air operations against Pantelleria began. (Operation Corkscrew).
May 23 Sqd. 314 returned to its own Group 324.
Jun. 11 Pantelleria surrendered – as a result of air action only.
Jun. 12 Lampedusa surrendered.
Jun. 23 Move to Tripoli harbor, to HMS Landing Barge, to Valetta, Malta.
Jun. 24 Group’s airfield bombed.
Jul. 7 Through July 13th, no operations – weather.
Jul. 10 Sicily invaded (Operation Husky).
Jul. 19 Parties arrive at Pachino, Italy beachhead and on to Pachino L. G. (Landing Ground) followed on same day by aircraft
from Malta.
Jul. 20 First operation of a U.S. air group from Italian soil.
Captain Wymond (65 CO) injured in crash landing near Syracuse, Sicily.
Edward “Duke” Ellington takes over as CO of 65th FS.
Jul. 22 Col. Salisbury downed by flak (bailed out) – returned the next day.
Jul. 29 Move to Scordia from Pachino started.
Jul. 31 2000th mission flown by the Group.
Major Knight awarded the Silver Star.
Aug. 17 Sicily totally secure – in Allied hands.
Art Exon becomes CO of 64th FS.
Aug. 18 Glen Reich replaces Curl as CO of 66th FS.
Aug. 22 57th FG transfers from 9th Air Force to 12th Air Force.
Sep. 3 Invasion of Italy at Reggio di Calabria by British and Canadian troops of the 8th Army (Operation Baytown).
Sep. 8 Italy surrenders.
Sep. 9 Invasion of Italy at Salerno (Operation Avalanche).
Sep. 16 Through the 18th, Group leaves Sicily via LST, Ferry, etc., for Italy.
Oct. 11 Naples falls/captured.
Oct. 17 Through the 25th, first incursions by Group into Yugoslavia.
Oct. 20 Doolittle visited Group, presented awards.
Oct. 21 6 Ju’s destroyed over Yugoslavia – no losses.
Nov. 1 “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.
Nov. 6 Reich is CO of 66th FS from 11/6/43 to 11/9/43.
Nov. 10 Gardner is CO of 66th FS from 11/10/43 to 11/30/43 (or 12/12/43?).
Nov. 11 First delivery of the P-47 Thunderbolt, 12 of them, 4 to each squadron.
Nov. 26 64th FS flies 54 sorties, a daily record for that squadron.
Nov. 28 12 P-47’s flown in from Africa.
Nov. 29 Briefing on P-47’s.
Dec. All month – missions to Yugoslavia.
Dec. 2 Lou Frank bails out over Yugoslavia.
Dec. 5 First mission with P-47 Thunderbolts.
Group’s first mission with P-47’s, first in area.
Dec. 9 Generals Cannon, Spaatz, Arnold visit Group.
Dec. 11 Lou Frank returns from Yugoslavia.
Dec. 13 Red Benedict becomes CO of 66th FS.
Dec. 16 66th FS Thunderbolts destroy several e/a over Yugoslavia. No losses.
Dec. 18 Typhus in Naples. City is “off limits”.
Most of the month, missions were flown supporting Yugoslavian Partisans.
Jan. 1 Through the 13th, no operations – weather.
100 mph winds raise havoc with the camp.
Jan. 12 More P-47’s arrive. Training in P-47’s underway for several days.
Jan. 15 Third anniversary of activation – party and dance in Foggia.
Jan. 16 Thunderbolts engage 15 Me-109’s, destroy 6, probable 3 damaged. No losses.
Jan. 17 Thunderbolts and Warhawks engage 5 Me-109’s, 3 destroyed. No losses.
Jan. 19 Farewell party for Col. Salisbury.
Jan. 20 Salisbury goes to England on Detached Service, special assignment.
Last mission using the P-40’s, the Warhawk.
Jan. 22 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.
Jan. 29 G.G. Johnson, F.W. Snyder, W.E. Schneider, J.J. Burke transferred to 79th FG, which is short of pilots.
Jan. 30 64th FS sets fire to U-boat in Yugoslavia’s Trager Harbor.
Humphrey Bogart and wife visited Group.
Feb. Bad weather – only 10 missions all month.
Last month under operational control by RAF. Now under US operational control.
Feb. 3 Group attacked by four Me-109’s, one destroyed, one damaged. No losses.
Feb. 6 John Aldis, flight surgeon of 65th FS, transferred to India.
Feb. 7 Real butter arrives at mess. Replaces lard and axel grease.
Feb. 15 No flying now for two weeks – weather.
Test of 150-gallon plastic gas tanks unsuccessful.
Feb. 16 Two aborted missions.
Feb. 17 Through the 21st – no missions.
Feb. 18 Rumor of poisoned liquor – all liquor to be tested.
Feb. 19 64th Sqd opens new club.
Feb. 22 H.R. Williams parachutes into no-mans land on the beachhead.
Feb. 26 Enlisted men have party with Red Cross girls and WACS. First contact with AmeriFeb. 28can girls in two years.
Feb. 28 200-foot ship sunk by Leaf. 140-foot tugboat sunk by Benedict.
Feb. 29 Leap Year day. Group receives orders to prepare to move to Naples area.
Mar. 1 Occupied field jointly with 324th FG – very crowded.
Mar. 4 A shipment of Coca Cola arrived – first since Group left the U.S.
Mar. 8 Gen. Seville visited Group – presented awards.
Mar. 9 Officers from England arrive for close support indoctrination.
Mar. 14 Several pilots from AF units in England attached to Group to learn close support tactics.
Operation Strangle began this month.
Mar. 15 Col. Lydo, CO of 324th FG visits Group. He was in the 57th FG in 1941.
Mar. 16 Exon, 64th CO’s plane shot up badly, gets back OK.
Col. Lydon invites all 57th personnel to all 364th FG movies.
Mar. 18 Mt. Vesuvius erupts through March 23rd.
Mar. 20 64th FS Officers vacate quarters at 2 am due to approaching lava.
Mar. 22 Planes moved to Marchanise to protect them from lava.
C.A. Riley returns to U.S., Benjamin H. King becomes 66th FS Engineering Officer.
Mar. 23 Begin move from Cercola Italy, to Alto Corsica.
Mar. 24 Lt. Coughlin shot down by Spitfires – mistaken identity.
Mar. 26 “A Party” arrived on Corsica (Ajaccio). Planes arrived March 30 (Alto). Operation Strangle all month.
Mar. 29 Exon gets one Me-109, Lenihan damages another Me-109.
Mar. 31 Enemy aircraft becoming scarce, only 5 damaged this month.
Apr. 4 Gen. Cannon visits Group.
Apr. 5 Private Dyer killed, another wounded in nearby Corsican town.
Apr. 6 Eleven Italian torpedo bombers encountered, 6 downed, 5 probable.
Apr. 12 First missions to France.
Apr. 13 M/Sgt. H. Beck wounded by shrapnel from bomb dropped on runway by friendly squadron.
Apr. 15 Benedict, 66 FS CO, went down at sea – rescued.
Apr. 17 Gen. Cannon and Col. Darey visited Group, personnel of Group interviewed by Yank magazine.
Apr. 18 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.
Apr. 20 Art Exon 64th FS CO – downed by ammo train explosion - MIA.
Apr. 21 Lou Frank becomes CO of 64th FS.
Apr. 22 Col. Salisbury visits group through April 30th.
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.
Apr. 28 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 time.
Apr. 30 Col. Salisbury returns to England.
May Operation Strangle all month.
May 1 Group is officially cited for the Cape Bon Turkey Shoot.
May 2 Joe Reynolds is made Group Ops Officer.
Hunziker and Eaglen are temporary CO’s of 65th FS through May to June 20th.
May 8 French 2/5 Squadron arrives at Alto, Corsica.
May 12 Night bombing at Alto Base by Germans.
May 13 Sgt. A. Schoenfeld, and E.A. Ryan return to the U.S.
May 14 W.W. Sorn transferred out of the 66th FS.
Branchia and Hitchcock join 66th FS.
May 16 11 planes on the ground destroyed (7 FW-190, 3 Ju-88, 1 Henschel).
May 25 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.
May 26 Many formations of heavy bombers fly over field on their way up north.
May 27 First P-47 with bubble canopy and uncamouflaged arrives.
New plane, #45 bought by employees of Republic, presented to Group.
Jun. Operation Strangle all month.
Supported the capture of Elba Island by the French.
Jun. 1 S/Sgt. Percy Geuin severely injured in swimming accident – he dies 6/14/44.
Jun. 2 Col. Paul, XII TAC Air Inspector visits Group.
Jun. 5 Rome captured.
Benedict replaced by McCoy as CO of 66th FS Benedict goes to 87 Fighter Wing.
Jun. 6 D-Day up in Normandy France. All ears glued to the radios.
Jun. 7 5 pilots lost today in Operation Strangle. Most to date in any one day.
Bomb line is now between Rome and Florence.
Jun. 8 Civitavechio falls to Allies.
Jun. 13 79th FG moves into field just north of Alto.
Col. Darcy visited - decorated many.
Jun. 14 French 2/5 and 2/3 Squadrons assigned from 57the FG to a French FG that has just arrived on Corsica.
Jun. 17 Elba is invaded by the French. The 57th provides aerial support.
Jun. 21 George Kriss and George C. Ballow return to the U.S.
Jun. 24 S/Sgt. Louis J. Cooper and Cpls. Douglas and Platz return to the U.S.
Jul. Operation Strangle all month.
Jul. 1 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.
Jul. 6 Claude Rahn, KIA – Flak.
Howard Cleveland lands in sea, rescued by the walrus.
Lt. Col. William Wyler and his movie crew arrive to film 57th FG action.
Jul. 12 Col. Lydon, CO of the 324th FG again visits the group.
Jul. 14 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 D.C.
Bastille Day in Corsica. Many men went to the villages to join the activities.
Jul. 17 Zuesloft finally gets paid. Hadn’t been paid for 11 months.
Jul. 19 Cap. McCoy (CO since June 5 – temporarily) replaced by Charles Leaf.
Cap. McCoy returns to U.S.
Jul. 20 Runway being repaired for 7 days. The hump in the middle of the runway is being leveled and steel matting is being layed down.
Many Group planes are “stationed” on the 79th FG in case of emergency.
Jul. 26 Eleven new pilots join the Group.
Jul. 28 J.B. Wise and C.J. Yoder return to the U.S.
Jul. 29 A-2 orders the group to report to 23rd Fighter Wing – Temporary duty.
Jul. 31 Group, to date, has flown 2066 missions, 23,193 sorties.
Aug. 1 Col. Darcy visited the Group – presented many awards.
Aug. 3 Gen. Cannon visited.
Aug. 5 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.
Aug. 10 Archbishop Spellman visited the Group unexpectedly.
Aug. 14 Gen. Cannon presents 3rd Presidential Citation.
Aug. 15 Invasion of Southern France.
57th FG in total support effort over invasion beach.
Charlie Leaf leads first 57th flight off, one hour before dawn.
By 8 am, the Group had 17 flights over the beach.
Aug. 16 Armies in Southern France moving fast. Almost out of fighter range.
Pridgeon gets his first Me-109.
Aug. 20 Notice received to get ready to move.
Aug. 23 Paris falls to Allies.
Pernicka has “forced” landing on the invasion beach.
Aug. 25 Full attack on the Gothic Line began – to drive the Germans into the Po Valley.
Aug. 31 Only one engagement with e/a all month, one destroyed with no losses, e/a essentially non-existent.
Sep. 1 Getting ready to move – somewhere.
British 8th Army starts push against German Gothic Line.
Sep. 2 French FG moves to France.
Sep. 9 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 17th.
Sep. 15 Group now reports to XII Tactical Air Command instead of XII Fighter Command.
Sep. 18 Much rain, Ombrone Airfield under water, planes mired in mud.
Sep. 24 Planes moved from Ombrone to Grosseto Main (all weather) Airfield due to flooding.
Sep. 29 Uncle Bud killed by Jeep.
Sep. 31 No e/a encountered this month. 7 pilots MIA, 1 killed, 1 rescued by seaplane.
Oct. Men being instructed on voting procedures on upcoming election – several days.
Oct. 5 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 airfield.
Oct. 6 Returning to the U.S. are Bettinger, Carlson, Davenport, Casida, Fleming, Ridley, Williams.
Oct. 14 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.
Oct. 19 XII Fighter Command redesignated XXII Tactical Air Command (TAC).
Oct. 30 Former 66th FS CO Col. Curl visits Group.
Oct. 31 No e/a encountered all month. 3 pilots MIA.
Nov. 1 Through the 3rd, steady rain.
Nov. 2 Flood, all bridges out.
Nov. 3 Big flood – Grosseto.
66th FS camp area evacuated by boat.
Nov. 6 German Marshall Kesselring reported wounded by strafing planes.
Began “Operation Bingo” – The Brenner Pass Operation.
Nov. 8 Campaign from Corsica ads another battle star.
Nov. 9 All personnel moved into city of Grosseto.
Nov. 19 U.S.O. Show. Leo Durocher, Tom Henry, Nick Elton, et al.
Nov. 21 Dyer goes home.
Nov. 23 Thanksgiving meal; Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, fruits, nuts, candy, et al.
Nov. 30 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.
Dec. 7 XXII TAC inspects the Group.
Dec. 8 Weaver becomes First Sgt. Of 64th FS.
Dec. 11 Gen. Chidlaw visits the Group.
Dec. 13 66th FS flies its 1000th mission lead by Richard Johnson.
Enemy jet aircraft seen in the distance – out of range.
Dec. 22 64th FS flies its 1000th mission.
Dec. 24 Christmas spirits arrive - $13.40 per bottle.
Dec. 25 No missions after noon.
Gen. Cannon visited – Knight gets a Christmas present – a couple of birds.
Dec. 27 Dam at Grosseto breaks.
Dec. 28 Enlisted Men of 64th FS ordered to quit urinating in the front of the barracks.
Dec. 29 65th FS flies its 1000th mission.
Dec. 30 O’Laughlin replaces Weaver as 1st Sgt. Of 64th FS.
Dec. 31 8 pilots MIA for the month.
3000th mission flown by the Group.
Jan. 8 Sabotage suspected in flight line of 64th FS because of 3 take off accidents.
Jan. 14 S/Sgt. Robert Smith married Lt. Patricia Thompson (Army Nurse).
Jan. 15 4th Anniversary of activation of the Group – party time.
Jan. 19 Col. Salisbury farewell dinner – he’s off to England.
Jan. 24 Chase moved up to XXII TAC.
Jan. 31 No e/a encountered all month. 7 pilots MIA, 2 killed.
Feb. 10 Chase visited the Group – must miss the “gang”.
Feb. 14 Group for the first time used “Auntie” – radar controller for target location.
Feb. 24 Spike cones dropped on runways of German Villafranca Airfield to discourage their night bombing of front lines.
Feb. 28 10 pilots MIA, 2 killed, 3 previous MIA’s confirmed as KIA, 2 previous MIA now POW.
Mar. 31 No e/a encountered all month, 6 pilots MIA, 1 KIA, 3 rescued, in friendly hands in enemy territory.
Apr. 1 Filer got his commission.
Apr. 10 3 Me-109’s found but they got away only damaged – no scratches on 57th Group planes.
Apr. 11 A dog in the Group has rabies. All dogs “quarantined” for rabies check.
Apr. 21 Col. Salisbury visited the Group.
Apr. 22 163 sorties – probably a record – over 400 motor transports plus much else destroyed, 3 pilots lost.
Apr. 25 One officer and 10 EM joined Group from 6755 Ord. Co. which was being disbanded.
Apr. 27 Group moves from Grosseto to Villa Franca.
Apr. 28 Northern Italians welcome 57th FG as liberators.
May 1 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.
May 2 10th German Army in Italy, German Armies in Austria all surrender.
May 6 Group ordered to return to Grosseto.
May 7 Through May 9th, Group returns to Grosseto.
Bronze Star awarded to Amacher, Boyle, Booker, Freeman, Denny.
May 8 German Armies in all of Europe surrender – VE Day.
May 9 Many German Generals - now POW’s - passing through Villafranca on the way south.
May 16 Point system announced for discharge from the Army – 85 got you out – almost all ground personnel had them.
May 23 Knight went home.
May 24 Yates becomes Group Deputy CO.
Hunziker becomes Group Deputy CO.
James Hare becomes Group Operations Officer.
Richard Johnson becomes Group Air Inspetor.
Quentin Goss becomes Assistant Air Inspector.
May 27 Rodeo at Grosseto Downs.
Jun. 25 Men with 85 points got transferred to units going home.
Jul. 1 3rd Anniversary overseas – party time.
Jul. 14 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.
Jul. 15 65th & 66 FS similarly proceed to staging area arriving next day.
Aug. 2 Last outgoing mail from Italy.
Aug. 5 To Port of Naples, board Sea Owl next day.
Aug. 6 Group departs Italian soil aboard USAT Sea Owl bound for the Pacific Theatre.
Atom Bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
Aug. 9 Atom Bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
Aug. 14 Shipboard personnel receive word of Japanese surrender, end of war announced as Sea Owl heads for Panama Canal.
Aug. 15 Sea Owl ordered to change course and proceed to Boston. Parties erupt.
Aug. 16 All men hanging on the rail looking for land though not visible for two days.
Aug. 18 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 next day.
Aug. 21 All personnel TDY. ASR score lowered to 80 points.
Sep. 27 All personnel are on TDY and receive orders extending TDY for 15 more days.
Oct. 12 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.
Nov. 7 Group inactivated.