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The 365th Fighter-Bomber Group, otherwise known as the Hell Hawks, was activated May 15, 1943 and assigned to fly P-47 Thunderbolts. They trained in Dover, Delaware and flew their gunnery training missions out of Millville, New Jersey. They departed Richmond Army Air Base in December 4, 1943 and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth along with 15,000 troops. They arrived at Gosfield, Essex on December 23, 1943. Their first combat air field training resumed for two months. On February 22, 1944, the Hell Hawks flew their first combat mission and over the next one to two months gradually converted from escorting 8th Air Force heavy bombers to their fighter-bomber mode that continued to the war's end.
Tags: hawks, hell, usaaf, aac, corps
The 65th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 72d Strategic Wing (Provisional), based at Andersen AFB, Guam. It was inactivated on 15 November 1973. Established in 1940 and activated in 1941 as a bomber squadron, assigned to the GHQ Air Force Northeast Air District. Trained and was equipped with both early model B-17C/D Flying Fortress heavy bombers and B-18 Bolo medium bombers at Langley Field, and flew training missions over the Mid-Atlantic States. After the Pearl Harbor Attack, was deployed to New England and began flying antisubmarine missions from Bangor Airport over the Newfoundland Straits and performing aerial convoy patrols over the North Atlantic shipping lanes. Deployed to Australia in February 1942, being assigned to the new Fifth Air Force being formed after the withdraw from the Philippines of remaining heavy bombers. The squadron reached Australia in March 1942, but did not enter combat until September, when it finally had a reasonable complement of aircraft. From then until November 1944 the squadron operated in support of the campaign in Papua New Guinea, first from Australia, then from New Guinea and Owi Island, concentrated in particular in attacks on shipping. The unit experimented with low level skip bombing, using this tactic at the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, 2–4 March 1943 with some success.
Tags: aircraft, aviator, germany, german, jap
the 549th Night Fighter Squadron in 1944. After training, it was deployed to 4th Air Force and later the Seventh Air Force and ordered to the Mariana Islands in the Central Pacific. Its mission was the air defense of Twentieth Air Force B-29 Superfortress airfields on Iwo Jima. It also provided night escort for the B-29s in case of Japanese interceptor attacks. It later served on Okinawa where it was inactivated in December 1945.
Tags: 4th, air, force, army, 549th
Moved to the Southwest Pacific, via Capetown, Feb-Mar 1942. Became part of Fifth AF. Equipped first with B-17's, but converted to B-24's, May-Sep 1943. Operated from Australia, New Guinea, and Owi Island, Aug 1941-Nov 1944, making numerous attacks on Japanese shipping in the Netherlands East Indies and the Bismarck Archipelago. Experimented with skip bombing and used this method for some shipping strikes, including attacks on Japanese vessels during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea, 2-4 Mar 1943; received a DUC for participation in this latter action in which repeated air attacks destroyed a large enemy convoy carrying reinforcements to New Guinea. Other operations during this period included support for ground forces on New Guinea; attacks on airfields and installations in New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, Celebes, Halmahera, Yap, Palau, and the southern Philippines; and long-range raids against oil refineries on Ceram and Borneo. Capt Jay Zeamer Jr, pilot, and 2nd Lt Joseph R Sarnoski, bombardier, each won the Medal of Honor for action during a photographic mapping mission over the Solomon Islands on 16 Jun 1943: when the mission was nearly completed, their aircraft was assaulted by about 20 interceptors; although painfully wounded, Lt Sarnoski remained at the nose guns and fired at the enemy until he died at his post; sustaining severe injuries, Capt Zeamer maneuvered the plane until the enemy had broken combat, then directed the flight to a base more than 500 miles away. After moving to the Philippines in Nov 1944, the group atttacked shipping along the Asiatic coast; struck industries, airfields, and installations in China and Formosa; and supported ground forces on Luzon. Moved to Ie Shima in Jul 1945 and conducted missions against airfields and railways in Japan and against shipping in the Inland Sea and the Sea of Japan. Returned to the Philippines in in Dec 1945. Inactivated on 29 Apr 1946.
Tags: af, bs, bg, sw, southwest
Activated as a B-25 reconnaissance squadron in early 1942, it was redesignated a medium bomber unit in April. It trained with the Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. It was deployed initially to England in September 1942 and flew some missions under VIII Bomber Command over German-occupied France; attacking enemy troop formations, bridges and airfields. It was part of the Operation Torch invasion of North Africa in November 1942, being deployed to the new Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). It was assigned to the Twelfth Air Force in French Morocco in November. The squadron engaged primarily in support and interdictory operations; bombing marshalling yards, rail lines, highways, bridges, viaducts, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, shipping, harbors and other objectives in North Africa.
Tags: combat, retirees, retiree, retired, veterans