324th Fighter Group






Constituted as 324th Fighter Group on 24 Jun 1942. Activated on 6 Jul 1942. Moved to the Middle East, Oct-Dec 1942, for operations with Ninth AF. Trained for several weeks with P-40 aircraft. While headquarters remained in Egypt, squadrons of the group began operating with other organizations against the enemy in Tunisia. Reunited in Jun 1943, the 324th group engaged primarily in escort and patrol missions between Tunisia and Sicily until Jul 1943. Received a DUC for action against the enemy from Mar 1943 to the invasion of Sicily. Trained during Jul-Oct 1943 for operations with Twelfth AF. Resumed combat on 30 Oct 1943 and directed most of its attacks against roads, bridges, motor transports, supply areas, rolling stock, gun positions, troop concentrations, and rail facilities in Italy until Aug 1944. Patrolled the beach and protected convoys during the assault on Anzio in Jan 1944. Aided the Allied offensive in Italy during May 1944, receiving another DUC for action from 12 to 14 May when the group bombed an enemy position on Monastery Hill (Cassino), attacked troops massing on the hill for counterattack, and hit a nearby stronghold to force the surrender of an enemy garrison. Continued to give close support to ground forces until the fall of Rome in Jun 1944. Converted to P-47's in Jul and supported the assault on southern France in Aug by dive-bombing gun position, bridges, and radar facilities, and by patrolling the combat zone. Attacked such targets as motor transports, rolling stock, rail lines, troops, bridges, gun emplacements, and supply depots after the invasion, giving tactical support to Allied forces advancing through France. Aided the reduction of the Colmar bridgehead Jan-Feb 1945, and supported Seventh Army's drive through the Siegfried defenses in Mar. Received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for supporting French forces during the campaigns for Italy and France, 1944-1945. Moved to the US, Oct-Nov 1945. Inactivated on Nov 1945.

Redesignated 103d Fighter Group. Allotted to ANG (Conn) on 24 May 1946. Extended federal recognition on 7 Aug 1946. Ordered to active duty on 1 Mar 1951. Assigned to Air Defense Command. Redesignated 103d Fighter-Interceptor Group in Mar 1951. Used F-47 aircraft. Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952. Returned to the control of ANG (Conn) on 1 Dec 1952.

Squadrons. 118th: 1951-1952. 314th: 1942-1945. 315th: 1942-1945. 316th: 1942-1945.

Stations. Mitchel Field, NY, 6 Jul 1942; Baltimore Mun Aprt, Md, 6 Jul-8 Oct 1942; El Amiriya, Egypt, Dec 1942; El Kabrit, Egypt, 2 Feb 1943; Kairouan, Tunisia, 2 Jun 1943; El Haouaria, Tunisia, c. 18 Jun 1943; Menzel Heurr, Tunisia, 3 Oct 1943; Cercola, Italy, 25 Oct 1943; Pignataro Maggiore, Italy, 6 May 1944; Le Banca Airfield, Italy, 6 Jun 1944; Montalto Di Castro, Italy, 14 Jun 1944; Corsica, 19 Jul 1944; Le Luc, France, 25 Aug 1944; Istres, France, 2 Sep 1944; Amberieu, France, 6 Sep 1944; Tavaux, France, 20 Sep 1944; Luneville, France, 4 Jan 1945; Stuttgart, Germany, 8 May-20 Oct 1945; Camp Shanks, NY, Nov 1945. Bradley Field, Conn, 1 Mar 1951; Suffolk County Aprt, NY, 1 Jun 1951-6 Feb 1952.

Commanders. Col William K McNown, c. Jul 1942; Col Leonard C Lydon, 25 Dec 1943; Lt Col Franklin W Horton, 23 May-Nov 1945. Col Glenn T Eagleston, 1951-6 Feb 1952.

Campaigns. Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Northern France; Southern France; Rhineland; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: North Africa and Sicily, Mar-[Jul] 1943; Cassino, 12-14 May 1944. French Croix de Guerre with Palm.

Insigne. Shield: Or, a representation of a Connecticut colonial secretary running, with the Colony's Charter in his left hand proper (hat, coat, and breeches - blue; hair, vest, tie, shoes, and stockings - black; face, hands, shirt collar, shoe buckles, and charter - white) all within a diminished bordure tri-parted black, white, and black the white part separated to chief to form in code the letters FEA. (Approved 1 May 1953.)

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




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