59th Fighter Group






Constituted as 59th Observation Group on 21 Aug 1941. Activated on 1 Sep 1941. Assigned to First AF. Participated in maneuvers and after the outbreak of war engaged in patrol activity along the east coast of the US. Used BC-1A, L-59, O-46, O-47, O-49, and O-52 aircraft. Inactivated on 18 Oct 1942.

Activated on 1 Mar 1943. Assigned to Third AF. Redesignated 59th Reconnaissance Group in Apr 1943, and 19th Fighter Group in Aug 1943. Trained pilots, using P-39 aircraft, with part of the group converting to P-40's in Apr 1944. Disbanded on 1 May 1944.

Squadrons. 34th (formerly 126th): 1941-1942; 1943. 103d: 1941-1942. 447th: 1943-1944. 488th (formerly 9th): 1942; 1943-1944. 489th (formerly 104th): 1941-1942; 1943-1944. 490th (formerly 119th): 1942; 1943-1944.

Stations. Newark, NJ, 1 Sep 1941; Pope Field, NC, c. Oct 1941; Ft Dix, NJ, Dec 1941-18 Oct 1942. Ft Myers, Fla, 1 Mar 1943; Thomasville AAFld, Ga, c. 30 Mar 1943-1 May 1944.

Commanders. Lt Col Victor Dallin, 1941; Lt Col Chester A Charles, Jan 1942-unkn. Maj Leland S McGowan, c. 24 Mar 1943; Lt Col William R Clingerman Jr, 14 Apr 1943; Col James B League Jr, Oct 1943; Lt Col James Van G Wilson, 11 Mar-c. 1 May 1944.

Campaigns. Antisubmarine, American Theater.

Decorations. None.

Insigne. Shield: Azure issuant fanwise from clouds in sinister base proper five rays, in dexter chief a mullet or. Motto: Exemplar - An Example. (Approved 24 Nov 1942.)

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




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