21st Fighter Group
Constituted as 21st Fighter Group on 31 Mar 1944. Activated in Hawaii
21 Apr 1944. Assigned to Seventh AF and served as part of the
for the Hawaiian Islands. Equipped first with P-39, later
with P-38, and
still later (Jan 1945) with P-51 aircraft. Moved to Iwo
Jima, Feb-Mar 1945.
Sustained some casualties when Japanese troops
attacked the group's camp on
the night of 26/27 Mar 1945, but flew
first combat mission the following day,
bombing and strafing airfields
on Haha Jima. Flew its first mission to Japan
on 7 Apr, being awarded a
DUC for escorting B-29's that struck the
aircraft factory near Tokyo. Operations from Iwo
attacking airfields that the enemy was using to launch suicide
against the Allied forces on Okinawa; striking enemy
airfields, and shipping in the Bonins and Japan; and
escorting B-29's that
bombed Japanese cities. Assigned to Twentieth AF
during the summer of 1945.
Trained, participated in aerial reviews, and
served as a part of the defense
force for Iwo Jima, Saipan, and Guam
after the war. Re-equipped with P-47's
during the summer of 1946.
Inactivated on Guam on 10 Oct 1946.
Redesignated 21st Fighter-Bomber Group. Activated in the US on 1
1953. Assigned to Tactical Air Command. Equipped for a few months
F-51's, later with F-86's. Moved to France, Nov-Dec 1954, and
United States Air Forces in Europe.
Squadrons. 46th: 1944-1946. 72d: 1944-1946; 1953-. 416th:
531st: 1944-1946; 1953-.
Stations. Wheeler Field, TH, 21 Apr 1944; Mokuleia Field, TH, 13
1944-9 Feb 1945; Central Field, Iwo Jima, 26 Mar 1945; South Field,
16 Jul 1945; Isley Field, Saipan, Dec 1945; Northwest Field,
Guam, 17 Apr-10
Oct 1946. George AFB, Calif, 1 Jan 1953-26 Nov 1954;
Chambley AB, France, 13
Commanders. Col Kenneth R Powell, 21 Apr 1944; Col Charles E Taylor,
Jun 1945; Lt Col Charles E Parsons, 15 Oct 1945; Col William Eades,
1945; Col Lester S Harris, Feb-10 Oct 1946. Col Paul P Douglas
Jr, 1 Jan
1953; Col Verl D Luehring, 26 Apr 1954; Col R C Franklin Jr,
27 Apr 1955; Lt
Col Ira M Sussky, 6 May 1955; Col R C Franklin Jr, 1
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Japan, 7 Apr 1945.
Insigne. Shield: Azure, a broad sword argent, shaded silver, hilt
pommel or, shaded yellow, outlined of the field, between four red
streaks proper, two and two, bendwise. Motto: Fortitudo Et
Strength and Preparedness. (Approved 23 Jul
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986