33rd Fighter Group

58th Fighter Squadron || 59th Fighter Squadron || 60th Fighter Squadron



Beginnings


Line-up of 33rd Pursuit Group P-40s at Mitchel Field, Spring or Summer 1941. The ships
second and third in line appear to be from the 58th Pursuit Squadron, while the ship
in the foreground may have previously served with the 57th Pursuit Group.


Project 914 Archives - Larger Image



A closer look at ship #29...


Project 914 Archives - Larger Image



Broken Hawk


I have conflicting info concerning this Hawk...

On April 12th, 1942, P-40E-1 41-25116 was involved in a midair collision with P-40E-1 41-25118
near Elizabeth City, VA. The pilot of 41-25116, as can be seen, made a forced landing, while the
AAIR database seems to indicate that, according to the accident report, the pilot of the other ship
bailed out. Both ships are listed on the AAIR website as having been assigned to the 56th PS, 33rd PG.

However, the 56th PS was never assigned to the 33rd PG. I'm thinking that perhaps this may have been a
typo made either on the original report or during data entry onto AAIR's site, and that the ships were
possibly from the 58th PS, which was indeed assigned to the 33rd PG. Also, the pilots are listed on AAIR's
site as having been (2Lt)James C. Reed for 41-25116 and (Lt)James G. Curl for 41-25118 and, as mentioned
above, AAIR indicates that Lt. Curl bailed out, with no mention of his subsequent status. But... another
source indicates that Lt. Curl was killed and that his name was Joe, not James. In addition, this other
source muddles things a bit more, perhaps with a simple typo on one of the serial numbers, and casts
some small amount of doubt as to who was actually flying each ship that day.

If anyone can provide definite information as to the squadron assignments for both P-40s, as well as
definite info concerning the pilots, including who was flying each ship and the subsequent status of
each of them, I would be most grateful if you would contact the webmaster.


US Navy photo (USCG Historical Photo collection - NMNA) - Larger Image



The following is from the original source of these two photos.

A crashed Army Air Forces P-40 pictured near Coast Guard Air Station (CGAS) Elizabeth City,
North Carolina, 12 April 1942. It collided with another P-40 in flight and the pilot made a
wheels-up landing, during which he jumped two ditches and slid through two fences and one barn.



US Navy photo (USCG Historical Photo collection - NMNA) - Larger Image



Lighting the Torch


P-40Fs of the 33rd Fighter Group are launched from USS Chenango on November 10th, 1942 in support
of Operation Torch, the Anglo-American invasion of French North Africa. Ship #90 in the foreground,
named 'Janie', was flown by Lt. Robert J. Palenscar of the 60th Fighter Squadron.

To Janie's right are two more P-40Fs, serial numbers 41-14365 and 41-14333. The latter ship made it back
to the USA where it was eventually converted to a P-40R and assigned to the 400th FS, 369th FG, based at
DeRidder Army Air Base in Louisiana. She was lost in a midair collision on July 18th, 1944.


Project 914 Archives - Larger Image



These next two photos show P-40F 41-14270, named 'Belchin Bessie'/'The Cajan', at
Port Lyautey, Morocco not too long after the 33rd Fighter Group's arrival from the
deck of USS Chenango. The wreckage is that of a French Dewoitine D.520.


American Air Museum in Britain - Larger Image


American Air Museum in Britain - Larger Image



A 33rd FG P-40F, date and location unknown... my guess is Thelepte, Tunisia, early 1943.


Project 914 Archives - Larger Image


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