50th Fighter Group

10th Fighter Squadron || 11th Fighter Squadron || 12th Fighter Squadron
81st Fighter Squadron || 313th Fighter Squadron || 445th Fighter Squadron




From 'Air Force Combat Units of World War II':


Constituted as 50th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 20 November 1940. Activated on 15 January 1941.
Redesignated 50th Fighter Group in May 1942. Functioned as part of the Fighter Command School, testing
equipment and conducting training in air defense operations; also trained pilots and furnished cadres
to night fighter units. Later operated with AAF School of Applied Tactics, training personnel in fighter
tactics under simulated combat conditions. Used P-40s and P-47s, plus some DB-7s, P-51s, and P-70s.

Moved to England, March-April 1944. Assigned to Ninth AF and, using P-47s, began operations by making a
fighter sweep over France on 1 May. Engaged primarily in escort and dive-bombing missions for the next
month. Covered the beach during the invasion of Normandy on 6 and 7 June, and moved to the Continent
late that month. Attacked bridges, roads, vehicles, railways, trains, gun emplacements, and marshalling
yards during the Normandy campaign. Bombed targets in the St Lo region in July and supported the sub-
sequent drive across France. Assisted in stemming the German offensive in the Saar-Hardt area early in
January 1945, engaged in the offensive that reduced the Colmar bridgehead in January and February 1945,
and supported the drive that breached the Siegfried Line and resulted in the movement of Allied forces
into southern Germany in March and April 1945. Received a DUC for close cooperation with Seventh Army
in March during the assault on the Siegfried Line; in spite of the hazards of enemy opposition and
difficult weather conditions, the group struck enemy defenses and isolated battle areas by destroying
bridges, communications, supply areas, and ammunition dumps. Received second DUC for a mission on 25
April 1945 when, despite intense antiaircraft fire, the group destroyed or damaged many enemy aircraft
on an airfield southeast of Munich. Ended operations in May 1945. Returned to the US in August.
Inactivated on 7 November 1945.


Squadrons

10th: 1941-1945
11th: 1941-1942
12th: 1941-1942
81st: 1942-1945
313th: 1942-1945
445th: 1943-1944


Stations

Selfridge Field, Michigan, 15 January 1941
Key Field, Mississippi, 3 October 1941
Orlando AB, Florida, 22 March 1943
Alachua AAF, Florida, 20 November 1943
Orlando AB, Florida, 1 February-13 March 1944
Lymington, England, 5 April 1944
Carentan, France, 25 June 1944
Meautis, France, 16 August 1944
Orly, France, 4 September 1944
Laon, France, 15 September 1944
Lyons/Bron, France, 28 September 1944
Toul/Ochey, France, 3 November 1944
Giebelstadt, Germany, 20 April 1945
Mannheim, Germany, 21 May-circa June 1945
La Junta AAF, Colorado, August-7 November 1945


Commanders

Captain George McCoy Jr, 16 January 1941
Colonel Allen R. Springer, 1 May 1941
Lt.Col. John C. Crosthwaite, 1 April 1942
Lt.Col. Murray C. Woodbury, 15 May 1942
Lt.Col. T. Alan Bennett, 23 July 1942
Lt.Col. Walter B. Putnam, 29 January 1943
Lt.Col. Robert S. Quinn, 9 November 1943
Colonel William D. Greenfield, 1 December 1943
Colonel Harvey L. Case Jr, November 1944-1945.


Campaigns

American Theater
Air Offensive, Europe
Normandy
Northern France
Rhineland
Ardennes-Alsace
Central Europe


Decorations

DUC - ETO, 13-20 March 1945
DUC - Germany, 25 April 1945
Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 6 June-30 September 1944



Note: All above information pertains to this unit's activities up to 1945.
Any subsequent activity from 1946 onward is not included.



Class is in Session


A P-40E of the 10th Fighter Squadron formates with a P-51, P-39, P-47, and P-38,
all from the AAF School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT), which was based at Orlando AAB
in Florida. At this time the 50th Fighter Group was also assigned to the AAFSAT.


Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection) - Larger Image


A closer look at the Hawk...


Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection) - Larger Image



During its time with the AAFSAT, the 50th Fighter Group was headquartered at Orlando
Army Air Base but, from January 1943 to January 1944, the 10th Fighter Squadron operated
from Zephyrhills Army Air Field, one of Orlando's sub-bases. The photo below was apparently
taken at Zephyrhills, though I've not been able to confirm it yet.


Source: Defunct Website - Larger Image



SPARE PARTS


These next two photos show 'Spare Parts', P-40E-1 41-25016 of the 313th Fighter Squadron.
The location is unknown but at least one of the photos was snapped by George Wessels of Chowchilla,
California. Whether it was George or 'Spare Parts' that traveled clear across the country for this
photo-op, we may never know. The 313th FS was based at Leesburg AAF, an auxiliary of Orlando AAB,
from January to November of 1943; I believe these photos were taken toward the end of this period.


Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection) - Larger Image


Project 914 Archives (S.Donacik collection) - Larger Image


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