52nd Fighter Group

52fg.org is a project of the Army Air Corps Library and Museum. Volunteers are transcribing servicemen names and their awards from General Orders that we are publishing on this website for enthusiasts, families and researchers of genealogy and World War II history. The names on this honor roll of men assigned to the 52nd Fighter Group is not a complete list of all who served with the 1st, however, we are attempting to locate as many documents that have survived as possible. Sources of material include the US National Archives, Air Force Historical Research Agency and the records donated by individual servicemen and their families. We hope you will find this information useful and enjoyable. We are accepting volunteers help in this very large World War II project as we preserve this history and honor service.

Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Redesignated 52nd Fighter Group in May 1942. Trained with P-39 and P-40 aircraft, and participated in maneuvers. Moved to the British Isles, the air echelon arriving in Jul 1942 and the ground echelon in Aug. Received Spitfire aircraft and, as part of Eighth AF, flew missions from England to France during Aug and Sep. The pilots of the group flew Spitfires from Gibraltar to Algeria during the invasion of North Africa on 8 Nov 1942; the remainder of the group, moving by ship from England, arrived after the campaign for Algeria-French Morocco had ended. Assigned first to 12th AF and later (after May 1944) to 15th, the group served in combat in the Mediterranean theater until the end of the war.

Flew escort, patrol, strafing, and reconnaissance missions to help defeat Axis forces in Tunisia. Took part in the conquest of Sicily. Attacked railroads, highways, bridges, coastal shipping, and other targets to support Allied operations in Italy. Converted to P-51's during Apr-May 1944 and afterwards engaged primarily in escorting bombers that attacked objectives in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, and Yugoslavia. Received a Distinguished Unit Citation ("DUC") for a mission of 9 Jun 1944 when the group protected bombers that struck aircraft factories, communications centers, and supply lines in Germany.

In addition to escorting bombers of Fifteenth AF, the group made strafing attacks on important targets in Italy, France, central Europe, and the Balkans. Received second DUC for a strafing raid in which the group destroyed a great number of fighter and transport planes on a landing ground in Rumania on 31 Aug 1944. Returned to the US in Aug 1945.

World War 2 Commanders

Lt Col Robert L Schoenlein, 15 May 1941
Col Dixon M Allison, 27 Feb 1942
Lt Col Graham W West, 1 Mar 1943
Lt Col James S Coward, 24 Jun 1943
Lt Col Richard A Ames, 1 Sep 1943
Col Marvin L McNickle, 6 Sep 1943
Lt Col Robert Levine, 25 Feb 1944


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