78th Fighter Group
The 78th Pursuit Group was activated on February 9, 1942 at Baer Field, Indiana. It was redesignated the 78th Fighter Group, expanded and moved to Hamilton Field, California in May of 1942 for training. It was selected as one of the first Groups to fly the P-38 "Lightning". The Group was made part of the 8th Army Air Force and left for the European Theater of Operations (ETO) in November of 1942. They sailed to England from New York on the "Queen Elizabeth" on November 24, 1942. In February, 1943, most of the pilots and P-38 aircraft were transferred to the 12th Air Force to support Allied operations in North Africa. The 78th returned and remained in England until October, 1945. All the Group aircraft were moved to depots for disposal on September, 1945. All personnel sailed from Southampton, U.K. on the Queen Mary on October 11, 1945 and arrived in New York on November 16, 1945. They were officially de-activated as a Unit at Camp Kilmer, N.J., on November 18, 1945. The Unit was reactivated on August 20, 1946, and re-numbered as the 368th Fighter Group. It was sent to Straubing, Germany as part of the U.S. Occupation Force, flying P-47's. By June of 1947, the Group was disbanded and transferred to Mitchell Field, N.Y. It remained inactive until November 1948, when it was re-built as the 78th Fighter Wing and assigned to Hamilton Air Force Base, California flying F-84 "Thunderjets".The unit eventually became part of the American Defense Command (ADC) and flew F-106 "Delta Darts" in a long range interceptor role.
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