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78th Fighter Group


The 78th Fighter Group was activated in 1942. It initially trained for combat with P-38's and served as part of the west coast air defense organization. Moved to England in November 1942 and was assigned to Eighth Air Force. The group lost its P-38's and most of its pilots in February 1943 when they were assigned to Twelfth Air Force for service in the North African campaign.

The group was reassigned to Duxford airfield in April 1943 and reequipped with P-47s. Aircraft of the group were identified by a black/white chequerboard pattern.

The group consisted of the following squadrons:

From Duxford, the 78th flew many missions to escort B-17/B-24bombers that attacked industries, submarine yards and docks, V-weapon sites, and other targets on the Continent. The unit also engaged in counter-air activities and on numerous occasions strafed and dive-bombed airfields, trains, vehicles, barges, tugs, canal locks, barracks, and troops.

In addition to other operations, the 78th participated in the intensive campaign against the German Air Force and aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 February 1944 and helped to prepare the way for the invasion of France. The group supported the landings in Normandy in June 1944 and contributed to the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July.

The group converted to P-51s in December 1944 and participated in the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945 and supported the airborne assault across the Rhine in March.

The 78th Fighter Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for activities connected with the airborne attack on Holland in September 1944 when the group covered troop carrier and bombardment operations and carried out strafing and dive-bombing missions. The group received a second DUC for destroying numerous aircraft on five airfields near Prague and Pilsen on 16 April 1945.

The 78th Fighter Group returned to Camp Kilmer New Jersey and October 1945 and was deactivated in place on 18 October.

Almost two years ago, the 78th Fighter Group was formed by the 8th and 328th Fighter Squadrons on February 18th, 2011 in pursuit of creating three Fighter Squadrons which forms a Fighter Group. The 78th Fighter Group is an objective based Group that carries out missions such as: dive-bombing, strafing, fighter/bomber escort, and fighter sweeps. The 78th Fighter Group flies the P-47D Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang as the real Group did from 1943 to 1945 in the European Theater of Operations. Currently we have a few pilots active in World of Planes (only a few of us got the invites) and we hope to have more of our members involved in the near future. We are hoping to grow our 78th Fighter Group even more with World of Planes.


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