414th Fighter Group - USAAF ciel de gloire - histoire des as de l\'aviation de 1914 à nos jours





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1 victoire



413 Fighter Squadron
(0 vict)

Nom Grade Unité Date Ennemi Avion d'arme TOP Nbr Vict


437 Fighter Squadron
(0 vict)

Nom Grade Unité Date Ennemi Avion d'arme TOP Nbr Vict


456 Fighter Squadron
(1 vict)

Nom Grade Unité Date Ennemi Avion d'arme TOP Nbr Vict
WHITTY ROBERT P 1st Lt 456FTR 08-04-1945 - - Central Pacific 1


The 414th Fighter Group was formed October 5, 1944, at Seymour Johnson AF Base, Goldsboro, NC., and activated on October 15th, 1944. Most of the pilots had been flying P-40s at Harris Neck, GA. The Group consisted of three squadrons, the 413th, 437th and 456th. Colonel Robert Bagby was the Group Commander. In November of '44 the Group relocated to Selfridge Air Force Base, Mt. Clemens, Michigan where they transitioned into P-47Ns (long range fighter planes referred as Thunderbolts). In late December 1944, Colonel Henry G. Thorne took over as Group Commander and on March 19, 1945, the Group relocated to BlUethenthal AF Base, Wilmington, NC, in preparation for their departure to the Pacific war zone.

An advance echelon went on ahead by ship, in May of '45, and two shipments went on converted aircraft carriers carrying the P-47Ns (109 of them). The first carrier was the U.S.S. Esperance, with personnel and 49 planes aboard, which shipped over in early June. The 414th Group was assigned to the 20th Air Force. The second aircraft carrier, the C.V.E. Casablanca, with 49 planes on the flight deck and 11 on the hanger deck, and personnel, departed July 7, 1945 and arrived at Guam July 22, 1945. The earlier carrier group (BX Shipment), based temporarily on Guam, went on two missions to Truk, one of the Carolines, on 13 and 22 July. They had had reports that the Japanese were hiding planes but there were none seen: one man was lost on one of the missions.

Those already on Iwo Jima began operations in late July with an attack against a radar station on Chichi Jima. Operations during August were directed primarily against enemy airfields in Japan but the group also strafed hangers, barracks, ordinance dumps, trains, marshalling yards and shipping. One such raid, on August 1, was to Okazaki but due to a heavy overcast the ground was not visible so a secondary target, Nagoya East, was approached. It was barren of both planes and personnel; some of the buildings were strafed. The line of retirement took the group over the primary target, Okazaki, and there were no aircraft visible there either.

Specially-assigned B-29 navigation "pathfinders" led the Thunderbolts to and from Japan; even so, not every fighter could rendevous on time for the return journey. It was a daunting prospect for the pilot who had to find his own way back 600 miles to a small island in a vast ocean. On return from another of the Group's first operations over Kyushu on August 8th, in support of B-29s bombing Yawata, the fuel supplies of several Thunderbolts were exhausted, due to siphoning, and pilots had to bail out in the vicinity of US warships patrolling the mission flight lanes. Lt. Robert Dunnavant, piloting a 437th Fighter Squadron P-47N, spent the astonishing period of 8 hours and 45 minutes in the air. His aircraft's fuel tanks were so depleted when he eventually reached Iwo, that he dared not try to reach his base at North Field, landing instead at a small US Navy airstrip he located on the coast.

On August 12, 1945, the second carrier group took off from Guam for Iwo Jima with B-29s as navigational planes, but they ran into severe weather and had to abort to Tinian and Saipan. One pilot, Roy Abbott, spun out of the weather and crashed to the ocean in flames. Another, George W. Caka, continued on through the weather on his own and wound up over the 3rd Fleet, 300 miles N.E. of Iwo. He bailed out and was picked up out of the ocean unconscious; he too died, and was buried at sea. On August 16, the second carrier group again departed from Guam, where they had re-gathered, and flew the 720 miles to Iwo. Further missions to the Empire were planned but were called off shortly before their departure times. One final mission was flown over Japan, on August 30, 1945, three days before the September 2nd V-J day. The planes, B-29s and P-47s arrived at the same time the first wave was going into the mainland and the treaty was being finalized by MacArthur on the Missouri. As a show of force, a low, aggressive flyby over Tokyo and the surrounding area was undertaken. In total, the Group went on five missions to "the Empire" from Iwo (including this last one) and two to Chichi Jima.

The Group was reassigned to the 13th A.F. at Clark Field in the Philippines in mid-December, 1945. The relocation from Iwo wats made with a brief stopover in Okinawa. The Group flew P-47Ns and P-51s in early; '46 and then , a few F-80s. In mid '46 the Group relocated to Florida Blanca, in the Philippines (South of Clark Field) and was inactivated and then, redesignated the 18th Fighter Group under the command of Col. Bushey. There were 10 jets and 15 P-51s per squadron. The P-47s were flown back to Clark Field and demolished. On September 30, 1946 the Group was inactivated.
On 18, August, 1955, the 414th Fighter Group (Defense), 437th Squadron, was reactivated, assigned to the Air Defense Command equipped with F-84s and, later with F-89s at Oxnard AF Base, CA.

Redesignated 414th Fighter Group (Air Defense). Activated in the US on 18 Aug 1955. Assigned to Air Defense Command. Equipped first with F-94's, later with F-89's, F-101's and finally F-106A's.

413th: 1944-1946.
437th: 1944-1946; 1955-1968.
456th: 1944-1946.

STATIONS. Seymour Johnson Field, NC, 15 Oct 1944; Selfridge Field, Mich, 15 Nov 1944; Bluethenthal Field, NC, 19 Mar--11 May 1945; North Field, Iwo Jima, 7 Jul 1945; Clark Field, Luzon, 23 Dec 1945-30 Sep 1946. Oxnard AFB, Calif, 18 Aug 1955-30 Sept 1968

COMMANDERS. Lt Col Robert C Bagby, 28 Oct 1944; Col Henry G Thorne Jr, 6 Dec I944-unkn. Col Edwin F Carey Jr, 1955--

CAMPAIGNS. Air Offensive, Japan; Eastern Mandates.


INSIGNE. Shield: Azure, a bend or, between two martlets volant argent, lightning bolts gules streaming from each of their tails. (Approved 26 Jul 1956.)


Source :

STARS & BARS - Frank Olynyk - Grub Street Editions