1st Fighter Group

1stfg.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 1st 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.

The 1st Fighter Group and their P-38 aircraft moved to England, June-July 1942 and was assigned to Eighth Air Force. They entered combat 28 August 1942 and flew a number of missions to France before being assigned to the Twelfth Air Force for duty in the Mediterranean theater when they moved to North Africa. In November 1943 they transferred to the Fifteenth Air Force with the primary mission of escorting bombers that attacked targets in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Greece. They remained based in Italy until operations ceased on VE-Day in May 1945.

Redesignated 1st Fighter Group in May 1942. Moved to England, June-July 1942. Assigned to Eighth AF. Entered combat with P-38 aircraft on 28 Aug and flew a number of missions to France before being assigned to Twelfth AF for duty in the Mediterranean theater.

Moved to North Africa, part of the ground echelon landing with the assault forces at Arzeu beach on 8 Nov 1942. The air echelon arrived a few days later and the group soon began operations, attacking enemy shipping, escorting bombers, flying strafing missions, and performing reconnaissance duties during the campaign for Tunisia. Participated in the reduction of Pantelleria. Escorted bombers to targets in Sicily and later aided ground forces during the conquest of that island by strafing and dive-bombing roads, motor transports, gun emplacements, troop concentrations, bridges, and railways.

Flew missions against the enemy in Italy and received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for its performance on 25 August 1943 when the group carried out a strafing attack on Italian airdromes, destroying great numbers of enemy aircraft that presented a serious threat to the Allies' plans for landing troops at Salerno. Also escorted bombers to Italy, receiving another DUC for a mission on 30 Aug 1943 when the group beat off enemy aircraft and thus enabled bombers to inflict serious damage on marshalling yards at Aversa. Supported the invasion at Salerno in September and continued operations with Twelfth AF until November 1943. Assigned to Fifteenth AF with the primary mission of escorting bombers that attacked targets in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

Received third DUC for covering the withdrawal of B-17's after an attack on Ploesti on 18 May 1944. Also flew strafing and dive-bombing missions in an area from France to the Balkans. Supported the landings at Anzio in Jan 1944 and the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944. Continued operations until May 1945. Inactivated in Italy on 16 Oct 1945.

World War II Commanders

Col Ralph S Garman, 7 Dec 1942
Maj Joseph S Peddie, 8 Sep 1943
Col Robert B Richard, 19 Sep 1943
Col Arthur C Agan Jr, 15 Nov 1944
Lt Col Milton H Ashkins, 31 Mar 1945
Lt Col Charles W Thaxton, 11 Apr 1945
Col Milton H Ashkins, 28 Apr 1945


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