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Welcome to the 318th Fighter Group Index.


 

19th  Squadron 

73rd  Squadron 

333rd Squadron 

This site is dedicated to the Allied veterans who won the Second World War.

They all gave some.   Too many gave all.

The 318th Fighter Group was the first Army Air Force unit to receive the long range P-47N Thunderbolts in March 1945, and then flew some of the longest fighter missions of the war in them out of Ie Shima. Their leading ace was the first American fighter pilot to shoot down another fighter with a rocket. On May 25th 1945, the 318th  shot down 34 Japanese planes in four hours. It was a record for a single group in a single action. The 7th Air Force's first two "Aces in a Day" came from the 318th. During the ground fighting on Saipan in the Marianas Islands, they became one of only two Army Air Force units in all of  World  War 2 to fight in infantry ground combat. In support of the Marines on Tinian, they were the first Army Air  unit to use napalm. Their  commander shot down an enemy plane flying an obsolescent P-36 during the Pearl Harbor attack, perhaps the first kill in the war. They also got some of the very last kills. Spending the first half of the war in obscurity, they still ended up with 164 aerial victories. There is not much info about them on the Web and their guys deserve better. Hence this digital time capsule, along with some links for anyone wishing to learn more about this part of our world's history.

Technically, the 318th Group and 333rd Squadron didn't exist on December 7th, 1941. But the 19th and 73rd Squadrons were on Oahu that morning, and when the 318th was formed, a number of their personnel had been through the attack, several with noteworthy roles. Some 318th vets consider  Pearl Harbor part of their war history, so I shall cover part of the attack and it's aftermath.

It seems profitable now to author conspiracy theories that someone, somewhere, somehow, knew that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor specifically, and the attack was allowed to happen to get the US into WW2. Maybe, maybe not. But low level Navy and Army personnel weren't in on any grand conspiracies. At 0640, the destroyer USS Ward sighted, fired on, and sunk a midget sub in a restricted area. When informed, instead of going on alert, the Navy requested confirmation. Then, at 0702, Army Privates Elliot and Lockhard  detected the incoming planes on radar and telephoned the information center, which had closed at 0700. When they finally got the watch officer, he said “don't worry about it” as a flight of B-17s was  expected that morning from the mainland. So were planes from the USS Enterprise, running late for a 0730 docking.

Bottom line:  both services had a chance to at least minimize the disaster bearing down on Hawaii, conspiracies or none. Both fumbled the ball.

By 0800, all Hell had broken loose.

 
 
Oahu,
Hawaiian Islands
Canton, 
Phoenix Islands
Saipan, 
Marianas Islands
Ie Shima,
Ryukyu Islands
Unsung Heroes Loose ends,
Feedback, Etc.
Links Pacific Maps

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