329th Fighter Group (USAAF)

329th Fighter Group (USAAF)

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329th Fighter Group (USAAF)

History - Books - Aircraft - Time Line - Commanders - Main Bases - Component Units - Assigned To


The 329th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a training unit that served with the US Fourth Air Force from 1942 to 1944.

The group was constituted as the 329th Fighter Group on 24 June 1942 and activated on 10 July 1942. It was allocated to the Fourth Air Force, in the US South-West, although it spent most of the first two months of its existence based in Washington State, in Second Air Force territory. After that it was based in California for the rest of its existence.

The group was equipped with the P-38 Lightning. It was used both to train replacement pilots to fill gaps in existing units, and to train larger cadres that were used to form new groups.

The group was disbanded on 31 March 1944, when the USAAF altered the way it organised its training units, replacing numbered groups with units built around individual training bases.




1942-1944: Lockheed P-38 Lightning


24 June 1942Constituted as 329th Fighter Group
10 July 1942Activated and assigned to Fourth Air Force
31 March 1944Disbanded

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Maj Ernest W Keating:12 Jul 1942
Maj Harold E Kofahl: 8 Nov1942
Maj Leo F Dusard: 18 Dec 1942
LtCol Paul W Blanchard: c. 14 Feb 1943
LtCol Leo F Dusard: 11 May 1943
Lt ColJohn P Randolph: 26 Oct 1943-31 Mar1944

Main Bases

Hamilton Field, Calif: 10 Jul1942
Paine Field, Wash: 14 Jul 1942
Glendale, Calif: 11 Sep 1942
Ontario AAFld,Calif: 27 Feb-31 Mar 1944.

Component Units

330th: 1942-1944
331st: 1942-1944
332nd: 1942-1944
337th: 1942-1944

Assigned To

1943-44: Los Angeles Fighter Wing; IV Fighter Command; Fourth Air Force

George Air Force Base

George Air Force Base is a former United States Air Force base located within city limits, 8 miles northwest of central Victorville, California, about 75 miles northeast of Los Angeles, California. The facility was closed by the Base Realignment and Closure (or BRAC) 1992 commission at the end of the Cold War. It is now the site of Southern California Logistics Airport. Established by the United States Army Air Corps as an Advanced Flying School in June 1941, It was closed at the end of World War II. It was again activated as a training base by the United States Air Force with the outbreak of the Korean War in November 1950. It remained a training base throughout the Cold War, primarily for Tactical Air Command training pilots in front-line USAF fighters until being closed in 1993.

Since 2009, the California Air National Guard 196th Reconnaissance Squadron has operated an MQ-1 Predator Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) training facility at the Southern California Logistics Airport. Ώ]

329th Fighter Group (USAAF) - History

The Best Fighter Planes of World War II

The Bf 109, Spitfire, FW 190, P-51, Yak-3, A6M Zero, P-38, F4U and Ki-84

When I started this project, three methods of approaching the subject came immediately to mind. I could examine the aircraft by year (i.e.: 1939 = Bf 109, 1940 = Spitfire, 1941 = Zero, 1942 = FW 190, 1943 = P 47, 1944 = P 51, 1945 = Me 262), by country of origin (UK, U.S., Ger., Jap., Italy, U.S.S.R.), or by theater (European and Pacific). I chose the latter approach, further subdivided by "early" and "later" periods (Due to the rapid advance of technology, the best fighter early in the war was never the best fighter late in the war).

Some other criteria had to be imposed. To qualify as one of the very best, an airplane had to make a significant impact as an air superiority fighter. For example, the Me 262 jet fighter was arguably the best fighter plane of WW II, particularly deadly against American heavy bombers, but only small numbers ever saw combat and it became operational so late in the war that it had only a minimal impact. So I have chosen to leave it out.

The British Mosquito was built in numbers and had a significant impact on the war, but was most famous as a ground attack and reconnaissance aircraft, rather than as an air superiority fighter ditto the Typhoon. Neither of those fine planes will be dealt with here.

So the fighters I am going to pick as "best" for their period and theater of war must have: (1) been built in significant numbers and (2) been dominant in the air superiority role. Here are my choices.

European Theater, Early Period

In the European Theater of Operations, early years, there were two absolute standout fighter planes. Both were severely limited in range, but in a dogfight they reigned supreme in the ETO. Of course, I am talking about the British Supermarine Spitfire and the German Messerschmitt Bf 109.

The former was designed by R. J. Mitchell and the latter by Willie Messerschmitt. They were the standout air superiority fighters of the early years of the war in Europe and the leading members of the cast that fought the most famous air battle of them all, the Battle of Britain (not to slight the Hawker Hurricane, designed by Sidney Camm, which actually out numbered the Spitfire on the British side of the famous battle and scored more victories over German airplanes.

The prototype Messerschmitt 109 first flew in 1935. It was a low wing, all metal monoplane of the type that became the mainstay of all sides in WW II. The Bf 109 was basically the smallest airframe that Willy Messerschmitt could devise attached to the most powerful engine available. This proved to be a very successful formula that could be progressively upgraded.

However, the type was not without flaws. Notable among these were its cramped cockpit, restricted rearward visibility and narrow track undercariage that made ground handling tricky. Another problem that plagued the type throughout its production life was that its control forces became progressively heavier as speed increased. Manuverability was very good at low and medium speed, but deteriorated greatly at high speed. The type's short range was to prove its downfall on both the Western and Eastern Fronts, severely limiting its tactical utility.

The Messerschmitt 109 fighter was flown by many of the top scoring Luftwaffe fighter pilots during WW II. The top fighter pilot of all time, Erich Hartmann (352 victories), and the second highest scoring fighter pilot of all time, Gerhard Barkhorn (301 victories), both flew the Bf 109. So did the first "General of Fighters," Werner Molders (115 victories), and his famous successor in that job, Adolf Galland (104 victories). The top scoring German ace of the Western front, Hans-Joachim Marseille (158 victories), also flew the Bf 109.

By 1937 the Luftwaffe had been equipped with Messerschmitt Bf 109B models, the first production version. The "B" model had a top speed of about 290 m.p.h. It was powered by a 680 h.p., inverted V-12 Jumo 210 engine. The small, fast Messerschmitt fighter first proved its worth in Spain during the Civil War. There the Condor Legion's 109B's quickly proved their superiority over the Russian I-15 and I-16 fighters used by the Communists.

By 1938, the "D" model had arrived. This model had a top speed of about 304 m.p.h. at altitude. Before the end of that year, the German fighter squadrons were entirely equipped with "D" models. During the Blitzkrieg across Poland, Belgium, Holland and France in 1939-40, the 109D bore the brunt of the air fighting and proved to be more than a match for the first line fighters of those nations, quickly achieving aerial superiority. By then, the latest version of the 109D had received the long awaited DB 600 engine and top speed was up to about 320 m.p.h.

The Messerschmitt model that bore the brunt of the subsequent Battle of Britain was the Bf 109E. It started coming into service in 1939 and by 1940 was the front line Luftwaffe fighter. Power for the "Emil" was the Daimler-Benz DB 601A, a supercharged, 12-cylinder inverted Vee engine with fuel injection. It developed 1,100 hp at 2,400 r.p.m. This was one of the finest engines of its time and it gave the "E" a top speed of 354 m.p.h. and a best climb rate of 2,990 ft./min.

The 109E compared very closely in performance to the British Spitfire I and II, the premier British fighters of the Battle of Britain. Its main drawback as a bomber escort was its limited range, which led directly to the British triumph in the Battle. Purely as a fighter, the Bf 109E was second to none.

By the early part of 1941, German squadrons were receiving the Bf 109F, powered by the up rated DB 601N, which incorporated a power boost system for brief emergency use. This engine was nominally rated for 1,200 hp. The "F" model probably represents the high water mark for the 109 fighter. Its more streamlined nose, retractable tail wheel, rounded wing tips (rather than the traditional "clipped" tips of the earlier models), cantilever horizontal stabilizer and 900 r.p.m. 20mm cannon made it, briefly, the best fighter in the air. Maneuverability was enhanced and top speed was up to 382 m.p.h. at 17,000 ft. Best rate of climb was a sizzling 3,640 ft/min. The "F" model was Gerd Barkhorn's favorite model. He is quoted as saying that it was lighter than other 109 variants and could turn and climb "like hell."

The next version, the "G" or Gustav, first appeared at the end of 1942. This was to became the most numerous ME 109 model of all, produced in many variations, but the basic design was starting to show its age. Performance was again up (max. speed slightly over 400 m.p.h. at altitude), but the addition of bigger machine guns and their ammunition, as well as other various improvements for which the airframe was not designed, caused bulges to appear in unlikely places on the cowling of the aircraft (hence its slang name "the bulge"). Power was provided by a bored out DB 601 called the DB 605 and this engine, which had some early reliability problems, was rated at 1,475 hp at takeoff. The Gustav was used on all fronts for the rest of the war, although later models did appear. Not only an air superiority fighter, the Gustav also performed ground attack, bomber destroyer and photo recon missions.

The final Messerschmitt production variant was the "K," deliveries of which began in September of 1944. The "K" was powered by an 1,800 hp DB 605D engine (2000 hp with methanol-water injection) that gave it a top speed of 452 m.p.h. at 19,685 feet. Best climb rate was a sensational 4,820 ft./min. Armament was two 13mm cowl mounted machine guns and one engine mounted 30mm cannon firing through the propeller boss. Two additional 20mm cannons were mounted beneath the wings in the K-4/R4 variant.

The "K" was the final effort to clean up the aerodynamics of the Bf 109 and standardize the factory and field improvements that had appeared in previous models. In this it was similar to the previous "F" model, which it resembled. Gone were the unsightly cowl bulges of the Gustav. The most numerous variant, the "K-4," of which over 700 were produced, featured a pressurized cockpit and the improved visibility "Galland" canopy. It was a formidable fighter, comparable to the best Allied fighters of the period. The "K" was to outlive the Luftwaffe, serving in the Spanish Air Force into the 1960's (by which time it had been re-equipped with Rolls Royce engines!).

The basic specifications of the Bf 109E follow (from The Fighter Aircraft Pocketbook by Roy Cross. For the sake of consistency, subsequent specifications will also be taken from this same source whenever possible).

Watch the video: Survivor 2021. Η ομάδα των Μαχητών (July 2022).


  1. Juramar

    Oooo Cool SPS!

  2. Ozzie

    I am sorry, this variant does not approach me. Perhaps there are still variants?

  3. Aingeru

    And can you find out if your blog design is template? I also want one for myself ...

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