354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group



The shield with crossed swords represent combat. The bars across the shield are Red, Yellow and Blue representing the Squadrons. The Eagle, Crown and cross are emblematic of the countries the 354th has served in.

The emblem was drawn by Sgt. Bourbon and Cpl. Langran.


Air Offensive:
Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; and Central Europe.


Distinguished Unit Citations (2):
ETO, December 1943 - May 1944
France, August 1944

French Croix de Guerre with Palm:
December 1943 - December 1944

News & Updates

07.12.15: Boxted Airfield Museum DVD listing.

05.04.15: Unit Roster M-R: Corrected name Martin F. Raubfogel. Phoenixville, PA.


Historical Group

Boxted Airfield Museum recently opened to the public near Colchester, Essex, England. The most important U.S. fighter base during the war it was home to the 354th FG, 56th FG, 386 BG, and the 5th Emergency Rescue Sqdrn. Contact the Boxted Airfield Historical Group for information. 

National Archives
Official link to the National Archives on Veterans' Servbice Records: Military Service Records and Official Military Personnel Files

Home|History of the 354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group during World War II - Valor in Combat

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The Famous 354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group

This website is dedicated to the men of the 354th Fighter Group. Assigned to the Tactical Ninth Air Force the 354th Fighter Group was the first unit to take the Packard Merlin engine P-51 Mustang into combat escorting heavy bombers in the strategic bombing campaign in December 1943. With the Mustang’s long-range and maneuverability the 354th changed the nature of war and rescued the Eighth’s Air Force daylight strategic bombing campaign over Europe. The Pioneer Mustang Group became the highest scoring aerial fighter unit in the United State Army Air Force.

There are literally hundreds of pages meticulously written by 354th group historians at squadron level to headquarters covering day to day operations. Unit histories on this website are a concise narrative from those pages that began at the 354th activation at Hamilton Field, California to the end of hostilities in Europe.

General Eisenhower's Famous Fourth of July Flight In A Modified P-51B Mustang

By 356th FS Command Officer Capt. Richard E. Turner

On July 4, 1944 the Allied Supreme Commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower flew in a modified P-51B Mustang with Ninth Air Force Fighter Command Maj. Gen. Elwood R. "Pete" Quesada at the controls to reconnoiter terrain for a planned battle operation.

The P-51B Mustang "The Stars Look Down", was specially modified by the 461st Air Service Group. New information by Karen Calhoun Kasjaniuk provides additional insight on the men involved in getting "The Stars Look Down" ready for the historic flight.

Eisenhower's Historic Flight

The Story of Boxted Airfield

Boxted Airfield
Boxted Airfield Historical Group

Boxted Airfield Museum has put together a fascinating DVD on the history of Boxted Airfield. The DVD includes:

  • Interviews with airfield veterans and local people including one centenarian (a person who lives to or beyond the age of 100 years).

  • Original WW2 footage showing the 386th, 354th and 56th groups in action.

  • The formation of the first American Air-Sea Rescue squadron.

  • The story of the award of the only Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to a fighter pilot in the European Theater of Operations.

  • A tour of the airfield as it is today and the impact that 3,000 military personnel had on a small village.

The Story of Boxted Airfield DVD is available to order online at www.boxted-airfield.com


354th Fighter Group websites:
Lt. Col. Ralph Delgado, Jr.
The Olden Times: Capt. Gus Allen
Nayland and Wiston: Lt. Charles F. Gumm, Jr.
354th Fighter Group: Lt. Robert M. Lamar
Present 354th Fighter Wing - Eielson AFB, Alaska


Nantucket Historical Association Digital Exhibition
Cybermodeler Online: Photo History of the 354th

National Archives: World War II Photos


Aircraft Builders History 

North American Aviation
Republic Aviation


Memorials, Cemeteries and Museums:

Fields of Honor - Database

The Museum of Flight
The National WWII Museum - New Orleans

National World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.
Air Force Memorial Foundation
National Museum of the United States Air Force
National Aviation Heritage Area
National D-Day Museum
Arlington National Cemetery

Battlefields of WW2: Paul Reed
National Air & Space Museum: Udar-Hazy Center


Aviation Magazines:

Flight Journal     WWII History
Classic Wings   Warbird Digest

Historical Groups :
Boxted Airfield Historical Group
Commemorative Air Force

American Aviation Historical Society

Military Service Records:
Together We Served

The National Archives: How to Request
Veterans and their Families
Finding and Telling Dad's War: Wesley Johnston


Gathering of Mustangs & Legends
Mustangs Mustangs
Martin Kyburz: Swiss Mustangs

USA & ETO Airfields:
Military Airfields in WWII 1941-45

Advanced Landing Grounds in Normandy

American Fighter Aces Association
Ninth Air Force Association

P-51 Mustang Pilots Association
P-47 Thunderbolt Pilots Association


Documentary & Video Media:
Heroes of the 354th FG & Angel From Hell
Zeno's Warbird Video Drive-In

Contact Information

If want your photos featured on this website please contact the Website Coordinator: 354thpmfg.com. If you are interested in submitting a tribute for any member of the 354th Pioneer Mustang Group please contact the website coordinator.


These people provided assistance and contributed materials. I am eternally grateful to the 354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group Association, without them this website would not be possible.

354th Fighter Group Historians: Capt. Arthur F. Brown, Capt. Fredrick S. Burkhardt -HQ, Lt. Albert J. Feigen - 353rd FS, Lt Donald F. Snow - 355th FS, Lt. Gabriel M. Bernstein - 356th FS, Capt. Albert D. Fowler - 356th FS, Lt. Charles F. Kennaw - 353rd FS, Rudolph A. Tholt - HQ.

The 354th Fighter Pioneer Mustang Group Association, William W. Louie, Charles "Chuick" Tighe, Ray Bain, Norm Davis, Alan Grant, Rosemary Krebs, Larry Wood, Roberta Roddy, Robert D. Davis, Walter Harrington, Jon Teboe, JMT Productions, Robert W. Lamb, Paul Cornell, Jr., Jack Cook, Ted Skowronek, Hugh Gibson,  The Al Styrsky family, Nantucket Historical Association Digital Exhibition - Robert Young, Jr., Jack E. Wimer, Doug Gifford, Jim Pierce, Walt Fink, Catherine and Millicent Carrizales, Tripp Alyn.

Thanks to DemusDesigns for providing this open source web template and StuNichols for allowing use of the gallery script.