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.
The Story of 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
Aircraft Builders History
Memorials, Cemeteries and Museums:
World War II Memorial, Washington, D.C.
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.