After months of training, the 354th Fighter Group arrived in England in the fall of 1943. The pilots were eager and confident. It was evening by the time we arrived at our first base where an equally eager commander of the Ninth Fighter Command, General Pete Quesada, met us. We were the first fighter group of the Ninth Air Force. The 90+ pilots and hundreds of auxiliary personnel listened to the General the following morning.

"You are a well-trained group and we expect great things from you", said the General. His next comment caught our attention. "Not all of you will make it". The General was right as evidenced by this section. Still, in the next year and a half, not one pilot asked out. Replacements absorbed the confidence of veterans so that morale stayed high. This is a long list, but it was tempered by our success of victories in a 5 to 1 ratio to losses.

We were the leading group in the European Theater in aerial victories.
The brave men on this list paid the ultimate price in earning the
Final Victory!
We shall never forget them!

High Flight

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth. And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth. Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung. High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there, I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air ....

Up, up the long, delirious burning blue. I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.

Where never lark, or ever eagle flew — And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod.
The high untrespassed sanctity of space, Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.
John Gillespie Magee, Jr., American Volunteer RCAF, KIA, 11 December 1941