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P-47 Thunderbolt Squadron reunion set

Saturday, August 19, 2006
Staff Writer

World War II veterans of the 412th Fighter Squadron, 373rd Fighter Group, 9th U.S. Army Air Force, will attend the 2006 reunion in Millville on Monday Tuesday and Wednesday.

The P-47 Thunderbolt Squadron was part of the 9th Army Air Corps, 373rd Fighter Group serving in Europe. Several of its pilots completed P-47 training at the Millville Army Air Field here prior to assignment to the squadron. The group will visit and tour the Millville Army Air Field Museum while here.

The squadron was activated on August 15, 1943, at Westover Field, Mass., trained at the Norfolk Army Air Base VA, in Virginia, then went to Woodchurch, England, on April 5, 1944. It moved to the continent in late June and early July and operated from airstrips in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.

The squadron provided bomber escort, dive bombing and strafing missions, along with our allies, and participated in battle engagements including air cover for the Normandy beaches during the D-day invasion, the battles of St. Lo, France, the Falaise-Argentan Gap, in France and the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.

It inflicted decisive losses on the enemy at St. Vith, Houffalize, St. Hubert, Vielsalm, Celles and Malmady.

The squadron was awarded six battle stars and was decorated by the French government with the Croix de Guerre with Palm and Fourragere and with the Croix de Guerre and Fourragere from the Belgian government.

About 40 are expected to attend the reunion.


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