348th Night Fighter Squadron

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348th Night Fighter Squadron
348th Night Fighter Squadron Northrop YP-61-NO Black Widow 41-18882.jpg
348th Night Fighter Squadron Northrop YP-61 Black Widow 41-18882
Active 1942–1944
Country  United States
Branch US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg  United States Army Air Forces
Type Operational Training Unit
Role Night Fighter Training
Garrison/HQ Orlando Army Air Base, Florida
Salinas Army Air Base, California
Engagements World War II - American Campaign Streamer (Plain).png
World War II American Campaign
Insignia
348th Night Fighter Squadron emblem 348th Night Fighter Squadron - Emblem.png

The 348th Night Fighter Squadron (348th NFS) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 481st Night Fighter Operational Training Group, based at Salinas Army Air Base, California. The unit was inactivated on 31 March 1944.

The squadron was the first dedicated Night Fighter Operational Training Squadron of the Air Force. The squadron trained newly-activated night fighter squadrons who were deployed overseas into combat until its inactivation in March 1944 due to a re-alignment of training unit designations.[1]

History[edit]

The squadron was formed in October 1942 from elements of the 81st Fighter Squadron as part of the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT) Fighter Command School at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida. Its personnel being veteran American pilots trained by the Royal Air Force in night interception operations. It was initially equipped with three Douglas DB-7s and twenty-three Douglas P-70s. Shortages in operational flying aircraft, spare parts and other issues kept flying training very rudimentary for the squadrons first classes that graduated in December 1942.[1]

As 1943 progressed additional aircraft and equipment arrived and the program expanded. In September, the first American-built dedicated night fighter began to arrive, the Northrup YP-61 Black Widow and a few production P-61As. In January 1944 the entire program moved to Hammer Field, California and was placed under IV Fighter Command. The move placed the squadron near Northrop manufacturing facility at Hawthorne, California and most programmed P-61 squadrons were planned for operations in the Pacific and China Burma India Theaters.[1]

In March 1944 the 348th was disbanded when the AAF found that standard military units, based on relatively inflexible tables of organization were proving less well adapted to the training mission. Accordingly a more functional system was adopted in which each base was organized into a separate numbered unit during a reorganization of units in the United States.[2] The squadron's personnel and equipment were transferred to Squadron A of the 450th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Night Fighter Replacement Training Unit).[1]

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted 348th Night Fighter Squadron on 1 October 1942
Activated on 1 October 1942
Disbanded on 31 March 1944[3]

Assignments[edit]

Attached to 481st Night Fighter Operational Training Group, 17 July 1943
  • 481st Night Fighter Operational Training Group, 26 July 1943 – 31 March 1944[3]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft Assigned[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ a b c d Northrop P-61 Black Widow—The Complete History and Combat Record, Garry R. Pape, John M. Campbell and Donna Campbell, Motorbooks International, 1991.
  2. ^ Craven, Wesley F & Cate, James L, ed. (1955). The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 48003657. OCLC 704158. 
  3. ^ a b c d Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 

External links[edit]