414th Fighter Group
|414th Fighter Group|
414th Fighter Group - McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 88-1674
|Active||15 October 1944-Present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Reserve Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina|
|414th Fighter Group emblem|
|Attack||F-15E Strike Eagle|
The 414th Fighter Group (414 FG) is an Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Tenth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.
The group was reactivated as an Air Force Reserve Command associate unit in July 2010. The role of the new group is to help Seymour Johnson AFB, NC produce more qualified F-15E aircrew and provide skilled maintainers to assist in the maintenance of the F-15E aircraft.
World War II 
Constituted as 414th Fighter Group on 5 October 1944 and activated on 15 October. Equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts. Most of the pilots had been flying Curtiss P-40s at Harris Neck Army Airfield, Georgia. The Group consisted of three squadrons, the 413th, 437th and 456th.
In November 1944 the Group relocated to Selfridge Airfield, Mt. Clemens, Michigan where they transitioned into long-range P-47N Thunderbolts. On 19 March 1945, the Group relocated to Blumenthal Field, Wilmington, North Carolina, in preparation for their departure to the Pacific war zone.
An advance echelon went on ahead by ship, in May 1945 and two shipments went on converted aircraft carriers carrying the P-47Ns (109 of them). The first carrier was the USS Cape Esperance, with personnel and 49 planes aboard, which shipped over in early June. The 414th Group was assigned to the Twentieth Air Force VII Fighter Command, 301st Fighter Wing.
The second aircraft carrier, the C.V.E. Casablanca, with 49 planes on the flight deck and 11 on the hangar deck, and personnel, departed 7 July 1945 and arrived at Guam 22 July 1945. The earlier carrier group (BX Shipment), based temporarily on Guam, went on two missions to Truk, one of the Carolines, on 13 and 22 July. They had had reports that the Japanese were hiding planes but there were none seen: one man was lost on one of the missions.
Those already on Iwo Jima began operations in late July with an attack against a radar station on Chichi Jima. Operations during August were directed primarily against enemy airfields in Japan but the group also strafed hangars, barracks, ordinance dumps, trains, marshalling yards and shipping. One such raid, on 1 August, was to Okazaki but due to a heavy overcast the ground was not visible so a secondary target, Nagoya East, was approached. It was barren of both planes and personnel; some of the buildings were strafed. The line of retirement took the group over the primary target, Okazaki, and there were no aircraft visible there either.
Specially-assigned B-29 Superfortress navigation "pathfinders" led the Thunderbolts to and from Japan; even so, not every fighter could rendezvous on time for the return journey. It was a daunting prospect for the pilot who had to find his own way back 600 miles to a small island in a vast ocean. On return from another of the Group's first operations over Kyūshū on 8 August, in support of B-29s bombing Yawata, the fuel supplies of several Thunderbolts were exhausted, due to siphoning, and pilots had to bail out in the vicinity of US warships patrolling the mission flight lanes. Lt. Robert Dunnavant, piloting a 437th Fighter Squadron P-47N, spent the astonishing period of 8 hours and 45 minutes in the air. His aircraft's fuel tanks were so depleted when he eventually reached Iwo Jima, that he dared not try to reach his base at North Field, landing instead at a small US Navy airstrip he located on the coast.
On 12 August 1945, the second carrier group took off from Guam for Iwo Jima with B-29s as navigational planes, but they ran into severe weather and had to abort to Tinian and Saipan. One pilot, Roy Abbott, spun out of the weather and crashed to the ocean in flames. Another, George W. Caka, continued on through the weather on his own and wound up over the 3rd Fleet, 300 miles N.E. of Iwo. He bailed out and was picked up out of the ocean unconscious; he too died, and was buried at sea. On 16 August, the second carrier group again departed from Guam, where they had re-gathered, and flew the 720 miles to Iwo. Further missions to the Empire were planned but were called off shortly before their departure times.
One final mission was flown over Japan, on 30 August 1945, three days before the 2 September V-J day. The planes, B-29s and P-47s arrived at the same time the first wave was going into the mainland and the treaty was being finalized by MacArthur on the Missouri. As a show of force, a low, aggressive flyby over Tokyo and the surrounding area was undertaken. In total, the Group went on five missions to "the Empire" from Iwo (including this last one) and two to Chichi Jima.
The Group was reassigned to 13th Air Force at Clark Field in the Philippines in mid-December 1945. The relocation from Iwo was made with a brief stopover in Okinawa. The Group flew P-47Ns and P-51s in early 1946, and then a few P-80 Shooting Stars. In mid-1946 the Group relocated to Florida Blanca, in the Philippines (South of Clark Field) and was inactivated, and then redesignated the 18th Fighter Group under the command of Col. Bushey. There were 10 jets and 15 P-51s per squadron. The P-47s were flown back to Clark Field and demolished.
United States Air Force 
Reactivated in 1955 as an Air Defense Command fighter group, assigned to the Western Air Defense Force, flying F-94 Starfire interceptors. Over the years upgraded to F-89 Scorpions; F-101B Voodoos, and finally the F-106 Delta Darts. Inactivated in 1969 when ADC closed Oxnard AFB and sharply reduced its interceptor force.
Once again reactivated in 2010 as an Active Associate Unit Air Combat Command fighter group, once again at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. This time to train aircrew and assist in maintaining the F-15E.
- Constituted as 414th Fighter Group on 5 October 1944
- Activated on 15 October 1944
- Inactivated on 30 September 1946
- Established as 414th Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 10 June 1955
- Reactivated on 18 August 1955 with personnel and equipment of 533d Air Defense Group
- Inactivated on 31 December 1969
- Redesignated the 414th Fighter Group
- Activated on 1 April 2010
- III Fighter Command, 15 October 1944
- 301st Fighter Wing, 28 October 1944
- VII Fighter Command, 17 April 1944
- XIII Fighter Command, 23 December 1945 – 30 September 1946
- 27th Air Division, 15 February 1953
- Western Air Defense Force, 18 August 1955
- Los Angeles Air Defense Sector, 1 October 1959
- 27th Air Division, 1 April 1966
- 26th Air Division, 19 November – 31 December 1969
- Tenth Air Force, 1 June 2010–present
Operational units 
- 66th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 1 December 1957 – 8 January 1958
- 307th Fighter Squadron, June 2010 – present
- 354th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 16 February 1953 – 18 August 1955
- 413th Fighter Squadron 15 October 1944 – 30 September 1946
- 437th Fighter Squadron 15 October 1944 – 30 September 1946; 18 August 1955-30 June 1968; 1 June 1968 – 30 September 1969
- 456th Fighter Squadron 15 October 1944 – 25 August 1946
- 460th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 1 September 1968 – 1 November 1969
Aircraft flown 
- P-47 Thunderbolt
- F-94C Starfire, 1952–1956
- F-89D/H/J Scorpion, 1956–1960
- F-101B Voodoo, 1960–1968
- F-106 Delta Dart, 1968–1969
- F-15E Strike Eagle, 2010–present
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.