349th Night Fighter Squadron

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349th Night Fighter Squadron
349th Night Fighter Squadron YP-61 P-70.jpg
The first YP-61 Black Widow night fighter to arrive at Orlando Army Air Base, November 1943 is met by a 349th Night Fighter Squadron Douglas P-70 "Black Magic".
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
Kissimmee Army Airfield, Florida
Hammer Army Airfield, California
Engagements World War II - American Campaign Streamer (Plain).png
World War II American Campaign
349th Night Fighter Squadron emblem 349th Night Fighter Squadron - Emblem.png

The 349th Night Fighter Squadron (349th NFS) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 481st Night Fighter Operational Training Group, based at Hammer Field, California. The unit was inactivated on 31 March 1944.

The squadron was one of 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]


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 B of the 450th Army Air Forces Base Unit (Night Fighter Replacement Training Unit).[1]


  • Constituted 349th Night Fighter Squadron on 1 October 1942
Activated on 1 October 1942
Disbanded on 31 March 1944[3]


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


Aircraft Assigned[edit]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  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, eds. (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 (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 

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