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8th Pursuit Group (8th PG) / 8th Fighter Group (8th FG)
"Cyclone's Flying Circus"

U.S. Army Air Force, 5th Air Force
Background
On April 1, 1931 the 8th Pursuit Group (8th PG) was activated in the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC). During 1939 redesignated the 8th Pursuit Group (Fighter). During 1941 redesignated the 8th Pursuit Group (Interceptor). On June 20, 1941 became part of the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF). On May 15, 1942 designated the 8th Fighter Group (8th FG).

During World War II, operated in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) in the Pacific Theater. The 8th Fighter Group was comprised of the 35th Fighter Squadron (35th FS) "The Black Panthers", 36th Fighter Squadron (36th FS) "The Flying Fiends" and 80th Fighter Squadron (80th FS) "The Headhunters". During January 1944, when Lt. Col. Davis nicknamed "Cyclone" prewar became the Commanding Officer (C. O.) the group adopted the nicknamed "Cyclone's Flying Circus".

Wartime History
In early 1942 sent overseas across the Pacific to Australia in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA). The 8th PG was initially based at Archerfield Airfield near Brisbane equipped with early model P-39 Airacobras and P-400 Airacobras with detachments operating from 7 Mile Drome near Port Moresby in New Guinea. In July 1942 moved to Garbutt Field at Townsville. In September 1942 became part of the 5th Air Force (5th AF) and moved to Milne Bay. During February 1943 moved to Mareeba Airfield. In March 1943 returned to Port Moresby. In December 1943 to Finschafen Airfield. In February 1944 to Cape Gloucester Airfield and March 1944 Nadzab Airfield. During June 1944 to Owi Airfield. On June 15, 1944 the 8th Fighter Group became part of the Far East Air Force (FEAF). In September 1944 Morotai Island. In December 1944 San Jose Airfield on Mindoro. In early August 1945 to Ie Shima Airfield until the end of the Pacific War.

Headquarters Squadron (HQ Squadron)
The Headquarters Squadron (HQ Squadron) served in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) during World War II.

35th Pursuit Squadron (35th PS) / 35th Fighter Squadron (35th FS) "The Black Panthers"
The 35th Pursuit Squadron (35th PS) and later renamed the 35th Fighter Squadron (35th FS) and nicknamed "The Black Panthers" equipped with the P-39 Airacobra and later the P-38 Lightning flying combat missions in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

36th Pursuit Squadron (36th PS) / 36th Fighter Squadron (36th FS) "The Flying Fiends"
The 36th Pursuit Squadron (36th PS) and later renamed the 35th Fighter Squadron (36th FS) and nicknamed "The Black Panthers" equipped with the P-39 Airacobra and later the P-38 Lightning flying combat missions in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

80th Pursuit Squadron (80th PS) / 80th Fighter Squadron (80th FS) "The Headhunters"
The 80th Pursuit Squadron (80th PS) and later renamed the 80th Fighter Squadron (80th FS) and nicknamed "The Headhunters" equipped with the P-39 Airacobra and later the P-38 Lightning flying combat missions in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Commanding Officers (C. O.)
Lt. Col. Emmett S. "Cyclone" Davis - CO 8th Fighter Group (January 18, 1944– June 28, 1944)

References
Stars & Bars (1995) pages 25 (8th PG / 8th FG)
Attack & Conquer The 8th Fighter Group in World War II (1999) unit history of the 8th Fighter Group (8th FG)
P-39 Airacobra Aces of World War 2 (2001) page 9
"P-39s of the USAAF's 8th PG (all pursuit groups were redesignated fighter groups in May 1942)"


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