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

U. S. Army Air Force, 13th 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). In May 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)
On September 18, 1942 Headquarters Squadron (HQ Squadron) moves from Ross River Airfield to Milne Bay. On March 6, 1942 arrives Brisbane. During May 1942 redesigned the 8th Fighter Group (8th FG), Headquarters Squadron (HQ Squadron).

On February 24, 1943 HQ Squadron moves from Milne Bay to Mareeba Airfield.

35th Pursuit Squadron (35th PS) / 35th Fighter Squadron (35th FS) "The Black Panthers"
In early 1942 the 35th Pursuit Squadron (35th PS) was sent overseas to Australia. On March 6, 1942 arrives Brisbane. During May 1942 redesigned the 35th Fighter Squadron (36th FS).

On June 29, 1942 the squadron moves from Port Moresby to Woodstock Airfield.

On July 27, 1942 moves from Woodstock Airfield to Garbutt Field.

On September 18, 1942 moves from Ross River Airfield to Milne Bay.

On February 24, 1943 moves from Milne Bay to Mareeba Airfield.

P-39D 41-6802  pilot Wilde crashed May 12, 1942
P-39D 41-6930  pilot Anders force landed April 30, 1942
P-39D 41-6945  pilot Carpenter crashed May 13, 1942
P-39D 41-6970  pilot Ward force landed May 28, 1942 salvaged in 1968 to Port Moresby
P-39F 41-7200  pilot Hosford crashed June 1, 1942, remains recovered
P-39F 41-7126  piloted by Paul S. Miller crashed May 28, 1942 ultimate fate unknown
P-39F 41-7128  pilot Durand MIA April 30, 1942
P-39F 41-7153  pilot Hawkins MIA May 27, 1942
P-39F 41-7188  pilot Hawkins force landed May 8, 1942
P-39F 41-7194  pilot Plunkett crashed June 1, 1942 survived
P-39F 41-7207  pilot Chivers MIA May 4, 1942
P-39F 41-7210  pilot McGovern force landed April 26, 1942
P-39D "Papuan Panic" 41-38353  ultimate fate unknown
P-39D 41-38385  salvaged PNG
P-39F pilot Anders  crashed May 28, 1942
P-39 pilot Gillen  crashed July 28, 1943

P-38H 42-66746  pilot Jacobson crashed March 30, 1944
P-38H 42-66846 pilot Cours crashed April 30, 1944
P-38J 42-67802  pilot King MIA June 18, 1944
P-38 pilot Everhart crashed October 12, 1944

36th Pursuit Squadron (36th PS) / 36th Fighter Squadron (36th FS) "The Flying Fiends"
In early 1942 the 36th Pursuit Squadron (36th PS) was sent overseas to Australia. On March 6, 1942 arrives Brisbane. During May 1942 redesigned the 36th Fighter Squadron (36th FS).

On June 30, 1942 the squadron moves from Port Moresby to Garbutt Field at Townsville.

On September 14, 1942 moves from Ross River Airfield to Milne Bay.

On February 22, 1943 moves from from Milne Bay to Mareeba Airfield.

P-39D 41-6909  pilot Lovett crashed May 3, 1942, pilot killed
P-39D 41-6956  pilot Schwimmer MIA May 4, 1942, 1 missing
P-39D 41-6971  pilot Armstrong MIA May 4, 1942, 1 missing
P-39D 41-6982  pilot Brown force landed April 30, 1942, pilot survived
P-39D 41-38339  pilot Brown MIA September 25, 1943, 1 missing
P-39F 41-7116  pilot Gholson crashed May 29, 1942, pilot survived
P-39F 41-7122  pilot Bland ditched May 17, 1942, pilot survived
P-39F 41-7162  pilot Hornsby force landed May 27, 1942, pilot survived
P-39F 41-7186  pilot Bevlock force landed April 30, 1942, pilot survived
P-39F 41-7190  pilot Exum force landed May 28, 1942, pilot survived
P-39F 41-7191  pilot Chapman MIA May 18, 1942, 1 missing
P-39F 41-7215  pilot Harvey force landed May 1, 1942 salvaged 1971 under restoration
P-39F pilot Love  force landed May 1, 1942, pilot killed
P-39F pilot Andres  crashed May 28, 1942, pilot survived
P-39Q 42-19959  pilot Melville MIA October 28, 1943 near Bulldog, 1 missing, resolved
P-39Q 42-19987  pilot Pitonyak crashed October 28, 1943, wreckage located, remains recovered and identified 2016, case resolved
P-39Q 42-20031  pilot Fenn MIA October 28, 1943, 1 missing
P-39Q 42-20339  abandoned Tadji Airfield recovered 1974 stored in the United States
P-39Q 42-20013  transfered November 1943 to 82nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (82nd TRS) ultimate fate unknown
P-39Q pilot Burley  crashed October 11, 1943, pilot killed

P-38F 42-12652  assigned from 39th Fighter Squadron during February or March 1943 stricken June 6, 1944
P-38H 42-66528  pilot Danson MIA March 14, 1944
P-38H 42-66555  pilot Mikucky MIA April 16, 1944
P-38H 42-66???  pilot Zielinski MIA April 16, 1944
P-38H 42-66668  pilot Keown MIA April 16, 1944
P-38H 42-66832  pilot Reeves MIA April 16, 1944
P-38L 44-26538  pilot Stier crashed July 13, 1945
P-38L 44-????? pilot Henderson crashed July 13, 1945
P-38H piloted by Weiss  MIA March 19, 1944
P-38 piloted by Perkins crashed March 21, 1944
P-38 "Nulli Secundus"  pilot Ladd MIA October 15, 1944

80th Pursuit Squadron (80th PS) / 80th Fighter Squadron (80th FS) "The Headhunters"
In early 1942 the 80th Pursuit Squadron (80th PS) was sent overseas to Australia. On March 6, 1942 arrives Brisbane. During May 1942 redesigned the 80th Fighter Squadron (80th FS).

On July 20, 1942 the squadron moves from Petrie Airfield in Australia to 12 Mile Drome near Port Moresby with P-39s and P-400. On July 22, 1942 the squadron fly their first combat mission.

On December 11, 1943 80th Fighter Squadron transfers from Port Moresby to Dobodura with P-38's

P-38F 42-12637  pilot DeGraffenreid crashed August 21, 1943
P-38F Dottie From Brooklyn" 42-12647  transfered to a service squadron force landed January 1944
P-38G 42-12709  pilot Strommen crashed September 15, 1943
P-38G 42-12857  pilot Wilson force landed April 12, 1944
P-38G 43-2201  pilot Smith crashed August 20, 1943, 1 missing resolved
P-38G 43-2203  pilot Evers MIA November 2, 1943
P-38G 43-2205  pilot Harrington crashed April 21, 1943
P-38G "Ruff Stuff" 43-2212  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38G 43-2382  pilot Bennett crashed April 12, 1943
P-38G "Lil-De-Icer / G.I. Annie" 43-2386  pilot Gentile MIA November 7, 1943
P-38G McIntyre  pilot McIntyre crashed April 29, 1943
P-38G pilot Neater crashed July 11, 1943
P-38H 42-66525  pilot Mathers crashed August 23, 1943
P-38 piloted by Feehan  MIA August 21, 1943
P-38 piloted by Guttel  MIA August 21, 1943
P-38 piloted by Krisher  MIA August 21, 1943
P-38 piloted by McCarthy crashed July 21, 1943
P-38H "Porky II" 42-66506  pilot Craigg MIA December 26, 1943
P-38H "Staten Island or Bust" 42-66535  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66563  pilot Adams MIA September 2, 1943
P-38H "My Gal Sal" 42-66631  pilot Myers MIA December 22, 1943
P-38H 42-66662  pilot Shea MIA November 2, 1943
P-38H "Corky Jr" 42-66668  transfered to the 36th Fighter Squadron
P-38H "Jandina" 42-668??  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38H 42-66835  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38J 42-67142  pilot Donaldson MIA December 22, 1943
P-38J 42-67152  pilot Gidley MIA January 23, 1944
P-38J "Corky III" 42-67580  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38J "Jandina II" 42-67590  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38J "Jandina IV" 43-28832  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38J 42-103983  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38J "Jandina III" 42-103988  pilot Robbins force landed May 7, 1944
P-38J 42-103992  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38J "Corky IV"  ultimate fate unknown likely scrapped
P-38L 44-27142  pilot Hochuli MIA August 12, 1945, 1 missing

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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