Historic Markers Across South Carolina



354th Fighter Group World War II History



Marker ID:  
Location: Farrow Parkway and South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC
County: Horry
Coordinates: N 33° 39.641    W 078° 55.694
  33.66068333    -78.92823333
 



Text:

354th Fighter Group World War II History



The 354th Fighter Wing has a long and distinguished past. The wing saw action in every major conflict in which the United States was involved, except for the Korean War.

Activated at Hamilton Field in California on November 15, 1942, as the 354th Fighter Group, it first flew the P-39 aircraft. In October 1943, the 354th began flying the P-51 Mustang, and in December it began flying combat missions in Europe. Pilots of the 354th flew 18,344 sorties and totaled 500.25 combat victories against the German Luftwaffe. The group produced 67 aces. Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Eagleston was the leading ace, downing 18.5 enemy aircraft.

In late 1944, the 354th began flying P-47s in a fighter-bomber role. During World War II the wing earned two Distinguished Unit Citations and the French Croix de Guerre with Palm. In February 1946, the 354th was transferred back to the United States and inactivated.


( top photo caption )
Lieutenant Colonel Glenn Eagleston leading ace, downed 18.5 German Luftwaffe planes.

( bottom photo caption )
Lieutenant Frederick Canada, Lieutenant Frances O'Connell, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Bradley and Lieutenant Thomas Mills pose beside the North American P-51 "Margie May" of the 354th Fighter Group at an airfield in Ober Olm, Germany on April 17, 1945.