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WWII US Army Air Corps 549th Night Fighter Squadron Leather Patch
Item #: MCJ72
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WWII US Army Air Corps 549th Night Fighter Squadron patch in leather. Patch measures roughly 5 inches and is in excellent condition.
World War II
The squadron was established on 1 April 1944 as the 549th Night Fighter Squadron at Hammer Field, California. It was part of the final group of dedicated night fighter interceptor squadrons formed by the Army Air Forces, being programmed to deploy to the Central Pacific. The squadron trained at various airfields in the San Joaquin Valley with the Douglas P-70 Havoc and YP-61 Black Widow night fighter and was ready to deploy into combat by late October. The squadron moved by train to Seattle, Washington where it boarded a troop ship bound for Honolulu in the Hawaiian Islands. Arriving after a two-week crossing, it remained at Hickam Field, until its aircraft and equipment arrived in Hawaii. At Hickam, it was assigned to Seventh Air Force, and its Northrop P-61 Black Widows were sent though the Hawaiian Air Depot to modify the aircraft for operations in the Pacific Theater. After being part of the defense forces of Hawaii for several weeks, it was deployed to East Field, Saipan in late February 1945 to provide night interceptor coverage of the new bases on Saipan and Guam for the Twentieth Air Force, which was going to use the airfields to carry out very long range strategic bombing of the Japanese Home Islands with the new B-29 Superfortress. After a month on Saipan, the squadron moved to the newly captured Central Field, on Iwo Jima in March 1945. Even after its capture, Iwo Jima remained vulnerable to long range Japanese attacks, and its mission was to defend the new American airfields being built there. A large percentage of the squadron's missions consisted of long-distance patrols over water, many of which involved interceptions of Japanese Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bombers. Its presence, although rarely shooting down any enemy aircraft, did cause the bombers to jettison their loads and beat a hasty retreat from the area. The squadron remained assigned to Iwo Jima for the balance of the Pacific War, flying long range missions over eastern China and night interdiction missions to chi Chi Jima. It was demobilized there in early 1946, and inactivated on 5 February as an administrative unit. The squadron was reactivated briefly on 26 June 1946 as part of the 21st Fighter Group at Northwest Field on Guam. It was not manned or equipped due to personnel shortages and was inactivated again in February 1947
Shipping Weight: 0.6 lb
Your Price $450.00 USD