Group was transfered to the 13th AF in March of 1943
The 18th Fighter Group was organized at Wheeler Field, Hawaii
in 1927. The Japanese attacked Hawaii on December 7, 1941 and the group's planes
suffered heavy losses on the ground. The Group left Hawaii in March, 1943 and
established headquarters at Espirito Santo island in the New Hebrides. In April
it moved north to Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands and became part of the
13th Air Force which had been created April 13, 1943.
The 18th Fighter Group made a significant contribution to winning the war against thee Japanese Starting ant Guadalcanal, its pilots ranged out to attack targets on Munda, Bougainville, and the huge Jap Naval Base at Rabaul. In August, 1944, the 18th then moved west to Sanspor, in far western New Guinea and its pilots began escorting B-24s bombing the huge Jap oil installations in Borneo. the Group then moved north to Morotai island began pounding Jap targets all over the Philippines, In March, 1945, the Group moved to Mindoro island in the northern Philippines where its pilots helped the 8th Army clean out the thousands of Japanese troops on the ground in the Philippines. From there the pilots put on their 300 gallon belly tanks again and hit Jap targets on Formosa (Taiwan), and all along the China Coast on 2,000 mile, 8-10 hour combat missions.
By the war's end, the 18th Fighter Group had compiled a distinguished record--shooting down 282 Jap planes and had 12 aces in the Group.
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