The 944th Fighter Wing has been home to many trailblazing fighter squadrons over the years. The 307th Fighter Squadron is no exception.
During America’s initial entrance into World War II, the military became split between the Pacific and European theaters. The 307th FS found themselves in the thick of the action when they were one of the first American combat aerial squadrons sent to aid the Royal Air Force in their push against Nazi Germany.
While assigned to the 31st Fighter Group, the 307th FS first saw combat in August of 1942 when they began attacking Germany’s position in occupied France. They participated in Operation Jubilee, also known as the Dieppe Raid, which helped influence Operation Overlord: D-day. After the Allied attempt at assaulting German-occupied France in 1942, they moved to North Africa.
Operation Torch was executed in the same year and the 307th FS was tasked as part of the force that would be used to liberate Morocco and Algeria from the Germans. The squadron’s support of the invading ground forces soon halted Field Marshal Rommel’s advances on the invading Allied forces and forced a German retreat from North Africa. At the end of the North Africa Campaign, the 307th FS boasted 33 destroyed enemy aircraft.
The squadron subsequently moved north and flew as cover for Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, which ended in an eight-day battle culminating with a successful and effective collapse of Mussolini’s fascist regime. The squadron then spent the remainder of the war stationed in Italy while supporting campaigns around Europe, including D-Day, until its return to the United States in 1945. By the end of the war, the 307th was credited with more than 130 victories and two Distinguished Unit Citations: one in Romania on April 2, 1944, and one in Poland on July 25, 1944.
The 307th FS also has another claim to fame, aside from their brave feats on the European front. They are one of the few squadrons that can boast of their special squadron emblem. While most squadrons take pride in their patches, the 307th FS can trace the original design of their own patch to the famed American patriot, illustrator and entertainment pioneer, Walt Disney. Disney designed the iconic boxing bee for the 307th FS in August of 1944.
Duty, determination and bravery line the history of the 307th FS. From their days attacking the beaches of Normandy, to now, the roots of their history have been firmly established. Their legacy carries the thread of their strength and steadfast spirit, like a beacon of perpetual stability in an ever-changing world.