355th Fighter Squadron

"Pugnacious Pups"


Constituted 355th Fighter Squadron on 12 Nov 1942
Activated on 15 Nov 1942
Inactivated on 31 Mar 1946

354th Fighter Group, 12 Nov 1942-31 Mar 1946

Greenharn Common, England, 4 Nov 1943
Boxted, England, 13 Nov 1943
Lashenden, England, circa 14 Apr 1944
Cricqueville, France, circa 18 Jun 1944

The information above and the extracts below have been taken from the 355th Fighter Squadron website where more information can be found.

November 4, 1943

Scarcely two weeks after getting settled in the cold, damp Nissen huts at Boxted. the pilots of our Squadron had completed transition training with a new type fighter, the P-51B.

December 13, 1943

On December 13, 1943, just a month after the first pilots had checked out in the Mustang fighter, we made history by escorting bombers all the way to Kiel, Germany. On the 16th of December, near Bremen, Germany, Lt. Charles F. Gumm shot down the first enemy plane to be destroyed by the P-51B Mustang.

December 16, 1943

Three hundred ninety-two VIII Bomber Command B-17s, 133 B-24s, and two pathfinder B-17s attack the Bremen port area. Eight B-17s are lost.

The 2d Bombardment Division's 446th Heavy Bombardment Group, in B-17s, makes its combat debut.

Bomber escort is provided by 131 P-47s, 31 P-38s, and 39 P-51s, but the 55th Fighter Group cannot complete its part of the escort plan owing to the late arrival of the bomber formations. 1st Lt Charles F. Gumm, Jr., of the 354th Fighter Group, becomes the first USAAF P-51B pilot to be given credit for a confirmed victory over a GAF airplane and the first IX Fight Command pilot to down an enemy airplane over north-western Europe. While providing target escort for the heavy bombers over the port of Bremen, Gumm damages a Ju-88 medium bomber and downs a Bf-109 at 1330 hours.


Name Rank Air
Group P-51 Air
Total Air
Charles F. Gumm Lt. 9 354 6 6