Dedications - Group Decorations
GROUP DECORATIONS: UPDATED 25 MAY 2017
Distinguished Unit Citation
Head Quarters Ninth Air Force - 354th Fighter Group, XIX Tactical Air Command, Ninth Air Force. European Theater of Operations -
4 November 1943 to 15 May 1944.
"For outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy in the European Theater of Operations from 4 November 1943 to 15 May 1944. As the first fighter group flying P-51 type aircraft to participate in aerial operations in the
European Theater of Operations, the 354th Fighter Group was instrumental in the eminently successful development and execution of long-range penetration and target support missions in the protection of heavy bombardment aircraft participating
in daylight assaults upon objectives deep in enemy territory. At a time when long range daylight bombing was facing its most crucial test, the remarkable innovation of using single-engine fighters in deep support of heavy bombardment type
aircraft marked an important development in the history of aerial warfare. Only twenty days after being assigned its combat aircraft, a type new both to air and ground personnel, the 354th Fighter Group, with zealous enthusiasm and offensive
spirit, dispatched its first mission against the enemy. In subsequent operations of increasing range and difficulty the Group consistently out-flew and out-fought the enemy over his own territory. Many of the missions were deep penetrations
into enemy territory where, despite hazardous weather conditions, formidable anti-aircraft fire, and strong enemy fighter opposition, the valiant pilots of this group, though frequently out-numbered, destroyed a record number of enemy aircraft
while providing vigilant and aggressive support for the bombers."
Distinguished Unit Citation Plus Oak Leaf Cluster
Head Quarters Ninth Air Force - 354th Fighter Group, XIX Tactical Air Command, Ninth Air Force. France - 25 August 1944.
"The 354th Fighter Group. For extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy on 25 August 1944. On this date the 354th Fighter Group achieved an outstanding record in the destruction of large numbers of enemy aircraft. During the course of
6 separate fighter sweeps a total of 83 aircraft were dispatched against the enemy. Over Rethal, France, 14 P-51 from one of the squadrons engaged 25 hostile fighters heading over the front lines. In a gallant display of aggressiveness and
aerial skill the pilots of this group took a toll of 10 enemy aircraft destroyed and 4 damaged, and forced the remainder to flee. Meanwhile another squadron of the group attacked the airfield at Beauvais, France, and, notwithstanding heavy
opposition from ground fire, two hangars and 10 enemy aircraft dispersed on the field were completely destroyed. The third squadron, consisting of 15 aircraft, encountered a formation of 30 hostile fighters. In a battle which raged from deck
level to 800 feet altitude the Mustang pilots accounted for the destruction of 12 ME-109's, and 1 FW-190, and the damaging of 2 FW-190's. In all, the pilots of the 354th Fighter Group destroyed 51 and damaged 9 enemy aircraft on this date.
Although outnumbered in every instance of aerial combat the pilots of the 354th Fighter Group attacked the enemy with such ferocity and zeal that his aircraft were shot down in great numbers or forced to withdraw. The intense zeal and fighting
spirit displayed by the pilots in aerial combat, combined with the perseverance and technical skill of the ground personnel, mark the 354th Fighter Group as an organization of exceptional esprit de corps, and reflect the highest traditions of
the Army Air Forces."
Croix de Guerre with Palm
Updated: 25 May 2017
The President of the Provisional Government of the French Republic and Chief of the Armed Forces. 1 December 1943 - 31 December 1944
"An outstanding combat unit which distinguished itself by its courage, its fighting spirit and its extraordinary endurance. During its time of active duty it destroyed or damaged more than 1000 enemy aircraft. From its entry into the front line
on 1 December 1943 until 31 December 1944, it distinguished itself by magnificent military actions; notably, in the course of 519 sorties and in spite of repair and resupply difficulties, by assuring effective and continuous air cover for the
troops landed in Normandy and advancing victoriously into the center of France; by escorting the bombers on long-range missions over Germany, destroying in the course of these raids 324 enemy planes in fierce battles carried out often at odds
of 10 to 1; by shooting down in the skies over France, on 25 August 1944 and on 12 September 1944, 51 and 39 enemy aircraft, respectively, in the course of strafing and bombing missions on military objectives, which caused the destruction of
more than 560 military transports, 490 locomotives, 1120 freight cars, 14 bridges and 609 factories and military buildings. The 354th Fighter Group contributed significantly to the collapse of the enemy forces and thus to the liberation of
the soil of France."
I am eternally grateful to Ted and Stephanie Buehler for donating materials to this website. Stephanie is the daughter of the late Walter “Wally” A. Boruch, 355th FS medical officer. Among Walter’s personal collection was a mint condition
reunion packet outlining activities for the 354th Fighter Group Association 40th Anniversary Reunion, October 6-8, 1983 in San Antonio, TX. Printed on a page was a certified copy of the Croix de Guerre with Palm citation, obtained from
the French Director of Bureau of Decorations, dated 8 March 1982.
Click the button below to view citation and English translation.
Croix de Guerre with Palm Citation