9th Pursuit Squadron
1941 - 1942
|The 9th Pursuit Squadron, 49th Group, was activated at Selfridge Field,
Michigan, on 16 January 1941 with Lt. T. Barrett commanding. On 8 May, 1941 Captain
Pixey assumed command of the Ninth. May 16th, 1941, the squadron proceeded to Morrison
Field, Florida, to train in the the Curtis P-40 fighter plane.
On 4 January 1942, the
squadron left for Livestock Pavilion, San Francisco, by train, arriving there 8 January
1942. The USAT Mariposa was boarded on 12 January, and put in at Melbourne, Victoria,
Australia on 2 February. The squadron was billeted in Camp Darley. On 14 February the
Ninth moved to Williamstown, New South Wales, and on 20 February the first P-40's arrived.
The squadron was in operation the following day.
The New Curtiss Warhawk Fighter
Powered with the American-built Rolls-Royce engine, the new Warhawk
is a fast and high-ceiling fighter, well armed and well armored. Its
record at Humpty Doo is more than impressive.
Note streamlined belly tank for long range flights at most economical
Click link below for a true
story written by Lucien Hubbard...
[Photo & caption from article "The Fighters at Humpty
Doo" by Lucien Hubbard; Air Facts: The Magazine for Pilots,
March 8, 1942, twenty-five P-40's started for Darwin Australia, arriving on the 17th.
Operations began the 18th. One pilot, Lt. Al Spehr, was killed in an accident at Daley
Waters, Northern Territory, while enroute. At Darwin the 49th Pursuit Group was under RAAF control
First blood for the 9th was on 22 March, 1942, when Lt. Steven Poleschuk destroyed a
Nakajima type 97 Japanese bomber in the Darwin area. The first pilot lost in combat was
Lt. John Livingstone on 4 April, 1942. The airstrip from which the 9th flew was named
Livingstone Field in his honor.
Maps of campsites and airstrips...
The squadron was credited with the destruction of 4 single engine fighters, 10 bombers
and 1 reconnaissance plane on May 1, 1942. On May 26th, the squadron was redesignated the
Ninth Fighter Squadron.
poem especially for the 49th Pursuit Group
The Silver Star was presented by Lt. General G. Brett on 8 July, 1942, to Capt.
Kruzel, Lt. Andrew J. Reynolds and Pvt. F. Harvey. August 12, 1942 ended a period of intense
activity which began March 12th, and resulted in the 49th Group receiving its first
Presidential Citation of the war. On 27 August, Capt. James Selman assumed command of the
Read the Citation
October 7, 1942, the air echelon of the squadron departed for New Guinea, and on 14
November the first tactical mission in New Guinea was flown from 30 Mile Strip, Port
Moresby. Shortly after this, the pilots of the squadron who had fought in Java and the
Philippines were ordered to return to the U.S. Lt. Andrew J. Reynolds was one of this group.
[Animation: Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter plane
by Sharyl Smith]
Next to 1943 - Part 1
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