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1943 - Part 1
1st Citation
Group Poem
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9th Pursuit Squadron
Unit History

1941 - 1942 


US AAC Silver Wings



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 Victor 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.


Photo: Air Facts: The Magazine for Pilots, November, '42

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 cruising speed.
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, November, '42]

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 sector.

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.

See 9FS campsite near Livingstone Field...  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.

   A poem especially for the 49th Pursuit Group

The Silver Star was presented by Lt. General G. Brett on 8 July, 1942, to Capt. Joe 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 9th.

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.


Animated P-40 Warhawk

[Animation: Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighter plane by Sharyl Smith]


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