Served in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations
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Aircraft flown by the 79th FG
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
(Used from 1942 until the Spring of 1944)
The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk was an American single-engine, single-seat, all metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938. It was based on the earlier Curtiss P-36 Hawk, having the P-36’s air-cooled radial engine replaced with a liquid-cooled inline engine. Whereas most P-40s had the Allison V-1710 V-12 engine, the P-40Fs and P-40Ls flown by the 79th Fighter Group had Packard-build Merlin engines that provided additional horsepower and a slightly higher service ceiling.
The P-40 was the third most produced American fighter, with 13,738 being built, and was used by most Allied nations and remained in front-line service until the end of the war.
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
(Used from Spring of 1944 until disbanded in 1947)
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was an American single-engine, single-seat, all metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft, powered by the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engine. The P-47 had better performance than the P-40 in most areas, with the exception of maneuverability and range. With its robust airframe, powerful radial engine, and armament of eight .50 caliber machine guns, the P-47 was especially proficient in the ground-attack role.
The P-47 was the most produced American fighter of World War II, with 15,636 being built.