On Feb. 9, 1942, the 78th Fighter Group, the antecedent of the 78th ABW, stood up, eventually transferring to the 8th AF fighter units stationed at RAF Duxford. They flew their last mission April 13, 1945. During that time they flew the P-38 Lightning, P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang on bomber escorts and counter-air activities. They also supported the Normandy invasion and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. The Group was reactivated in 1948 and stayed in service until 1961. During this time they flew the F-84 Thunderjet, F-89 Scorpion, F-86 Sabre, F-102 Delta Dagger, F-104 Starfighter, F-101 Voodoo and F-106 Delta Dart.
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