99th Fighter Squadron Statistical Report

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16 September 1943: Major General Edwin J. House, commander of the XII Air Support Command, sent a memorandum to Major General John K. Cannon, Deputy Commander of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force, regarding the “Combat Efficiency of the 99th Fighter Squadron”. The letter criticized the black squadron as performing poorly in combat, based partly on information supplied by Colonel William Momyer, commander of the 33rd Fighter Group, to which the 99th Fighter Squadron was attached. The report recommended that the squadron trade in its P-40s for P-39s and be assigned to coastal patrols. It also recommended that a black fighter group not be deployed overseas for combat. (Ulysses Lee, The Employment of Negro Troops [Washington, DC: Office of the Chief of Military History, United States Army, 1966], p. 157; AFHRA call number 141.281-22; IRIS number 0011444)

18 September 1943: Responding to the memorandum from Major General House of the XII Air Support Command, Major General J. K. Cannon, Deputy Commander of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force, prepared a memorandum for the commanding general of the Northwest African Air Force critical of the 99th Fighter Squadron.

19 September 1943: Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, commander of the Northwest African Air Forces, and commander of the Twelfth Air Force, prepared a memo as he forwarded the memoranda from Generals House and Cannon on the combat performance of the 99th Fighter Squadron. Spaatz expressed his “full confidence in the fairness of the analysis made by both General Cannon and General House,” he also noted that he had personally inspected the 99th Fighter Squadron several times, and found that “there has been no question of their ground discipline and their general conduct. It has been excellent.” He noted that “In processing them for combat action they were given the benefit of our training system of the supervision of instructors with much combat experience. They were processed into combat action very carefully.” Spaatz forwarded the memoranda and his own note to the Commanding General, Army Air Forces, who was General Henry “Hap” Arnold, in Washington, D.C.

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