2nd Pursuit Group

The 2nd Pursuit Group was an Air Service, United States Army unit that fought on the Western Front during World War I as part of the Air Service, First United States Army. It was demobilized in France on 10 April 1919. There is no modern United States Air Force unit that shares its lineage and history.

2nd Pursuit Group
Staff of the 2nd Pursuit Group, Belrain Aerodrome, France
Country United States
Branch  Air Service, United States Army
RoleCommand of pursuit squadrons
Part ofAmerican Expeditionary Forces (AEF)
World War I
  • St. Mihiel Offensive Campaign
  • Meuse-Argonne Offensive Campaign


The group was organized on 29 June 1918[1] at Croix de Metz Aerodrome, Toul, France. The 13th Aero Squadron was initially the only unit assigned. The 2nd Pursuit Group immediately began operations against the enemy. The 139th Aero Squadron was assigned to the group the next day, and by 16 August the 13th and 22nd Aero Squadrons filled out the unit's complement of squadrons.[2] All the group's squadrons were equipped with French SPAD S.XIIIs. In theory the group totaled 72 aircraft and an equal number of pilots. The reality was that it was rare for the number of pilots to equal the number of aircraft or for the aircraft to be fully standardized across the entire group.[3] The 28th Aero Squadron was assigned to the Group on 6 November.

When the armistice with Germany was signed and hostilities ceased at 11:00 on 11 November 1918, the pilots of the group had flown 7,788:21 hours in combat over enemy territory. In the 111 flying days made possible by the weather, 358 pilots engaged the enemy in 166 air battles with the loss of 30 pilots. During the 166 air battles, 132 victories were credited to the pilots of the group, with 16 flying aces having the destruction of five or more enemy aircraft to their credit. In addition, four pilots of the group were decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross.[3]


  • Organized as the 2nd Pursuit Group on 29 June 1918
Demobilized on 11 December 1918[3]




See also



  1. created on 22 June ?
  2. the 103rd Aero Squadron had spent a short time with 2nd PG 4 July-7 August
  3. Gorrell


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Gorrell, Col. Edgar S. (1974). History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917-1919. Series C. Vol. 10 History of the 2nd Pursuit Group. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration. OCLC 215070705. (available on - membership required for access)
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