Operational squadrons were:
The USAAF first engaged enemy forces near Iceland on 28 April 1942 and had been followed by a three months' lull. Then in late July three more encounters took place. Up to this point the honors had gone to the Norwegian patrol squadron, which, under RAF command, was operating off the northern and eastern coast; but it was not long before the American air forces in Iceland had their chances at the Nazis. Having missed being the first to engage the enemy, an American plane became the first to bring one down.
On the morning of 14 August 1942 two American fighter pilots, Lt. E. E. Shahan and Lt. J. D. Shaffer, intercepted and destroyed a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 about ten miles north of Reykjavík. It was the first German plane of the war to be shot down by the Army Air Forces.
During the next two months American fighter planes of the Iceland Base Command bagged two more German planes, intercepted and attacked seven, and unsuccessfully tried to intercept three others. Planes of the Norwegian RAF squadron, meanwhile, had met and attacked three German aircraft with varying degrees of success, and during the same period the ground troops opened fire on German planes a dozen times. A few planes appeared during the winter, but none was intercepted and only two came under antiaircraft fire. Some of this air activity over the North Atlantic was undoubtedly related to the enemy's efforts to set up weather and radio stations in Greenland.
The spring of 1943 promised to be just as lively. In April German planes were spotted or reported on at least ten occasions. One of the intruders, a Junkers Ju 88 bomber, was shot down at the end of the month by two planes of the 50th Fighter Squadron. Throughout the year the number of enemy or unidentified planes reported was about 15 percent less than in 1942. Actual contacts were considerably fewer. Apparently the German planes were successfully avoiding the antiaircraft defenses and evading the American fighters.
On 5 August American planes, making their second interception of the year, shot down another German bomber, the fifth and last enemy plane to be destroyed over Iceland.
After the summer of 1943, little German activity was noted over the North Atlantic skies. The enemy, not the Americas, was on the defensive, and the American defensive outposts in the Atlantic (Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland and Bermuda) were shifting to secondary roles.
On 25 July 1956, the 342d Fighter Day Wing with three squadrons (33rd, 572nd and 573rd) was established and activated at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina. Along with the wing, the 342d Air Base Group and the 455th Fighter-Day Group were activated with the 740th, 741st and 742d Fighter-Day Squadrons.
The Wing Commander was Colonel Robert G. Emmens.
The total manpower force of the 342d FDW at the time of its activation was 20 Officers, 1 Warrant Officer and 241 enlisted men. Aircraft assigned to the 342 FDW were 5 RF-80A's, 2 T-33A's, 1 SA-16A, 1 H-19B, 2 C-45's and 2 B-25's.
On 10 September 1956, the 342d FDW received a new commander, Colonel Francis S. Gabreski. Colonel Emmens assumed the role of Deputy Base Commander at that time. The 342 FDW's mission was officially that of a fully functional fighter-day wing. In reality, the efforts and activities of the 342d FDW were directed to reach operational capabilities by overcoming the problems and obstacles inherent in the activation of a new fighter wing on a base sill largely under construction. Close liaison was maintained between units at Shaw AFB, SC for many activities. There were regularly scheduled truck convoys between Shaw and Myrtle Beach during the Wing's development.
The 342d FDW lasted 117 days until 18 November 1956. On 19 November, the Air Force redesignated the unit as the 354th Fighter-Day Wing, absorbing all personnel and assets of the 342d FDW. The 342d FDW was inactivated.