PHOTO FROM ace1945.com

With the Stars & Stripes newspaper in hand. Ace Lt Gordon "Mac" McDaniel celebrates the end of fighting in Europe after flying one of the 318th last missions.


In October 1945, the 318th, with the other squadrons of the 325th Fighter Group returned to the United States and was inactivated 28 October 1945.


As of VE-Day, the Checkertail Clan had a total of twenty-seven Fighter Aces with a combined total of 201 kills; the Group also had the Mediterranean Theaters second leading Ace. When the aerial victory record is compared with the records of the 4th and 56th Fighter Groups which were the 8th Air Force leaders in this respect, the magnitude of the Clan's accomplishments comes into true perspective.


The 4th FG had 550 aerial kills while the 56th FG had 679 1/2. Beside these two groups, the only other units in all of Europe and the Mediterranean that had higher totals that the Checkertails were the 354th Fighter Group with 701, and the 357th with 592.


Even the statistics prove that the squadrons of the Checkertail Clan were the top of their profession and one of the top scoring fighter Groups in the whole Mediterranean area. 

Next page: The P-61 Era (1946 - 1948)