The 406th Fighter Group World War II Memorial Association
The 406th Fighter Group WWII Memorial Association today consists of several hundred members spread out across the United States and Europe. Shared experiences during that conflict serves to keep this bunch of congenial members together along with an interest in preserving the Group's history for future generations to come.
It wasn't until 1981 and thirty-six long years after VE Day that the 406th finally held its first reunion. Many former members had kept in touch, but like most units right after the war, its men quickly headed in a thousand directions. That gathering proved to be memorable thanks in particular to organizer Jack Robinson.
There have subsequently been 15 Reunions — the last and likely final one in Tucson during April 2007, along with a number of trips to Europe and sites in the United States of World War II interest to the group. Original members, their families and friends plus good friends made on the Continent during and since the war make up the membership. Additionally the organization has a board of directors and a slate of officers who oversee the group's activities. A majority of the members are now of the second and third generation rather than original members.
The 406th became a charitable trust in 1986. Under the guardianship of Jack and Margaret Yarger an Archive was established at Pima Air and Space Museum as well as a newsletter "Starduster" provided to the members. Jack had been a pilot in the 512th Squadron which prompted this able and energetic couple to lead the Association and provide direction for its activities including reunions, collecting of archival materials, establishing of memorials and keeping of records just to name a few. Much credit goes to Jack and Margaret... as well as many others to be sure.
The mission of the 406th Association is to preserve the deeds and accomplishments of this World War II air combat unit so that future generations of Americans and all peoples might remember and learn from what the Allied Force's sacrifices and eventual victory meant to the world. Their success maybe measured in one word: FREEDOM. We are proud to have had the opportunity to contribute to this endeavor and humbled by the enormity of its meaning and consequences.
With the passing of years the Association's focus has become that of their Archive located at the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. A 406th Fighter Group Permanent Display is also now open in the Museum.