Dear Mr. Gibson,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the series World War II Combat Operations Reports, 1941-1946 in the Records of the Army Air Forces (Record Group 18) that contains 42 files related to the 21st Fighter Group, including 7 files for April 1945 and 1 file that includes March and April 1945. The series also includes 17 files related to the 15th Fighter Group for 1945 only. These records have not been digitized. Please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at email@example.com for access to and information about these records.
In addition, RDT2 has custody of microfilm copies of operational records relating to U.S. Army Air Force units. We searched the Air Force History index to the microfilm and located 15 files related to the 15th Fighter Group for 1943 - April 1944 and 15 files related to the 21st Fighter Group from April 1944 - April 1945 that may be of interest to you. Please read the brief Abstract to determine which records you are interested in and click on the specific PDF icon. In the PDF listing, the IRISREF is the microfilm reel number and note the FRAME and FRAMELST numbers for the location on the reel. If the reel number begins with A, B or C, please contact RDT2 via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about them.
If the reel number begins with D - Z, the microfilm is still security classified and RDT2 will not be able to make the reel available to you. The original paper copy from which the film was created is still in the custody of the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) and has been declassified. To obtain copies of these records, please follow the instructions on this page. If there is no IRISREF information, only AFHRA has the records.
Next, we located the Award Cards, 1942-1963 for the U.S. Army Air Force/Air Force that includes 1 card for Gibson, Frederick J. on image 70 of this file and 1 card for Gibson, Frederick J. on image 388 of this file. These records are digitized and available using the Catalog. The general orders of the Seventh Air Force for 1944 and the general orders of the VII Fighter Command for May and July 1945 are located on the microfilm copies of operational records relating to U.S. Army Air Force units as listed above. Since these reel numbers begin with A, please contact RDT2 via email at email@example.com for more information about them.
Finally, we located the series Black and White and Color Photographs of US Air Force and Predecessor Agencies Activities, Facilities and Personnel - World War II and Korean War, ca. 1940 - ca. 1980 in the Records of U.S. Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations (Record Group 342) that includes 34 images related to the 15th Fighter Group and 17 images related to the 21st Fighter Group that have been digitized and may be viewed online using the Catalog.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
Perfect! Thank you very much for all the information. I'm going through it all now so down the rabbit hole I go. Cheers!