The Battle of the Coral Sea and the fight at Guadalcanal in 1942 ended the Japanese drive across the Southwestern Pacific, but Japanese troops still controlled the northern half of New Guinea. Before General Douglas MacArthur could begin his drive to liberate the Philippines, he had to defeat the enemy forces in New Guinea and eliminate the Japanese sea and air forces at Rabaul, New Britain, threatening his flank and the supply lines. Rough terrain, terrible weather, and tropical diseases made it almost impossible for Allied ground troops to march across New Guinea, although airlifting troops with C-47s provided one solution. However, control of the skies had to be won before unarmed C-47s and amphibious forces could operate effectively. MacArthur entrusted the air war to General George C. Kenny, who commanded the Allied air forces in the Southwest Pacific, including the USAAf Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces. Kenney convinced MacArthur that the first priority should be to destroy the enemy's "air strength until we own the air over New Guinea." Then, MacArthur's land and amphibious forces could advance under the constant protection of Allied fighters and bombers. The 7th Pursuit Squadron was activated on 15 July, 1941, designated the 7th Fighter Squadron in 1942, and assigned to the 49th Fighter Group. Originally based at Selfridge Field, Michigan, the squadron moved to Melbourne, Australia, early in 1942. Its pilots shot down 5 enemy aircraft in its first aerial action over Horn Island. The squadron's bases followed America's march north from the Solomon Islands as it was based in New Guinea and the Philippines. Pilots from the 7th flew the hottest aircraft in the Army Air Forces including the P-35,P-40, P-47,P-38, and P-51. Today the squadron is designated the 7th Combat Training Squadron, providing qualification training for F-117A stealth fighter pilots. This distinctive aircraft was flown by Lt. Clyde V.Kinsley who added the inscription 'Typhoon McGoon' on the left and right hand side of the nose.