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In 1918 Brig. General William L. Mitchell conceived the idea of using airplanes to transport troops and drop them behind enemy lines using parachutes.

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Presentation on theme: "In 1918 Brig. General William L. Mitchell conceived the idea of using airplanes to transport troops and drop them behind enemy lines using parachutes."— Presentation transcript:


2 In 1918 Brig. General William L. Mitchell conceived the idea of using airplanes to transport troops and drop them behind enemy lines using parachutes His chief of staff, Major. Lewis H. Brereton developed a plan The plan was approved by American Expeditionary Forces Commander General John Pershing but the war ended before it could be implemented

3 Soviets were first to experiment with air transported troops US military paid little attention to the idea other than to incorporate the concept in the Air War College curriculum In 1937 the 10 th Transport Group was formed to provide air transportation from Air Corps Maintenance Command depots to combat units in US, Alaska and Panama

4 Bellanca C-27


6 Douglas C-33 Military version of Douglas DC-2

7 th, 61 st, 62 nd, 63 rd and 64th Transport Groups activated Dual mission of providing logistical support and providing transport for new Army airborne units th Transport Wing activated Assigned directly to Chief, US Air Corps Activated to control transport groups

8 German airborne and glider-borne troops land in Belgium and Holland and capture key bridges and fortified positions The world, particularly the US military, takes notice US and British develop their own airborne capabilities Little attention paid to air transport of ground troops


10 No air transport units assigned to Philippines. Douglas B-18s converted into transports Most lost in attack on Clark Field Maj. Gen. Lewis Brereton commandeers Philippine Airlines Retired US Navy enlisted aviator Paul I. Gunn commissioned as captain and placed in command. Operates in P.I. until Christmas Day, moves to Australia. Gunn leaves family in Manila

11 Allied Directorate of Air Transport Organized, commanded by RAAF AM Sir Harold Gatty Capt. Gunn placed in command of transport operations in SW Pacific Flies supplies to Java and Mindanao Gunn makes trips to Bataan, lands on Quezon Avenue in Manila in attempt to rescue family Far East Air Force Air Transport Command established in Australia, February st Transport Squadron organized All transport aircraft in Australia assigned, including three Ferry Command B-24As Bamboo Fleet set up on Mindanao to fly supplies to Bataan. Commanded by Maj. Bill Bradford

12 Made by FEAF ATC B-24A, April 29, 1942 Commanded by Capt. A.J. Mueller of Saguine, TX

13 April, 1942 – Air Transport Command Established June 1942, USAAF Executive Order #8 Establishes new Air Transport Command from HQ, Air Corps Ferrying Command Original Air Transport Command becomes I Troop Carrier Command Exec. Order #8 exempts troop carrier operations from ATC July 1942 – former transport units redesignated troop carrier

14 Air Transport Command moves antiaircraft battalion to Darwin – first US airlifted troop deployment in history MacArthur arrives in Australia, orders defense of Papua, New Guinea 21 st Transport Sq. flies supplies to Australian troops operating on Kokoda Track north of Port Moresby Australian troops load airplanes and serve as kickers

15 US purchases airplanes from Dutch, 22 nd Transport Squadron organized DAT develops air transport procedures, Australian troops given instruction in aircraft loading and cargo ejection Deliver supplies by air, usually without parachutes. 1 st Air Cargo Squadron established.

16 Maj. Gen. George C. Kenney takes command of Allied air operations in Southwest Pacific, August 1942 Uses air transport to move troops up from Australia Operation HAT RACK, moves troops into combat at Wanigela Mission 6 th and 33 rd Troop Carrier Squadrons arrive from the US Kenney activates 374 th Troop Carrier Group, Nov Troop carriers involved in Battles of Wau and Buna 54 th Troop Carrier Wing organized, early 1943

17 Troop carriers become crucial to Papua New Guinea campaign January 1943, 374 th TCG transports airlift reinforcements into remote airfield in Owen Stanley Mountains at Wau as Japanese forces attack while continuing support of Battle of Buna TC transports evacuate casualties 317 th TCG arrives in Australia and is thrown into Wau operation Allied troops prevail at Wau. Troop carriers are credited for deciding the Papua Campaign

18 54 th TCW transports deliver supplies to advancing Australian troops Australians develop air transport procedures that are adopted world-wide Troop carriers fly construction crews and equipment into remote airfield at Marlinan Engineers cut 2 ½ ton trucks in half for air transport, bolt them back together after their offloaded. Gen. Kenney engineers airborne attack on Nadzab. He and MacArthur observe from B-17 MacArthur jumps up and down like a kid.


20 Troop carrier squadrons operate in the Central Pacific in the logistical role TCS fly supplies to New Guinea from Australia As the war in the SW Pacific moves north, troop carriers are heavily involved Troop carrier squadrons move into the Philippines to support combat operations, frequently by airdrop. Airborne operation captures Corregidor Troop carriers move 1 st Cavalry and 11 th Airborne to Japan after the Japanese agree to surrender

21 Small force of C-47s arrive in India in April 1942 Commanded by Col. Caleb Haynes, Col. Robert L. Scott was assigned to the unit Brig. Gen. Earl Naiden sets up air transport routes in CBI Tenth AF employs CNAC, a Pan American subsidiary, to fly supplies to China 1 st Ferrying Group arrives in June 1942 Given specific mission of moving supplies to China. India-China Ferry watched closely by White House Ferrying Command wanted to maintain command but Gen. Brereton, the theater commander, insisted unit should be assigned to Tenth Air Force

22 Resupply of China slow due to Japanese advances and threats to air transport bases Civilian named Frank Sinclair complains to White House ATC Chief of Staff Col. C.R. Smith (former president of American Airlines) lobbies to have India-China Ferry assigned to Air Transport Command. Transfer takes place February 1, 1943 Turns out to be a miserable failure Took almost two years before ATC began meeting goals

23 Two new troop carrier squadrons organized in India when 1 st Ferry Group transfers to ATC – 1 st and 2 nd Responsible for resupply of British troops in Burma 443 rd TCG organized in India in February th Provisional Air Unit arrives in India; includes a troop carrier section 5318 th redesignated at 1 st Air Commando Wing in March 1944.

24 Troop Carriers support British Brigadier Orde Wingates operations in Burma Air commando C-47s tow gliders, troop carriers bring in troops and supplies Operation Thursday fails to meet objectives and is withdrawn Troop Carrier squadrons resupply Brig. Gen. Frank Merrills 5307 th Composite Unit After marching across Burma, Merrills Marauders capture the airfield at Myitkyina Troop carriers bring in Chinese troops Chinese fail to capture the town; operation turns into a siege Troop carriers keep them supplied and bring in reinforcements in spite of heavy rain.

25 3 rd Combat Cargo Group formed in India Combat cargo units are scaled-down troop carrier units (fewer support personnel) Three CCGs activated, two served in CBI, one in Southwest Pacific Troop carriers play major role in British operations in Burma After victory in Burma, troop carrier squadrons transfer to ATC control for operations over The Hump and in China Tenth Air Force B-24s also placed under ATC for transport duty.

26 September 1942 – 51 st Troop Carrier Wing arrives in UK 60 th Troop Carrier Group arrives UK June th Troop Carrier Group arrives about the same time. 62 nd Troop Carrier Group arrives September 1942 All three groups train for paratrooper operations in North Africa

27 60 th Troop Carrier Group flies 503 rd Parachute Infantry to North Africa. (503 rd had just been elevated to a regiment and redesignated as 509 th ) Operation plagued by confusion. Some airplanes land in Vichy French territory. 64 th Troop Carrier Group carries British troops 62 nd Troop Carrier Group assigned to logistical support

28 November 1942 – 316 th TCG arrives in Middle East and assigned to Ninth Air Force 316 th C-47s carry supplies for advancing British troops moving across Libya. Evacuates casualties As war moves into Tunisia, 316 th placed under Northwest Africa Air Force operational control.

29 Airborne operations do not go well. High winds blow troop carrier formations off course Friendly fire and hostile fire attack troop carriers Large numbers shot down and damaged In spite of heavy losses and confusion, airborne and glider troops disrupt German and Italian defenses and capture their objectives

30 After the Sicily invasion, troop carrier operations become primarily logistical for a time The 64 th TCG goes TDY to India to support operations in Burma An airborne operation is conducted behind the beaches at Anzio

31 After Sicily, Eisenhower and Army Ground Forces commander McNair propose breaking up airborne divisions Marshall and Arnold favor expansion of airborne forces 17 th Airborne performs so well in maneuver at Ft. Bragg that McNair changes his mind Eisenhower, Bradley and Montgomery remain reluctant

32 Due to the problems in Sicily, new procedures and equipment are developed Navigators are assigned to squadrons Eureka radio beacons are developed to be carried by special pathfinders. Rebecca receivers are installed in transports Special pathfinder squadrons are trained to drop pathfinder paratroops in advance of the main assault Ninth Air Force Quartermasters are trained as dropmasters Their role is to rig cargo and fly on drop missions to assist the crew chief and radio operator as they eject the bundles

33 In October 1943 Maj. Gen. Brereton moves Ninth Air Force to England Ninth includes IX Troop Carrier Command, the largest troop carrier force ever assembled IX TCC commands all US troop carrier units in the UK

34 IX Troop Carrier drops 82 nd and 101 st Airborne Divisions behind the invasion beaches at St. Mere Eglise German fire causes heavy casualties and the drops are widely scattered Paratroop operations are followed by glider operations Many are destroyed on landing due to consistency of hedgerows Even though only 10% of troops are on the correct drop zone, the drops are considered a success

35 C-47 Dropping Pack Howitzer

36 Activated early August w/ Lt. Gen. Lewis Brereton in command British General Frederick Boy Browning second in command IX Troop Carrier Command and British transport units assigned, along with all airborne forces Organized specifically for airborne operations Plans more than a dozen operations, most are disapproved by Eisenhower, Bradley and Montgomery in spite of encouragement by Marshall and Arnold to make better use of airborne forces

37 Joint airborne/ground operation to capture key bridges across the Rhine in Holland MARKET airborne operations are a success Eighth Air Force B-24s drop cargo IX TCC dropmasters accompany crews Troop carrier crews are praised for their courage Paratroops had previously complained about troop carrier pilots – not this time! One British officer says theres not a T/C pilot that doesnt deserve the Victoria Cross GARDEN ground operations are not British XXX Corps is held up due to congested roads British paratroops are forced to withdraw, leaving their wounded behind


39 German offensive in Ardennes results in 101 st Airborne being cutoff at Bastogne 82 nd is at another town nine miles away 17 th Airborne flown to Reims from UK by IX TCC Resupply effort initially hampered by weather Weather clears and troop carrier crews resupply the 101 st Crews take heavy losses. Eight C-47s lost in first two days of drops. One formation loses 13 C-47s after glider release

40 FM Montgomery insists on massive airborne operations prior to crossing the Rhine T/C pilots trained as combat controllers land in gliders to control airdrops and glider landings C-46s are used for the first time Due to poor fuel system design, 20 are shot down XVIII Airborne Corps commander Gen. Matthew Ridgeway decrees that his men will never be allowed in C-46s again

41 Troop carrier established as air force mission, assigned to new Tactical Air Command Airline executives, many of whom are ATC veterans, propose logistical operations should be handled by airlines under contract. No plans are made for ATCs continued existence; Air Transport Command officers begin campaign to control all air transport TAC commander Gen. Paul Williams says no need for ATC, that all air transport operations can be handled by troop carriers ATC officers seize on Williams comment and say that THEY should be responsible for all air transport Air Staff decrees that future aircraft designs will only be tactical aircraft Controversy continues until 1970s

42 Army Air Corps replaced by new US Air Force, September 1947 No plans for Air Transport Command New Department of Defense authorizes a DOD air transport service to provide logistical support for all DOD agencies ATC commander inserts deployment of troops into ATC mission statement. Secretary of the Air Force lets it stand Original name to be Armed Forces Air Transport Service ATC commander proposes Military

43 June 1948 – Soviets blockade Berlin USAFE begins air lift Initially uses troop carrier C-47s in Europe USAFE commander Gen. Lemay asks for C-54s MATS presses for control of air lift ATC DCO Maj. Gen. William H. Tunner goes to Weisbaden to set up a command organization. He and his staff are TDY to USAFE Tunner waged campaign in Pentagon for MATS to take over the air lift. US Army deputy secretary recommends him. MATS commander claims credit for air lift. Airlift is exclusively troop carrier from start to finish All aircraft and crews are assigned to troop carrier groups and squadrons MATS role is ferrying aircraft and providing logistical support to air lift squadrons


45 North Koreans cross DMZ, June 25, 1947 Appropriation for development of new transport made at meeting in Pentagon – becomes YC-130 FEAF troop carriers evacuate Americans from Seoul. 374 th Troop Carrier Wing moves to Japan 21 st TCS formed using C-47s in the Pacific and others flown over from the US. Gen. MacArthur orders Far East Air Force Combat Cargo Command to airlift troops to Pusan Peninsula C-54s tear up runways so C-47s become primary

46 USAF reserve troop carrier units deploy to Japan September, 1950 – Tunner goes TDY to Japan to set up airlift command and control organization. 314 th Troop Carrier Group deploys to Japan from Sewart with C-119s UN troops land at Inchon, 187 th Regimental Combat Team arrives too late for airborne operations Moved to Korea by Combat Cargo Command

47 UN troops move rapidly across North Korea, Chinese enter the war US Marines forced to retreat from Chosin Reservoir Combat Cargo Command resupplies retreating troops C-119s drop cargo 21 st TCS Kyushu Gypsies land on hastily prepared strips to pick up casualties C-119s drop Treadway Bridge to span gorge that blocks retreat


49 Far East Air Force activates 315 th Air Division, February 1951 Commanded by World War II hero Brig. General John Jock Henebry First of three 3 rd Attack Group alumni to command 315 th. Others are Gen. Dick Ellis and Col. Charles W. Howe Responsible for all airlift operations in the Western Pacific MATS officers sent packing; replaced by men with combat experience


51 315 th Air Division airlifts troops and cargo to Korea C-46s, C-47s and C-119s airdrop supplies to troops in combat; C-54s land on Korean airstrips New Douglas C-124 tested in Korea, two squadrons assigned to 374 th Troop Carrier Wing


53 Korean War ends in truce; 315 th AD supports French in Indochina US arranges to loan French a fleet of C-47s French ask for US mechanics 315 th supplies C-119s Airplanes from 483 rd Troop Carrier Wing in Japan Crews supplied by Civil Air Transport CAT crews trained through CIA office at Clark Field C-119 with CAT crew lost at Dienbienphu

54 Eighteenth Air Force activated at Donaldson AFB, SC to control troop carrier operations Includes two wings of C-124s Commands several troop carrier wings with C-119s Aerial delivery and cargo processing functions transfer from Army to Air Force Aerial port squadrons set up at troop carrier bases USAF establishes loadmaster/dropmasters to rig cargo and fly on airdrop missions TAC develops helicopter troop carrier capability The Army DOES NOT like it! Army officers have their own agenda. They want to develop their own air force with helicopters

55 Air Force is told to develop tactical capabilities or they will find themselves the silo sitters of the seventies USAF purchases Fairchild C-123 assault transports to replace TAC gliders C-123s are designed to fly into a LZ and remain until the battle is over and they can be flown out 1954 – YC-130 makes first flight 1956 – First C-130s delivered to TAC First deliveries to 463 rd TCW at Ardmore AFB, Oklahoma in December

56 1958 – USAF agrees to transfer TAC C-124s to MATS, under the condition they retain their troop carrier identity Changes in the Pacific 374 th TCW deactivates 6 th and 22 nd TCS transfers to new MATS unit but remain under 315 th Air Division operational control 21 st TCS placed under 483 rd TCW, uses C-47s, C-54s and C-119s for covert CIA missions; moves to Naha AB, Okinawa and equips with C-130s TCTAA member Billie Mills trains CAT crews


58 Twelve squadrons of C-130s initially authorized Six squadrons for US, three each for Europe and Pacific C-130 success leads to new models and new units C-130B incorporates new changes MATS requirement leads to new model with additional fuel designated as C-130E C-130As move to Dyess as C-130Bs are assigned to Sewart Plans are made to convert 464 th TCW at Pope to C-130s; plans put on hold due to burgeoning conflict in Southeast Asia


60 US supports Royalist forces in Laos 315 th AD C-119s and C-130s sent to Southeast Asia Laotian Civil War ends in truce, North Vietnamese fail to withdraw US begins covert operations to combat communists. Kennedy administration authorizes CIA use of C-130s to support operations in Laos. E Flight is set up within the 21 st TCS to provide four C-130s for CIA use in support of Vang Paos Hmong, or Meo. E Flight is not only unit at Naha involved in classified operations. North Vietnamese support communist insurgency in South Vietnam 1961 – USAF counterinsurgency forces deploy; C-123s from Pope deploy as MULE TRAIN



63 1960 – 322 nd Air Division supports UN operations in the Congo 1963 – 322 nd crews deploy to India to support operations against Chinese invaders 1964 – Crews from 464 th TCW operate in the Congo November 1964 – 464 th TCW crews fly historic DRAGON ROUGE and DRAGON NOIR missions in the Congo



66 TALKING BIRD C-130 makes low pass over Sabenas Airfield

67 April 1965 – Rebellion in Dominican Republic President Johnson orders US intervention TAC and MATS C-130s airlift elements of 82 nd Airborne Division to San Isidro Initially planned as airborne operation, changed to air/land TCTAA members Carl Wyrick and Bobby Gassiott were pilot and nav in lead airplane


69 – C-123s primary airlifters TAC TDY crews replaced by PCS personnel in 1963, 315 th Troop Carrier Group established 1965 – US combat troops introduced to war, 315 th Air Division sets up C-130 missions at Tan Son Nhut, Vung Tau and Bangkok 1964/65 – C-130As begin flare missions and psychological warfare missions October 1965 – Battle of Ia Drang Valley demonstrates that C-130 airlift is required to support major US Army operations, Army has second thoughts about Caribous December, 1965 – Twelve TAC C-130 squadrons and two wings transfer to 315 th Air Division

70 1966 – C-130 operating locations established at Tan Son Nhut, Cam Ranh and Nha Trang Airplanes and crews TDY from Okinawa, Japan, Philippines and Taiwan 1966 – Seventh Air Force activated; Lt. Gen. William Momyer asks for air division to control airlift – 834 th Air Division activates in October USAF gains control of Army CV-2 Caribous 483 rd TCW reactivates to control Caribous 315 th Air Commando Group transfers to 834 th C-130s remain under 315 th AD, serve 16-day TDY tours to 834 th Transportation Movement Centers and Locations become Airlift Command Center and Airlift Command Elements C-130 pilots and navigators assigned to 834 th on TDY to serve as airlift mission commanders


72 February 1967 – JUNCTION CITY in War Zone C involves large-scale airborne operation Initiates new Search and Destroy strategy Intensity of war increases C-130 has become the prime mover in the airlift system New airfields established along Cambodian border at Katum and Tonle Cham

73 C-130A Dropping CDS During Operation JUNCTION CITY

74 Spring 1967 – Marines establish combat base at Khe Sanh Marine KC-130s land, USAF C-130s airdrop building materials Khe Sanh considered hot spot October, 1967 – Battle of Dak To signals new phase of the war Two C-130s lost to artillery attack, third damaged Pilot Joe Glenn and FM Joe Mack win Silver Stars for taxiing their airplane away from burning wreck

75 January – Communists launch major offensive during Chinese New Year February – April – Khe Sanh under seige April – Operation DELAWARE in A Shau Valley 1 st Cav supplied by C-130s, one lost, several damaged by ground fire May – Kham Duc C-130s evacuate camp, two lost, one crew killed Airlift control team reinserted after camp evacuated Two C-123s land in attempt to rescue them. Second successful. Pilot Joe Jackson wins Medal of Honor

76 C-130B at Khe Sanh (Prize-Winning Photograph)

77 463 rd TAW begins Commando Vault bombing missions 315 th Air Division Inactivates in April C-7s involved in dangerous resupply missions at Dak Seang War shifts south to Cambodian Parrots Beak area. Katum, Tonle Cham, Bu Dop and other airfields near border are hot spots C-130s and C-123s called Mortar Magnets Newly elected President Richard Nixon begins troop withdrawals C-130 and C-123 losses decline

78 Flare Mission C-123s and C-130s drop flares and FAC COMMANDO LAVA Special mission dropping chemicals on Ho Chi Minh Trail BANISH BEACH C-123 and C-130 fuel drops COMMANDO SCARF 463 rd C-130s drop gravel in Laos COMMANDO VAULT C-130 bombing misison Initially flown by 463 rd TAW, transferred to 374 th TAW when 463 rd inactivated

79 M ,000-pound bomb exploding on top of ridge

80 April – Allied troops invade Cambodia North Vietnamese withdraw to Laos and deep into Cambodia US troop withdrawals accelerate Intensity of war declines to pre-1965 levels Communists return to harassment, including sapper attacks on US bases

81 Vietnamese mount Lam Son 719 invasion of Laos 834 th Air Division C-130s move supplies into airfields in I Corps Khe Sanh reopened US troop withdrawals accelerate TAC airlift units inactivate Naha 374 th first, designation transfers to CCK 314 th designation goes to Little Rock 463 rd inactivates, reactivates at Dyess 315 th TAW inactivates Remaining C-123s and C-7s combined in 310 th TAS

82 April – Communists launch Eastertide Offensive Communists surround town of An Loc After VNAF C-123s fail to maintain flow of supplies, USAF C-130 crews ordered to begin airdrops Three C-130s, two crews lost New airdrop methods allow successful resupply USAF C-130s assist South Vietnamese at Battle of Kontum Last US combat troops withdraw

83 C-130E LAPSE Drop

84 US and North Vietnamese sign peace accords US turns over large amounts of equipment, including C-130s, to Vietnamese US POWs released PACAF C-130s first USAF aircraft to land in Hanoi since 1954 C-130s fly combat control team into Hanoi with beacons to guide MAC C-141s C-130 crewmembers first to greet returning POWs

85 USAF decides to combine tactical airlift and strategic airlift due to duplication of aerial port facilities Plan opposed by TAC Commander Gen. William Momyer. Momyer had stated in his end of tour report as Seventh Air Force commander that tactical airlift requires highly motivated crews and should never be combined with MAC TAC C-130 wings transfer to MAC in December PACAF C-130s begin airlift of supplies into Cambodia Civilian contractor Bird Air provides civilian crews to fly USAF transports Crews are recent C-130 veterans and reservists


87 Communists defeat South Vietnamese C-130s fly supplies into Saigon and evacuate refugees C-130 destroyed on ground at Tan Son Nhut by artillery Last USAF transport lost hostile action Communists prevail in Cambodia and Laos PACAF tactical airlift units transfer to MAC

88 US troops sent to Saudi Arabia in response to invasion of Kuwait As a result of lessons learned in Gulf War, former TAC C-130 wings transfer into new Air Combat Command Assignment lasts for less than a decade – in 1999 C-130s transfer to Air Mobility Command


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