The 313th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) was a transport unit that took part in the invasion of Sicily, the Salerno landings, the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.
The group was activated in the US in Mach 1942 and trained with a mix of C-47 Skytrains and C-53 Skytroopers. It moved to North Africa in April-May 1943, too late for the campaign in Tunisia. Instead it began to train for the upcoming invasion of Sicily.
The group's combat debut came on 9 July 1943 when the group dropped paratroops near Gela. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for pressing on through friendly fire during a second mission on 11 July. After these first landings the group was used to evacuate the wounded from Sicily.
In September the Allies landed at Salerno on the Italian mainland. The Germans mounted a determined counterattack against the Salerno beachhead. On 13 September the 313th took part in Operation Giant, dropping part of the 504th Paratroop Regiment, US 82nd Airborne Division, in a drop zone just south of the Sele River. The group carried out a similar mission on the following day, then resumed more normal transport duties.
In February 1944 the group left the Mediterranean and joined the Ninth Air Force in Britain, ready to take part in the D-Day campaign. On D-Day itself it dropped paratroops at Picauville, and flew reinforcements to the same area on 7 June. The group was awarded a second Distinguished Unit Citation for its part in the invasion.
The group took part in Operation Market Garden, dropping paratroops at Arnhem and Nijmegen on 17 September. It then flew reinforcements into the battle on 18 September and 23 September.
In February 1945 the group moved to France, where it converted to the Curtiss C-46 Commando. It used its new aircraft during the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945, dropping paratroops near Wesel on 24 March.
The group returned to the US in August-September 1945 and was disbanded on 15 November 1945.
1942-45: Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Douglas C-53 Skytrooper
1945: Curtiss C-46 Commando
|28 January 1942||Constituted as 313th Transport Group|
|July 1942||Redesignated 313th Troop Carrier Group|
|April-May 1943||To North Africa and Twelfth Air Force|
|9 July 1943||Combat Debut|
|February 1944||To Britain and Ninth Air Force|
|Aug-Sept 1945||To United States|
|15 November 1945||Inactivated|
Capt Fred W Nelson: 7
Col James J Roberts Jr: 26 Jun 1942
Lt Col William A Filer: 18 Mar 1945
Lt Col Paul W Stephens: 26 Mar 1945
Lt Col Carl W Campbell: c. Aug-15 Nov 1945
Daniel Field, Ga: 2 Mar 1942
Bowman Field, Ky: 21 Jun 1942
Florence, SC: 4 Aug 1942
Maxton, NC: 13 Dec 1942-3 Apr 1943
Oujda, French Morocco: 9 May 1943
Kairouan, Tunisia: 16 Jun 1943
Sciacca, Sicily: 23 Aug 1943
Trapani/Milo Airfield, Sicily: 3 Oct 1943
Folkingham, England: 4 Feb 1944
Achiet, France: 28 Feb-5 Aug 1945
Baer Field, Ind: 14 Sep-15 Nov 1945.
1942: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing
1942: 53rd Troop Carrier Wing
1942-April 1943: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing; US Based
April 1943-February 1944: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing; Twelfth Air Force
1944-45: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing; IX Troop Carrier Command; Ninth Air Force