313th Troop Carrier Group

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History

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.

Books

Pending

Aircraft

1942-45: Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Douglas C-53 Skytrooper
1945: Curtiss C-46 Commando

Timeline

28 January 1942 Constituted as 313th Transport Group
March 1942 Activated
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

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Capt Fred W Nelson: 7 Mar 1942
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

Main Bases

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.

Component Units

29th: 1942-1945
47th: 1942-1945
48th: 1942-1945
49th: 1942-1945

Assigned To

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

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 May 2015), 313th Troop Carrier Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/313th_Troop_Carrier_Wing.html

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