314th Troop Carrier Group, USAAF

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History

The 314th Troop Carrier Group took part in the invasions of Sicily and Italy, the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.

The group was formed in the US in March 1942, and spent the next year training to take part in airborne operations. In May 1943 the group moved to the Mediterranean and joined the Twelfth Air Force.

The Group's first airborne operations came during the invasion of Sicily of July 1943. On 9 July the group dropped part of the 82nd Airborne Division near Gela. On 11 July, in bad weather, the group dropped reinforcements to the same area. It came under heavy attack during this second mission, some of it friendly fire from naval units, and was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for the operation.

The group supported the invasion of mainland Italy, dropping troops near Salerno on 14-15 September 1943. This was part of Operation Giant IV, a series of emergency missions flown to rush reinforcements into the endangered Salerno bridgehead.

In February 1944 the group moved to England to join the Ninth Air Force, the US contribution to the tactical air forces being assembled to support the D-Day landings. On 6 June 1944 the group drooped paratroops and on 7 June it flew reinforcements and supplies to the same area. The group won a second DUC for these operations.

In September 1944 the group dropped paratroops during Operation Market Garden, and then flew in reinforcements and supplies over the next few days.

In February-March 1945 the group moved to bases in France, from where it took part in the airborne crossing of the Rhine. On 24 March 1945 the group was used to tow gliders to the Wesel area.

In between these airborne operations the group also operated as a standard transport group, flying supplies into the combat zone and evacuating wounded soldiers.

After VE Day the Group was used to fly liberated POWs from Germany. It then began to run a series of scheduled flights around Europe. In February 1946 the Group was transferred to the US, but without its personnel or equipment. The group survived into the post-war period, and saw service during the Korean War.

Books

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Aircraft

1942-46: Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Douglas C-53 Skytrooper

Timeline

28 Jan 1942 Constituted as 314th Transport Group
2 March 1942 Activated
July 1942 Redesignated 314th Troop Carrier Group
May 1943 To Mediterranean and Twelfth Air Force
Feb 1944 To England and Ninth Air Force
Feb 1946 To United States

Commanders (with date of appointment)

2d Lt L C Lillie: 2 Mar 1942
2d Lt J W Blakeslee: 14 May 1942
Maj Leonard M Rohrbough: 26 Jun 1942
Col Clayton Stiles: 9 Apr 1943
Lt Col Halac G Wilson: 22 Aug 1945
Col Charles W Steinmetz: 29 Nov 1945-c. Feb 1946

Main Bases

Drew Field, Fla: 2 Mar 1942
Bowman Field, Ky: 24 Jun 1942
Knobnoster, Mo: 4 Nov 1942
Lawson Field, Ga: c. 20 Feb-4 May 1943
Berguent, French Morocco: May 1943
Kairouan, Tunisia: 26 Jun 1943
Castelvetrano, Sicily: 24 Aug 1943-13 Feb 1944
Saltby, England: Feb 1944
Poix, France: Feb 1945
Villacoublay, France: 15 Oct 1945- 15 Feb 1946;

Component Units

30th: 1942
31st: 1942
32nd: 1942-1945
50th: 1942-1946
61st: 1943-1945
62nd: 1943-1946
301st: 1945-1946
302nd: 1945-1946
321st: 1945-1946

Assigned To

1942: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing; US Based
1942: 53rd 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
1945-56: 51st Troop Carrier Wing

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (8 May 2015), 314th Troop Carrier Group, USAAF , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/314th_Troop_Carrier_Group.html

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