315th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF)

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History

The 315th Troop Carrier Group took part in the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden and the airborne crossing of the Rhine.

The group was formed in the US in February 1942. In October 1942 it began to move to Britain, taking the northern air route over Greenland. Bad weather meant that it was delayed for a month in Greenland, where it was used to hunt for missing aircraft using the same route. The air and ground echelons finally came back together in England in December 1942.

The group spent most of the next year and a half training with airborne operations and acting as a cargo transport unit within the United Kingdom. The group also sent a detachment to Algeria (May 1943 to March 1944). This detachment was used for transport duties in the Mediterranean Theatre, but didn't take part in the airborne operations in Sicily and Italy.

In October 1943 the group joined the Ninth Air Force and began to prepare for the D-Day landings. On D-Day it was used to drop US paratroops near Cherbourg, on the western flank of the operation. The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in the D-Day landings.

In September 1944 the group took part in Operation Market Garden. On 17 September it dropped part of the US 82nd Airborne Division. Over the next few days it dropped reinforcements, and on 26 September its aircraft even landed at the advanced base at Grave with supplies and more reinforcements.

In March 1945 the group took part in the airborne crossing of the Rhine, this time dropping British paratroops near Wesel.

Between these major airborne operations the unit was used as a transport group, flying supplies to the front and returning with wounded personnel.

In May 1945 the group moved to Trinidad, joined Air Transport Command, and was used to fly troops back to the US. It was inactivated on Trinidad on 31 July 1945.

Books

Pending

Aircraft

1942-45: Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Douglas C-53 Skytrooper

Timeline

2 February 1942 Constituted as 315th Transport Group
14 February 1942 Activated
July 1942 Redesignated 315th Troop Carrier Group
Oct-Nov 1942 To England and Eighth Air Force
October 1943 To Ninth Air Force
May 1945 To Trinidad and Air Transport Command
31 July 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Capt Thomas J Schofield: 14 Feb 1942
Col Hamish McLelland: 17 Apr 1942
Col Howard B Lyon: 27 Sep 1944
Lt Col Robert J Gibbons; 27 Mar 1945-unkn.

Main Bases

Olmsted Field, Pa: 14 Feb 1942
Bowman Field, Ky: 17 Jun 1942
Florence, SC: 3 Aug-11 Oct 1942
Aldermaston, England: c. 1 Dec 1942
Welford, England: 6 Nov 1943
Stanhoe, England: 7 Feb 1944
Amiens, France: 6 Apr-May 1945
Waller Field, Trinidad: May-31 Jul 1945.

Component Units

33rd: 1942
34th: 1942-1945
35th: 1942
43rd: 1942-1945
54th: 1942
309th: 1944-1945
310th: 1944-1945

Assigned To

1942: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing; US Based
1944-45: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing; IX Troop Carrier Command; Ninth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (19 May 2015), 315th Troop Carrier Group, USAAF , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/315th_Troop_Carrier_Wing.html

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