The 437th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the South of France, Operation Market Garden and the Crossing of the Rhine.
The group was activated in the US on 1 May 1943. The 437th was one of twelve groups to join the Ninth Air Force direct from the United States in the first half of 1944, crossing to Britain in January-February 1944.
Early on D-Day the group towed gliders to the Cherbourg area. Later on D-Day and on 7 June the group carried reinforcements and supplies to the 82nd Airborne Division. The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in the Normandy campaign.
In July 1944 a detachment from the group moved to Italy in order to take part in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the South of France. On 15 August the group dropped paratroops in the invasion area. On 16 August it carried reinforcements to France. For the next few days it carried supplies within Italy, before returning to Britain on 24 August.
During Operation Market Garden (September 1944) the group towed gliders in the initial assault and then flew a number of missions bringing supplies and reinforcements to the airborne troops.
In February 1945 the group moved to France, ready for the crossing of the Rhine. On 24 March each aircraft in the group towed two gliders to Wesel on the east bank of the Rhine.
In March-April 1945 the group carried supplies, most importantly fuel, to the rapidly advancing ALlied armies.
Between these major missions the group acted as a normal transport unit, carrying supplies to the front and evacuating the wounded.
The group was used to fly liberated POWs out of Germany. It returned to the US in August 1945 and was inactivated on 15 November.
1943-1945: Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Curtiss C-46 Commando
|15 April 1943||Constituted as 437th Troop Carrier Group|
|1 May 1943||Activated|
|Jan-Feb 1944||To England and Ninth Air Force|
|August 1945||To United States|
|15 November 1945||Inactivated|
Col Cedric E Hudgens: 1 May 1943
Col Donald J French: 12 Jun 1944-1945
Baer Field, Ind: 1 May 1943
Sedalia AAFld, Mo: 8 Jun 1943
Pope Field, NC: 10 Oct 1943
Baer Field, Ind: 29 Dec 1943-Jan 1944
Balderton, England: Jan 1944
Ramsbury, England: 5 Feb 1944
Coulommiers/Voisins, France: 25 Feb-Jul 1945
Baer Field, Ind: 15 Aug 1945
Marfa AAFld, Tex: 14 Sep-15 Nov 1945
1943: 53rd Troop Carrier Wing; US based
1944-45: 53rd Troop Carrier Wing; IX Troop Carrier Command; Ninth Air Force