60th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF)

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History

The 60th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) served in the Mediterranean Theatre and took part in Operation Torch, the battle for Tunisia, the invasion of Sicily the liberation of Greece and the partisan battles in Yugoslavia.

The group was activated on 1 December 1940 as the 60th Transport Group and moved to Britain in June 1942, where it became the 60th Troop Carrier Group. While still based in the US the group helped prepare for the 8th Air Force's move, carrying supplies into the American bases to be used during the move.

The group's first combat mission was an impressively long range one - it was used to carry paratroops from bases in England to North Africa, dropping them over Oran on 8 November 1942, the first day of Operation Torch after a 1,200 miles trip. The trip didn't go at all as planned and the group ended up scattered over a wide area of North Africa. Luckily US Armour captured their main target, the airfield at Tafaraoui, and the paratroops arrived later in the day to help defend it. The group officially moved to Tafaraoui on 8 November, and some aircraft did reach the airfield that day (mostly after short trips from wherever they had first landed). One of these aircraft was damaged by a French bomb on the morning of 9 November, and on 10 November the group only had twenty operational aircraft.

The group took part in the campaign in Tunisia. It transported paratroops twice during the fighting, dropping them near the front lines. On 15 November they dropped 350 paratroops at Youks-les-Bains airfield, near the Tunisian border

In June 1943 the group trained to tow gliders. It was almost immediately thrown into action during the invasion of Sicily of July 1943. It was used to tow gliders in the attack on Syracuse, then to drop paratroops during the fighting at Catania.

In October 1943 the group was used to drop supplies to escaped prisoners of war who were then at large in the north of Italy.

During 1944 it operated in support of the partisan forces in the Balkans, flying supplies into Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece and returning with escaped prisoners and the wounded. The group moved to Brindisi during the second half of March 1944 to carry out this role , and flew its first mission on the night of 27/28 March. The situation in Yugoslavia was unusual, in that Tito's partisans often controlled fixed airfields for significant periods of time, allowing the group to carry out a large number of landings instead of supply drops. Between 1 April and 17 October 1944 the group carried out 741 landings, most of them bringing supplies to the Yugoslav partisans. The group was very heavily involved during the German offensive of August, flying in 620 tons of supplies and evacuating 2,000 people. The group evacuated nearly 10,000 people between April and September 1944.

It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in Balkans between March and September 1944.

In October 1944 the group dropped paratroops at Megava during the Allied intervention in Greece. This was triggered by the German retreat from the country, which triggered a civil war between the various resistance groups.

When not engaged in other operations the group was used as a normal transport unit, flying supplies and reinforcements to the front and returning with the wounded.

After the end of the war in Europe the group moved to Trinidad where it joined Air Transport Command, but it was inactivated on 31 July 1945.

Books

Pending

Aircraft

1940-1945: Douglas C-47 Skytrain

Timeline

2 Nov 1940 Constituted as 60th Transport Group
1 December 1940 Activated
June 1942 To UK
July 1942 Redesignated 60th Troop Carrier Group
8 November 1942 Combat Debut (in North Africa)
June 1945 To Trinidad and Air Transport Command
31 July 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Lt Col Samuel C Eaton Jr: 1 Dec 1940
Capt Arthur L Logan: 16 May 1941
Lt Col Russell L Maughan: 28 Jul 1941
Lt Col A J Kerwin Malone: 15 Apr 1942
Lt Col T J Schofield: 11 Oct 1942
Lt Col Julius A Kolb: 2 Dec 1942
Lt Col Frederick H. Sherwood: 29 Mar 1943
Col Clarence J Galligan: 26 Jul 1943
Lt Col Kenneth W Holbert, 8 Dec 1944
Lt Col Charles A Gibson Jr: 11 Jan 1945- unkn.

Main Bases

Olmsted Field, Pa: 1 Dec 1940
Westover Field, Mass: c. 20 May 1941-Jun 1942
Chelveston, England: Jun 1942
Aldermaston, England: Aug 1942
Tafaraoui, Algeria: 8 Nov 1942
Relizane, Algeria: 27 Nov 1942
Thiersville, Algeria: May 1943
El Djem, Tunisia: Jun 1943
Gela, Sicily: c. 30 Aug 1943
Gerbini, Sicily: 29 Oct 1943
Brindisi, Italy: 26 Mar 1944
Pomigliano, Italy: 8 Oct 1944-May 1945
Waller Field, Trinidad: 4 Jun-31 Jul 1945

Component Units

10th: 1940-1945; 1946-
11th: 1940-1945; 1946 1
12th: 1940-1945; 1946
28th: 1942-1945.

Assigned To

1942-45: 51st Troop Carrier Wing; Twelfth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (14 April 2015), 60th Troop Carrier Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/60th_Troop_Carrier_Group.html

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