The 62nd Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the battle for Tunisia, the invasion of Sicily, the fighting on the mainland of Italy, the invasion of the south of France and supported partisans in the Balkans.
THe group was activated on 11 December 1940 in the United States, and for the first year of its existence was used to transport military supplies around North and South America.
After the American entry into the Second World War the group was allocated to the Twelfth Air Force. It moved to Britain for further training, and missed the early stages of Operation Torch. It arrived in North Africa on 15 November, and took part in the fighting in Tunisia.
On 29 November 1942 the group dropped part of a force from the British 1 Parachute Brigade who were to take part in an attack on Oudna airfield in Tunisia. The airlift was a success, but the overall attack was a failure. Oudna turned out to be heavily defended and the paratroops suffered heavy losses.
Between major operations the group was used as a transport unit, flying supplies and men to the front and bringing the wounded back to safe bases well behind the lines.
After the end of the fighting in North Africa the group trained to tow gliders. During the invasion of Sicily of July 1943 it towed gliders at Syracuse and dropped paratroops during the fighting for Catania. In September the group moved to Sicily.
In February 1944 the 7th and 51st Squadrons were detached to Brindisi to operate in support of Partisans operating in the Balkans. They operated as part of No.334 Wing, RAF, and carried out that role until March, when they were replaced by the 60th Troop Carrier Group.
In April 1944 the air echelon of the 4th Troop Carrier Squadron was detached for service in India, where they remained until June. They then returned to Sicily.
In June 1944, during the fighting that finally saw the Allies reach Rome, the group dropped paratroops close behind the retreating Germans, mainly to stop them from destroying bridges.
In August 1944 the group two flew missions in support of Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the South of France. Again one involved glider borne troops and the other paratroops.
In October 1944 the group transported troops to Greece as part of Operation Manna, the British intervention that followed the German retreat and that was intended to prevent a Communist take-over and civil war.
Late in 1944 the group was added to the forces dropping supplies to the partisans operating in northern Italy. It flew its first supply mission on 22 November, and its last daylight supply mission on 9 January 1945. By this time it had delivered 494 tons of supplies, although many missions had failed because it was impossible to find the drop zone.
After the end of the fighting the group was used to carry freight and mail, and to begin the process of moving American service personnel home.
1940-1945: Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Douglas C-52 Skytrain
|20 Nov 1940||Constituted as 62nd Transport Group|
|11 Dec 1940||Activated|
|Jul 1942||Redesignated 62nd Troop Carrier Group|
|Aug-Sep 1942||To England|
|Nov 1942||To North Africa and Twelfth Air Force|
|14 Nov 1945||Inactivated|
Lt Col Bernard J Tooher:
11 Dec 1940
Maj Donald E Shugart: unkn;
Col Samuel J Davis: 1 Jul 1942
Lt Col Aubrey S Hurren: 27 Mar 1943
Col Gordon L Edris: 15 May 1944
Lt Col William M Massengale Jr: 13 Dec 1944
Col Gordon L Edris: 23 Feb 1945
Col Paul A Jones: 27 May 1945
Lt Col Riley B Whearty: 3 Jun 1945
Lt Col Oliver K Halderson: 20 Jul 1945-unkn
McClellan Field, Calif: 11
Kellogg Field, Mich: c. 30 May 1942
Florence, SC: 1 Jul-14 Aug 1942
Keevil, England: Sep 1942
Tafaraoui, Algeria: 15 Nov 1942
Nouvion, Algeria: 24 Dec 1942
Matemore, Algeria: 16 May 1943
Tunisia: Jul 1943
Ponte Olivo, Sicily: 6 Sep 1943
Brindisi, Italy: Feb 1944
Ponte Olivo, Sicily: 20 Mar 1944
Gaudo Airfield, Italy: 8 May 1944
Galera Airfield, Italy: 30 Jun 1944
Malignano Airfield. Italy: 30 Sep 1944
Tarquinia, Italy: 8 Jan 1945
Rosignano Airfield, Italy: 25 May 1945
Naples, Italy: c. 17 Sep-14 Nov 1945.
1942-45: 51st Troop Carrier Wing; Twelfth Air Force