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61st Troop Carrier Group

Group

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Constituted as 61st Transport Group on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 1 Dec 1940. Redesignated 61st Troop Carrier Group in Jul 1942. Used C-47’s to prepare for operations with Twelfth AF.

Moved to North Africa in May 1943 and, after a period of special training, began operations on the night of 9 Jul by dropping paratroops near Gela during the invasion of Sicily. Received a DUC for completing a reinforcement mission two nights later when the group sustained heavy attack by ground and naval forces. Moved to Sicily, Aug-Sep 1943, for participation in the invasion of Italy; dropped paratroops north of Agropoli on 13 Sep 1943 and flew a reinforcement mission to the same area on 14 Sep. Also transported cargo and evacuated patients while in the Mediterranean theatre.

Joined Ninth AF in England in Feb 1944 to prepare for the Normandy invasion. Received a DUC for dropping paratroops and supplies near Cherbourg on 6 and 7 Jun 1944. Dropped British paratroops at Arnhem on 17 Sep 1944 during the air attack on Holland; released gliders carrying reinforcements to that area on succeeding days. Moved to France in Mar 1945 for the airborne assault across the Rhine, dropping British paratroops near Wesel on 24 Mar. Also provided transport services in the European theater, hauling gasoline, ammunition, food, medicine, and other supplies, and evacuating wounded personnel.

Moved to Trinidad in May 1945. Assigned to Air Transport Command. Used C-47’s to transport troops returning to the US. Inactivated in Trinidad on 31 Jul 1945.

Structure

Part of
Encompassing
Previously was
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Became
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Stations

Station Location Date
Assigned 12th Air Force May 1943
Assigned 9th Air Force February 1944
Based Barkston Heath 18 February 1944 – 13 March 1945
Based Abbeville 13 March 1945 – May 1945

Connections

People

  • Warren Boone

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Supply NCO | 61st Troop Carrier Group

  • Thomas Carter

    Military | Major | Pilot | 61st Troop Carrier Group
    Died when his C-109, 44-49245, crashed on 8 January 1945, narrowly missing Harling Farm.

  • Kenneth Combs

    Military | Colonel | Chaplain | 61st Troop Carrier Group
    Kenneth Bickley Combs served as Chaplain for the 61st Troop Carrier Group, and would have written letters to the families of those who died. He later became a Baptist minister, and continued in that role until he died in 1998. There is a very nice...

  • James Cook

    Military | Captain | Co-pilot | 61st Troop Carrier Group
    Died when his C-109, 44-49245, crashed on 8 January 1945, narrowly missing Harling Farm.

  • Alva Everett

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight Engineer | 61st Troop Carrier Group
    Died when his C-109, 44-49245, crashed on 8 January 1945, narrowly missing Harling Farm.

  • Lewis Frederick

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot/Squadron Commander | 61st Troop Carrier Group

  • Loren Hillsinger

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 61st Troop Carrier Group
    Colonel Lorin B Hillsinger was the first USAAF officer permitted to return to operational flying after losing a limb. ...

  • Allen Johnson

    Military | Corporal | Medical Aidman | 61st Troop Carrier Group
    Flew over 20 missions to evaluate crews and contribute to fight. Was stationed mostly in Foggia, Italy but also worked in the ETO during the war Good Conduct Medal/ American Theater Ribbon/European Campaign Medal; WW II Victory Medal/German Occupation

  • Jack Lloyd

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 61st Troop Carrier Group
    Died when his C-109, 44-49245, crashed on 8 January 1945, narrowly missing Harling Farm.

  • Peter Lonchar

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 61st Troop Carrier Group
    Died when his C-109 crashed on 8 January 1945, narrowly missing Harling Farm.

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Aircraft

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citations: Sicily 11 Jul 1943; France 6-7 Jun 1944.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 June 2021 07:50:46 Emily Changes to us air force combat units of world war ii description, citations, air forces and stations
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of World War II

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2017 12:42:11 general ira snapsorter Changes to type and stations
Sources

Place added with details from:
- "Battle Colors Volume III - Insignia and Tactical Markings of the Ninth Air Force in World War Two' by Robert A. Watkins;

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:46 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Units in the UK from ETOUSA Station List, as transcribed by Lt. Col. Philip Grinton (US Army, Retired) and extracted by IWM; air division data from L.D. Underwood, based on the 8th Air Force Strength Report of 6th August 1944, as published in 'The 8th Air Force Yearbook' by Lt. Col. John H Woolnough (1980)

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