61st Troop Carrier Group History

The following squadrons where part of the 61st TCG:
  • 14th Squadron
  • 15nd Squadron
  • 53rd Squadron
  • 59th Squadron
  • The group was constituted as the 61st Transport Group on 20 Nov 1940. It was activated on 1 Dec 1940. In Jul 1942 it was redesignated 61st Troop Carrier Group. The 61st used C-47's to prepare for operations with Twelfth AF. It 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. The group received a DUC for completing a reinforcement mission two nights later when the group sustained heavy attack by ground and naval forces.

    In Aug-Sep 1943 the 6st moved to Sicily to play it's role in the in the invasion of Italy. During the invasion of Italy, the 61st 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 theater.

    The 61st 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

    Interesting books about WWII Troop Carrier Command:

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    59th Squadron

    The men of the 61st TCG pose in front of the X5, the aircraft that was commanded by LtCol. Marcus O. Owens Jr.
    Picture courtesy, Bernie Semler, his farther is one of the mecanics in the picture, backrow, fifth from the left.
    Click on the picture to enlarge


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