319th Special Operations Squadron
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The 319th Special Operations Squadron was first formed on 9 August 1944 as the 319th Troop Carrier Squadron (Commando) and served in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. It provided airlift support and flew aerial resupply missions in support of various commando units such as Merrill's Marauders and the Chindits and conducted airborne drops and glider operations for Allied troops in Burma, central China, and French Indochina in the last year of World War II. Over the next quarter century it was inactivated, reactivated, and redesignated on a number of occasions until it was inactivated (as the 319th Special Operations Squadron) on 15 January 1972 as part of the post-Vietnam War demobilization.
On 1 October 2005 it was reactivated again as part of an overall enlargement of the United States Special Operations Command. Its mission is to provide intra-theater support for special operations forces and it is currently equipped with the U-28A, a modified version of the Pilatus PC-12. The U-28A was selected for its versatile performance and ability to operate from short and unimproved runway surfaces.
- Source: Factsheet
The 319th began as the 319th Troop Carrier Squadron (Commando) on 9 Aug 1944 during World War II and was activated on 1 Sep 1944. The following year it was redesignated the 319th Troop Carrier Squadron on 29 Sep 1945. At the end of the War it was inactivated on 27 Dec 1945. Redesignated 319th Troop Carrier Squadron, Commando, and activated on 18 Apr 1962.
The 319th was re-organized multiple times: On 27 Apr 1962 redesignated the 319th Air Commando Squadron – Troop Carrier on 8 Nov 1964, 319th Air Commando Squadron – Tactical Airlift, on 1 May 1967, and 319 Special Operations Squadron on 8 Jul 1968. The Squadron was inactivated on 15 Jan 1972, but re-activated on 1 Oct 2005.
- 1st Air Commando Group, 1 Sep 1944
- 69th Composite Wing, 2 Sep 1945
- Tenth Air Force, c. 27 Sep-27 Dec 1945
- 1st Air Commando Group (later, 1st Air Commando Wing
- 1st Special Operations Wing), 18 Apr 1962
- 4410th Combat Crew Training Wing, 15 Jul 1969
- 1st Special Operations Wing, 30 Jul 1969 – 15 Jan 1972
- 16th Operations Group, 1 Oct 2005 – 15 November 2006
- 1st Special Operations Group, 16 November 2006–current
- Asansol, India, 1 Sep 1944 (operated from various forward bases in Burma, 4 Dec 1944 – 17 May 1945);
- Warazup, Burma, 27 May 1945;
- Loping, China, 2 Sep 1945;
- Hu Hsien, China, 7 Oct 1945;
- India, c. 1 Nov-27 Dec 1945.
- Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field No. 9 (Hurlburt Field), FL, 27 Apr 1962;
- England AFB, LA, 15 Jan 1966;
- Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field No. 9 (Hurlburt Field), FL, 30 Jul 1969 – 15 Jan 1972. Hurlburt Field, FL, 1 Oct 2005–current.
- C-47, 1944–1945
- CG-4A, 1944–1945
- C-46, 1962–1964
- C-47, 1962–1966
- U-10, 1963–1966
- C-123, 1963–1972
- T-28, 1965
- U-28A/PC-12, 2005–current
From Oct 1944 through Oct 1945, the 319th provided airlift support and flew aerial resupply missions to commando bases in China-Burma-Indonesia (CBI) theater of WWII. It also conducted airborne drop and glider operations. From 1962 to 1965, the 319th deployed personnel and equipment to support early counterinsurgency operations and foreign civic action programs in Southeast Asia. The 319th conducted training programs in special air warfare tactics and techniques for USAF and foreign air forces, provided airlift support to U.S. Army Special Forces, and provided intratheater support for special operations since 2005.
- Service Streamers- none
- Campaign Streamers:
- World War II
- Central Burma
- China Defensive
- China Offensive
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers- none
- Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor: 1 Sep 2006 – 30 Jun 2007
- Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:
- Jul 1963 – Jun 1965
- 1 Jul 1969 – 15 Apr 1971
- 1 Sep 2004 – 31 Aug 2006