48th Airlift Squadron
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|48th Airlift Squadron|
48th Airlift Squadron Patch
|Active||30 May 1942 – 15 November 1945
30 September 1946 – 18 September 1949
1 February 1953 – 8 June 1955
20 August 1964 – 25 June 1967
15 November 1971 – 1 September 1973
1 December 2003 - Present
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Education and Training Command
19th Air Force
314th Airlift Wing
314th Operations Group
|Garrison/HQ||Little Rock Air Force Base|
|Decorations||Distinguished Unit Citation|
The 48th Airlift Squadron (48 AS) is part of the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. It operates C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, conducting pilot and loadmaster training for airlift and airdrop operations.
Activated in early 1942 under Air Transport (Later I Troop Carrier) Command as a C-47 transport squadron; trained in the southeastern United States. Deployed to North Africa as part of the Operation Torch landings; being assigned to Oujda Airfield; French Morocco. Performed troop carrier and transport airlift of supplies to ground forces advancing though Algeria into Tunisia under Twelfth Air Force. Also evacuated wounded personnel to rear areas. Carried airborne paratroopers and performed airborne assault missions over Sicily and Italy as part of the invasion forces.
Reassigned to IX Troop Carrier Command in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) in February 1944 as part of the pre-invasion buildup of forces in England. Performed combat airborne assault missions as part of D-Day; Operation Market-Garden and Operation Varsity 1944–1945. Also performed supply and evacuation missions in France and the Low Countries; participated in the Western Allied invasion of Germany; 1945. Continued combat airlift and supply missions until the German capitulation in May 1945.
Squadron continued to operate from Achiet, France during 1945, performing transportation of personnel and supplies within Europe; demobilized in place during August, and inactivated as a paper unit in September 1945.
Reactivated as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe, 1946. Assigned to transport duties as part of the European Air Transport Service, 1946–1947 as part of the army of occupation. Inactivated in Austria in June 1947. Immediately reactivated as a Tactical Air Command troop carrier squadron in 1947; being assigned to Texas and equipped with C-46s. Deployed to Germany in 1948 to support Berlin Airlift; operated from British Zone of Occupation, with C-54s. Inactivated in West Germany in September 1949.
Reactivated under Eighteenth Air Force in 1953 as a Tactical Air Command C-119 Flying Boxcar troop carrier squadron. Performed routine airlift of supplies and personnel; including Army Airborne parachute drops until being inactivated due to funding restrictions in 1955; Reactivated as a C-130 Hercules Troop Carrier (later Tactical Airlift) squadron under TAC in 1964.
The 48th provided airlift for airborne forces from 1965 to 1967. It deployed aircraft and crews to France and England, October 1965-March 1967 and to Panama Canal Zone, March–June 1967. It provided intra-theater airlift and support of U.S. Army airborne forces from 1971 to 1973.
In 2003, the 48th Airlift was reactivated as the first active duty C-130J Super Hercules Formal Training Unit.
Operations and Decorations
- Combat Operations. Supported airborne assaults on Sicily, Italy, Normandy, Holland, and Germany during World War II. Berlin Airlift, 1948–1949. Supported U.S. Army forces, 1953–1955. Provided airlift for airborne forces, 1965–1967; deployed aircraft and crews to France and England, Oct 1965-Mar 1967 and to Panama Canal Zone, Mar-Jun 1967. Intra-theater airlift and support of U.S. Army airborne forces, 1971–1973.
- Campaigns.World War II: Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe.
- Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Sicily, 11 Jul 1943; France [6-7] Jun 1944. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: [1 Dec] 2003–30 Jun 2004; 1 Jul 2005–30 Jun 2006; 1 Jul 2006–30 Jun 2007; 1 Jul 2008–30 Jun 2009.
- Constituted as 48th Transport Squadron on 30 May 1942
- Activated on 15 Jun 1942
- Re-designated as: 48th Troop Carrier Squadron on 4 Jul 1942
- Inactivated on 15 Nov 1945
- Activated on 30 Sep 1946
- Re-designated as: 48th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy on 30 Jul 1948
- Re-designated as: 48th Troop Carrier Squadron, Special on 1 Feb 1949
- Inactivated on 18 Sep 1949
- Re-designated as: 48th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 26 Nov 1952
- Activated on 1 Feb 1953
- Inactivated on 8 Jun 1955
- Activated on 20 Aug 1964
- Organized on 1 Jan 1965
- Re-designated as: 48th Troop Carrier Squadron on 1 Mar 1966
- Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1967
- Re-designated as: 48th Tactical Airlift Squadron on 15 Jun 1971
- Activated on 15 Nov 1971
- Inactivated on 1 Sep 1973
- Re-designated as: 48th Airlift Squadron on 21 Nov 2003
- Activated on 1 Dec 2003.
- 313th Transport (later, 313th Troop Carrier) Group, 15 Jun 1942–15 Nov 1945
- 313th Troop Carrier Group, 30 Sep 1946–18 Sep 1949; 1 Feb 1953-8 Jun 1955
- 313th Troop Carrier (later, 313th Tactical Airlift) Wing, 1 Jan 1965–25 Jun 1967
- 313th Tactical Airlift Wing, 15 Nov 1971
- 314th Tactical Airlift Wing, 6 Aug-1 Sep 1973
- 314th Operations Group, 1 Dec 2003–Present
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- USAF 48th Airlift Squadron History
- 314th Operations Group Fact Sheet