61st Air Base Group
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|61st Air Base Group|
Emblem of the 61st Air Base Group
|Active||1940–1945; 1946–1959; 1984–1992; 1994–present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Space Command|
The 61st Air Base Group operates Los Angeles AFB and supports the Space and Missile Systems Center.
The unit's World War II predecessor unit, the 61st Troop Carrier Group was a C-47 Skytrain transport unit assigned to both Twelfth and Ninth Air Forces in North Africa, Italy and Western Europe. The 61 TCG was highly decorated for its combat parachute infantry drops during the Invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky); Invasion of Italy (Operation Avalanche); Invasion of France (Operation Overlord); the airborne invasion of the Netherlands (Operation Market-Garden); and the airborne crossing of the Rhine River, (Operation Varsity).
- For additional history and lineage, see 61st Air Base Wing
World War II
Established in 1941 as a C-47 Skytrain transport squadron, trained under I Troop Carrier Command in the southeast United States Trained in paratroop missions and glider towing. Was deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) and flew combat missions in the North African and Tunisian Campaigns under Twelfth Air Force.
Reassigned to Ninth Air Force and was moved to England in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). Flew airborne assault missions during the Normandy invasion and later supported Operation Market Garden in Holland. In 1945 it participated in the airborne assault across the Rhine. 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 July 1945
It was reactivated in Germany on 30 September 1946. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Redesignated 61st Troop Carrier Group (Medium) in July 1948, and 61st Troop Carrier Group (Heavy) in August 1948. In Germany, the group participated in the Berlin Airlift, from June 1948 to May 1949, the group's C-54 aircraft ferried coal, flour, and other cargo into Berlin.
In 1950, the group moved to the United States shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War for duty with Military Air Transport Service. Attached to Far East Air Forces, it flew airlift missions on the Northern Pacific Route from the United States to Japan in support of UN forces in Korea before moving to Japan and conducting airlift missions from Japan to Korea from 1950–1952.
Returned to the US in November 1952 to join Tactical Air Command, to which the group had been assigned in October 1951. Converted from C-54 to C-124 aircraft and carried out worldwide strategic airlift operations from 1952–1959. Inactivated on 8 October 1959.
The 61st Military Airlift Group was reactivated at Howard AFB, Panama on 1 December 1984. At Howard, the group was the parent unit for the 310th Military Airlift Squadron (310th MAS) with a diverse array of aircraft (C-21A, CT-43A, C-130E/H, C-27A). The C-21 and CT-43 provided VIP airlift support for the Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Southern Command (CINCSOUTH). The C-130s and C-27s flew tactical airlift operations in Central and South America from 1984–1992. The unit was inactivated and its assets absorbed by the 24th Wing when the 310th's mission was transferred to Air Combat Command on 1 June 1992.
The 61st Air Base Group has operated Los Angeles AFB and supported the Space and Missile Systems Center since 1994.
- Established as 61st Transport Group on 20 November 1940
- Activated on 1 December 1940
- Redesignated 61st Troop Carrier Group on 4 July 1942
- Inactivated on 31 July 1945
- Activated on 30 September 1946
- Redesignated: 61st Troop Carrier Group, Medium, on 1 July 1948
- Redesignated: 61st Troop Carrier Group, Heavy, on 15 August 1948
- Inactivated on 8 October 1959
- Redesignated 61st Military Airlift Group, and activated, on 1 December 1984
- Inactivated on 1 June 1992
- Redesignated 61st Air Base Group on 16 September 1994
- Activated on 1 October 1994.
- 4th Troop Carrier Squadron: attached 10 December 1950 – 24 July 1951
- 12th Troop Carrier Squadron: attached 30 September – 15 October 1946
- 13th Transport (later, 13th Troop Carrier) Squadron: 1 December 1940-c. 10 October 1942
- 14th Transport (later, 14th Troop Carrier) Squadron: 4 December 1940 – 31 July 1945; 30 September 1946 – 8 October 1959 (detached c. 5 December 1950 – 26 March 1952; 21 November – 1 December 1952; August 1956 – March 1957; August-8 October 1959)
- 15th Transport (later, 15th Troop Carrier) Squadron: 4 December 1940 – 31 July 1945; 30 September 1946 – 8 October 1959 (detached February–August 1957)
- 53d Transport (later, 53d Troop Carrier) Squadron: 1 June 1942 – 31 July 1945; 30 September 1946 – 8 October 1959 (detached 26 March – 14 September 1952; September 1958-c. March 1959)
- 59th Troop Carrier Squadron: 23 October 1942 – 31 July 1945
- 310th Military Airlift Squadron: 1 December 1984 – 1 June 1992.
- C-47 Skytrain, 1942–1945; 1946–1948
- CG-4 Waco (Glider), 1942–1945
- C-54 Skymaster, 1948–1952
- C-124 Globemaster, 1952–1959
- C-130 Hercules, 1984–1992.
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4
- Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.