73d Airlift Squadron

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73d Airlift Squadron
73d Airlift Squadron.jpg
73d Airlift Squadron emblem
Active 9 February 1943 - 31 July 1946
1 August 1947 - 24 March 1954
8 June 1957 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Distinguished Visitor Airlift
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
4th Air Force
932nd Airlift Wing
932nd Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Scott Air Force Base
Engagements Operation Overlord
Operation Market Garden
Battle of Bastogne
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
French Fourragère
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Lt. Col. Harry Hughes

The 73d Airlift Squadron (73 AS) is a United States Air Force Reserve squadron, assigned to the 932d Operations Group, stationed at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois.


The squadron operates C-40 Clipper aircraft providing executive airlift for distinguished visitors and their staffs.


Established in early 1943 as a C-47 Skytrain transport squadron under First Air Force, later trained under I Troop Carrier Command in the eastern United States. Deployed to England in late 1943, being assigned to Ninth Air Force in England, IX Troop Carrier Command to participate in the buildup of forces prior to the Allied landings in France during D-Day in June 1944.

Engaged in combat operations by dropping paratroops into Normandy on D-Day (6 June 1944) and releasing gliders with reinforcements on the following day. The unit received a Distinguished Unit Citation and a French citation for these missions.

After the Normandy invasion the squadron ferried supplies in the United Kingdom. The squadron also hauled food, clothing, medicine, gasoline, ordnance equipment, and other supplies to the front lines and evacuated patients to rear zone hospitals. It dropped paratroops near Nijmegen and towed gliders carrying reinforcements during the airborne attack on the Netherlands. In December, it participated in the Battle of the Bulge by releasing gliders with supplies for the 101st Airborne Division near Bastogne.

Moved to France in early 1945, and participated in the Western Allied invasion of Germany, participating in the air assault across the Rhine River in March 1945, each aircraft towed two gliders with troops of the 17th Airborne Division and released them near Wesel.

Returned to the United States in August, 1945, becoming a domestic troop carrier squadron for Continental Air Forces, inactivated July 1946.

It transported personnel, equipment, and supplies and airdropped airborne troops and equipment from, 1957-1967. The squadron conducted long range movement of troops, cargo, and equipment from 1965–1969 and trained for space capsule recovery from, 1961-1969. It augmented the active duty 375th Airlift Wing in operating the aeromedical airlift system from, 1969-2005. Since 2005 the 73d has conducted executive airlift.

Operations and Decorations[edit]

  • Combat Operations. Airborne assaults on Normandy, the Netherlands, and Germany; relief of Bastogne; transportation of passengers and cargo in ETO during World War II. Transported personnel, equipment and supplies and airdropped airborne troops and equipment, 1957-1967; long range movement of troops, cargo, and equipment, 1965-1969; and trained for space capsule recovery, 1961-1969.
  • Campaigns. World War II: Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe


  • Constituted 73d Troop Carrier Squadron on 30 Jan 1943
Activated on 9 Feb 1943
Inactivated on 31 Jul 1946
  • Activated in the Reserve on 1 Aug 1947
Re-designated 73d Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 1 Jul 1949
Ordered to Active Service on 1 May 1951
Inactivated on 1 Feb 1953
  • Activated in the Reserve on 1 Feb 1953
Inactivated on 24 Mar 1954
  • Activated in the Reserve on 8 Jun 1957
Ordered to Active Service on 28 Oct 1962
Relieved from Active Duty on 28 Nov 1962
  • Re-designated: 73d Military Airlift Squadron on 1 Apr 1967
Re-designated: 73d Aeromedical Airlift Squadron (Associate) on 25 Jul 1969
Re-designated: 73d Airlift Squadron on 1 Oct 1994.





 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]