938th Military Airlift Group

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938th Military Airlift Group
Active 1963-1973
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force Reserve
Role Airlift

The 938th Military Airlift Group is an inactive United States Air Force Reserve unit. It was last active with the 349th Military Airlift Wing, based at Travis AFB, California. It was inactivated on 1 July 1973.


Following the mobilizations in 1961 and 1962 for the Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Continental Air Command (ConAC) realized that it was unwieldy to mobilize an entire wing unless absolutely necessary. Their original Table of Organization for each Wing was a wing headquarters, a troop carrier group, an Air Base Group, a maintenance and supply group, and a medical group. In 1957, the troop carrier group and maintenance and supply groups were inactivated, with their squadrons reassigned directly to the wing headquarters - despite the fact that many wings had squadrons spread out over several bases due to the Detached Squadron Concept dispersing Reserve units over centers of population.

To resolve this, in late 1962 and early 1963, ConAC reorganized the structure of its reserve Troop Carrier Wings by establishing fully deployable Troop Carrier Groups and inserting them into the chain of command between the Wing and its squadrons at every base that held a ConAC troop carrier squadron. At each base, the group was composed of a material squadron, a troop carrier squadron, a tactical hospital or dispensary, and a combat support squadron. Each troop carrier wing consisted of 3 or 4 of these groups. By doing so, ConAC could facilitate the mobilization of either aircraft and aircrews alone, aircraft and minimum support personnel (one troop carrier group), or the entire troop carrier wing. This also gave ConAC the flexibility to expand each Wing by attaching additional squadrons, if necessary from other Reserve wings to the deployable groups for deployments.

As a result, the 938th Troop Carrier Group was established with a mission to organize, recruit and train Air Force Reserve personnel in the tactical airlift of airborne forces, their equipment and supplies and delivery of these forces and materials by airdrop, landing or cargo extraction systems. The group was equipped with C-119 Flying Boxcars for Tactical Air Command airlift operations.

The group was one of four C-119 groups assigned to the 312th TCW in 1963, the other being the 939th Troop Carrier Group, at Portland International Airport, Oregon; 940th Troop Carrier Group at McClellan AFB, California, and the 941st Troop Carrier Group at Paine AFB, Washington.

The 938th performed routine reserve airlift operations, being upgraded to the C-124 Globemaster II intercontinental airlifter in 1966. On 26 January 1968 the group was activated for combat duty in the Vietnam War. The group flew overseas missions, particularly to the Far East and Southeast Asia during that period, being relieved from active service in June 1969.

Was moved to Travis AFB and upgraded to the C-141 Starlifter jet transport. Flew strategic airlift missions as needed across the Pacific Ocean, including channel flights, contingency and humanitarian relief operations, and joint training exercises with active duty squadrons. Inactivated in July 1973 as part of a reorganization of Military Airlift Command assets, personnel and equipment being assigned directly to its host 349th MAW.


  • Established as 938th Troop Carrier Group, Medium, and activated, on 15 January 1963
Organized in the Reserve on 11 February 1963
Re-designated: 938th Military Airlift Group, 1 June 1966
Ordered to active service on 26 January 1968
Relieved from active duty on 1 June 1969
Inactivated on 1 July 1973






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

  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Mueller, Robert, Air Force Bases Volume I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982, Office of Air Force History, 1989
  • Cantwell, Gerald (1987), Citizen Airmen, A History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946-1994. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program: GPO, 1997 ISBN 0-16049-269-6
  • Search 938th Military Airlift Group

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