305th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron

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305th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron
Air Mobility Command.svg
Active 1943-1946; 1949-1951; 1952-1955; 1957-1972; 2011-2012
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Airlift
Part of Air Mobility Command
Nickname(s) Tornado Squadron
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation; Air Force Outstanding Unit Award; Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
305th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron emblem (approved 29 September 1960)[1] 305th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron - Emblem.png

The 305th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to Air Mobility Command, and operates from New Castle Air National Guard Base, Delaware.


Attached to the 89th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, the squadron operates from New Castle Air National Guard Base, Delaware with approximately eight aircrews, 60 maintenance personnel, and about a dozen operations personnel supporting five Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. The squadron supports presidential airlift, through a mission known as "Banner Express". Aircraft and personnel are prepositioned to support an expected surge in airlift requirements.

The squadron was expected to commence operations in April 2012 and inactivate in late November.


World War II[edit]

The squadron was first activated with Douglas C-47 Skytrains in September 1943 as the 305th Troop Carrier Squadron at Sedalia Army Air Field, Missouri and trained under I Troop Carrier Command. It trained in various parts of the eastern United States until early 1944. The unit then deployed to England, where it became part of IX Troop Carrier Command.

The squadron prepared for the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. It began operations by dropping paratroops of the 101st Airborne Division in 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.

After moving to France in September, the unit dropped paratroops of the 82nd Airborne Division near Nijmegen and towed gliders carrying reinforcements during Operation Market Garden, 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.

When the Allies made 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. 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 converted from C-47s to Curtiss C-46 Commandos and used the new aircraft to transport displaced persons from Germany to France and Belgium after V-E Day. It was inactivated in Germany in September 1946.

Air Force reserve operations[edit]

Postwar, the squadron was activated in the Air Force reserve in 1949 at Fairfax Field, Kansas. At Fairfax, it again operated C-46 Commandos. The squadron was called to active duty during the Korean War in 1951, and its aircraft and personnel were used as fillers other units and the squadron was inactivated. The squadron was again activated in the reserve in 1952 at Olathe Naval Air Station. The unit moved to nearby Grandview Air Force Base in 1955, but was inactivated shortly thereafter. It was activated again at Tinker Air Force Base. Oklahoma in 1957 and conducted routine reserve training operating Douglas C-124 Globemaster IIs flying worldwide transport missions beginning in 1961. The squadron was again called to active duty in 1961 due to the Berlin Crisis of 1961. The 305th returned to reserve service in the late summer of 1962. It was inactivated with the retirement of the C-124 on 20 May 1972.

Operations and Decorations[edit]

  • Combat Operations. The unit participated in airborne assaults on Normandy during Operation Neptune in June 1944; in Southern France during Operation Dragoon; over the Netherlands during Operation Market in September 1944; and in Germany during Operation Varsity in March 1945. It was called to active service during the Berlin Crisis, from October 1961 until August 1962. The squadron routinely flew airlift support missions to the Pacific and Southeast Asia from 1964 to 1972.
  • Campaigns. World War II: Rome-Arno; Southern France; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Central Europe[1]
  • Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: France, [6-7] June 1944. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award: 1 August 1967 – 25 October 1968. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 April 1966 – 19 May 1972[1]


  • Constituted as the 305th Troop Carrier Squadron on 25 May 1943
Activated on 1 September 1943
Inactivated on 30 September 1946
  • Redesignated 305th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 10 May 1949
Activated in the reserve on 27 June 1949
Ordered to active service on 10 March 1951
Inactivated on 12 March 1951
  • Activated in the reserve on 15 June 1952
Inactivated on 26 July 1955
  • Activated in the reserve on 16 November 1957
Redesignated 305th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy on 8 May 1961
Ordered to active service on 1 October 1961
Relieved from active duty on 27 August 196
Redesignated: 305th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy on 1 December 1965
Redesignated: 305th Military Airlift Squadron on 1 January 1966
Inactivated on 20 May 1972
  • Redesignated 305th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and converted to provisional status on 27 Mar 2003[1]
  • Activated on 1 December 2011
Inactivated c. November 2012


Attached to 89th Airlift Wing, 1 December 2011 - November 2012



See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Butler, William M. (12 July 2007). "Factsheet 305 Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (AMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 22 September 2014. 


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit]