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375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF)

375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF)

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375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF)

History - Books - Aircraft - Time Line - Commanders - Main Bases - Component Units - Assigned To


The 375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the long campaign in New Guinea, then supported the liberation of the Philippines and the campaign on Okinawa.

The group was activated on 18 November 1942 and trained with the C-47. After a fairly short period of training the group moved to the Pacific in June-July 1943, where it joined the Fifth Air Force and took part in Operation Cartwheel, the series of operations designed to isolate the Japanese base at Rabaul.

The group flew a mix of aircraft. Its main transport aircraft was the C-47 Skytrain (Dakota) from 1942 until late in 1944, when it converted to the Curtiss C-46 Commando. In addition it used armed B-17s to fly supplies into the more dangerous combat zones.

The group's main role was to act as a regular transport unit, operating across the Solomon Islands, Admiralty Islands, New Guinea and New Britain. On many occasions it was operating very close to the advancing Allied troops.

On 5 September 1943 the group took part in the first airborne operation in the South-west Pacific, dropping paratroops at Nadzab on New Guinea, part of a wider attack on Japanese troops in the Huon Gulf.

On 1 March 1944 the group sent four of its armed B-17 transports to drop three tons of crucial supplies to the besieged troops on Los Negros Island in the Admiralty Islands, where the Japanese had launched an unexpectedly fierce counterattack.

In February 1945 the group moved from its bases near New Guinea to the Philippines. It then operated in support of the US army fighting on Luzon and nearby islands. In June-July 1945 it was used to fly supplies to the Ryukyus (including Okinawa). The group moved forward to Okinawa in August.

After the Japanese surrender the group was used to fly troops from Luzon to the Ryukyus, from where they moved to Japan. The group also flew liberated POWs in the opposite direction.

The group moved to Japan in September 1945 where it was soon inactivated.




1942-44: Douglas C-47 Skytrain
1944-46: Curtiss C-46 Commando
Also used armed Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress for missions into combat zones


12 Nov 1942Constituted as 375th Troop Carrier Group
18 Nov 1942Activated
Jun-Jul 1943To Pacific and Fifth Air Force
Sep 1945To Japan
25 March 1946Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Col Joel G Pitts: 20 Nov 1942
Lt Col Maurice W. Wiley: 25 Dec 1944
Lt Col John L Ames Jr: Aug 1945
Lt Col Benjamin C King: Sep 1945l
Col Marshall S Roth, Oct 1945-unkn

Main Bases

Bowman Field, Ky: 18 Nov 1942
Sedalia AA Fld, Mo: 23 Jan 1843
Laurinburg-Maxton AAB, NC: 5 May 1943
Baer Field, Ind: 2-15 June 1943
Brisbane, Australia: 13 July 1943
Port Moresby, New Guinea: 31 July 1943
Dobodura, New Guinea: 19 August 1943
Port Moresby, New Guinea: 19 December 1943
Nadzab, New Guinea; 19 December 1943
Biak: 27 September 1944
San Jose, Mindoro: 17 February 1945
Porac, Luzon: 20 May 1945
Okinawa: August 1945
Tachikawa, Japan: September 1945-25 March 1946

Component Units

55th: 1942-1946
56th: 1942-1946
57th: 1942-1946
58th: 1942-1946

Assigned To

1943-46: 54th Troop Carrier Wing; Fifth Air Force

55th Airlift Flight

The flight was first activated as the 55th Troop Carrier Squadron at Bowman Field, Kentucky. It was one of the original squadrons of the 375th Troop Carrier Group and equipped with Douglas C-47 Skytrains. The squadron trained at various I Troop Carrier Command bases until June 1943, preparing for a move overeseas. Ώ] ΐ]

File:Four C-47 escorted by P-40s over New Guinea

The squadron arrived in New Guinea in July 1943. It transported personnel and supplies to forward bases in New Guinea, New Britain, the Solomon Islands and the Admiralty Islands. ΐ] During 1944, the 55th also operated Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. Ώ] These planes were used for landing supplies at airfields that were under attack by Japanese forces, as their armament provided a means to defend themselves. ΐ]

The 55th participated in the airborne assault on Nadzab, New Guinea, on 5 September 1943. Ώ] This was the first airborne operation to be conducted in the Southwest Pacific Theater. The operations seized the Japanese airfields at Nadzab (from which the squadron would later operate) and cut supply lines for enemy forces in the area. Although the squadron retained some C-47s until the end of the war, during 1944 it converted to the Curtiss C-46 Commando as its primary aircraft. ΐ]

The squadron moved forward with American forces to the Philippines in February 1945, and to Okinawa in August, continuing to fly supply missions to military in the area. It supported landing forces in the Ryuku Islands beginning in June. Following VJ Day, the squadron flew troops from the Philippines to Okinawa to stage for further movement to Japan and on return flights carried former Prisoners of War back to the Philippines. ΐ]

In September 1945, the squadron moved to Tachikawa Airfield, where it served in the occupation forces in Japan. The squadron was inactivated with the other units of the 375th Group in March 1946, as the airlift mission at Tachikawa was taken over by the 317th Troop Carrier Group, which had arrived there in January 1946. Ώ] ΐ] Α]

Reserve training and Korean War mobilization [ edit | edit source ]

Paratroopers jump from a C-82

The squadron was activated in the reserves under Air Defense Command (ADC) at Reading Army Air Field, Pennsylvania in May 1947. It was again assighed to the 375th Group, which was located at Greater Pittsburgh Airport, Pennsylvania. Little more than two moths after its activation, the squadron moved to Northeast Philadelphia Airport, Pennsylvania. It does not appear the squadron was fully manned or equipped at this time. Β] In June 1949, Continental Air Command, which had assumed responsibility for managing reserve unts from ADC in 1948, reorganized its reserve flying units under the wing base organizational system, which placed combat and support units on a base under a single commmander. As part of this reorganization and also in response to President Truman’s reduced 1949 defense budget which required reductions in the number of units in the Air Force, Γ] reserve flying operations at Northeast Philadelphia Airport were terminated and the squadron joined its parent group in Pittsburgh, Ώ] replacing the 70th Troop Carrier Squadron. Δ] The 55th, like all reserve combat units was mobilized for the Korean war. It was part of the first wave of mobilization, following the 452d Bombardment Wing and 437th Troop Carrier Wing, being called up in October 1950. Ε] Its parent 375th Troop Carrier Wing was assigned to Tactical Air Command, moving to Greenville Air Force Base, South Carolina upon mobilization where it began to equip with Fairchild C-82 Packets. Along with six C-46 reserve wings mobilized later, the 375th Wing formed TAC's Eighteenth Air Force. Ζ] The squadron performed airlift support missions until July 1952, when it was relieved from active duty and replaced by the 17th Troop Carrier Squadron. Ώ] Η]

Reactivation in the reserve [ edit | edit source ]

C-46D as flown by the squadron

The same day it was inactivated, the squadron returned to the reserve in Pennsylvania where it replaced the 457th Troop Carrier Squadron, which had been activated at Greater Pittsburgh Airport the previous month when the reserve began to receive aircraft to replace the ones that had been transferred to the regular air force when the reserves were mobilized. ⎖] The squadron trained as an airlift unit with C-46 Commandos until about 1954, then with Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars. ⎗] Cuts in the budget in 1957 led to inactivation of three troop carrier wings, including the 375th and its component squadrons. ⎘] ⎙] On 16 November, the squadron was inactivated, Ώ] as all the remaining resources of the 375th Wing were compressed into a single squadron, the 758th Troop Carrier Squadron, which was activated at Pittsburgh the same day. ⎚]

Operational support airlift [ edit | edit source ]

The squadron was redesignated the 55th Airlift Flight and activated at Osan Air Base, South Korea on 1 July 1992. At Osan, it was assigned to the 51st Operations Group and equipped with Beechcraft C-12 Hurons. Its mission since activation has been to ferry VIPs and senior personnel throughout South Korea and the Pacific. Ώ]

375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) - History

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 18942. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-47A-65-DL Skytrain serial number 42-100479. Ferried overseas via Hickam Field then across the Pacific to the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 375th Troop Carrier Group (375th TCG), 57th Troop Carrier Squadron (57th TCS). No nose art or nickname. When lost, engines R-1330-92-41 serial number (left) CP-3578938 (right) R-41-1600.

Mission History
On January 9, 1945 took off from Boroke Airfield on Biak piloted by 2nd Lt. Thomas H. Fletcher on a flight bound for Peleliu Airfield. The weather was a heavy overcast with a ceiling at 1,000' over Biak. After take off, this C-47 made a turn to the right instead of the left to rendezvous with the rest of the formation at 10:30am. C-47 piloted by Lt. Bingham tried to contact this aircraft by radio but got no reply. When this aircraft failed to arrive it was officially declared Missing In Action (MIA).

When this aircraft failed to arrive, other American aircraft were informed to search for this missing plane but failed to find any trace. Plus, Air-Sea Rescue plus C-47s from the 375th Troop Carrier Group searched for this aircraft.

On March 11, 1945, this C-47 was found in a swamp on the north side of Biak. The crash site was inaccessible aside from pack mules.

Recovery of Remains
On March 11, 1945 the remains of all the crew were recovered from the crash site. On March 12, 1945 they were buried at Bosnek #1 Cemetery (USAAF) on Biak. Later, the remains were transported to the Philippines and United States for permanent burial.

The entire crew was officially declared dead the day of the crash. As the flight was deemed to be non-combat, none of the crew earned the Purple Heart posthumously.

Three of the crew were buried at Manila American Cemetery. McDowell plot F row 8 grave 66. Copeland plot A row 3 grave 171. Donnelly plot F row 3 grave 52.

Copeland earned the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters. Posthumously, he was promoted to the rank of 1st Lieutenant.

Fletcher is buried at Grant Memorial Park n Marion, IN.

This aircraft crashed on the north side of Biak.

Bruce Fenstermaker visited the crash in 1987:
"From what I remember is - the 375th converted to C-46 aircraft late in 1944 but this aircraft, albeit war weary was not retired at Biak but was being still used. I believe this aircraft took off with two other aircraft from the group/squadron but rather than turning the direction of the other aircraft after take off, did not and for unknown reason crashed near the north west of Biak. A note on geography is that Biak is actually divided into two parts - Biak island to the S/W and Superior is the local reference to the N/W portion separated by a narrow isthmus. The crash site is located in the lower Biak area itself but to the N/W near the coast area - inland. I had gotten the MACR on this aircraft at about the same time as many others - about 1986 for future surveys of Biak itself. In 1987 I took a small boat up around the N/E coast area of Biak stopping periodically to survey known /unknown/ unreported crash sites along the Biak coast. This crash site was an added Datum point to cross check the accuracy of the MACR report and location itself. The info was correct and it added to my experience of surveying and investigating sites. I also wanted to see if recoverability of remains was related to dynamic forces and destruction of the aircraft since the remains of the crew was recovered."

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History [ edit | edit source ]

Lineage [ edit | edit source ]

  • Established as 375 Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, on 10 May 1949.
  • Activated in the Reserve on 14 July 1952
  • Redesignated 375 Aeromedical Airlift Wing, and activated, on 27 December 1965

Assignments [ edit | edit source ]

    , 23 February 1949 , 1 August 1950 , 16 October 1950 , 1 June 1951 – 14 July 1952
  • 1 Air Reserve District, 14 July 1952 , 14 January 1954 – 16 November 1957 (later, Military Airlift Command), 27 December 1965 , 1 January 1984 , 1 February 1990 , 1 July 1993 , 1 October 2003–present

Components [ edit | edit source ]

  • 171 Aeromedical Airlift Group: 13 May-12 December 1968
  • 375 Troop Carrier (later, 375 Operations) Group: 27 June 1949 – 14 July 1952 14 July 1952 – 16 November 1957 1 December 1991–present
  • 10 Aeromedical Airlift: 12 January 1966 – 8 March 1969.
  • 11 Aeromedical Airlift (later, 11 Airlift): 1 December 1991 – 30 September 2003
  • 12 Aeromedical Airlift: 12 January 1966 – 8 June 1969
  • 13 Aeromedical Airlift: 12 January 1966 – 8 December 1968. : 30 September 1947 – 27 June 1949
  • 54 Airlift: 30 September 2004–present
  • 55 Troop Carrier: 18 November 1942 – 25 March 1946 9 August 1947 – 16 November 1957
  • 56 Troop Carrier: 18 November 1942 – 25 March 1946 3 August 1947 – 16 November 1957
  • 57 Troop Carrier: 18 November 1942 – 25 March 1946 3 August 1947 – 1 April 1954
  • 58 Troop Carrier: 18 November 1942 – 25 March 1946 30 September 1947 – 3 October 1950
  • 311 Airlift: 15 June 2005–present
  • 375 Flying Training: 1 December 1991 – 1 July 1994
  • 457 Airlift: 1 December 1991 – 1 April 1993 1 April 1997–present
  • 458 Airlift: 1 December 1991–present
  • 459 Airlift: 1 December 1991 – 1 April 1993
  • 906 Air Refueling: 2 October 2009–present
  • 1375 Flying Training: 1 May 1984 – 1 December 1991
  • 1400 Military Airlift: 15 March 1978 – 1 December 1991
  • 1401 Military Airlift: 15 March 1978- 1 December 1991
  • 1402 Military Airlift: 15 March 1978 – 1 December 1991
  • 1467 Facility Checking: 1 October 1987 – 1 October 1991.

Stations [ edit | edit source ]

    , Pennsylvania (1949–1950) , South Carolina (1950–1952)
  • Greater Pittsburgh Airport, Pennsylvania (1952–1957) , Illinois (1966 – present)

Aircraft [ edit | edit source ]

    (1942–1946) (1944) (1944–1946, 1948–1950, 1952–1955) (1947–1950)
  • T-11 (1948–1951)
  • T-7 (1949–1951) (1950–1952) (1951) (1954–1957)

Operations [ edit | edit source ]

The 375 Troop Carrier Wing, Medium was activated at Greater Pittsburgh Airport, Pennsylvania and trained in the Reserve from May 1949 until it was called to active duty in October 1950. After a period of intensive training, now as a wing, it participated in troop carrier and airlift operations, paratroop drops, and other exercises, October 1950-July 1952.

The wing was again allotted to the Reserve for training from July 1952-November 1957. It conducted domestic aeromedical airlift and evacuation operations in the continental United States, Alaska, and off-shore areas of the North Atlantic and the Caribbean from January 1966 for the Air Force, other Department of Defense (DoD) agencies, the U.S. Public Health Service, and the Veterans Administration (VA), augmented by aircraft of the Air National Guard and other Military Airlift Command units.

Between January 1966 and April 1975 the wing maintained and scheduled support aircraft at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, generally using aircrews provided by other Scott-based units to provide scheduled air shuttle and courier service to the east and west coasts. From January 1966 to September 1968 and since June 1973, the wing operated and maintained Scott AFB.


The 375 OG comprises four airlift squadrons, an Operations Support Squadron, an Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and an Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Flight. They provide operational airlift support with 20 C-21A aircraft, DV special airlift missions utilizing three C-40C aircraft, and operate Aeromedical Evacuation systems on seven air mobility platforms for inter/intratheater casualty movement. Responsible for C-21A aircraft maintenance, joint-use airfield services, and operations support for deployment of combat-ready aircrews and aircraft worldwide.

  • 311th Airlift Squadron 457th Airlift Squadron 458th Airlift Squadron C-21A
  • 54th Airlift Squadron C-40C
  • 375th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron C-21A, C-17, C-130, and KC-135
  • 375th Operations Support Squadron

World War II

The group's beginning occurred on 22 February 1942 at Duncan Field near San Antonio, Texas. Eighteen enlisted men and one Captain formed the entire unit. However it wouldn't be long before the 317th tenant squadrons would acquire the venerable Douglas C-47 Skytrain and the familiar drone of rotating props would become forever synonymous with the 317th.

In July 1942, the Army redesignated the unit the 317th Troop Carrier Group. After receiving several months of training in and around the southern United States, the group had grown into a viable component of America's defense machine. In December of that same year, they departed for Australia in support of General Douglas MacArthur's Southwest Pacific campaigns against the Japanese. The Army Air Forces quickly stripped the 317th of their new C-47s upon arrival in the theater, and in turn gave them the battered aircraft of the veteran 347th Troop Carrier Group. With an assortment of damaged C-47s, C-60s, and cargo versions of the B-17, the 317th set about their mission.

As the Japanese pounded the airdrome at Wau, New Guinea, the 317th endured monsoon conditions, flying low level supply drops to the Australian Army engaged on the airfield in hand-to-hand combat. This mission cost the 317th three aircraft and several men, and for their actions the group received their first Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC).

Spearheading a combined airborne-glider offensive in June 1945, the 317th dropped allied paratroopers over northern Luzon in the Philippine Islands. Enemy anti-aircraft fire was intense, forcing the group to make repeated passes over the drop zone. Soon the Japanese forces were weakened to the point of defeat. Once again the 317th was awarded the DUC for their outstanding performance.

Cold War

In 1948 with the war finally at an end, the 317th participated in one of the most widely known humanitarian efforts in history, the Berlin Airlift. From May through July the group air-dropped food supplies to the citizens of the Soviet blockaded city. Once the blockade had been lifted and their mission was complete, the 317th inactivated at Rhein Main Air Base, Germany in September.

In July 1952, the Air Force reactivated the 317th at Rhein Main as the 317th Troop Carrier Wing. It became the first Air Force unit assigned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Now flying C-119 "Boxcars", the 317th relocated to Neubiberg Air Base near Munich in 1953. Shortly after their arrival at the Bavarian base, newer C-123 transports arrived to compliment the C-119s.

The 317th continued to fly many humanitarian missions and support NATO airborne units throughout Europe. They airlifted life rafts, tents, and emergency food supplies to flood victims in the Netherlands, and aided thousands of earthquake victims in Italy, Greece, Pakistan and Yugoslavia among many others.

Post Vietnam era

Trained aircrews in adverse weather delivery system AWADS equipment for a C-130 squadron in Europe 1978–1980.


  • Constituted as 317th Transport Group on 2 February 1942
  • Redesignated 317th Troop Carrier Group (Medium) 14 July 1952
  • Redesignated 317th Troop Carrier Group and activated on 15 September 1978


  • I Troop Carrier Command, 22 February 1942
  • Fifth Air Force, 23 January 1943
  • 317th Troop Carrier Wing, 18 August 1948 – 14 September 1949 14 July 1952-12 March 1957 15 September 1978 – 1 April 1980


  • 39th Troop Carrier Squadron: 22 February 1942 – 14 September 1949 14 July 1952-12 March 1957
  • 40th Troop Carrier Squadron: 22 February 1942 – 14 September 1949 14 July 1952-12 March 1957
  • 41st Troop Carrier Squadron: 22 February 1942 – 14 September 1949 14 July 1952-12 March 1957
  • 46th Troop Carrier Squadron: 22 February 1942 – 14 September 1949


  • Kelly Field, Texas, 22 February 1942
  • Bowman Field, Kentucky, 19 Tun 1942
  • Georgia, 11 October 1942
  • Maxton Airport, North Carolina, 3–12 December 1942
  • RAAF Base Townsville, Australia, 23 January 1943
  • Port Moresby Airfield Complex, New Guinea, c. 30 September 1943
  • Finschhafen Airfield, New Guinea, April 1944
  • Hollandia Airfield Complex, Netherlands East Indies, June 1944
  • Dulag Airfield, Leyte, Philippines, 17 November 1944
  • Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines, c. 17 March 1945
  • Motobu Airfield, Okinawa, 24 August 1945
  • Kimpo Airfield, Korea, 31 October 1945
  • Tachikawa Airfield, Japan, c. 15 January 1946-c. 21 September 1948
  • Wiesbaden AB, Germany, c. 30 September 1948
  • Celle RAF Station, Germany (Later West Germany), 15 December 1948 – 14 September 1949
  • Rhein-Main AB, West Germany, 14 July 1952
  • Neubiberg AB, West Germany, 21 March 1953 – 12 March 1957
  • Pope AFB, North Carolina, 15 September 1978 – 1 April 1980


  • C-47, 1942–1947
  • C-39, C-49, C-60, B-17, LB-30, 1943–1943
  • C-46, 1945–1947
  • C-54, 1947–1948
  • C-119, 1952–1957
  • C-130, 1978–1980

375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) - History

The 375th Troop Carrier Group (375th TCG) includes Headquarters Squadron (HQ), 57th Troop Carrier Squadron (57th TCS). Assigned to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF), 5th Air Force (5th AF) in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA).

Headquarters Squadron (HQ)
The Headquarters Squadron (HQ) of the 375th Troop Carrier Group (375th TCG).

55th Troop Carrier Squadron (55th TCS)
The 55th Troop Carrier Squadron (55th TCS).

Combat Squadrons of the Air Force World War II (1982) pages 226 (55th Troop Carrier) [PDF pages 238]

56th Troop Carrier Squadron (56th TCS)
The 56th Troop Carrier Squadron (56th TCS).

Combat Squadrons of the Air Force World War II (1982) pages 227-228 (56th Troop Carrier) [PDF pages 239-240]

57th Troop Carrier Squadron (57th TCS)
The 57th Troop Carrier Squadron (57th TCS).

Combat Squadrons of the Air Force World War II (1982) pages 230 (57th Troop Carrier) [PDF pages 242]

58th Troop Carrier Squadron (58th TCS)
The 58th Troop Carrier Squadron (58th TCS).

Combat Squadrons of the Air Force World War II (1982) pages 232 (57th Troop Carrier) [PDF pages 244]

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375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) - History

Pilot 1st Lt. Richard R. Hosp, O-739951 (survived)
Co-Pilot 1st Lt Harold W. Yorheis, O-740312 (survived)
Crew Chief SSgt Arthur T. Leary, 31262657 (survived)
Radio Sgt Barnes H. Batchelor, 34335696 (survived)
Passenger Maj. Miller, C. O., 804th MAES (WIA, survived)
Passenger Lt. Dial, 804th MAES (WIA, survived)
Passenger T/3 Ramsey, 804th MAES (WIA, survived)
Passenger 18 medical evacuee patents (survived)
Force Landed June 10, 1944 at 11:15am
MACR none

Aircraft History
Built by Douglas. Constructors Number 19091. Delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) as C-47A-65-DL Skytrain serial number 42-100628. Ferried overseas via Hawaii to Australia then northward to New Guinea.

Wartime History
Assigned to the 5th Air Force (5th AF), 375th Troop Carrier Group (375th TCG), 56th Troop Carrier Squadron (56th TCS). No known nickname or nose art.

Mission History
On June 10, 1944 took off from Nadzab Airfield piloted by 1st Lt. Richard R. Hosp on a medevac flight bound for Milne Bay. Aboard were eighteen patients and three female medical attendants from the 804th Medical Air Evacuation Service (804th MAES).

Over Dobodura, the radio reports indicated the entire Milne Bay area was inaccessible due to bad weather. Instead, this C-47 was diverted to Port Moresby but the left engine failed and both 7 Mile Drome (Jackson Drome) and 5-Mile Drome (Ward) were inaccessible due to a low ceiling of cloud and rain.

Instead, this C-47 diverted to Fisherman's Airfield on Fishermans Island (Daugo) and made a successful belly landing along the runway at at 11:15am. Everyone aboard survived the crash landing. Afterwards, the aircraft was written off. During the crash, the three medical attendants were injured in the crash. Despite their injuries, they aided the patents. Later, all three were flown to Townsville for medical treatment.

After the crash, a technical investigation revealed that although the left engine was new and had just been replaced, this was the first flight after the change. A missing cotter pin and safety wire to the throttle linkage cause the engine to fail, resulting in the crash landing.

Hosp passed away on August 1, 1991. He is buried at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Boonville, Missouri.

Note, some sources incorrectly list this aircraft as condemned by accident on December 12, 1943 [sic]
375th Troop Carrier Group History
The Story of Air Evacuation 1942-1989 by The World War II Flight Nurses Association
"Incident of 804th MAES - 10 June 1944, Maj. Miller, C.O., Lt. Dial and T/3 Ramsey were flying a load of psychotic patients to Milne Bay in the SWPA. The weather w as bad and the plane could not land. Heading toward Port Moresby, one of the engines failed and they flew' on one engine.
The weather at Moresby was too bad to allow a landing — a crash landing was inevitable. They flew' on for an hour. During this hour, Lt. Dial and Sgt. Ramsey continued their nursing care, preparing at the same time for a crash landing. They continued their duties in a very calm manner, securing the litters and placing the ambulatory patients in a safe spot. Finally, the plane landed on a tiny Fisherman's Island above Port Moresby.
On landing, all three medical personnel were throw n clear of the plane sustaining serious injuries. Maj. Miller had 3 ribs fractured with a punctured right lung. Lt. Dial received a nasty fracture of the upper third of the right humerus with a separation of the fronto-zygomatic suture with severe lacerations. T/3 Ramsey had a compression fracture of the 1st and 2nd lumbar vertebral bodies with temporary paralysis of his lower extremities and loss of sphincter control. This paralysis left in 2 days.
They were evacuated to Townsville where Lt. Dial had an open reduction of her fracture and Ramsey was maintained in a hypertension cast. Maj. Miller required oxygen, blood transfusions and extended nursing care and hospitalization. They were all three evacuated back to the states when their conditions stabilized.
Lt. Dial was awarded the DFC and the Purple Heart for her bravery and dedication to duty when she disregarded her own injuries to direct the removal of her 18 patients from the plane when it crashed."
Aviation Safety Network - C-47A 42-100628
The Douglas DC-1/DC-2/DC-3 The First Seventy Years by J. M. Gradidge
FindAGrave - Richard R Hosp (grave photo)
Thanks to Edward Rogers for additional information

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375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) - History

Former Assignments
19th BG
28th BS

Wartime History
Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group (19th BG), 28th Bombardment Squadron (28th BS) and began flying combat mission. On November 16, 1942 assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Group (43rd BG) "Ken's Men", 65th Bombardment Squadron (65th BS). Nicknamed "Caroline" and began flying combat missions in New Guinea until July 6, 1943.

On November 22, 1942 or November 23, 1942 this B-17 was one of six or seven that participated in a bombing mission against Japanese ships in Huon Gulf off Lae.

On November 22, 1942 took off from Torrens Creek Airfield as one of six or seven B-17s on a bombing mission against a convoy of four Japanese destroyers reported off the southern coast of New Britain or in the Huon Gulf off Lae. . Four of the B-17s failed to locate the convoy.

Steve Birdsall adds:
"I think this mission happened on November 22, 1942 in the afternoon or evening, but I am surprised there's so many differing reports. November 23. Combined Headquarters at Townsville has an entry for November 23 noting that six B-17s "attack ships Lae". . . identifies 65th Squadron, and #536 [this B-17 was] "shot down" and #552 "turned back". Other numbers mentioned are 537, 657, 420, 015 and 638. So, maybe seven planes took off to attack Japanese shipping near Lae. B-17F "Listen Here, Tojo!" 41-24552 turned back, B-17E 41-2638, 41-2657, 41-9015, B-17F "Talisman" 41-24537 and B-17F 41-24420 [this aircraft] attacked, and B-17E 41-2536 was shot down. Also, it is possible this mission was on November 21 or 22."

During January 1943 transferred to the 64th Bombardment Squadron (64th BS). Nicknamed "Super Snooper".

On January 9, 1943 took off from 7 Mile Drome (Jackson) near Port Moresby piloted by 1st Lt. Arthur T. Curren on a reconnaissance mission against Lae. During the flight, this bomber entered a thunderstorm forcing the radio operator to quickly close the radio hatch causing the .50 caliber machine gun to accidentally discharge killing the tail gunner SSgt Jerry M. Walker and wounding two others.

On February 20, 1943 took off from 7 Mile Drome piloted by Captain Stanley G. Salisbury on a photo reconnaissance mission over New Britain. Returning, this B-17 overshot the runway and became suck in mud and took hours to extract. Afterwards, transfered to the the 5th Bomber Command replacement pool for repairs and then assigned to the 403rd Bombardment Squadron (403rd BS).

On March 5, 1943 during take off from 7 Mile Drome piloted by Major Arthur T. Curren the tail wheel was damaged forcing the B-17 to circle and crash land. Afterwards, this B-17 was to be salvaged but was instead repaired and transfered back to the 65th Bombardment Squadron (65th BS) and continued to fly combat missions until late April 1943.

During early November 1943, one of twelve B-17s converted into an armed transport at the 4th Air Depot at Garbutt Field. During the overhaul repainted with olive drab paint. On December 8, 1943 assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Wing (54th TCW), 375th Troop Carrier Group (375th TCG), 58th Troop Carrier Squadron (58th TCS) and operated from Port Moresby and Nadzab Airfield. Nicknamed "G.I. Jr." (with double quotations around "G.I." in a candy striped style and Jr. in a cursive style) with the nose art of a baby wearing a WWI style helmet with the 5th Air Force logo and diapers with stars and shoes, holding a large wrench and waving with the left hand.

On March 1, 1944, took off from Finschafen Airfield as one of four B-17 armed transports including this aircraft plus B-17E 41-2662, B-17F "Harry the Horse" 41-24548 and another B-17 on a mission to make supply runs to drop weapons, ammunition, barbed wire and blood plasma to the U.S. Army 1st Calvary Division soldiers that landed on Los Negros Island and to strafe enemy positions at Momote Airfield.

Sometime later in 1944 or early 1945, this B-17 was flown back across the Pacific to the United States. During May 1946 written off (other sources state July 23, 1946). Ultimate fate unknown, likely scrapped sometime afterwards.

USAF Serial Number Search Results - B-17F-5-BO Flying Fortress 41-24420
"24420 to 28th BS, 194th BG. Transferred to 64th BS, then 65th BS of 43rd BG, Transferred to 54th TCW Nov 1943, later 58th TCS, 375th TCW. Salvaged in 1946."
FindAGrave - Jerry Mills Walker (news, obituary, grave photo)
Pride of Seattle (1998) page 8
Fortress Against The Sun (2001) pages 368-369, 391
Ken's Men Against The Empire Volume 1 (2015) pages 82, 112, 130, 313-314, 327, 329, 331, 342
Thanks to Steve Birdsall for additional information

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375th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) - History

SGT Ernest Gilbert Radcliff 55th Troop Carrier Squadron, 375th Troop Carrier Group Lost 5/26/45 between San Marcelino, Luzon and Peleilu

Ernest Gilbert Radcliff was born at home in Dexter, Kansas on November 22, 1912, to Jessie Brown Radcliff and John Harrison Radcliff. He was the oldest in a family of 4 children, brother Mel and sisters Fran and Nadine.

He grew up in Dexter and graduated from Cedar Vale High School. The family was blessed with musical talent, and Ernie sang and played the violin. My uncle and aunts tell me that he loved popcorn and Western novels, and that he had a beautiful smile. He was a caring son and big brother, much loved and admired.

He married Bessie Arlene Walker of Bluff City, Kansas on September 5, 1938 at his parents home in Wichita, Kansas. Patricia Arlene Radcliff, his only child, was born July 16, 1939.

Ernie joined the Army Air Corps on February 10, 1943. He wanted to become a pilot like his younger brother Mel, but at 30, Ernie was too old for pilot training. Instead he entered the glider training program and was assigned to the Glider Pilot Replacement Squadron, Hondo, Texas until that program was discontinued. He earned his wings as a radio operator at Sedalia Field, Missouri and was assigned to the 55th Squadron of the 375th Troop Carrier Group. In February 1945, he was sent to Biak, New Guinea, and then to San Marcelino, Luzon and finally to Porac near Clark Field, Luzon.

What happened to my father will probably never be known. Doug Davis, his tent mate, told me that he volunteered for the routine flight on May 26, 1945. The C46 took off at daybreak bound for Peleilu. It never arrived. The aircraft was not found, and in February 1946, my father was officially declared dead.

From the squadron history, May 1945: "Gloom was cast over the squadron with the required submittal of a report listing the first 55th casualties of this war -- through the loss of a crew of five, 2nd Lts. William B. Pemberton, Edward Y. Ong, and Thomas J. O'Brien S/Sgt. James J. Lyerly, and Sgt. Ernest Radcliff, missing on an operational flight, 26 May, from Luzon to Peleliu." The men of this crew were the only casualties of the 55th Squadron during WWII.

My father is listed on the Wall of the Missing, Manila American Cemetery, Philippines. A memorial marker next to his parents' graves at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Topeka, Kansas, bears his name. So much was lost when that plane went down - Ernie Radcliff - husband, son, brother, father, uncle, now grandfather and great grandfather. And four other young men whose families will forever grieve.

My father touches our life and the lives of our daughter and grandchildren each day. In them we see his face, his personality and his great love of people, life and creation. God bless you Ernie Radcliff, how I wish I could have known you.

Watch the video: Parade in Minsk am 3. Juli 2019. Wir werden sehen. Ganze Technik nahaufnahme. (June 2022).


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