Constituted as 317th Transport Group on 2 Feb 1942 and activated on 22 Feb. Redesignated 317th Troop Carrier Group in Jul 1942. Trained with C-47's. Moved to Australia, Dec 1942-Jan 1943, and assigned to Fifth AF. Operated in New Guinea for a short time early in 1943. Received a DUC for making numerous flights in unarmed planes over the Owen Stanley Range, 30 Jan-1 Feb 1943, to transport reinforcements and supplies to Wau, New Guinea, where enemy forces were threatening a valuable Allied airdrome. Exchanged its new C-47's for old C-39's C-47's, C-49's, C-60's, B-17's, and LB-30's in New Guinea and began operating from Australia, where the group had maintained its headquarters. Flew troops and equipment to New Guinea, established courier and passenger routes in Australia and trained with airborne troops. Equipped with C-47's and moved to New Guinea in Sep 1943. Took part in the first airborne operation in the Southwest Pacific on 5 Sep, dropping paratroops at Nadzab, New Guinea, to cut supply line and seize enemy bases. Until Nov 1944, transported men and cargo to Allied bases on New Guinea, New Britain, Guadalcanal, and in the Admiralty Islands. Also dropped reinforcements and supplies to US forces on Noemfoor, 3-4 Jul 1944. After moving to the Philippines in Nov 1944, transported supplies to ground forces on Luzon, Leyte, and Mindoro, and supplied guerrillas on Mindanao, Cebu, and Panay. Participated in two airborne operations during Feb 1945: on 3 and 4 Feb dropped paratroops south of Manila to seize highway routes to the city, and on 16 and 17 Feb dropped the 502d Regiment on Corregidor to open Manila Bay to US shipping; received a DUC for the latter operation, performed at low altitude over small drop zones in a heavily defended area. Completed two unusual missions on 12 and 15 Apr 1945 when this troop carrier organization bombed Carabao Island with drums of napalm. Dropped part of 511th Regiment near Aparri on 23 Jun 1945 to split Japanese forces in the Cagayen Valley and prevent a retreat to the hills in northern Luzon. Remained in the theater as part of Far East Air Forces after the war; used C-46 and C-47 aircraft, the latter being replaced in 1947 with C-54's. Flew courier and passenger routes to Japan, Guam, Korea, and the Philippines, and transported freight and personnel in the area. Redesignated 317th Troop Carrier Group (Heavy) in May 1948. Moved, via the US, to Germany in Sep 1948 and became part of United States Air Forces in Europe for service in the Berlin airlift. Used C-54's to transport coal, food, and other supplies to the blockaded city. Inactivated in Germany on 14 Sep 1949.
Redesignated 317th Troop Carrier Group (Medium). Activated in Germany on 14 Jul 1952. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe and equipped with C-119's.
Squadrons. 39th: 1942-1949; 1952-. 40th: 1942-1949; 1952-. 41st: 1942-1949; 1952-. 46th: 1942-1949.
Stations. Duncan Field, Tex, 22 Feb 1942; Bowman Field, Ky, 19 Jun 1942; Lawson Field, Ga, 11 Oct 1942; Maxton, NC, 3-12 Dec 1942; Townsville, Australia, 23 Jan 1943; Port Moresby, New Guinea, c. 30 Sep 1943; Finschhafen, New Guinea, Apr 1944; Hollandia, New Guinea, Jun 1944; Leyte, 17 Nov 1944; Clark Field, Luzon, c. 17 Mar 1945; Okinawa, 24 Aug 1945; Kimpo, Korea, 31 Oct 1945; Tachikawa, Japan, c. 15 Jan 1946-c. 21 Sep 1948; Wiesbaden AB, Germany, c. 30 Sep 1948; Celle RAF Station, Germany, 15 Dec 1948-14 Sep 1949. Rhein-Main AB, Germany, 14 Jul 1952; Neubiberg AB, Germany, 21 Mar 1953-.
Commanders. Col Samuel V Payne, 2: Feb 1942; Col Robert L Olinger, 21 Jun 1944; Col John H Lackey Jr, 2 Oct 1944 Lt Col Robert I Choate, 31 Aug 1945; Col Dwight B Schannep, Oct 1945-unkn; Col Marshall S Roth, Jan 1946; Col Othel R Deering, Jan 1947; Col Thomas K Hampton, 19 May 1948; Lt Col James M Johnson, 18 Aug 1948; Col Bertram C Harrison, Oct 1948; Lt Col James M Johnson, 24 Nov 1948; Lt Col Walter E Chambers, 11 Mar 1949; Lt Col Robert J DuVal, 13 Jun 1949-unkn. COl Lucion N Powell, 14 Jul 1952; Lt Col James E Bauley, 1 Mar 1954; Col Harry M Pike, May 1954-.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan; New Guinea; Northern Solomons; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: New Guinea, 30 Jan-1 Feb 1943; Philippine Islands, 16-17 Feb 1945. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
Insigne. Shield: Or issuant from chief a dexter arm, fist clenched inflamed proper, in base a fire of seven tongues of the last, on a chief nebuly azure, three piles of the first. Motto: I Gain By Hazard. (Approved 22 Dec 1942.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986