439th Troop Carrier Group






Constituted as 439th Troop Carrier Group on 14 May 1943. Activated on 1 June 1943. Trained with C-47's. Moved to England, Feb-Mar 1944, for duty with Ninth AF. Prepared for the invasion of the Continent and began operations by dropping paratroops of 101st Airborne Division in Normandy on 6 Jun 1944 and releasing gliders with reinforcements on the following day, receiving a DUC and a French citation for these missions. After the Normandy invasion the group ferried supplies in the United Kingdom until the air echelon was sent to Italy in Jul to transport cargo to Rome and evacuate wounded personnel. The detachment dropped paratroops of 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment along the Riviera to aid the invasion of Southern France on 15 Aug 1944 and later towed gliders to provide reinforcements; for these missions the group was again cited by the French government. After the air echelon returned to England on 25 Aug, the group resumed its cargo missions. In Sep the group moved to France for further operations in support of the advancing Allies. Dropped paratroops of 82nd Airborne Division near Nijmegen and towed gliders carrying reinforcements during the airborne attack on Holland, 17-25 Sep 1944. Participated in the Battle of the Bulge by releasing gliders with supplies for 101st Airborne Division near Bastogne on 7 Dec 1944. Each aircraft of the group towed two gliders with troops of 17th Airborne Division and released them near Wesel when the Allies made the air assault across the Rhine on 24 Mar 1945. Continually hauled food, clothing, medicine, gasoline, ordnance equipment, and other supplies to the front lines and evacuated patients to rear-zone hospitals when not engaged in airborne operations. Converted from C-47's to C-46's, which were used to transport displaced persons from Germany to France and Belgium after V-E Day. Returned to the US, Jul-Sep 1945. Trained with C-46 aircraft. Inactivated on 10 Jun 1946.

Redesignated 439th Troop Carrier Group (Medium). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 27 Jun 1949. Ordered to active duty on 1 Apr 1951. Inactivated on 3 Apr 1951.

Redesignated 439th Fighter-Bomber Group. Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 15 Jun 1952.

Squadrons. 91st: 1943-1946; 1949-1951; 1952-1954. 92d: 1943-1946; 1949-1951; 1952-1954. 93d: 1943-1946; 1949-1951; 1952-. 94th: 1943-1946; 1949-1951. 471st: 1954-. 472d: 1954-.

Stations. Alliance AAFld, Neb, 1 Jun 1943; Sedalia AAFld, Mo, 15 Jun 1943; Alliance AAFld, Neb, 2 Aug 1943; Laurinburg-Maxton AAB, NC, 16 Dec 1943; Baer Field, Ind, 2-14 Feb 1944; Balderton, England, 21 Feb 1944; Upottery, England, 26 Apr 1944; Juvincourt, France, 8 Sep 1944; Lonray, France, 28 Sep 1944; Chateaudun, France, 4 Nov 1944-11 Jul 1945; Baer Field, Ind, Jul 1945; Sedalia AAFld, Mo, 7 Oct 1945-10 Jun 1946. Selfridge AFB, Mich, 27 Jun 1949-3 Apr 1951. Selfridge AFB, Mich, 15 Jun 1952-.

Commanders. Lt Col Ralph L Zimmerman, 1 Jun 1943; Col Charles H Young, 21 Jan 1944; Col Gordon L Edris, 6 Oct 1945; Lt Col Lester C Messenger, 16 Apr 1946; Lt Col William M Massengale Jr, 28 May-10 Jun 1946.

Campaigns. American Theater; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: France, [6-7] Jun 1944. French Croix de Guerre with Palm: [6-7] Jun 1944; 15 Aug 1944. French Fourragere.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, a beaver volant proper, holding a missile in his right paw, argent, markings gules and sable and supported in the air with aircraft wings of the third, tanks of the fourth, on the right wing the national aircraft marking in its proper colors. (Approved 20 Apr 1956.)

440th Troop Carrier Group

Constituted as 440th Troop Carrier Group on 25 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jul 1943. Prepared for duty overseas with C-47's. Moved to England, Feb-Mar 1944, and assigned to Ninth AF. Began operations by dropping paratroops of 101st Airborne Division near Carentan on the Cotentin Peninsula on 6 Jun 1944 and by transporting gasoline, ammunition, food, and other supplies to the same area on 7 Jun, being awarded a DUC for completing these missions during the invasion of Normandy. Began flying supply and evacuation missions between England and France after the invasion of the Continent. In Jul 1944 part of the group was sent to Italy where it transported supplies to Rome until Aug. The detachment also participated in the invasion of Southern France, dropping paratroops of 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment near Le Muy on 15 Aug 1944 and towing gliders carrying reinforcements to that area later in the day. Meanwhile, the group in England continued to haul cargo, and on 10 Aug 1944 it dropped supplies to an infantry battalion encircled at Mortain in northern France. The detachment returned to England on 25 Aug and the group moved to France in Sep. During the attack on Holland the 440th dropped paratroops of 82nd Airborne Division near Groesbeek on 17 Sep 1944 and released gliders with reinforcements on 18 and 23 Sep. On 26 Dec 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, it hauled gliders filled with supplies for 101st Airborne Division encircled at Bastogne. In Mar 1945 it towed gliders with troops of 17th Airborne Division to the battle area near Wesel during the airborne assault across the Rhine. When not engaged in airborne operations the group transported food, clothing, medical supplies, gasoline, ammunition, and other cargo to the front lines and evacuated casualties to rear-zone hospitals. After the war the group transported liberated prisoners and displaced persons. Inactivated in Europe on 18 Oct 1945.

Allotted to the reserve. Activated in the US on 3 Sep 1947. Redesignated 440th Troop Carrier Group (Medium) in Jun 1949. Ordered to active duty on 1 May 1951. Inactivated on 4 May 1951.

Redesignated 440th Fighter-Bomber Group. Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 15 Jun 1952.

Squadrons. 95th: 1943-1945; 1947-1951; 1952-. 96th: 1943-1945; 1947-1951; 1952-. 97th: 1943-1945; 1947-1951; 1952-. 98th: 1943-1945; 1947-1951.

Stations. Baer Field, Ind, 1 Jul 1943; Sedalia AAFld, Mo, 9 Jul 1943; Alliance AAFld, Neb, 7 Sep 1943; Pope Field, NC, 4 Jan 1944; Baer Field, Ind, 14-21 Feb 1944; Bottesford, England, 11 Mar 1944; Exeter, England, 18 Apr 1944; Reims, France, 11 Sep 1944; Le Mans, France, 30 Sep 1944; Orleans, France, 2 Nov 1944-18 Oct 1945. Wold-Chamberlain Field, Minn, 3 Sep 1947-4 May 1951. Ft Snelling, Minn, 15 Jun 1952; Minneapolis-St Paul Intl Aprt, Minn, 8 Jan 1953-.

Commanders. Maj Charles H Young, 5 Jul 1943; Lt Col Frank X Krebs, 7 Jul 1943; Lt Col Loyd C Waldorf, 18 Sep 1944; Col Frank X Krebs, 29 Oct 1944-1945.

Campaigns. Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: France, [6-7] Jun 1944.

Insigne. Shield: Argent, on and over the upper edge of a targe azure bearing Polaris and Ursa Major of the field within an orle or, a winged viking helmet of the like, behind the targe a sword and spear in saltire of the last all detailed and fimbriated of the second; all within an orle of the last and a diminished border gold. Motto: Nunquam Non Paratus - Never Unprepared. (Approved 14 Nov 1958.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986




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