The 316th Troop Carrier Group took part in the fighting in North Africa, the invasions of Sicily and Italy, the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden and the airborne crossing of the Rhine.
The group was formed in the US in February 1942. It was originally allocated to a USAAF force that was to operation in the Caucasus to support the Soviets, but this plan was abandoned before the group left the US. Instead it moved to the Mediterranean via the South Atlantic route, arriving at Cairo on 23 November 1942. Its first mission was to deliver Thanksgiving turkeys to USAAF units serving with the British Eighth Air Force. It then joined the Ninth Air Force.
The group was used to fly supplies to the front and evacuate prisoners during the campaign in North Africa. The group operated from bases in Egypt until May 1943.
In May 1943 the group moved to Algerian and began to prepare for airborne operations. On 9 July 1943 it dropped paratroops on Sicily and on 11 July it flew reinforcements to the same area. Like many transport units the 316th suffered from friendly fire during this mission, and was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in the mission. It was awarded a second DUC for its wider role in the Egyptian, Libyan, Tunisian and Sicilian theatres between 25 November 1942 and 25 August 1943.
The group was assigned to the Twelfth Air Force for the invasion of Italy. On the night of 14 September it dropped paratroops into the Allied beachhead south of the Sele River. It was then used as a transport unit, before moving to Britain to join the Ninth Air Force.
On D-Day the group dropped paratroops near Ste-Mere-Eglise. On 7 June it flew reinforcements to the same area, and was awarded a third DUC.
During Operation Market Garden the group dropped paratroops and flew supplies to the front.
On 24 March 1945, as part of the airborne crossing of the Rhine, the group dropped paratroops near Wesel.
Between these operations the group was used as a standard transport unit.
In May 1945 the group returned to the US, and it remained in existence in the post-war air force.
1942-45: Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Douglas C-53 Skytrooper
|2 February 1942||Constituted as 316th Transport Group|
|14 February 1942||Activated|
|July 1943||Redesignated 316th Troop Carrier Group|
|Nov 1942||To Mediterranean and Ninth Air Force|
|Sept 1943||To Sicily and Twelfth Air Force|
|Feb 1944||To England and Ninth Air Force|
|May 1945||To United States|
Col Jerome B McCauley:
14 Feb 1942
Lt Col Burton R Fleet: 12 Aug 1943
Col Harvey A Berger: c. 13 May 1944
Lt Col Walter R Washburn: 2 Sep 1945
Patterson Field, Ohio: 14
Bowman Field, Ky: 17 Jun 1942
Lawson Field, Ga: 9 Aug 1942
Del Valle, Tex: 29 Sep-12 Nov 1942
Deversoir, Egypt: 23 Nov 1942
El Adem, Egypt: 10 Dec 1942
Fayid, Egypt: Jan 1943
Nouvion, Algeria: 9 May 1943
Guercif, French Morocco: 29 May 1943
Enfidaville, Tunisia: 21 Jun 1943
Mazzara, Sicily: 3 Sep 1943
Borizzo, Sicily: 18 Oct 1943-12 Feb 1944
Cottesmore, England: 15 Feb 1944-May 1945
Pope Field, NC: 25 May 1945
36th: 1942 onwards
37th: 1942 onwards
1942: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing; US Based
1942: 53rd Troop Carrier Wing; US Based
To August 1943: Northwest African Troop Carrier Command/ Ninth Air Force
August 1943 onwards: XXII Troop Carrier Command, Twelfth Air Force
1944-45: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing; IX Troop Carrier Command; Ninth Air Force