The 374th Troop Carrier Group took part in the long campaign in New Guinea, performing an especially valuable role early in the campaign, when Allied resources were very limited.
The group was activated in Australia on 12 November 1942 and was equipped with a mix of elderly transport aircraft, which it used to support the troops fighting in Papua. Early in 1943 the 317th Troop Transport Group arrived in the theatre with new C-47s. The new unit spent a few days operating in Papua, and then returned to Australia, leaving its aircraft behind. The 374th got the new aircraft, while the 317th inherited the mix of older aircraft.
The group won three Distinguished Unit Citations for its role in the Papuan campaign. One was awarded for flying supplies to the Allied forces in Papua. One was for transporting troops and supplies to Papua and wounded personnel back to Australia in November-December 1942. The last was for flying men and supplies over the Owen Stanley Range on 30 January-1 February 1943 during the battle of Wau, when Japanese forces threatened an isolated Australian base inland from the Huon Gulf.
The group took part in the first airborne operation in the Southwest Pacific, when paratroops captured the airfield at Nadzab on 5 September 1943. This was part of the final attack on the Japanese positions at the head of the Huon Gulf.
The group helped support the invasion of the Philippines and moved to Luzon in May 1945.
In August 1945 the group helped move the 11th Division from Luzon to Okinawa, on its way to Japan. From September 1945 to May 1946 the group was used to fly supplies to the Allied Occupation Army in Japan. It was inactivated on Luzon on 15 May 1946.
Nov 1942-Feb 1943: Douglas B-18, Douglas C-39, Douglas C-49 Skytrain , Lockheed C-56 Lodestar, Lockheed C-60 Lodestar , DC-3 and DC-5
Feb 1943-1946: Douglas C-47 Skytrain
|7 Nov 1942||Constituted as 374th Troop Carrier Group|
|12 Nov 1942||Activated in Australia with Fifth Air Force|
|15 May 1946||Inactivated|
Lt Col Erickson S
Nichols: 12 Nov 1942
Maj Edgar H Hampton: 14 Dec 1942
Col Paul H Prentiss: 17 Dec 1942
Maj Fred M Adams: 22 May 1943
Lt Col Edgar H Hampton: 12 Jul 1943
Lt Col Fred M Adams: 2 Aug 1943
Col Edward T Imparato: c. 3 Aug 1944;
Brisbane, Australia: 12 Nov
Port Moresby, New Guinea: Dec 1942
Townsville, Australia: 7 Oct 1943
Nadzab, New Guinea: c. 1 Sep 1944
Biak: c. 14 Oct 1944
Nielson Field, Luzon: 28 May 1945-15 May 1946.
1943: 54th Troop Carrier Wing; Fifth Air Force
1945-46: 322nd Troop Carrier Wing