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WWII Patch, AAF, 39TCS 39th Troop Carrier SQ. 317TCG, 5AF

WWII Patch, AAF, 39TCS 39th Troop Carrier SQ. 317TCG, 5AF

Product Information
WWII US Army Air Force Squadron Patch
39TS   39th Transport Squadron, 317th Troop Carrier Group, 5th Air Force
USAAF  39TCS, 317TC Gp, 5AF       39th Troop Carrier SQ., 317th Troop Carrier Group, 5th AF
Trail Blazers
Walt Disney Design?
4.5 inches

The 39th Troop Carrier Squadron has had a grand and glorious history. It is one of the few World War II squadrons of any kind that is still active today. Now renamed the 39th Airlift Squadron and flying C-130 aircraft, it still uses the same squadron insignia and performs many of the same functions that it did during World War II.

    * 39th Transport Squadron (1942)
    * 39th Troop Carrier Squadron (1942–1948)
Constituted as:  39 Transport Squadron on 2 Feb 1942.
Activated:  22 Feb 1942.
Redesignated:  39 Troop Carrier Squadron on 4 Jul 1942; 39 Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy, on 21 May 1948.
Assigned to:   317th Troop Carrier Group (1942–1949)  -  C-47 Skytrain (1942–1946)
Nickname:     Trailblazers, Jungle Skippers
    * Distinguished Unit Citations: Papua, Jan 1943;
                                                    New Guinea, 30 Jan-1 Feb 1943;
                                                    Philippine Islands, 16-17 Feb 1945
    * Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
    * Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
    * Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Operations: Paratroop drops on Noemfoor, Tagaytay (Luzon), as well as aerial transportation in South, Southwest, and Western Pacific in World War II. Berlin Airlift, 1948.
Campaign Streamers - World War II
    * Air Offensive, Japan;
    * Papua; New Guinea;
    * Northern Solomons;
    * Bismarck Archipelago;
    * Western Pacific;
    * Leyte;
    * Luzon;
    * Southern Philippines.
    * Berlin: Berlin Airlift.
Bases stationed
    * Duncan Field, Texas (22 Feb 1942)
    * Bowman Field, Kentucky (9 Oct 1942)
    * Lawson Field, Georgia (Oct 1942)
    * Maxton, North Carolina (2-12 Dec 1942)
    * RAAF Base Townsville, Garbutt, Australia (22 Jan 1942 - 1943)
    * RAAF Station Archerfield, Australia (22 Feb 1942 -1943)
    * Port Moresby, New Guinea (28 Sep 1943)
    * Finschhafen, New Guinea (1943 - 23 Apr 1944)
    * Hollandia, New Guinea (1943 - Jul 1944)
    * Leyte (19 Nov 1944–1945)
    * Clark Field, Luzon (28 Mar 1945)
    * Okinawa, Japan (19 Aug 1945)
    * Fukuoka, Japan (11 Nov 1945 – 1946)

39th Airlift Squadron
The 39th Airlift Squadron (39 AS) is a United States Air Force unit based at Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene, Texas. The unit flies the Lockheed C-130 Hercules.The 39th conducted paratroop drops on Noemfoor, Luzon, as well as aerial transportation in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. The squadron participated in the Berlin Airlift in 1948. The 39th conducted paratroop drops on Noemfoor, Luzon, as well as aerial transportation in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II. The squadron participated in the Berlin Airlift in 1948.

The unit was originally formed at Duncan Field in San Antonio, Texas in early 1942 as the 39th Transport Squadron. Shortly thereafter it was designated the 39th Troop Carrier Squadron and was assigned to Bowman Field in Louisville, Kentucky, as a part of the 317th Troop Carrier Group along with the 40th, 41st, and 46th Troop Carrier Squadrons. During the next six months the squadron received its aircraft (mostly older, well used DC-3s requisitioned from the airlines). During the next few months it was manned and trained at Bowman Field as well as at Lawson Field, Georgia and Laurenburg-Maxton Field in North Carolina. At the end of 1942 the 39th was deployed to the Southwest Pacific theater, the ground echelon sailing on the good ship Maui from San Francisco to Brisbane, and the air echelon flying 13 brand-new C-47 aircraft across the Pacific to Australia. Over the next three years the 39th went north with the U.S. forces as they marched island-by-island across the Pacific to Japan. In New Guinea the squadron was first based at Port Moresby, and then Finchhafen (where its first commander, Major Joe Ford, was lost in a fiery takeoff crash). Missions included sorties to Lae, Salamaua, Nadzab, and the Wau-Bulolo Valley (where the unit supported U.S. and Australian troops in a major battle with the Japanese - and earned the first of its two Presidential Unit Citations). It later moved to Hollandia and Biak as the U.S. forces moved up the New Guinea coast. During those and subsequent years, the 39th flew thousands of combat missions, taking ammunition and supplies into the battle areas and evacuating the wounded to rear area medical facilities.

In late 1944 and early 1945 the 39th made the long jump back to the Philippines with General MacArthur. The first step was to Leyte (where our advanced unit was attacked by Japanese paratroopers). While at Leyte the 39th participated in our own paratroop assault against the highly fortified island of Corregidor in the mouth of Manila Bay. Because of its tiny drop zones, this mission has been called the most difficult assault in airborne history and earned the 39th its second Presidential Unit Citation. Later the squadron moved on to the Lingayen Gulf area of Luzon, and still later to Clark Field, also on Luzon. While in the Philippines the squadron flew many missions to hidden fields behind the Japanese lines to support the Philippine guerrilla forces.

The 39th was at Clark Field when the Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945. The next day it moved to the island of Okinawa and later to Japan. Plans for a probable invasion of the mainland of Japan had been formulated long before. Had the atomic bombs not been used, forcing the Japanese to surrender, the 39th would undoubtedly have been in the forefront of an invasion force, dropping paratroopers on Japan at low speed and low altitude. Unquestionably the casualties would have been extremely high, and many probably would not have survived. Those 39th veterans are deeply grateful to President Truman for having the courage to make the difficult decision to drop the bombs! As terrible as they were, those bombs ended an equally terrible war and saved untold thousands of American lives, including many in the 39th. The history of the 39th did not end with the end of World War II.  It became a part of the United States Occupation Forces in Japan.  Equipped with C-46 aircraft, and later C-54s, the 39th served the occupation forces for several years, flying missions throughout the Far East.

- 39th Troop Carrier Squadron
- 40th Troop Carrier Squadron
- 41st Troop Carrier Squadron
- 46th Troop Carrier Squadron
The Headquarters of the 317th Troop Carrier Group transferred from Townsville to Port Moresby on 30 September 1943.

On 10 December 1944, C-47 Dakota, #42-24215, "The Fireball Mail"of the 41st Troop Carrier Squadron, of the 317 Transport Group, went missing on a flight from Ward's airfield in Port Moresby to Hollandia via Dobodura. The wreckage of the aircraft was not discovered until 1979 at 10,000 feet in the Finesterre Mountains about 20 miles north of Nadzab.

The men of the 39th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 317th Troop Carrier Group of the 5th Air Force lived at Camp Muckley, about one mile away from Archerfield airfield. The enlisted men lived in open barracks while the officers had partitioned quarters. The 39th Troop Carrier Squadron at Archerfield used Cargo Gliders which were capable of carrying 3,800 lbs of freight.

Price: $85.00

Product Code: PatchAAF.0039.39TroopCarrierSQ
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