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Location: /Squadron Patches/Army Air Force Squadrons/AAF units #'d 1-299

WWII Patch, AAF, 1st Provisional Glider Group, 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 5th AAF - Bugs Bunny

WWII Patch, AAF, 1st Provisional Glider Group, 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 5th AAF - Bugs Bunny

Product Information
WWII US Army Air Force Squadron Patch
US AAF  USAAF  1st Provisional Glider Group, 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 5th AAF
US AAF  USAAF  1st PGG, 54th TCW, 5th AAF = First Army Air Force Provisional Glider Group, 54 TCW, 5 AAF
1st Glider Group (P)
Looney Tunes Design - Buggs Bunny with Officers/Pilots Cap, Cigar.  Silver Wings with "G" - Glider.
5 1/8 inches

Associated with Air Commando Airborne Operations

In preparation for airborne operations in the Philippines, the 54th Troop Carrier Wing conducted joint training with elements of the 11th Airborne Division between August and November 1944. Because of the heavy demands on transport resources in building up Allied strength in Netherlands New Guinea, the wing could spare only one squadron at a time, but the units were dispatched in turn to Doboduru, where they received refresher training in paradrops and aerial supply. All phases of glider operations were stressed, including loading, rapid take-offs, assembly, multiple simultaneous release, and. unloading. While the large-scale employment of airborne troops planned for the Philippines campaign was not affected, the training proved of value at Tagaytay Ridge, on Corregidor, and in the Cagayan valley.

Since extensive airborne operations were planned for the Philippines, especially for the invasion of Mindanao, FEAF estimated its requirements at 650 C-47's and 735 gliders, mostly CG-4A's. It actually had at the end of May 1944 only 511 C-47's and no gliders, which until that time had not been required. Many of the planes were getting old; one assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Wing--called "Old Number Two"-reputedly was the tenth C-47 purchased by the AAF and had flown more than 2,000 missions.50 The AAF agreed to meet the over-all glider requirement and promised 12 C-47's, equipped to pick up gliders, during June and July 1944; for the rest, it would be necessary to rely on the prospect that the Air Transport Command would be operating 100 C-47's in SWPA's rear areas by August and the promise that, beginning in October and continuing through January, enough of the new C-46's would be sent out to reequip 2 groups with this larger-capacity cargo plane. The C-46's actually began to reach SWPA during September 1944, and in the following month the 433d Troop Carrier Group started conversion. By July 1945 two other troop carrier groups had been provided with C-46's. The decision to bypass Mindanao* had resulted in a curtailment of airborne operations, with the result that now there were no serious shortages.

In fact, not all of the resources made available to FEAF for airborne operations would be required. During the summer of 1944 the AAF was organizing, on the basis of experience gained in Burma, t two air commando groups and two combat cargo groups, to which were to be added engineer companies, airdrome squadrons, service groups, an aerial resupply depot, and an air depot group. These units were intended for CBI, but Giles on 18 June wrote Kenney of Arnold's fear that circumstances there would "deny them the bold and imaginative employment required" and invited Kenney to submit a competitive plan. Kenney characteristically replied, with no loss of time, that this was "right down our alley." He was eager to get the P-51's as replacement for his P-40's and recommended only the substitution of additional service groups in place of the air depot group, a change which would assure greater mobility. Kenney, who long had depended upon waterborne supplies, responded enthusiastically to the central idea of the commando group, which was a self-sufficient organization, logistically and otherwise. "Boats are all right in their place," he concluded, "but the Navy fights a different war and the Air Force here would like nothing better than to rely solely on air transportation."

While in the theater during August 1944, both Giles and Hull recommended that all of these groups intended for CBI be assigned to FEAF, but the JCS were unwilling to make a definite decision until OCTAGON. There, in view of the decision to bypass Mindanao, they decided to divide the groups between SWPA and the CBI; a promise that all possible steps would be taken to meet SWPA's remaining requirements for transports and P-51's was added. The 3d Air Commando Group, including its ten subordinate units, arrived at Leyte on 1 December and was immediately assigned to V Fighter Command. Though its P-51's did not arrive until 7 January 1945, it began combat flights next day. A few C-46's and crews of the 2d Combat Cargo Group had arrived during November, but the ground echelons did not reach Biak until the next month. Even then, initiation of full-scale operations was hindered by a lack of spare parts, engines, and full organizational equipment. The group was assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Wing, except for one C-46 squadron which was detailed temporarily to the new 5298th Troop Carrier Wing (P) for rear area operations. The 10 glider sections of 340 officers and 490 enlisted men requested for airborne operations in the Philippines arrived at Biak during November, where, organized into the 1st Glider Group (P), they were assigned to the 54th Troop Carrier Wing to await employment. Most of the men and their gliders would be transferred back to the U.S. in the summer of 1945. (link)

Price: $250.00 $199.50

Product Code: PatchAAF.0001.1stProvisionalGliderGroup.5AF
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