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

WWII Patch, AAF, 2nd Air Commandos - Eagle with Tommy Gun, and Fighting Knife

WWII Patch, AAF, 2nd Air Commandos - Eagle with Tommy Gun, and Fighting Knife

Product Information
Air Force Squadron Patch

US AAF  USAAF  Army Air Forces 2nd Air Commandos
US AAF  USAAF  2nd ACG - Air Commando Group
Eagle with Tommy Gun, Helmet, and Fighting Knife
5 1/8 x 6 5/8 inches
 

2nd Air Commando Group
Constituted as 2nd Air Commando Group on 11 Apr 1944 and activated on 22 Apr.
Trained for operations with P-51, C-47, and L-5 aircraft.
Moved to India, Sep-Nov 1944.
Between Nov 1944 and May 1945 the group dropped supplies to Allied troops who were fighting the Japanese in the Chindwin Valley in Burma; moved Chinese troops from Burma to China; transported men, food, ammunition, and construction equipment to Burma; dropped Gurkha paratroops during the assault on Rangoon; provided fighter support for Allied forces crossing the Irrawaddy River in Feb 1945; struck enemy airfields and transportation facilities; escorted bombers to targets in the vicinity of Rangoon; bombed targets in Thailand; and flew reconnaissance missions.
After May 1945 the fighter squadrons were in training; in Jun the group's C-47's were sent to Ledo to move road-building equipment; during Jun-Jul most of its L-5's were turned over to Fourteenth AF.
The group returned to the US during Oct-Nov 1945.
Inactivated on 12 Nov 1945. Disbanded on 8 Oct 1948.

Squadrons.

  • 1st Fighter: 1944-1945.
  • 2nd Fighter: 1944-1945.
  • 127th Liaison: 1944-1945.
  • 155th Liaison: 1944-1945.
  • 156th Liaison: 1944-1945.
  • 317th Troop Carrier: 1944-1945.
Stations.
  • Drew Field, Fla, 22 Apr-28 Sep 1944;
  • Kalaikunda, India, 12 Nov 1944-4 Oct 1945;
  • Camp Kilmer, NJ, 11-12 Nov 1945.
Commanders.
  • Capt L H Couch, 22 Apr 1944;
  • Col Arthur R DeBolt, 1 May 1944;
  • Col Alfred Ball Jr, 15 May 1945-unkn.
Campaigns. India-Burma; Central Burma.
Decorations. None.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986

World War II
The Air Commando Groups were born out of a simple need. That need was to support via light airplanes the evacuation and resupply requirements of British Long Range Penetration (LRP) groups, or Chindits, as they were affectionately called. Carrying the lethal firepower of both bombers and fighters combined with the logistical tentacles of a gamut of transports, gliders, and light aircraft, this organization would reach deep behind enemy lines to do battle.

Formed as the 2d Air Commando Group in Lakeland, Florida on 22 April 1944 and sent to India under Colonel Arthur DeBolt. The unit served in the China-Burma-India Theatre of operations with the fighter units flying missions over Bangkok, Thailand. Following the collapse of the Japanese in Burma, the 2nd Air Commando Group was sent to Okinawa to prepare for the invasion of Japan, but the war ended. The unit was sent to the United States and disbanded on 12 November 1945.[1]

The group trained for operations with North American O-47s, P-51 Mustangs, C-47 Skytrains and L-5 Sentinel aircraft as part of Third Air Force and trained at the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics in Florida. Moved to India, October–December 1944: the troop carrier squadron flew their C-47s to India, arriving by late Oct; a group advanced echelon arrived mid-Nov; and the majority of the group arrived mid-Dec.

Moved to India, September–November 1944 assigned to Tenth Air Force. Between November 1944 and May 1945 the group dropped supplies to Allied troops who were fighting the Japanese in the Chindwin Valley in Burma; moved Chinese troops from Burma to China; transported men, food, ammunition, and construction equipment to Burma; dropped Gurka paratroops during the assault on Rangoon; provided fighter support for Allied forces crossing the Irrawaddy River in February 1945; struck enemy airfields and transportation facilities; escorted bombers to targets in the vicinity of Rangoon; bombed targets in Thailand; and flew reconnaissance missions.

After May 1945 the fighter squadrons were in training; in Jun the group's C-47's were sent to Ledo to move road-building equipment; during June— July most of its L-5's were turned over to Fourteenth Air Force. The group returned to the US during October–November 1945.

Air Commandos Against Japan: Allied Special Operations in World War II Burma by William T. Y'Blood - Amazon
In 1943 the U.S. Army Air Forces created what would become the Air Commandos, a unit that marked a milestone in tactical operations in support of British ground forces invading Burma. William T. Y'Blood tells the story of how these daring American aviators trained and went into combat using unconventional hit-and-run tactics to confuse the enemy and destroy their lines of communication and supply. The force comprised light planes to evacuate wounded, transports to move heavy cargo, fighters, bombers, gliders, helicopters, and more than five hundred men. The book describes how this top secret force successfully attacked the enemy from the air, resupplied British commandos on the ground, and airlifted the wounded out of the battle area--eventually driving the Japanese out of Burma.

In late 1943, the 1st Air Commando Group of the U.S. Army Air Forces -- a composite unit with fighters, bombers, transports, gliders, reconnaissance aircraft, light planes for air evacuation of the wounded, and later the first military helicopters -- arrived in India. Colonels John R. Alison and Philip G. Cochran had the personal support of General Hap Arnold in taking this unorthodox unit into combat. This book -- skillfully blending the threads of strategy, tactics, command, organization, operations, missions, personalities, and flying tales -- tells the story. The main characters are British officer Ored C. Wingate who developed the concept of Long-Range Penetration Groups, (LRPGs), General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, Commander of the U. S. Air Forces, who wanted to use the air force like navy ships and stage an aerial invasion of Burma and two innovative, "Go For Broke" U. S. Army Air Force pilots, Lt. Colonel Philip G. Cochran and Lt. Col. John R. Alison who were told by Arnold "To hell with paperwork! Go out and fight!"

The Group's most celebrated day was March 5, 1944, when they carried the British and Indian Army "Chindits" under Brigadier General Orde Wingate into combat, dropping the gliders onto "Broadway" behind enemy lines in central Burma. (To "see" some of that story, watch the famous Army documentary film "Stilwell Road.") The Air Commandos supplied British, Indian, American, and Chinese troops by air as they drove back the Japanese; their fighters and bombers took the fight all over the theatre. The most notable mission of the 2nd Air Commando Group, which arrived at the end of 1944, was a spectacular raid on the Japanese Air Force at Don Muang Airfield, Thailand, on April 9, 1945.  The DUC mission to Don Muang (now Bangkok Airport) took off from Cox's Bazar which was part of a complex of around 20 RAF airfields , mostly fighters. List of Planes & Personnel.  The air claims were Oscars by Chase and Dixon and a Sally shared by Buxton and Holman. Modine was shot down by flak.

The Air Commandos of World War II were the forebears of today's Air Force Special Operations Forces. To write this history, author William T. Y'Blood drew on unit records and histories, official publications, memoirs, and oral history interviews with participants. Although the book focuses on the 1st and 2nd Air Commando Groups in Burma, a final chapter on the 3rd Air Commando Group in the Philippines rounds out the book.

Beyond writing out the main narrative, the author wrestled with why the Air Commando concept did not take hold in the USAAF and the USAF after the war. The composite units working with ground commanders crossed too many organizational and doctrinal lines. Theatre commanders were always tempted to peel off fighters or bombers or transports to perform this or that high-priority mission, diminishing the synergy of the composite group, he concluded.

The full history of World War II in the China-Burma-India theatre is still to be written. While American and British records have been open, Japanese materials have not been fully exploited, and historians had no or restricted access to Chinese records for decades. But William T. Y'Blood's final book (completed by Jack Neufeld after Y'Blood's death) now forms a solid building block. It will assure recognition of the Air Commandos in any history of the War, and it will give Alison and Cochran a secure place among the Air Force's great commanders.

see also:
Major General Levi R. Chase
Commando Air Aces

Price: $300.00 $249.50


Product Code: PatchAAF.0002.2AirCommandos
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