403rd Troop Carrier Group (USAAF)

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The 403rd Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) provided cargo and passenger transport services in the south-west Pacific, as well as supporting the campaigns on New Guinea and the Philippines.

The group was activated in the US on 12 December 1942, and moved to the south-west Pacific between July and September 1943, where it joined the Thirteenth Air Force.

For almost a year the group was based at Espiritu Santo, at the eastern end of the Thirteenth Air Force's area of operations. During this period the group ran regular cargo and passenger links to New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and New Caledonia. It was also used to transport Thirteenth AF personnel across the south-west Pacific, playing an important role in keeping the Air Force mobile.

The group also played a more direct role in the New Guinea campaign by flying supplies and reinforcements into the combat zone and evacuating casualties. The group moved forward to Los Negros in the Admiralty Islands in August 1944, then on to recently captured Biak in October 1944, bringing it closer to the front line.

The group supported the invasion of the Philippines from its base at Biak, performing the same tasks as on New Guinea, and also dropping supplies to the sizable guerilla forces fighting on the islands.

In May-June 1945 the group carried out more than fifteen sorties per day to support the troops advancing rapidly across Mindanao. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions in April-June 1945.

The group finally moved to the Philippines in June 1945, where it remained for the rest of the war. After the war the war the group remained part of the Far East Air Forces, soon moving to Clark Field. It was used to evacuate POWs from Japan, and operated long range cargo and passenger links between Japan and Australia.




1942-1946: Douglas C-47 Skytrain


7 December 1942

Constituted as 403rd Troop Carrier Group


Jul-Sept 1943 To South Pacific and Thirteenth Air Force
15 Oct 1946 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Col Harry J Sands Jr: 12 Dec 1942
Lt Col Norton H Van Sicklen: 24 Aug 1945-unkn
Col Audrin R Walker: c. Jun-15 Oct 1946.

Main Bases

Bowman Field, Ky: 12 Dec 1942
Alliance, Neb: 18 Dec 1942
Pope Field, NC: 3 May 1943
Baer Field, Ind: 20 Jun-c. 15 Jul 1943
Espiritu Santo: 15 Sep 1943
Los Negros: 30 Aug 1944
Biak: 4 Oct 1944
Leyte: 25 Jun 1945
Clark Field, Luzon: Jan 1946
Manila, c. Jun-15 Oct 1946.

Component Units

63rd: 1942-1946
64th: 1942-1946
65th: 1942-1946
66th: 1942-1946

Assigned To

1943-1945: Thirteenth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 July 2015), 403rd Troop Carrier Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/403rd_Troop_Carrier_Group.html

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