The 434th Troop Carrier Group took part in the D-Day landings, Operation Market Garden, the battle of the Bulge and the crossing of the Rhine.
The group was activated in the US in February 1943 and moved to the UK in October 1943, initially as part of the Eighth Air Force. On 16 October 1943, only a few days after arriving, the group moved from the Eighth Air Force to the newly formed Ninth Air Force, the USAAF tactical air force being created to support the D-Day landings.
The group spent the next seven months training with the 101st Airborne Division. On D-Day the group towed gliders to Normandy, taking part in both the first wave of attacks and in the reinforcement missions later on 6 June and on 7 June. The group was awarded both a Distinguished Unit Citation and a Croix de Guerre with Palm for its efforts in Normandy.
In July 1944 the group carried reinforcements to the troops fighting at St Lo, to support the American breakout from Normandy.
In August 1944 the group flew supplies to the US Third Army during the rapid advance across France.
In December 1944 the group dropped supplies into the besieged city of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
The group dropped paratroops during the initial stage of Operation Market Garden, then flew reinforcements and supplies into the battle (17-25 September 1944).
On 24 March 1945 the group took part in the crossing of the Rhine, dropping paratroops on the eastern side of the river.
Between these major operations the group flew regular transport sorties, flying supplies to Europe and evacuating the wounded.
After the German surrender the group was used to fly fuel to the Allied forces in Germany and flew POWs back to bases in France and Holland.
The group returned to the US in July-August 1945 and was inactivated on 31 July 1946.
1943-1945: Douglas C-47 Skytrain
1945-1946: Curtiss C-46 Commando
|30 Jan 1943||Constituted as 434th Troop Carrier Group|
|9 Feb 1943||Activated|
|Oct 1943||To England and Ninth Air Force|
|Jul-Aug 1945||To United States|
|31 July 1946||Inactivated|
Maj Edward F Cullerton: 9 Feb 1943
Lt Col Fred D Stevers: 18 Aug 1943
Col William B Whitacre: 29 Nov 1943
Lt Col Ben A Garland: 17 Dec 1944
Lt Col Frank W Hansley: 15 Sep 1945
Col Adriel N Williams: 1 Oct 1945- 31 Jul 1946.
Alliance AAFld, Neb: 9 Feb
Baer Field, Ind: 5 Sep-Oct 1943
Fulbeck, England: 7 Oct 1943
Welford Park, England: 10 Dec 1943
Aldermaston, England: 3 Mar 1944-12 Feb 1945
Mourmelon- le-Grand, France:, Feb- 24 Jul 1945
Baer Field, Ind: 4 Aug 1945
Alliance AAFld, Neb: 15 Sep 1945
George Field, Ill: 1 Oct 1945
Greenville AAB, SC: 2 Feb-31 Jul 1946.
1943: 53rd Troop Carrier Wing; US based
to 16 October 1943: 50th Troop Carrier Wing; Eighth Air Force
16 October 1943-1944: 50th Troop Carrier Wing; Ninth Air Force
1944-45: 53rd Troop Carrier Wing; IX Troop Carrier Command; Ninth Air Force
1945-46: 52nd Troop Carrier Wing