438th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF)

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The 438th Troop Carrier Group (USAAF) took part in the D-Day landings, the invasion of the South of France, Operation Market Garden and the crossing of the Rhine.

The 438th was one of twelve groups to join the Ninth Air Force direct from the United States in the first half of 1944, moving to Britain in February 1944.

On D-Day the group carried paratroops to Normandy, and then towed gliders carrying reinforcements to the battle later on D-Day and on D+1. The Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in Normandy.

In July a detachment was sent to Italy to take part in Operation Dragoon. Once again it dropped paratroops as part of the initial assault, then towed supplies and reinforcements in gliders. After a brief period acting as a transport unit in Italy the detachment returned to Britain.

In September the group carried supplies to the advancing Third Army, and took part in Operation Market Garden.

In December 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, the group flew supplies into besieged Bastogne.

In February-March 1945 the group moved to France to take part in the crossing of the Rhine. In March it dropped paratroops during the large-scale set-piece crossing of the Rhine.

After the end of the fighting in Europe the group flew POWs out of Germany. It returned to the US in August-September 1945 and was inactivated on 15 November 1945.




1943-45: Douglas C-47 Skytrain


14 May 1943 Constituted as 438th Troop Carrier Group
1 June 1943 Activated
Feb 1944 To England and Ninth Air Force
Aug-Sept 1945 To United States
15 Nov 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)


Main Bases

Baer Field, Ind: 1 Jun 1943
Sedalia AAFld, Mo: c. 11 Jun 1943
Laurinburg- Maxton AAB, NC: Oct 1943
Baer Field, Ind: c. 15-c. 28 Jan 1944
Welfard, England: Feb 1944
Greenham Common, England: Mar 1944
Prosnes, France: Feb 1945
Amiens/Glisy, France: May-c. 3 Aug 1945
Baer Field, Ind: c. 16 Sep 1945
Lawson Field, Ga: c. 1 Oct-15 Nov 1945

Component Units

87th: 1943-45
88th: 1943-45
89th: 1943-45
90th: 1943-45

Assigned To

1943: 53rd Troop Carrier Wing; US based
1944-45: 53rd Troop Carrier Wing; IX Troop Carrier Command; Ninth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (16 September 2015), 438th Troop Carrier Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/438th_Troop_Carrier_Group.html

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