374TH TRANSPORT GROUP
USAAF - 5TH AIR FORCE
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

 

- 6th Troop Carrier Squadron

- 21st Troop Carrier Squadron

- 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron

- 33rd Troop Carrier Squadron

 

The 21st Transport Squadron and the 22 Transport Squadron were redesignated as the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron and 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron. These two squadrons along with the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron and the 33rd Troop Carrier Squadron formed the 374th Troop Carrier Group under the command of Lt. Colonel Erickson Nichols. He was replaced by Colonel Paul H. Prentiss in December 1942 when Nichols returned to the USA.

The 21st Transport Squadron was activated at Archerfield airfield, Brisbane on 3 April 1942. The 21st Transport Squadron was redesignated the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron on 26 July 1942.  

On 15 May 1942, an ex Dutch DC-3 was handed over to United States Army Air Force as C-49H "11944". It was assigned the radio call-sign VH-CXE. Used mainly on troop flights to and from New Guinea under control of the Directorate of Air Transport (DAT). This aircraft is now located at the Queensland Air Museum, at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast in south east Queensland.

The 54th Troop Carrier Wing of the 5th Air Force was formed from the 374th Troop Carrier Group on 13 May 1943.

On 14 February 1942, a C-47 Dakota of the 374th Transport Group was wrecked when a Liberator landed on top of it at Ward's airfield in Port Moresby.

 

C-53 shot down by Japanese aircraft
at Bathurst Island on 4 February 1942

 

C-53 destroyed on the ground during
a Japanese air raid at Bathurst Island on 19 February 1942

 

Crash landing of a C-53
at Drysdale Mission on 28 February 1942

 

Crash of a C-39 of the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron
at Alice Springs on 25 May 1942

 

Crash of a DC-2 of the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron
at Charters Towers on 23 June 1942

 

Ditching of a C-47 about 30 miles from coast
between Cooktown and Cairns in July 1942

 

Crash of an aircraft of the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron
out of Essendon Airport, Melbourne on 14 July 1942

 

Crash of a C-56 of the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron
at Archerfield airfield on 11 October 1942

 

Ditching of a Douglas C-50 between Townsville
 and Cooktown on 12 November 1942

 

Crash of a C-47A Dakota of the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron
on Rewan Station south of Springsure on 16 November 1942

 

Crash of a B-25 Mitchell between Port Moresby
and Charters Towers  on 31 December 1942
2 members of the 22nd TC Sqn killed
and 3 members of the 3rd BG killed plus 2 others

 

Crash of an aircraft of the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron
at Cloncurry on 19 October 1943

 

Collision between a C-47 Dakota and a B-24 Liberator
at Cloncurry on 13 November 1943

 

Crash of a C-47 Dakota "Star Duster" of the
374th Troop Carrier Group crashed in the Monto area,
65 miles west of Bundaberg on 21 November 1943

 

Crash of a C-47 Dakota of the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron
on 19 December 1943
approx. 30 miles north of Rockhampton

 

Crash of a C-47A Dakota of the 6th Troop Carrier Squadron
on 11 June 1944 at Cooktown

 

On 1 April 1944, the 33d Troop Carrier Squadron, 374th Troop Carrier Group, moved from Garbutt Field, Townsville to Port Moresby with their C-47s.

In May 1944, the Headquarters of the 374th Troop Carrier Group was located in the Garbutt Field & Project Two Area under the command of Lt. Col. F.M. Adams.

On Friday 1 September 1944, Headquarters of the 374th Troop Carrier Group moved from Townsville, Australia to Nadzab.

 

BATTLE HONOURS

The 374th Troop Carrier Group, taking part in the Papuan campaign, New Guinea, from 19 September 1942 until 22 December 1942, flew an average of 100 tons of supplies daily to troops in forward areas and daily evacuated casualties. Using various types of unarmed aircraft, the 374th successfully accomplished its assigned mission in the face of attack by Japanese warplanes, including the transport to battle areas of several thousand troops. (Also cited as a unit of the U.S. Papuan Forces.)

 


 

Subject:    B-17C crash at Bakers Creek - 14/6/43
Date:             Fri, 11 Aug 2000 20:42:38 EDT
From:           Del Sparrowe (Sonomadel@aol.com)

I just found the story you put on the internet about the B-17C that crashed at Bakers Creek near Mackay, Aust. I was one of the assistant crew chiefs assigned to that plane. I just missed that fatal flight as S/Sgt Dale Curtis and I flipped a coin to see who would be taking the flight. I just returned from a trip to Australia. I was in attendance at this year's Bakers Creek Memorial Ceremony, June 4th.

During the past nine months, I have become re-acquainted with the time I spent working and flying on #40-2072. These are some of the things that I remember:

In December 1942 the 317th Troop Carrier Group received orders to ship overseas and were issued all new C-47s. Upon arrival at Townsville the 317th traded planes with the 374th Troop Carrier Group as it was being stationed in the Port Moresby area.

The 46th T. C. Sqdn. was left with, you might say, a "hodgepodge" of aircraft. Old DC3 converted airliners, a Dutch Lockheed Lodestar, an LB-30 and the B-17C. The B-17C came with a pilot, Captain Slingsby, and a crew chief, S/Sgt Frank Welchel. At one time the plane may have been named "Pamela", but I believe Capt. Slingsby renamed it "Miss E.M.F." (Every Morning Fix'n"). When we first got the 17, we were stationed in Townsville and for every eight hours of flight we spent almost eight to ten hours on maintenance. I'm not sure if the plane was in that bad a condition or we were rather inexperienced. Perhaps a little bit of both although we soon the ins and out of the B17 and most of it's idiosyncrasies. By the time we were transferred to Mackay, in early March, the plane was running well and only required routine maintenance. Captain Slingsby was, I believe, in his early 40s and had at least 15 years experience as an airline pilot. He left the squadron around the end of May and Lieutenant Gidcumb, who was Slingsby's co-pilot, took over as pilot with Flight Officer Erb as co-pilot.

The plane was grounded toward the end of May for an engine change. The replacement engine was an overhauled engine which "Burned-out" during its test flight. We then received another overhauled engine which also failed. The colonel in command of A. T. C. (Australian Transport Command) then ordered a new engine. Everything checked out perfectly after it was installed. My personal opinion is that the accident was pilot error, and I'm not alone with that. We knew and flew with these pilots and knew their actions.

We believed that instead of making a 90 degree turn to the right for a straight course to New Guinea, they were making a 270 degree turn to the left so that they could buzz the field. This was not an unusual maneuver. Remember, 90 percent of the pilots were under the age of 25 and eighteen months before many were having to beg father to borrow the car and now - - - here they were flying a B-17 and they wanted the world to know it.

This a rather long e-mail but I thought I'd give you my ideas of what went on.

Del Sparrowe
871 Cordilleras Drive
Sonoma, CA. 95476
Delsparr@aol.com or Sonomadel@aol.com

 


 

E-mails from Chris Premo
his father was in the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron

 

E-Mails from William "Tommy" Thompson
of 6th Troop Carrier Squadron

 

E-mails from Ronald L. Tidd
Son of a member of the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron,
374th Transport Group

 

REFERENCE BOOK

AAF - The Official World War II Guide to the Army Air Forces

 

Can anyone help me with more information?

 

I need your help

Copyright

 Peter Dunn 2015

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This page first produced 14 June 1999

This page last updated 10 Oct 2016