375TH TROOP CARRIER GROUP
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2

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visits since 8 November 2004

 

               - Headquarters Squadron   
               - 55th Troop Carrier Squadron
               - 56th Troop Carrier Squadron
               - 57th Troop Carrier Squadron
               - 58th Troop Carrier Squadron

The 375th Troop Carrier Group was constituted at Bowman Field, Ky, USA on 12 November 1942 and activated on 18 November1942 under the command of Colonel Joel G. Pitts. They trained using C-47 Dakota's in readiness for posting overseas. They moved to the Southwest Pacific Area in June - July 1943. Headquarters Squadron of the 375th Troop Carrier Group arrived in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia on 13 July 1943. They were assigned to the Fifth Air Force.

Headquarters Squadron moved to Port Moresby in New Guinea on 31 July 1943. The 375th operated from New Guinea and Biak from 31 July 1943 until February 1945. They transported men, supplies and equipment to forward bases on New Guinea and New Britain and in the Solomon and Admiralty Islands. They used armed B-17 Flying Fortresses for the more dangerous missions. This sometimes involved landing on airfields that were under enemy fire.

On 5 September 1943, the 375th took part in the first airborne paratroop assault in the Southwest Pacific Area at Nadzab, in New Guinea. HQ 375th TCG moved from Port Moresby to Nadzab on 22 April 1944.

Lt Col Maurice W Wiley took over as the Commanding Officer of the 375th on 25 December 1944. He was followed by Lt Col John L Ames Jr in August 1945. A short time later Lt Col Benjamin C King took over as Commanding Officer in September 1945, again followed a short time later by Col Marshall S Roth, in October 1945.

 

55th Troop Carrier Squadron

The 55th Troop Carrier Squadron was constituted on 12 November 1942 and activated at Bowman Field, KY, USA on 18 November 1942. The 55th Troop Carrier Squadron was assigned to the 375th Troop Carrier Group, and operated C-47 Dakota aircraft from 1942 to 1945), B-17 Flying Fortresses in 1944 and C-46's from 1944 to 1946. 

The 55th Troop Carrier Squadron took part in the airborne paratroop assault on Nadzab, in New Guinea, on 5 September 1943. 

The 55th provided aerial transportation and operated from:- 

 

56th Troop Carrier Squadron

56th Troop Carrier Squadron was constituted on 12 November 1942. It was activated on 18 November 1942 at Bowman Field, KY. The 56th Troop Carrier Squadron was assigned to the 375th Troop Carrier Group, and operated C-47 Dakota aircraft from 1942 to 1945), B-17 Flying Fortresses in 1944 and C-46's from 1944 to 1946. 

The 56th provided aerial transportation and operated from:- 

The 56th Troop Carrier Squadron took part in the airborne paratroop assault on Nadzab, in New Guinea, on 5 September 1943. 

The squadron inactivated on 25 March 1946 at Tachikawa, Japan.

 

57th Troop Carrier Squadron

The 57th Troop Carrier Squadron was constituted on 12 November 1942 and activated at Bowman Field, KY, USA on 18 November 1942. The 57th Troop Carrier Squadron was assigned to the 375th Troop Carrier Group, and operated C-47 Dakota aircraft from 1942 to 1945), B-17 Flying Fortresses in 1944 and C-46's from 1944 to 1946. 

The 57th Troop Carrier Squadron took part in the airborne paratroop assault on Nadzab, in New Guinea, on 5 September 1943. 

The 57th provided aerial transportation and operated from:- 

 

58th Troop Carrier Squadron

The 58th Troop Carrier Squadron was constituted on 12 November 1942 and activated at Bowman Field, KY, USA on 18 November 1942. The 58th Troop Carrier Squadron was assigned to the 375th Troop Carrier Group, and operated C-47 Dakota aircraft from 1942 to 1945), B-17 Flying Fortresses in 1944 and C-46's from 1944 to 1946. 

The 58th Troop Carrier Squadron took part in the airborne paratroop assault on Nadzab, in New Guinea, on 5 September 1943. 

The 58th provided aerial transportation and operated from:- 

Jim Moffett was advised by a former glider with the 375th Troop Carrier Group, 58th Troop Carrier Squadron that he flew several CG-4A Gliders to Dobodura. He recalls that they were to be used in the Nadzab invasion and that the gliders were actually loaded the night before as he had helped to load them up. At the last minute, the use of gliders was cancelled and the invasion was to be a paratrooper only operation and the gliders were not used. The gliders eventually rotted away in the humidity.

Two CG-4A gliders assembled by the 81st Air Depot Group in front of
Hangar No. 4 at Eagle Farm airfield in August 1943
(Photo via Jim Moffett)

 

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This page first produced 8 November 2004

This page last updated 09 November 2004