18th Tactical Airlift Squadron
The 18th Troop Carrier Squadron was activated at Dyess AFB, TX as part of
the 64th Troop Carrier Wing on 8 January 1962, equipped with the C-130A. On December, 31 1962, the 64 TCW inactivated and control was transferred to the 516 TCW. On 30 June 1963 18 TCS moved to the 314 TCW at Sewart AFB, TN.
April of 1965 they were transferred for the last time to the 317 TCW at
Lockbourne AFB, OH until inactivation on 25 June 1967.
MORE HISTORY OF THE 64TH TROOP CARRIER GROUP
JUNE 1942 - JUNE 1945
Compiled by Roger Coleson, September 1987
Additions as Noted*
The 64th was activated as a Transport Group in December of 1940 and was
moved from the west coast to Westover Field, Massachusetts during the first part of June 1942. The Group, at that time, consisted of the 16th, 17th, and 18th squadrons with the 35th joining the 64th on the 7th of June.
* It all began with the 64th Transport Group at Duncan Field on December 6,
1940. Group Headquarters moved to March Field July 1, 1941. The 16th to
Portland, Oregon, the 17th to Hamilton Field, and the 18th to March Field.
On June 3, 1942, the Group was re-designated as the 64th Troop Carrier Group and moved to Westover Field and then to Barnes Airport at Westover,
Massachusetts. The 35th joined the group at Westover after having been
formed at Middleton Air Depot, Pennsylvania. (Additional comment courtesy of Bob Bramble)
The air crew cadres from these four squadrons were augmented with an
estimated group of about 50 pilots from class 42-E which had just graduated
in May, 1942. The Group was soon re-designated as the 64th Troop Carrier
Group, which meant that its primary function would be to transport
paratroopers and tow gliders in airborne operations. The primary airplane
assigned to the Group was the C-47, which was the military version of the
DC-3 used in commercial aviation. Extensive training was conducted in the
next several weeks at Westover Field (Chicopee, MA) and nearby Westfield
(Barnes Municipal Airport). The first paratrooper drop, for some airplanes
in the Group, was conducted later in June staging out of Pope Field, North
Carolina, and dropping at Fort Jackson, North Carolina. We believe that
officials which observed this paratrooper drop included President Roosevelt, General Arnold and Winston Churchill.
By the end of July 1942, the Group and all squadrons were considered ready
for duty. The ground echelon left Fort Dix by ship during the first part of
August and the air echelon, with an estimated 49 planes, departed about the
same time for England by way of Presque Isle, Maine; Goose Bay, Labrador;
Greenland; Iceland, and Scotland.
Sidenote: The 35th Troop Carrier Squadron departed Westover on August 5th, 1942, enroute to England. The squadron did a RON (Remained Over Night) at Presque Isle, Maine, and departed there on August 7th, arriving at Goose Bay Labrador, on the same day.
The 35th TCS departed Goose Bay on August 9th, 1942, for Bluie-West 1 (BW-1) flying up Tunugdliarfik Fjord to the air base located in Narsarsuaq,
Greenland. After our arrival in England, the squadron officers briefed the
aircrews that, on August 8th, 1942, Second Lieutenant John L. Pere' from
Abbeville, Louisiana, and Second Lieutenant Arthur Schalamon from Ohio, went hiking along the shoreline of the ocean near Goose Bay and disappeared. As I recall, the terrain in the area was a relatively flat sandy plateau and nothing like the mountains of Greenland.
Later on, I was the Commanding Officer of the 35th TCS and had access to
records such as this incident. These records showed that no further
information was ever obtained by anyone in our squadron and, as far as I
know, no other person. The dates cited are from my logbook (Form 5). Roger Coleson, Colonel USAF (Ret.), November 2003.
On the way to England, in August of 1942, we were in Keflavik, Iceland, when a four-engine German Focke Wulf FW-200 Condor reconnaissance bomber tried to bomb us. A P-38 of the 14th Fighter Group shot him down. (Addition by Bob Bramble)
Note: Two Lightning squadrons (the 27th and the 50th) were held over in
Iceland to assist the Curtiss P-40Cs of the 33rd Fighter Squadron in the
flying of defensive patrols over the Atlantic.
On Friday, August 14, 1942, 2nd Lieutenant Joseph D Shaffer from the 33d
Fighter Squadron and flying a P-40C, and 2nd Lieutenant Elza E Shahan from
the 27th Fighter Squadron and flying a P-38F, jointly shoot down an Fw 200
off the coast of Iceland. This is the first aerial victory of the AAF in the
ETO. (Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces)
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