16th TROOP CARRIER SQUADRON



Source:  US Air Force Patches, Mr. Ray Fincham

The history of the 16th Airlift Squadron was constituted on 20 November 1940 as the 16th Transport Squadron, flying C-47's at McClellan Field, California.  On 12 June 1941, the 16th Transport Squadron moved to Westover Field, Massachusetts for 45 days of outfitting for the World War II.

While at Westover field, the 16th Transport Squadron was redesignated the 16th Troop Carrier Squadron.  In August 1942, the squadron moved to Ramsbury, England.  While headquartered at Ramsbury, the squadron operated on detached service out of Maison Blanche, Algeria during November and December 1942.  After that, the unit moved its staff, crews, and aircraft to Kairouan, Algeria, and remained there until June 1943.  As the African war front changed, the 16th moved to Eldjem, Tunisia.

In September 1943, the 16th moved to Comiso, Sicily and went on detached service to India to assist in the re-supply of Brigadier General Merrill and his men, affectionately known as "Merrill's Marauders".  It was during this Ceylon, Burma, India campaign that the squadron received its first Distinguished Unit Citation.  Just prior to "D" Day, part of the 16th left India for Italy to tow gliders into France on "D" Day.  In July 1944, the detached unit was joined by the remainder of the 16th TCS at Ciampino, Italy and as the European Theater closed in on Germany, part of the 16th again went on detached service to Rosignano, Italy, operating re-supply missions to Greek Partisans during September to October 1944.  At the end of the War, the 16th TCS moved as a unit to Wallerfield, Trinidad, where it stayed until being deactivated on 31 July 1945.  On 19 May 1947, the 16th TCS was reactivated at Langley Field, Virginia where it stayed until September 1948.

On 19 September 1950 the squadron was redesignated the 16th Troop Carrier Squadron (Assault, Light), and reactivated 5 October 1950 at Stewart AFB, Tennessee in response to the growing tensions in Korea.  While at Stewart, the squadron flew the C-119, the YC-122 (the predecessor to the C-123), and was the parent organization to an attached flight of H-5 and H-19 helicopters.  The squadron was renamed the 16th Troop Carrier Squadron (Assault, Fixed Wing) and moved to Ardmore AFB, Oklahoma in November 1954, remaining there until July 1955 when it was again deactivated.

The 16th was redesignated the 16th Tactical Airlift Training Squadron on 14 August 1969 and was reactivated six weeks later at Stewart AFB, Tennessee as part of 4442nd CCTW.  Replaced inactivated 4447 CCTS.

It then moved to Little Rock AFB, Arkansas in March 1970 with the 4442 CCTW, flying and conducting initial upgrade training in the C-130 A and E models.  Major command became TAC.  On 1 Aug 1971 the 4442 CCTW inactivated and 16 TATS was reassigned to the 314 TAW.

18 Feb 72: Mid-air collision between 16 TATS C-130E 62-1813 and a T-37 3 nautical miles NE of Little Rock AFB.  All 5 crew killed.  1 Dec 74 the major command became MAC and 1 Dec 91 redesignated AS.  1 Jun 92 major command became AMC.

1 Oct 93: Inactivated and personnel and equipment transferred to 53 AS.  The 76th Airlift Squadron at Charleston AFB, SC was renamed the 16th Airlift Squadron and carries on the proud legacy to this day.


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