27th TROOP CARRIER SQUADRON



Source:  27th Troop Carrier Squadron

The twenty seventh troop carrier squadron was constituted as the twenty seventh troop transport squadron on the 19th of January 1942, activated at Daniel Field Augusta, Georgia 24th of February 1942 redesignated as the 27th Troop Carrier Squadron 24th of July 1942 and deactivated in China on the 27th of December 1945.

In a rare general order, the Army Air Force Combat Command created the 89th Transport group consisting of five squadrons while normal policy called for a group to consist of four.  The 27th's life with the 89th was short lived, as the squadron was transferred out and sent on through most of its glorious career as a unique singular unit.  It was to carry out missions never before assigned in such broad scope to any unit of the troop carrier command.

Its early responsibilities were that as a training unit for squadrons and personnel, with graduates going on to all corners of the globe, carrying out their assignments with high valor to advance the efforts to rid the world of the axis and Japanese aggressors.  The squadron earned the honor of being rated the number one training unit in the first carrier command.  Twice alerted for overseas duty, their orders were aborted by high command in Washington, with the reasoning being that it was far too valuable as a training unit in the United States.

In late 1943 Japan invaded, India with the British and Indian forces having a most difficult time of it.  Allied forces submitted an urgent request to high command requesting the 27th's assignment to the theatre, due to its outstanding record of night flying in all types of weather and over all terrain.  The squadron had been assigned to the tactical air command on 29th November, only to once again see orders aborted by high command on the 30th, with new cut sending the unit overseas immediately.  A change in commanders was made on the 6th December, and additional personnel brought into bring the squadron up to full strength.  Its air echelon flew to Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana to accept thirteen new Douglas C47 aircraft then on to Morrison Field, Florida where a fourteenth aircraft and crew joined the flight.  The formation departed Florida on 25th December 1943, flying the southern Atlantic route for assignment to the China - Burma - India theatre, arriving in Karachi, India on 10th January 1944.

Assigned to the Southeast Command, under the command of Vice Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, the unit flew on to Sylhet, Assam, India.  Immediately they began flying combat missions around the clock, over and behind enemy lines giving assistance to the surrounded forces - often landing on grass strips behind the lines to evacuate wounded personnel.  The ground echelon departed the United States on 13th January 1944, joining the operation on 28th March.

With the defeat of the Japanese at Imphal, India, the squadron immediately began flying support to help rid North Burma of enemy control.  From Northeast India, General Stilwell (with Chinese forces) and Major General Orde Wingate (and his beloved "Chindits") entered Burma with two columns each driving to the South and Southeast.  This was followed with the famed "Merrill's Marauders" (American forces) entering the country at the same point, driving towards the industrial and rail center of Myitkyina.

In August 1943 at the "Quadrant Conference" in Quebec, Canada, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Marshall Stalin; gave a green light to General Orde Wingate and his dream of a long range penetration invasion behind enemy lines.  The entire operation, including the furnishing of supplies and evacuation of wounded, being carried out from the air.  The maneuver was to be used in the invasion of Burma from central east India.  The 27th was assigned, along with the First Air Commando, to partake in this invasion entitled "Operation Thursday".  The flights, towing at times two gliders each over the mountains, were made in the middle of the night in extreme weather.  The invasion called for airstrips, often surrounded by Japanese forces, to be established in the middle of the jungles to facilitate air support short landings.

The taking of Myitkyina by the allied forces saw the 27th transferred into the 14th Air Force "Flying Tigers" in China, under the direct command of Major General Claire Chennault.  The squadron at once partook in the "Salween Campaign" - the invasion of Burma from west China.

With the opening of north Burma by the Allied forces, the squadron turned its efforts to the Eastern China offensive operations.  During this period of history it gave support to the O.S.S.  (forerunner of the CIA) and "Saco" in their guerilla activities at and behind enemy lines, in addition to guerilla units in French Indo China.  The latter was a secret endeavor with much action kept from the press and the public.

The squadron evacuated Admiral Miles, Commander of "Saco", from a small grass strip behind enemy lines in Southeast China, after the third assignation attempt on his life.  The 27th also liberated General Jonathan Wainwright from behind enemy lines in Manchuria, giving him freedom after over three years in five Japanese prison camps.

In the final days of the war in China, the squadron was directly under the operational orders of the O.S.S., through the headquarters command of the 10th Air Force.  They flew covert and search missions behind enemy lines in Manchuria, China and French Indo China.

Assignments:

1 Feb 1942Third Air Force - 89th Transport Group
15 Jun 1942Third Air Force – 10th Transport Group
30 Apr 1942First Air Transport Command – Third Air Force – 10th Transport Group
1 Jul 1942First Air Transport Command – Redesignated First Troop Carrier Command
2 Jul 1942Tenth Transport Group - Redesignated Tenth Troop Carrier Group
29 Nov 1943First Troop Carrier Command
12 Jan 1944Far Eastern Air Command
6 Mar 1944Tenth Air Force – 443d Troop Carrier Group
21 Mar 1944Fourteenth Air Force "Flying Tigers" – 69th Composite Wing
24 Aug 1945Tenth Air Force – Operational and Administrative Control

(Notes: The 27th Troop Carrier Squadron was attached to the 62nd Transport Group whilst stationed at Kellog Field, Michigan.  The squadron operated from several satellite bases while stationed in China including in part: Chanyi, Chengtu, Chihkiang, Kunming, Luliang, Mangshit, Mengtze, Nanning, Paoshan, Peishiyi and Tengchung.)

"Flying Taxi": The Special Service Division, U.S. Army Air Forces, gave official approval of the "Flying Taxi" for marking of the aircraft of the Twenty Seventh Troop Carrier Squadron on 25th February 1943, per authority contained in AG letter 400.  161 OB-S-A 7 December 1942 subject "Army Air Forces Organizational Designs.

Over and through a light blue disc, border red, piped white, a black and white checkered taxicab, winged gold, resting on a white cloud, formation in base, as per record drawing 28655 A.C

"Hump T Dump":  On a argent and blue disc bordered red, argent and blue, a cartoon character depicting "HUMPTY DUMPTY" argent, riding a parachute with mountain tops in the background.  The parachute is red, blue add argent, repeated blue and red.  The lower portion of the parachute is laced with Chinese, Burmese and Indian characters depicting the name of each country.  The design contains the unit motto "HUMP T DUMPS", depicting flying over the "Hump" and "Dumping" their cargo.

The "Flying Taxi" insignia was used by the squadron from its inception through its arrival overseas.  Interviews with former troopers confirms that the design was drawn by a member of the squadron, a former employee of the Walt Disney organization, name unknown.

The "Flying Taxi" was again placed into service with the assignment of Major James H. S. Rasmussen, as commander of the Twenty Seventh in its later days of the war in China.

The "Hump T Dump" patch was designed by S/Sgt. Earl J. Hohlmayer, per the request of Major Lewis C. Burwell, Jr., commander of the unit at the time.  It was his desire to have an insignia more closely related to the squadron's efforts in the China-Burma-India Theater.  Sergeant Hohlmayer was serving in the Twenty Seventh as a parachute rigger.

Although never submitted to the Special Service Division of the United States Army Air Forces for approval, it did receive the endorsement of the Tenth and Fourteenth Air Force high commands.  The rocker at the bottom of the design, carrying the Twenty Seventh's name, was added in the post war years.  The design in its entirety was adopted by former members of the squadron assembled, by unanimous vote, in the post war years.


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