315th Operations Group: Wikis


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315th Operations Group
Emblem of the 315th Operations Group
Active 1942-1945; 1947-1948; 1952-1955; 1962-1966; 1992-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
C-17 Globemaster III of the 315th Operations Group
A C-17 Globemaster III from the 14th Airlift Squadron, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies over downtown Charleston, S.C., during a training mission

The 315th Operations Group (315 OG) is a United States Air Force Reserve unit assigned to the 315th Airlift Wing. The unit is stationed at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina.

The 315 OG controls all operational C-17 Globemaster III flying squadrons of the 315 AW.

The unit's World War II predecessor unit, the 315th Troop Carrier Group was a C-47 Skytrain transport unit assigned to Ninth Air Force in Western Europe. The 315 TCG was highly decorated for its combat parachute infantry drops during the Invasion of France (Operation Overlord); the airborne invasion of the Netherlands (Operation Market-Garden); and the airborne crossing of the Rhine River, (Operation Varsity).



  • 315th Operations Support Squadron
  • 300th Airlift Squadron
  • 317th Airlift Squadron
  • 701st Airlift Squadron
  • 315th Airlift Control Flight
  • 315th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron


For additional lineage and history, see: 315th Airlift Wing


  • Established as 315 Transport Group on 2 Feb 1942
Activated on 14 Feb 1942
Redesignated 315 Troop Carrier Group on 4 Jul 1942
Inactivated on 31 Jul 1945
  • Activated on 19 May 1947
Inactivated on 10 Sep 1948
  • Redesignated 315 Troop Carrier Group, Medium, on 23 May 1952
Activated on 10 Jun 1952
Inactivated on 18 Jan 1955
  • Redesignated 315 Troop Carrier Group, Assault, and activated, on 9 Nov 1962
Organized on 8 Dec 1962
Redesignated 315 Air Commando Group, Troop Carrier, on 8 Mar 1965
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 8 Mar 1966
Redesignated: 315 Military Airlift Group on 31 Jul 1985 (Remained inactive)
  • Redesignated: 315 Operations Group on 1 Aug 1992
Activated in the Reserve on 1 Aug 1992


Attached to 1 Fighter Division [Provisional], 30 Aug-15 Oct 1943
Attached to 2d Air Division entire period


  • 6 Transport Squadron: Mar-Jun 1942
  • 19 Troop Carrier (later, 19 Air Commando) Squadron: 10 Jun 1952-18 Jan 1955; 8 Oct 1964-8 Mar 1966
  • 32 Transport (later, 32 Troop Carrier) Squadron: 14 Feb-11 Nov 1942 (detached 27 Sep-11 Nov 1942)
  • 34 Transport (later, 34 Troop Carrier) Squadron: 14 Feb 1942-31 Jul 1945; 19 May 1947-10 Sep 1948; 10 Jun 1952-18 Jan 1955
  • 35 Transport Squadron: 14 Feb-8 Jun 1942
  • 43 Transport (later, 43 Troop Carrier) Squadron: 15 Jun 1942-31 Jul 1945; 19 May 1947-10 Sep 1948; 10 Jun 1952-18 Jan 1955
  • 54 Transport (later, 54 Troop Carrier) Squadron: 11 Jun-22 Oct 1942 (detached)
  • 61 Troop Carrier Squadron: 26 Oct 1942-14 Mar 1943 (detached)
  • 62 Troop Carrier Squadron: 5 Dec 1942-14 Mar 1943 (detached)
  • 300 Airlift: 1 Aug 1992-Presen
  • 309 Troop Carrier (later, 309 Air Commando) Squadron: 26 Apr 1944-31 Jul 1945; 1 Jul 1963-8 Mar 1966
  • 310 Troop Carrier (later, 310 Air Commando): 26 Apr 1944-31 Jul 1945; 8 Jul 1963-8 Mar 1966
  • 311 Troop Carrier (later, 311 Air Commando): 8 Jul 1963-8 Mar 1966
  • 317 Airlift: 1 Aug 1992-Present
  • 344 Troop Carrier: 10 Jun 1952-18 Jan 1955 (detached 14 Dec 1952-13 Oct 1953)
  • 701 Airlift: 1 Aug 1992-Present
  • 707 Airlift: 1 Aug 1992-1 Jul 2000
  • 776 Troop Carrier: 1-8 Jul 1963
  • 777 Troop Carrier: attached 17 Apr-30 Jun 1963, assigned 1-8 Jul 1963
  • Tactical Air Force Transport, Provisional, 2: attached 8 Dec 1962-8 Jul 1963.



  • Primarily C-47, 1942-1945, but included C-60, 1942; C-53, 1942 and 1944-1945; and C-46, 1945. C-46, 1952-1955.
  • Primarily C-123, 1962-1966, but included YC-123, 1963; CV-2, 1963 and 1965-1966; HUC-123, 1964-1965; UC-123, 1965-1966; and C-130, 1965-1966
  • C-141 Starlifter, 1992-c. 2000
  • C-17 Globemaster III, 1993-Present


World War II

After training in the US, moved to England, Oct-Nov 1942, for service with Eighth Air Force. Encountering bad weather while flying the North Atlantic route, the air echelon remained for about a month in Greenland, where it searched for missing aircraft and dropped supplies to downed crews.

After the air and ground echelons were united in Dec, the group began ferrying cargo in the British Isles and training with airborne troops and gliders. In May 1943 a "detachment" comprising almost all the group aircraft, aircrews, and most support personnel, deployed to North Africa to support Twelfth Air Force and other Mediterranean Theater of Operations organizations during the invasions of Sicily and Italy. Although the group did not participate in the airborne phase of the invasions, it did support those operations by transporting supplies in the theater.

In Mar 1944 the detachment returned to England and rejoined the group, which had been reassigned to Ninth Air Force in Oct 1943. Prepared for the invasion of the Continent, and dropped paratroops near Cherbourg early on 6 Jun 1944, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for its action in the Normandy invasion.

Dropped paratroops of the 82d Airborne Division on 17 Sep 1944 when the Allies launched the air attack on Holland; flew reinforcement missions on succeeding days, landing at Grave on 26 Sep to unload paratroops and supplies. Airlifted gasoline and other critical supplies to Antwerp and Liege during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945.

Released British paratroops near Wesel during the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Following each airborne operation, the group resumed transport activities, hauling cargo and evacuating wounded personnel. Moved to France in Apr 1945.

Transported cargo and evacuated allied former prisoners of war until after V-E Day. Moved to Trinidad in May 1945 and transported troops returning to the US. Inactivated on 31 Jul 1945.

Cold War

Activated in 1947, the group was not manned or equipped, and inactivated again in 1948. Next activated in Japan in 1952, assigned to Far East Forces, for duty during the Korean War. Flew troop and cargo airlift and airdrop, leaflet drops, spray missions, air evacuation, search and rescue, and other aerial missions between Japan and Korea. Remained in the Far East after the war to fly transport missions and paratroop training flights. Flew missions in Japan, Korea, French Indo-China, and other points until Dec 1954. Inactivated in Japan on 18 Jan 1955.

Organized in South Vietnam in Dec 1962, replacing a provisional troop carrier group. Exercised control over USAF airlift resources in Vietnam, using attached squadrons until permanent squadrons were assigned in Jul 1963. Provided combat evaluation of YC-123 aircraft, Feb-Apr 1963. Exercised control of some CV-2 aircraft of US Army, Jul-Dec 1963 and of a CV-2 Royal Australian Air Force detachment, 1965-1966. Gained the Ranch Hand defoliation mission in Jul 1964. Replaced in Mar 1966 by the 315th Air Commando Wing.

Modern era

Activated at Charleston AFB, SC, in the Reserve in Aug 1992 to control the airlift operations of the 315th Airlift Wing. Flew contingency operation, humanitarian airlift missions, and exercises worldwide, 1992-. In 1993, the 315th was the first Air Force Reserve group to fly the C-17 Globemaster III. It took part in the first US-Russian joint military exercise in 1994.


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924
  • Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

External links


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