61st Air Base Group: Wikis


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61st Air Base Group
61st Air Base Group.png
Emblem of the 61st Air Base Group
Active 1940-1945; 1946-1959; 1984-1992; 1994-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Air Force Space Command

The 61st Air Base Group is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 61st Air Base Wing of Air Force Space Command. The unit is stationed at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California.

The 61st Air Base Group operates Los Angeles AFB and supports the Space and Missile Systems Center.

The unit's World War II predecessor unit, the 61st Troop Carrier Group was a C-47 Skytrain transport unit assigned to both Twelfth and Ninth Air Forces in North Africa, Italy and Western Europe. The 61 TCG was highly decorated for its combat parachute infantry drops during the Invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky); Invasion of Italy (Operation Avalanche); Invasion of France (Operation Overlord); the airborne invasion of the Netherlands (Operation Market-Garden); and the airborne crossing of the Rhine River, (Operation Varsity).




For additional history and lineage, see 61st Air Base Wing
  • Established as 61 Transport Group on 20 Nov 1940
Activated on 1 Dec 1940
Redesignated 61 Troop Carrier Group on 4 Jul 1942
Inactivated on 31 Jul 1945
  • Activated on 30 Sep 1946
Redesignated: 61 Troop Carrier Group, Medium, on 1 Jul 1948
Redesignated: 61 Troop Carrier Group, Heavy, on 15 Aug 1948
Inactivated on 8 Oct 1959
  • Redesignated 61 Military Airlift Group, and activated, on 1 Dec 1984
Inactivated on 1 Jun 1992
  • Redesignated 61 Air Base Group on 16 Sep 1994
Activated on 1 Oct 1994.


Attached to: 1 Airlift Task Force, 5-26 Nov 1948
Attached to: Airlift Wing [Provisional], 26 Nov 1948-20 Jan 1949
Attached to: 7497 Airlift Wing, 20 Jan-10 Jul 1949
Attached to: Military Air Transport Service, 21-26 Jul 1950
Attached to: North Pacific Air Transport Wing, Provisional, 26 Jul-24 Aug 1950
Attached to: 1705th Air Transport Wing, 24 Aug-10 Dec 1950
Attached to: Far East Air Force Combat Cargo Command, Provisional, 10 Dec 1950-1 Jan 1951
  • 1705th Air Transport Wing, 1 Jan 1951
Attached to: Far East Air Forces Combat Cargo Command, Provisional, 1-25 Jan 1951
Attached to: 315th Air Division, 25 Jan-1 Oct 1951
Attached to: 315th Air Division, 1 Oct-5 Nov 1951
Attached to: 6122 Air Base Wing, 5 Nov 1951-26 Mar 1952
Attached to: 374th Troop Carrier Wing, 26 Mar-21 Nov 1952
Attached to: 62d Troop Carrier Wing, 21 Nov 1952-25 Aug 1954
Attached to: 63d Troop Carrier Wing, 25 Aug 1954-1 Jul 1957


  • 4 Troop Carrier Squadron: attached 10 Dec 1950-24 Jul 1951
  • 12 Troop Carrier Squadron: attached 30 Sep-15 Oct 1946
  • 13 Transport (later, 13 Troop Carrier) Squadron: 1 Dec 1940-c. 10 Oct 1942
  • 14 Transport (later, 14 Troop Carrier) Squadron: 4 Dec 1940-31 Jul 1945; 30 Sep 1946-8 Oct 1959 (detached c. 5 Dec 1950-26 Mar 1952; 21 Nov-1 Dec 1952; Aug 1956-Mar 1957; Aug-8 Oct 1959)
  • 15 Transport (later, 15 Troop Carrier) Squadron: 4 Dec 1940-31 Jul 1945; 30 Sep 1946-8 Oct 1959 (detached Feb-Aug 1957)
  • 53 Transport (later, 53 Troop Carrier) Squadron: 1 Jun 1942-31 Jul 1945; 30 Sep 1946-8 Oct 1959 (detached 26 Mar-14 Sep 1952; Sep 1958-c. Mar 1959)
  • 59 Troop Carrier Squadron: 23 Oct 1942-31 Jul 1945
  • 310 Military Airlift Squadron: 1 Dec 1984-1 Jun 1992.




The 61st conducted C-47 paratroop missions and trained in glider towing in United States, 1940-1942. Assigned to Twelfth Air Force and moved to North Africa in May 1943.

It flew airborne assault and resupply airdrop missions during the invasions of Sicily and Italy in 1943 and transported cargo and personnel throughout the North African and Mediterranean theaters. The group also flew airborne assault missions during the Normandy invasion and later supported Operation Market Garden in Holland. In 1945 it participated in the airborne assault across the Rhine. Also provided transport services in the European theater, hauling gasoline, ammunition, food, medicine, and other supplies, and evacuating wounded personnel.

Moved to Trinidad in May 1945. Assigned to Air Transport Command. Used C-47's to transport troops returning to the US. Inactivated in Trinidad on 31 Jul 1945

Cold War

Reactivated in Germany on 30 Sep 1946. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Redesignated 61st Troop Carrier Group (Medium) in Jul 1948, and 61st Troop Carrier Group (Heavy) in Aug 1948. In Germany, the group participated in the Berlin Airlift, from June 1948 to May 1949, the group's C-54 aircraft ferried coal, flour, and other cargo into Berlin.

In 1950, the group moved to the United States shortly after the outbreak of the Korean War for duty with Military Air Transport Service. Attached to Far East Air Forces, it flew airlift missions on the Northern Pacific Route from the United States to Japan in support of United Nations forces in Korea before moving to Japan and conducting airlift missions from Japan to Korea from 1950-1952.

Returned to the US in Nov 1952 to join Tactical Air Command, to which the group had been assigned in Oct 1951. Converted from C-54 to C-124 aircraft and carried out worldwide strategic airlift operations from 1952-1959. Inactivated on 8 Oct 1959.

The 61st Military Airlift Group was reactivated at Howard AFB, Panama 1 December 1984. At Howard, the group was the parent unit for the 310th Military Airlift Squadron (310th MAS) with a diverse array of aircraft (C-21A, CT-43A, C-130E/H, C-27A). The C-21 and CT-43 provided VIP airlift support for the Commander-In-Chief, U.S. Southern Command (CINCSOUTH). The C-130s and C-27s flew tactical airlift operations in Central and South America from 1984-1992. The unit was deactivated and it's assets absorbed by the 24th Wing when the 310th's mission was transferred to Air Combat Command on 1 June 1992.

Modern era

The 61 Air Base Group has operated Los Angeles AFB and supported the Space and Missile Systems Center since 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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