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|I Troop Carrier Command|
Emblem of the I Troop Carrier Command
|Branch||United States Army Air Forces|
|Type||Troop carrier training|
|Garrison/HQ||Stout AAF, Indiana|
|Engagements||World War II|
Its primary mission was theater troop and logistics transport training. Equipped largely with C-47 Skytrain and later C-46 Commando aircraft, its wings acted as a specialized training organization in the United States during the first part of World War II. Its component groups were then reassigned to the numbered air forces deployed overseas, while I TCC continued to coordinate training activities with AAF Training Command (which supplied the crews), the numbered air forces in the Continental United States (which conducted unit training), and Army Ground Forces training agencies. As a result of the Army Air Forces reorganization after World War II, the troop carrier training mission was reassigned to the new major commands, and the I Troop Carrier Command was inactivated on 4 November 1945.
The US Army Air Forces troop carrier mission officially came into existence on 30 April 1942 when the 50th Transport Wing, a unit that had activated at Wright Field, Ohio January 14, 1941, transferred out of the Air Service Command into a new unit named the Air Transport Command.
Originally assigned to the Air Corps Maintenance Command, which became the Air Service Command on 17 October 1941, the wing's primary mission was to transport aircraft parts and other technical supplies from the Air Corps depot at Wright Field to air bases throughout the United States and as far north as Alaska and as far south as the Canal Zone.
When the Army began developing airborne forces, the 50th Transport Wing was given responsibility for providing aircraft and crews to transport the fledgling paratroopers to their drop zones. The Air Transport Command designation was short-lived. The Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, Mr. Lawrence J. Pogue, was pressing the White House to form a government airline to transport military cargo. In response to the pressure from the CAB, Army Air Forces chief General Henry H. Arnold decided to elevate the Air Corps Ferrying Command to become a major command with the missions of coordinating military contracts with the commercial airlines, ferrying combat and training aircraft from the factories to operational units, and strategic transportation of critical war materiel. The designation "Air Transport Command" was applied to the successor of the Ferrying Command on 20 June 1942 and the troop carrier training organization was redesignated as I Troop Carrier Command.
The 50th Transport Wing became the 50th Troop Carrier Wing and its subordinate units were redesignated as troop carrier groups. Included in the reorganization were two squadrons that were already active in combat operations in the Southwest Pacific, the 21st and 22nd Air Transport Squadrons, which had been activated in February and were operating as part of the Air Transport Command of the Far East Air Force in Australia.
With the activation of the I Troop Carrier Command, the Army Air Forces established the troop carrier mission as one of the four combat missions of the Army Air Forces - bombardment, pursuit or fighter, reconnaissance and troop carrier. Twenty-eight troop carrier groups were activated for training and combat service overseas. In 1944 four additional groups, designated "combat cargo groups," were activated with a similar mission but with fewer support personnel and crews not trained for paratroop operations.
Troop carrier squadrons were formed for assignment to three composite ("air commando") groups in the war against Japan. Two were established to support British special troops in Burma and the third assigned to the Fifth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific.