10th Airlift Squadron (United States)

10th Airlift Squadron
10th Airlift Squadron C-17.jpg
10th AS airmen prepare a C-17 Globemaster III for departure from McChord AFB in support of ongoing humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti.
Active1 January 1938 – 6 May 2016
CountryUnited States
Branch United States Air Force
Part ofAir Mobility Command
Garrison/HQMcChord Air Force Base, Washington
EngagementsStreamer ADS.PNG
American Service World War II
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer.jpg
European-African-Middle East Campaign World War II
  • Algeria-French Morocco with Arrowhead
  • Tunisia
  • Sicily
  • Naples-Foggia
  • Anzio
  • Rome-Arno
  • North Apennines
  • Po Valley
DecorationsStreamer PUC Army.PNG
Distinguished Unit Citation: (MTO)
US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2x)
10th Airlift Squadron Emblem10th Airlift Squadron Badge.svg

The 10th Airlift Squadron (10 AS) was part of the 62d Airlift Wing at McChord Air Force Base, Washington. It operated C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission worldwide.


To train and equip C-17 aircrews for global air-land and airdrop operations.[1]


World War II[]

Paratroopers about to board an aircraft of the 10 TCS during World War II

Established as part of the Army Air Corps in January 1938 at Olmsted Field, Pennsylvania but not activated until 1 December 1940. Not equipped or manned. Unit designation transferred to Westover Field, Massachusetts, but not equipped or manned until after the Pearl Harbor Attack. Equipped with C-47 Skytrain transports and trained for combat resupply and casualty evacuation mission.[1]

Was ordered deployed to England, assigned to Eighth Air Force in June 1942. Assigned fuselage code 7D. Performed intro-theater transport flights of personnel, supply and equipment within England during summer and fall of 1942, reassigned to Twelfth Air Force after Operation Torch invasion of North Africa, stationed at Tafaraoui Airfield, Algeria. In combat, performed resupply and evacuation missions across Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia during North African Campaign. During June 1943, the unit began training with gliders in preparation for Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily. It towed gliders to Syracuse, Sicily and dropped paratroopers at Catania during the operation. After moving to Sicily, the squadron airdropped supplies to escaped prisoners of war in Northern Italy in October. Operated from Sicily until December until moving to Italian mainland in December.

Supported Italian Campaign during balance of 1944 supporting partisans in the Balkans. Its unarmed aircraft flew at night over uncharted territory, landing at small unprepared airfields to provide guns, ammunition, clothing, medical supplies, gasoline, and mail to the partisans. It even carried jeeps and mules as cargo. On return trips it evacuated wounded partisans, evadees and escaped prisoners. These operations earned the squadron the Distinguished Unit Citation. It also dropped paratroopers at Megava, Greece in October 1944 and propaganda leaflets in the Balkans in the Merranean Theater of Operations until end of combat in Europe, May 1945.[1]

After hostilities ended, was transferred to Waller Field, Trinidad attached to the Air Transport Command Transported personnel and equipment from Brazil to South Florida along the South Atlantic Air Transport Route. Squadron picked up personnel and equipment in Brazil or bases in Northern South America with final destination being Miami, Boca Raton Army Airfield or Morrison Fields in South Florida.[1]

Occupation and Cold War[]

Was reassigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), September 1946, performing intro-theater cargo flights based at Munich-Riem Airport. Transferred to Kaufbeuren AB when Riem Airport was closed. Was re-equipped with C-54 Skymaster aircraft and deployed to RAF Fassberg during 1948 Berlin Airlift. Flew continuous missions across hostile Soviet Zone of Germany in Berlin Air Corridor, transporting supplies and equipment to airports in West Berlin, 1948–1949. Later operated from Rhein-Main AB and Wiesbaden AB in American Zone of Occupation, later West Germany until blockade ended. Remained as part of USAFE until 1961, being upgraded to C-82 and later C-119 Flying Boxcar transports as part of USAFE 322d Air Division based in West Germany and France. Inactivated as part of downsizing of USAFE bases in France, 1961.[1]

Special airlift[]

Was briefly reactivated in the late 1960s at Chanute AFB, Illinois as a VT-29A VIP transport squadron as part of Tactical Air Command. Conducted airlift tasks in connection with aircraft delivery; in 1970 re-equipped with C-131 Samaritan medical evacuation aircraft. Inactivated September 1970.

European shuttle[]

C-23A over the Rhine Valley

Reassigned to USAFE and reactivated in 1984 with C-23 short-range transports for personnel movements within USAFE. Flew scheduled flights from Zweibrücken, Ramstein and other USAFE bases, replacing C-130 European Shuttle flights. Inactivated March 1991 as part of USAFE drawdown at the end of the Cold War.[1]

Globemaster training[]

Reactivated in 2003 as C-17 aircrew training squadron at McChord AFB, Washington.[1] On September 1, 2011 more than 100 Airmen from the 10th Airlift Squadron returned from a 120-day deployment at an undisclosed Middle East location in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.[2]

In December 2014 the Air Force announced that the 10th would be inactivated by the summer of 2016.[3] For the fifth time in its 76-year history, the 10th Airlift Squadron was inactivated on May 6, 2016.[4]


Activated on 1 December 1940
Redesignated 10th Troop Carrier Squadron on 5 July 1942
Inactivated on 31 July 1945
Redesignated 10th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 1 July 1948
Redesignated 10th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy on 5 November 1948
Redesignated 10th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 16 November 1949
Discontinued and inactivated on 8 January 1961
Activated on 15 October 1969
Inactivated on 30 September 1970
Activated on 15 January 1984
Inactivated on 31 March 1991
Activated on 1 October 2003
Inactivated on 6 May 2016[5]




External links[]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "10th Airlift Squadron Public Page". Archived from the original on 25 October 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
  2. ^ "10th AS returns home". Retrieved 6 April 2020.
  3. ^ http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/20/3551793/jblm-cuts-c-17-squadron-to-close.html
  4. ^ a b c "Airlift squadron's inactivation 'bittersweet'". Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  5. ^ "10th Airlift Squadron lineage and history". Archived from the original on 23 February 2014. Retrieved 12 February 2014.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

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