14th Troop Carrier Squadron

14th Airlift Squadron
A C-17 Globemaster III from Charleston AFB flies over the USS Yorktown and the Ravenel Bridge near Charleston, South Carolina
Active1940–1945; 1946–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Size~172 Members[citation needed]
Part ofAir Mobility Command
Garrison/HQCharleston Air Force Base
Nickname(s)The Pelicans
Motto(s)Once a Pelican ... Always a Pelican![citation needed]
EngagementsMerranean Theater of Operations
Korean War[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
Lt Col Kari J. Fleming (Pelican 01)
Gen Darren W. McDew, Lt Gen Samuel D. Cox, Maj Gen Ricky N. Rupp, Brig Gen Steven A. Roser, Brig Gen Joseph M. Reheiser
14th Airlift Squadron emblem (approved 28 December1942)[1]14 AS.jpg

The 14th Airlift Squadron (The Pelicans) is part of the 437th Airlift Wing at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina. It operates Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircraft supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission worldwide.


The 14th Airlift Squadron "Pelicans" provide combat-ready Boeing C-17A Globemaster III aircrews for worldwide airlift missions supporting Department of Defense and National Command Authority directives. They conduct airdrop and airland operations supporting global contingencies for combatant commanders by projecting and sustaining combat forces directly into theater drop zones and austere airfields. Pelicans perform emergency nuclear airlift, aeromedical evacuation & humanitarian relief missions in the technologically advanced, $262.7M C-17A airlift aircraft in all phases of ground and flight activity.


World War II[]

Activated in December 1940 flying converted Douglas DC-2 transport aircraft as a GHQ Air Force transport squadron. Converted to Douglas C-47 Skytrains in early 1942, trained under I Troop Carrier Command for combat operations. Assigned to Twelfth Air Force and deployed North Africa during May 1943. The squadron's aircraft flew supplies to front-line units in Algeria and Tunisia during the North African Campaign as soon as suitable landing strips were available and evacuated casualties back to rear area field hospitals.

Squadron engaged in combat operations, dropping airborne units into Sicily during Operation Husky and later into areas around Anzio, Italy as part of Operation Shingle, the invasion of mainland Italy and the initiation of the Italian Campaign, January 1944. Moved north though Italy, in 1943 in support of Allied ground forces, evacuated wounded personnel and flew missions behind enemy lines in Italy and the Balkans to haul guns, ammunition, food, clothing, medical supplies, and other materials to the partisans and to drop propaganda leaflets.

Moved to England in February 1944, assigned to IX Troop Carrier Command. Prepared for the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. In June 1944, subordinate units dropped paratroops in Normandy, subsequently flying numerous missions to bring in reinforcements and needed supplies. During the airborne attack on The Netherlands (Operation Market Garden, September 1944), the squadron dropped paratroops, towed gliders, and flew resupply missions. Several of its subordinate units also participated in the invasion of southern France in August 1944. The 50th supported the 101st Airborne Division in the Battle of the Bulge by towing gliders full of supplies near Bastogne on 27 December 1944.

When the Allies made the air assault across the Rhine River in March 1945, each aircraft towed two gliders with troops of the 17th Airborne Division and released them near Wesel. The squadron also hauled food, clothing, medicine, gasoline, ordnance equipment, and other supplies to the front lines and evacuated patients to rear zone hospitals.

In late May 1945, after V-E Day, the squadron was moved to Waller Field, Trinidad and attached to Air Transport Command. From Trinidad, the squadron ferried returning military personnel to Morrison Field, Florida, where they were sent on to other bases or prepared for separation after the war.

Berlin Airlift[]

During the Cold War the 14th was involved in the Berlin Airlift from 1948 to 1949.

Korean War[]

Conducted aerial transport from the U.S. to Japan, August–December 1950, and between Japan and Korea, 16 November 1951 – 1 December 1952.

Strategic airlift[]

Conducted worldwide airlift since 1953, including to Southeast Asia from 1966 to 1973 and supporting military operations in Grenada, October–November 1983, Panama, 18 December 1989 – 8 January 1990, and to Southwest Asia, August 1990 – January 1991.

Operations and Decorations[]

Other operations included:


Activated on 4 December 1940
Re-designated: 14th Troop Carrier Squadron on 4 July 1942
Inactivated on 31 July 1945
Redesignated 14th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 1 July 1948
Redesignated 14th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy on 15 August 1948
Redesignated 14th Military Airlift Squadron on 8 January 1966
Redesignated 14th Airlift Squadron on 1 January 1992[1]






  1. ^ a b c d e f "Factsheet 14 Airlift Squadron". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 3 January 2008. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  2. ^ Station number in Anderson.
  3. ^ Station number in Johnson.
  4. ^ Station information in Air Force Historical Research Agency Factsheet, 14th Airlift Squadron, except as noted.


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

External links[]

Media related to the 14th Airlift Squadron at Wikimedia Commons