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61st Air Base Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

61st Air Base Group
61st Air Base Group.png
Emblem of the 61st Air Base Group
Active1940–1945; 1946–1959; 1984–1992; 1994–present
CountryUnited States
Branch United States Space Force
Part of
Space and Missile Systems Center.png
Space and Missile Systems Center
CommanderCol Ann M. Igl

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

The 61st Air Base Group operates Los Angeles Air Force Base and supports the Space and Missile Systems Center. It is not currently clear whether as of December 2019 it was transferred to the United States Space Force.

The unit's World War II predecessor unit, the 61st Troop Carrier Group was a Douglas 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

The group was established before the Attack on Pearl Harbor, in December 1940, with Douglas C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft. It initially trained under I Troop Carrier Command in the southeast United States. Trained in paratroop missions and glider towing. Was deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) and flew combat missions in the North African and Tunisian Campaigns under Twelfth Air Force.

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.

Reassigned to Ninth Air Force and was moved to England in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). Flew airborne assault missions during the Normandy invasion and later supported Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands. 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 July 1945

Cold War

It was reactivated in Germany on 30 September 1946. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Redesignated 61st Troop Carrier Group (Medium) in July 1948, and 61st Troop Carrier Group (Heavy) in August 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 UN forces in Korea before moving to Japan and conducting airlift missions from Japan to Korea from 1950–1952.

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

The 61st Military Airlift Group was reactivated at Howard Air Force Base, Panama on 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 inactivated and its assets absorbed by the 24th Wing when the 310th's mission was transferred to Air Combat Command on 1 June 1992.

Base support

The 61st Air Base Group has operated Los Angeles Air Force Base and supported the Space and Missile Systems Center since 1994.


  • Established as 61st Transport Group on 20 November 1940
Activated on 1 December 1940
Redesignated 61st Troop Carrier Group on 4 July 1942
Inactivated on 31 July 1945
  • Activated on 30 September 1946
Redesignated: 61st Troop Carrier Group, Medium, on 1 July 1948
Redesignated: 61st Troop Carrier Group, Heavy, on 15 August 1948
Inactivated on 8 October 1959
  • Redesignated 61st Military Airlift Group, and activated, on 1 December 1984
Inactivated on 1 June 1992
  • Redesignated 61st Air Base Group on 16 September 1994
Activated on 1 October 1994
  • Redesignated 61st Mission Support Group on 1 August 2006
  • Redesignated 61st Air Base Group on 30 July 2010






 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF). Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • 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.
This page was last edited on 18 July 2020, at 02:38
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