Welcome

Since its activation on July 1, 1943, the 440th Troop Carrier group developed from a small organization into a powerful and well-trained force with a record that speaks for itself.

During the eighteen months in the European Theater of Operations, the men of the 440th Troop Carrier Group, comprised of a headquarters element plus the 95th, 96th, 97th and 98th Troop Carrier Squadrons, participated in the paradrops and glider tows that marked the invasions of Normandy and Southern France, the airborne invasion of Holland and the drop across the Rhine and into Germany.

They dropped supplies to the surrounded defenders of Bastogne and flew gasoline to Patton’s tanks in their dash across France and Germany. They flew millions of pounds of food, ammunition, medical supplies and fuel to the front lines and evacuated thousands of wounded troops and liberated prisoners of war.

Their air crews have successfully accomplished every mission assigned to them in spite of enemy action and adverse weather conditions while the ground crews supported them superbly. When deemed necessary, the Group separated into air and ground echelons and moved over four continents to various bases in the United Kingdom, Italy and France in order to fulfill its role in the final victory in Europe.

This is their story. A story of a proud but often overlooked heritage. It is also a story of the men of the Airborne units they carried into battle and the men of the ground forces whom they resupplied by air, and those they airlifted home. It is truly an American success story.

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63 thoughts on “Welcome”

      1. Tom I found your uncle in a roster for the 97th Squadron in the Book “DZ Europe” page 181. Shows as;
        Earl C. Owen
        Norwalk Ave.
        Los Angeles, Cal.

        There is one photo of rather poor quality of a group of glider pilots of the 97th Squadron on page 186 of the same book. There is no legend with this picture so I don’t know if he’s in there.

    1. Sam, my dad was a member of the 440th. What book are you referring to that has pictures and list the members? Are. Copies available? Thank you for your reply.

      1. The 97th troop carrier squadron made a book outling the unit activities during the war with pictures. My father received the book ,but i do not know how to find another book. Give me the name of your father and will see if his picture is in the book.

      1. Antietam Creek Press is currently working on the page layout and cover design now. They hope to have it released by mid-December before Christmas. We’ll put a link to the Amazon.com ordering page when it is available.

    2. If you could supply details of this it would be great, we are trying to locate the American soldier who was the biological father of my mother in law (she was born in July 1945) but never knew her father as he never returned from WW2.

    3. Was he ever based in or around Nottinghamshire during ww2? And did he know of any airforce personnel whonused the name “Clinton Kyer”?

    1. I remember Irving Brezak. We were stationed together ever since Alliance Nebraska.

      If Irv is still alive tell him Jim Gardner from Philadelphia said hello.

  1. Hello. I am James Gardner and I was a member of the 96 sq. stationed in Alliance Neb in 1943, one of the original members. The group was formed there. From there I was stationed at various bases in the US, Exeter, England, Fulbeck, England, Orleans, France, Jarny, France, Furth, Germany.

    I was control tower operator and sometimes flew as radio operator. I am now 89 years old.

    Is anyone there from the old 96th?

  2. My father is Joe E Lauderdale and was a member of this unit from 1943 until the war was over. He is 94 and lives in a retirement home. I told him about your post. He remembers alot about his time in the unit. He served as the engineering officer for the unit. You are welcome to call me at 901 833 5472 and I will give you his phone number.

  3. I miss the original site, and the many articles that were put up by Randy Hils. I’m very glad to see this effort to preserve the story and history of the 440th.
    My FIL, Wilbur R. Lawn (Bill), became a rated Glider Pilot at Stuttgart Arkansas, (Class 43-4). He became an original member of the 440th TCG in Orlando Florida as a Flight Officer. He was appointed as Glider Flight Leader and Administrative Officer,as well as Assistant Operations Officer, for the 95th Squadron while at Alliance AFB Nebraska. At about the same time he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant AUS.
    He served in Europe through out the 440th TCG’s deployment and transferred to the 97th Squadron either late in 44 or very early in 45.
    We lost him on 11/12/12 at the age of 96.

  4. I’m glad you like the site. Yes, I miss Randy’s site too, which is why I created this one. While I do not have the depth of information that he had, and don’t have time to update it often, it is at least something to keep the 440th’s legacy alive. I will be updating more this summer as my schedule permits me to make updates. Thank you for checking in.

  5. My father is Joe Lauderdale and was in the 97thunit. He was the engineering officer. My father is 94 and living in a retirement home.

    1. Sam, I was looking thru DZ Europe and found three pictures that have your dad in them.
      1 page 185 the Engineers in front of a C-47
      2 page 177 titled Crew Chiefs
      3 page 170 titled C.O. and Staff
      On page179 it lists him as;
      Joseph E. Lauderdale
      Hernando Miss.

      I wish my father-in-law was still here. There’s a chance they may have known each other.

        1. Sam – Copies of the book are hard to come by at this moment. However, I’m looking at re-printing it through my publishing company, Antietam Creek Press. Need to find out if I can legally do this since Randy Hils published a copy prior to his untimely death. I do believe this was originally put out by the 440th public affairs office, which would make doing another reprint possible.

  6. Thank you for your reply. I want to locate the book. Earl Owen is very recognizable in a photo–at any age. I have the govt records of his decorations and missions that I’m now compiling into a readable form. I’ll share those when ready. Earl’s wife, Muriel, is still with us. She’s eagerly following my research efforts.
    Tom Gauthier

  7. Tom,
    Don’t know if it’s possible to post pictures here. If there is I can try and post that picture of the 97th glider pilots.
    [IMG]http://i285.photobucket.com/albums/ll61/sac_troop/Bills%20Military%20photos/17adacd9.jpg[/IMG]

  8. My father, Harold B. (Whitey) Simonsen was in the 440th. Can you tell me if he is mentioned or pictured in the book? Thank-you and God bless America!!!

  9. Looks like he was part of the Headquarters group. I found him listed on that roster on page 139.
    Harold Simonsen
    Rutherford Ave.
    Detroit Mich.

    1. Tom, I did some more searching thru “DZ Europe”. I have to do it by eye as the document doesn’t allow me to use a word search function to find names or other key words.
      On page 129 I found where your Uncle was awarded the (Air Medal) for actions he performed while overseas.

  10. My Daddy served in the 9th Air
    440th Troop Carrier Group
    96th Squadron, from Jan-Aug 1945. His name was 2nd Lt. William J. Hamrick, and he served as Navigator and Flight Leader. He passed away the 16th of March of this year, but was always proud of his service.

    1. Sal – I interviewed your father for my series titled “The 96th Connection” that is posted on this site. He was a great man and I was honored to have spoken with him for those few hours that we talked on the phone. My condolences on his passing, but thank you for letting me know.

  11. hi. sal Ido not remember your father,Bill Hamrick,but one of my good friends was Welden Hambrick from Texas, Jim Gardner.

  12. The 96th Associate Squadron annual reunion is planned for September 14, 2013. We are honoring the 70th anniversary of the 96th Troop Carrier Squadron (and its sister squadrons). Reunion is at the Fort Snelling Officers Club, Minneapolis MN. Current home of the 96th Airlift Squadron – flying C130’s. Our Association is 275 members strong. Contact us via e’mail at “associate96@earthlink.net”. We would love to hear from you, and will hang your response on our viewing wall at the Reunion. Please use e’mail “subject” as REUNION – so we can seperate it from junk-mail. Thanks

  13. Out of curiosity, does anyone know where I might find a roster of living members of Dad’s carrier group from WWII, as listed above?

    1. Sal – There IS no comprehensive list of surviving members. The closest you can come is through the membership roster of the World War II Glider Pilots Association (if you join as an associate member, you get the roster in your packet). However, these only cover members of the WWIIGPA and is not inclusive. There are a few other 96th Squadron members that I’ve been able to locate that are not members, so it is going to be difficult. Email me at skydancer506@gmail.com and we can discuss this further. – Jeff

  14. Mr. Hils, please provide me with your mailing address so that I can forward a letter to you I received from a gentlemen in the Netherlands re 95th troop carrier group of which my husband was a member. Thanks

    1. Mrs. Hobson:

      Mr. Hils does not run this site. Unfortunately, he passed away a few years ago. I’ve assumed the responsibility (on my own) of keeping the 440th’s heritage alive. If you wish to mail me the letter, you may do so. Jeffrey S. Williams, P.O. Box 11847, St. Paul, MN 55111.

  15. My name is Capt Aaron Kutschera, I’m currently a C-130 navigator in the 96th Airlift Squadron and was previously a loadmaster and Navigator in the 95th Airlift Squadron. This year is the 70th anniversary of the 440thTCG and we’re looking to have an anniversary celebration to commemorate it. We were planning to celebrate on our trip to Normandy this summer but due to sequestration that was unfortunately cancelled. I’m still trying to put a low-key event together though later on this summer or early fall for the three remaining squadrons (the 95th, 96th and 97th.) I’m wondering if anyone has any old documents (picutres, logs, stories, paperwork, etc) that they would be willing to perhaps scan and email me or mail me copies of so i can compile some historical documentation to show the younger generation of flyers where we came from. Anything would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your time.

    1. Aaron: Email me at skydancer506@gmail.com and I’ll pull what I have for you. Also, if Colonel Purcell is still with the unit, he has a bunch of stuff as well.

      Regards,

      Jeffrey S. Williams
      Former PA with 934th AW

    2. My name is George Theis. I retired from USAF as a Lt. Col on Nov. 30, 1968. I was a glider pilot assigned to the 98th TCSq in Mid Jan. 1945 in time to fly a glider in Operation Varsity. I was one of eight officers left behind in Orleans, France to closed down the facilities and inactivate the 440. I have several pictures that may be of interest. While there I volunteered to play a saxophone in the 440th Serenaders dance band. My picture is on page 115 and on page 195 in DZ Europe. Currently, I am the National Treasurer of the National World War Ii Glider Pilots Association, Inc and chairman of their Reunion Committee. Our 44th Annual Reunion will be held in Bloomington, MN on Oct. 2 thru 4, 2014. View our web page for more detail -. ww2gp.org. Contact me at ww2gp@aol.com or my cell at 719-338-6487.

  16. Hi! I am looking for a copy of DZ Europe: The Story of the 440th Troop Carrier Group for my mother. Her birthfather is listed in this book. Is there anyone here who can tell me where I can obtain a copy? I’ve checked on-line and the first edition is available, but is $200 or more. Any help would be much appreciated! Stacie

  17. Please post more information on the 440th TCG reunion in Sept 0f 2013 Glider Pilot EDWARD FERBER has gone west but I would love the honor him by attending to honor his memory as well as all the pilots. I was lucky to be a C-47 driver !

  18. The SNAFU Special, C-47A-80-DL #43-15073 was assigned to the 95th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 440th Troop Carrier Group during WWII. She survived the war and after a long career she is now on display in the Merville battery museum in Normandy after being rescued from scrapers in Bosnia.
    If you want to learn more about our plane or follow the on going restoration you can visit her website http://www.the-snafu-special.com
    If any of former members of the 440th TCG remember her, he will be more than welcome to contact us
    Thanks

  19. My Dad, Raymond Olsen, was transferred from the 95th Bomb Group to the 440th when they were in Bottesford. He was transferred along with his best friend, Jerry Levine. He was ground crew and was placed in charge of building an electrical shop in Exeter. I have pictures of the test panels and other equpment he built. He went to France, I assume with the 440th Troop Carrier Group. He told stories of the gliders and how they used them to salvage parts of wrecked planes to repair the damaged planes. I am very active with the 95th Bomb Group Memorials Foundation and would like to find out more about the 440th Troop Carrier Group. I am most interested in the ground crew.

    1. Do you have a copy of DZ Europe, the 440th Troop Carrier Group history?? That would be a good starting point.

  20. I found a book on the 440th Troop Carrier Group that Dad had. Unfortunately, I left it at my mother’s house and have to go back out to get it. I’ll let you know what book it is when I have a chance to drive out to her house. It’s a small paperback but I don’t think it has DZ Europe in the title.

  21. My dad was in the 440th 95th squadron until the end of the war. His name is Malcolm Crider but went as Buster or Buzz. He was an aircraft mechanic. Dad re-enlisted for Korea and was stationed at McChord and then Luke AFB. Dad passed July of 2014 at 90 years.

  22. My dad Milton Newman was a crew chief and flight engineer in the 98th squadron. Did anyone know him? He took aerial photos in the spring of 1945 in Germany of airstrips with planes on fire. Were these airstrips German or US? He also took aerial photos of a complex in Germany with many bomb craters. Does anyone have information on this? Lastly he flew out occupants of a concentration camp. Does anyone know which camp that was?

  23. Hey folks good news and bad news…first the good…i have an original copy of DZ EUROPE listed on ebay, and still a week left..the bad news,it wont be cheap…its a rare bird …item #281911431069
    Mike

  24. Pouvez-vous me renseigner de ce qu’il restait des bandes invasion sur le 9X O 4215073 440 TCG 95 TCS le 27 dec 1944 opération ressuply sur BASTOGNE BELGIUM
    MERCI

    Can you inform me of what was left invasion stripes on 9X O 4215073 440 TCG 95 TCS December 27, 1944 ressuply operation BASTOGNE BELGIUM

    THANK YOU

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