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1st Air Commando Group

Constituted as 1st Air Commando Group on 25 Mar 1944 and activated in India on 29 Mar. The group, which began operations immediately, was organized to provide fighter cover, bombardment striking power, and air transportation services for Wingate's Raiders, who were operating behind enemy lines in Burma. The organization consisted of a headquarters plus the following sections: bomber (equipped with B-25's); fighter (P-51's); light-plane (L-1's, L-5's, and helicopters) transport (C-47's); glider (CG-4A's and TG-5's); and light-cargo (UC-64's). The group supported operations in Burma by landing and dropping troops, food, and equipment; evacuating casualties; and attacking airfields and transportation facilities. Received a DUC for operations against the enemy, Mar-May 1944. Withdrew from the front late in May 1944 and, with the bomber section eliminated and the P-51's replaced by P-47's, began a training program. Reorganized later, with the sections being eliminated and with fighter, liaison, and troop carrier squadrons being assigned. Transported Chinese troops and supplies from Burma to China in Dec 1944, and carried out supply, evacuation, and liaison operations for Allied troops in Burma until the end of the war. Attacked bridges, railroads, barges, troop positions, oil wells, and airfields in Burma and escorted bombers to Rangoon and other targets during the early months of 1945. Changed from P-47's to P-51's in May 1945, the fighter squadrons being engaged in training from then until the end of the war. Moved to the US in Oct 1945. Inactivated on 3 Nov 1945. Disbanded on 8 Oct 1948.

Squadrons. 5th Fighter: 1944-1945. 6th Fighter: 1944-1945. 164th Liaison: 1944-1945. 165th Liaison: 1944-1945. 166th Liaison: 1944-1945. 319th Troop Carrier: 1944-1945.

Stations. Hailakandi, India, 29 Mar 1944; Asansol, India, 20 May 1944-6 Oct 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 1-3 Nov 1945.

Commanders. Col Philip G Cochran, 29 Mar 1944; Col Clinton B Gaty, 20 May 1944; Col Robert W Hall, c. 7 Apr 1945-unkn.

Campaigns. India-Burma; Central Burma.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Burma and India, [Mar 1944]-20 May 1944.

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986


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