IX Troop Carrier Command

IX Troop Carrier Command

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= IX Troop Carrier Command

dates= 16 October 1943 - 31 March 1946
country= United States
branch= United States Army Air Forces
type= Troop Carrier
role= parachute and glider air assault
size= 14 groups, 1400 aircraft
command_structure=Ninth Air Force
battles= Operation Neptune
Operation Market
Operation Varsity

IX Troop Carrier Command was an operational command of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and its immediate aftermath. IX TCC was created as a component command of the Ninth Air Force, based in the United Kingdom, and provided air transport for the Allied airborne divisions in the European Theater of Operations. IX Troop Carrier Command came into being on 16 October 1943 and was inactivated on 31 March 1946. In 1948 the command was permanently disbanded.

The primary aircraft of IX TCC was the C-47 Skytrain and its variant, the C-53 Skytrooper, but in 1945 IX Troop Carrier Command equipped one group with 117 C-46 Commando aircraft to determine their viability in the ETO. As a result of a 28% loss ratio during Operation Varsity resulting from the C-46's high inflammability, IX TCC did not convert to the Commando, even though its cargo-carrying capacity was twice that of the C-47. IX TCC also had 1,922 CG-4A Waco and 20 CG-13 gliders just prior to its last major operation in March 1945.

IX Troop Carrier Command consisted of three troop carrier wings, 14 troop carrier groups, and one pathfinder group , totalling approximately 1380 operational aircraft including spares, and 2,000 gliders at its maximum strength in March 1945.

IX Troop Carrier Command conducted three multi-divisional combat air assaults:
*Operation Neptune: the invasion of France in June 1944,
*Operation Market: the airborne invasion of Holland in September 1944, and
*Operation Varsity: the airborne crossing of the Rhine River in March 1945.

It also conducted relief operations for isolated units during the German counter-offensive in the Ardennes in December 1944.


All U.S. tactical air support units in Great Britain were consolidated into the Ninth Air Force on 16 October 1943, under the command of Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton. At the same time the IX Troop Carrier Command was activated, having been constituted by USAAF Headquarters five days before. Its first headquarters was located at RAF Cottesmore, where it took control of a provisional headquarters established by the Eighth Air Force in September. On December 1, 1943, the headquarters of IX TCC transferred to Grantham where it remained until September 20, 1944, when it transferred to Ascot, Berkshire, its final location in Europe.

The original cadre came from "Headquarters 1st Troop Carrier Command" established as a provisional headquarters by the Eighth Air Force in September with six officers andthree aircraft of the 315th Troop Carrier Group. On 1 October 1943 the 434th Troop Carrier Group became part of the provisional command and was the only group assigned. Twelve airfields were designated for the new command, each to house 40 C-47s and a like number of gliders: RAF Fulbeck, RAF Langar, RAF Bottesford, RAF Wakerley, RAF Balderton, RAF North Witham, RAF Barkston Heath, RAF Cottesmore, RAF North Luffenham, RAF Saltby, RAF Folkingham, and RAF Woolfox Lodge.

In November the 435th TCG and RAF Welford were assigned, and IX TCC Headquarters were moved to Grantham. RAF Ramsbury, RAF Aldermaston, and RAF Greenham Common also became available as landing areas for tactical training with the 101st Airborne Division and later became troop carrier bases.

Its first wing, the 50th TCW, became operational on 17 October 1943. A second wing, the 52nd TCW, arrived from Sicily on 17 February 1944. Its five groups had participated in the large airborne assault during the Allied invasion of Sicily and had flown combat jumps on a smaller scale in Italy. On 11 March 1944 the final troop carrier wing assigned to the command, the 53rd TCW, arrived from the United States along with five groups that had just completed their operational training. The command grew to a total of 14 groups when the 315th TCG was taken off transport duties in the Mediterranean and assigned two additional squadrons to bring it up to full TO&E, and when the newly created 442d TCG arrived from the United States.

These groups went into training for the invasion of France as they arrived in Britain. The groups of the 50th and 52nd Wings began intensive night formation training that included practice jumps with the airborne divisions assigned to them, which continued through April, when the division commanders decided to stop further unit jump training. The 53rd TCW began training at the beginning of April but had virtually no troop experience until mid-May, when they began a series of mock night operations to raise their level of training to those of the other eight groups. Five groups also conducted night training in glider assaults in both April and May. By June 1 IX TCC had approximately 1,200 C-47s and 1,400 gliders assigned, and 950 crews for each.

At the end of February 1944, using equipment and personnel from the 52nd TCW, the command established a training unit for airborne division pathfinders and the air crews that would deliver them. The Command Pathfinder School was redesignated the 1st Pathfinder Group (Provisional) in August 1944.

IX TCC delivered both the 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions in the American airborne landings in Normandy on 6-7 June 1944. In August the command was assigned to the First Allied Airborne Army, which from 17-25 September 1944, landed both American divisions, the British 1st Airborne Division, and the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade in Holland during Operation Market. The 50th TCW moved to bases in France in September as well.

In February and March 1945 all but two groups of both the 52d and 53rd wings also relocated to bases in France. The command carried out extensive formation training for Operation Varsity, an airborne assault across the Rhine River, and executed it on 24 March 1945, delivering the U.S. 17th Airborne Division. three groups of the 52nd TCW were detached to return to England and carry the British 6th Airborne Division in the assault.

IX Troop Carrier Command transferred from the UK to the United States without equipment or personnel on 5 September 1945 to Stout Field, Indiana, where it was reconstituted. On 1 February 1946 command headquarters shifted to Greenville Army Air Base, South Carolina, in preparation for inactivation, which took place 31 March 1946. On 8 October 1948 the United States Air Force, now a separate military service, disbanded the command permanently.



IX Troop Carrier Command had two commanders during its existence. Brigadier General Benjamin F. Giles commanded IX TCC between its activation on 16 October 1943 and 25 February 1944, although he was a caretaker commander until the arrival of its operational commander, Major General Paul L. Williams. Williams commanded IX TCC for the remainder of war, to 12 July 1945, and again in the United States after its redeployment from Europe, from 5 November 1945 to 31 March 1946.

Wings and units

*1st Tactical Air Deport / IX Troop Carrier Service Wing (Provisional), (RAF North Witham)
*Command Pathfinder School/1st Pathfinder Group (Provisional), (RAF North Witham / Chartres, France)

50th Troop Carrier Wing

Brig. Gen. Julian M. Chappell at RAF Exeter
*439th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Upottery / Juvincourt, France / Châteaudun, France)
** 91st TCS - Squadron code L4
** 92nd TCS - Squadron code J8
** 93rd TCS - Squadron code 3B
** 94th TCS - Squadron code D8
*440th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Exeter / Reims, France / Bricy, France)
** 95th TCS - Squadron code 9X
** 96th TCS - Squadron code 6Z
** 97th TCS - Squadron code W6
** 98th TCS - Squadron code 8Y
*441st Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Merryfield / Villeneuve, France / Dreux, France)
** 99th TCS - Squadron code 3J
** 100th TCS - Squadron code 8C
** 301st TCS - Squadron code Z4
** 302nd TCS - Squadron code 2L
*442d Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Fulbeck / Bonnétable, France / Saint-André-de-l'Eure, France)
** 303rd TCS - Squadron code J7
** 304th TCS - Squadron code V4
** 305th TCS - Squadron code 4J
** 306th TCS - Squadron code 7H

52nd Troop Carrier Wing

Brig. Gen. Harold L. Clark at RAF Cottesmore
*61st Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Barkston Heath / Abbeville, France)
** 14th TCS - Squadron code 3I
** 15th TCS - Squadron code Y9
** 53rd TCS - Squadron code 3A
** 59th TCS - Squadron code X5
*313th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Folkingham / Achiet, France)
** 29th TCS - Squadron code 5X
** 47th TCS - Squadron code N3
** 48th TCS - Squadron code Z7
** 49th TCS - Squadron code H2
*314th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Saltby / Poix-de-Picardie, France)
** 32nd TCS - Squadron code S2
** 50th TCS - Squadron code 2R
** 61st TCS - Squadron code Q9
** 62nd TCS - Squadron code E5
*315th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Spanhoe / Amiens, France)
** 34th TCS - Squadron code NM
** 43rd TCS - Squadron code UA
** 309th TCS - Squadron code M6
** 310th TCS - Squadron code 4A
*316th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Cottesmore)
** 36th TCS - Squadron code 6E
** 37th TCS - Squadron code W7
** 44th TCS - Squadron code 4C
** 45th TCS - Squadron code T3

53rd Troop Carrier Wing

Brig. Gen. Maurice M. Beach at RAF Greenham Common
*434th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Aldermaston / Mourmelon-le-Grand, France)
** 71st TCS - Squadron code CJ
** 72nd TCS - Squadron code CU
** 73rd TCS - Squadron code CN
** 74th TCS - Squadron code ID
*435th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Welford / Brétigny-sur-Orge, France)
** 75th TCS - Squadron code SH
** 76th TCS - Squadron code CW
** 77th TCS - Squadron code IB
** 78th TCS - Squadron code CM
*436th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Membury / Melun, France)
** 79th TCS - Squadron code S6
** 80th TCS - Squadron code 7D
** 81st TCS - Squadron code U5
** 82nd TCS - Squadron code 3D
*437th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Ramsbury / Coulommiers, France)
** 83rd TCS - Squadron code T2
** 84th TCS - Squadron code Z8
** 85th TCS - Squadron code 9O
** 86th TCS - Squadron code 5K
*438th Troop Carrier Group, (RAF Greenham Common / Prosnes, France)
** 87th TCS - Squadron code 3X
** 88th TCS - Squadron code M2
** 89th TCS - Squadron code 4U
** 90th TCS - Squadron code Q7


*Maurer, Maurer, "Air Force Combat Units of World War II", Office of Air Force history (1961). ISBN 0-40512-194-6
*Warren, Dr. John C. "USAF Historical Study 97: Airborne Operations in World War II, European Theater" (1956). Air University.
* [http://www.publicenquiry.co.uk/commands/tc9th.html IX Troop Carrier Command Order of Battle]

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