137th Airlift Squadron Hudson Haulers New York ANG C-17 Model
Fly with the 137th Airlift Squadron Hudson Haulers New York ANG in this handcrafted C-17 Globemaster Model. Each piece is carved from wood and hand painted to provide a piece you’ll love.
Length – 18 inches
The 137th Airlift Squadron (137 AS) is a unit of the New York Air National Guard 105th Airlift Wing located at Stewart Air National Guard Base, Newburgh, New York. The 137th is equipped with the C-17A Globemaster III.
World War II
Formed at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, as a Third Air Force Operational Training Unit (OTU), equipped with A-24 Banshee dive bombers. Moved to California in September 1943 as part of Desert Training Center in Mojave Desert.
After the A-24 was taken out of combat service, trained with P-39 Airacobras and became combat ready, being reassigned to VIII Fighter Command in England, April 1944. Re-equipped with P-51 Mustangs, with a mission for escorting B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator heavy bombers during its first five weeks of operations, and afterwards flew many escort missions to cover the operations of medium and heavy bombers that struck strategic objectives, interdicted the enemy’s communications, or supported operations on the ground.
The group frequently strafed airfields and other targets of opportunity while on escort missions. Provided fighter cover over the English Channel and the coast of Normandy during the invasion of France in June 1944. Strafed and dive-bombed vehicles, locomotives, marshalling yards, anti-aircraft batteries, and troops while Allied forces fought to break out of the beachhead in France. Attacked transportation targets as Allied armies drove across France after the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July. Flew area patrols during the airborne attack on the Netherlands in September. Escorted bombers to, and flew patrols over the battle area during the German counterattack in the Ardennes (Battle of the Bulge), December 1944 – January 1945. Provided area patrols during the assault across the Rhine in March 1945.
Returned to the US in October and inactivated on 18 October 1945 as an administrative unit.
New York Air National Guard
The wartime 504th Fighter Squadron was re-designated as the 137th Fighter Squadron, and was allotted to the New York Air National Guard, on 24 May 1946. It was organized at Westchester County Airport, White Plains, New York, and was extended federal recognition on 8 December 1948 by the National Guard Bureau. The 137th Fighter Squadron was bestowed the lineage, history, honors, and colors of the 504th Fighter Squadron and all predecessor units. The squadron was equipped with F-47D Thunderbolts and was assigned to the New York ANG 107th Fighter Group.
The mission of the 136th Fighter Squadron was the air defense of Southeast New York and New York City. Aircraft parts were no problem and many of the maintenance personnel were World War II veterans so readiness was quite high and the planes were often much better maintained than their USAF counterparts. In some ways, the postwar Air National Guard was almost like a flying country club and a pilot could often show up at the field, check out an aircraft and go flying. However, the unit also had regular military exercises that kept up proficiency and in gunnery and bombing contests they would often score at least as well or better than active-duty USAF units, given the fact that most ANG pilots were World War II combat veterans.
Air defense mission
With the surprise invasion of South Korea on 25 June 1950, and the regular military’s complete lack of readiness, most of the Air National Guard was federalized placed on active duty. The 137th was retained by the State of New York to maintain the air defense mission primarily of New York City. In 1951, the Thunderbolts were replaced by Very Long Range F-51H Mustangs with were capable of extended air defense flights over all of New York State.
The air defense mission remained after the Korean War armistice and the unit resumed normal peacetime training and drills. In 1954, the Mustang was ending its service life and Air Defense Command was re-equipping its fighter-interceptor squadrons with jet aircraft. The 137th received F-94B Starfires, however the F-94 required a two-man aircrew a pilot and an air observer to operate its radar equipment. Trainees for the radar assignment had to attend regular Air Force Training Schools, and required virtually the same qualifications as the pilot trainees. The additional recruitment of guardsmen led to the units having a manning and capabilities problem that lasted for some time until the unit was returned to full readiness.
In 1956, the 107th Fighter-Interceptor Wing was reorganized and re-designated as the 107th Air Defense Wing. As a result, the 137th was authorized to expand to a group level, and the 105th Fighter Group (Air Defense) was established by the National Guard Bureau. The 137th TFS becoming the group’s flying squadron. Other squadrons assigned into the group were the 105th Headquarters, 105th Material Squadron (Maintenance), 105th Combat Support Squadron, and the 105th USAF Dispensary. The F-86H Sabre replaced the F-94B Starfires in 1957.
A major change to the 107th Air Defense Wing in 1958 was the transition from an Air Defense Command (ADC) mission to Tactical Air Command (TAC) and a tactical fighter mission, the 105th being re-designated as a Tactical Fighter Group; and 137th also being re-designated. The new assignment involved a change in the Group’s training mission to include high-altitude interception, air-to-ground rocketry, ground strafing and tactical bombing. The 137th TFS retained their F-86H Sabres.
The 105th Tactical Fighter Group was inactivated on 1 February 1961 with the 137th being transferred to the 106th Aeromedical Transport Group on 1 February 1961 and was re-designated as the 137th Aeromedical Transport Squadron under the Military Air Transport Service (MATS). The 137th converted to flying the C-119 Flying Boxcar. The squadron airlifted critically injured and sick personnel until late 1963.
With air transportation recognized as a critical need, the 137th was re-designated the 137th Air Transport Squadron (Heavy) 1 December 1963 and equipped with C-97 Stratofreighter heavy transports, although the Aeromedical Flight remained as a secondary mission. With the C-97s, the 102d augmented MATS airlift capability worldwide in support of the Air Force’s needs in Europe. It also flew scheduled MATS transport missions to Europe, Africa the Caribbean and South America. On 8 January 1966, Military Air Transport Service became Military Airlift Command (MAC) and the 137th was re-designated as the 137th Military Airlift Squadron.
In 1966, the squadron began operations to and from bases in South Vietnam. During calendar year 1967, in addition to the Southeast Asia flights which continued throughout the year until September, the squadron flew missions to South America, Africa, Australia, Asia and Europe in support of the Military Airlift Command and the Joint Chiefs of Staff airlift (directed) missions. The overseas flights also were in addition to a variety of airlift missions flown within the continental United States to include Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico carrying personnel of the active military, Reserve and National Guard units to and from training sites and a continuing series of joint exercises.
Forward air support mission
In 1969 the C-97s were reaching the end of their operational lifetime and in March, the 105th changed again to become the 105th Tactical Air Support Group and became part of Tactical Air Command. The 137th received interim Cessna U-3 aircraft which was shortly replaced with the O-2A Super Skymaster direct from Cessna. The O-2 was the military version of the Cessna 337 Skymaster, a high wing, twin boom aircraft with a unique centerline pusher/tractor twin engine configuration. The O-2A version, used by the 137th TASS, was used in forward air control, (FAC), missions, often in conjunction with a ground FAC & ROMAD, (radio operator, maintenance, and driver), team.
The mission of the 105th Tactical Air Support Group was to train Forward Air Controllers and to maintain proficiency in the unit aircraft. An unusual highlight of 1970 was the call to active duty on 24, 25 and 26 March for the New York City Postal Strike, U.S. Post Office workers went off the job in a pay dispute, and President Richard Nixon called on New York City area Guardsmen to sort and deliver the mail. The 105th performed its postal duties at the Main Bronx Post Office, Westchester County Airport. The NYANG ramp continued to be the “entrance of choice” by foreign dignitaries, and President Nixon during 1970. The Presidents of France, Ecuador, and several other foreign notables landed there on visits to the U.S. President Nixon arrived there during his campaign for Republican Congressmen in the fall.
During this time, the unit received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. After becoming a part of the Tactical Air Command, the unit received the New York State Governor’s Trophy, as the State’s outstanding flying unit, more than one half of the years.
As part of the draw-down of forces in Southeast Asia, aircraft from the Vietnam War were added to make up the allocated number to the Group. However, the 105th had to actually rebuild most of the Vietnam Veteran aircraft, which had been through the most rigorous of combat operations in South Vietnam. The 105th made national news through their program of assisting local governmental health agencies in the detection of violations of water and stream pollution laws. 105th pilots, on the kind of observation missions they would be doing in combat, initiated a program of photography and reporting to local civic officials. The local health agency would then send its own aircraft up to take similar photographs for evidence and possible action. The 105th was awarded the Governor’s Trophy for 1974, signifying the outstanding flying unit of the New York Air National Guard for that year.
The 105th was upgraded to a Wing on 14 June 1975, the group becoming the operational organization for the new wing organization. In August 1978 the group was inactivated with the 137th TASS being assigned directly to the Wing. However, the unit reverted to Group status on 1 July 1979, when the Wing organization was transferred to the 174th Tactical Fighter Group to accommodate the newly organized A-10 Thunderbolt II Wing.
In 1981, the group deployed to Lechfeld Air Base, West Germany to observe A-10 Close Air Support operations, and forward air control in the NATO/USAFE environment. The visit provided a first-hand look at tactics used by various NATO members, as well as an in-depth look at Forward Operating locations and NATO air tasking orders.
In the early 1980s, it became apparent that the facility at Westchester Airport was not large enough to support a conversion to a new aircraft or mission. The State’s Division of Military and Naval Affairs started negotiations with National Guard Bureau to relocate the unit. As a result, USAF and the Air National Guard approved a unit relocation to Stewart International Airport, Newburgh, New York. This move took advantage of the excellent airfield facilities at Stewart, which was an active Air Force Base through 1969. The move, initiated during 1982 was completed by the last quarter of 1983.