37th Airlift Squadron Plaque
A carefully carved and hand painted plaque of the 37th Airlift Squadron.
14 inches in length.
The 37th Airlift Squadron is part of the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. It operates Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules aircraft providing theater airlift.
Conduct airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation operations.
World War IIActivated in June 1942 under I Troop Carrier Command at Patterson Field, Ohio. Trained at various stationed in the southeast and Texas with Douglas C-47 Skytrain transports. Deployed to Egypt in November 1942 as part of President Roosevelt’s decision to aid the Royal Air Force Western Desert Air Force, assigned to the newly established Ninth Air Force, headquartered in Cairo.
Transported supplies and evacuated casualties in support of the British Eighth Army, operating from desert airfields in Egypt and Libya. Reassigned in May 1943 to the USAAF Twelfth Air Force in Algeria, supporting Fifth Army forces in the Tunisian Campaign. Began training for the invasion of Sicily; dropped paratroops over the assault area on the night of 9 July. Carried reinforcements to Sicily on 11 July and received a DUC for carrying out that mission although severely attacked by ground and naval forces; dropped paratroops over the beachhead south of the Sele River on the night of 14 September 1943. Remained in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations until February 1944 until being reassigned back to Ninth Air Force in England, IX Troop Carrier Command to participate in the buildup of forces prior to the Allied landings in France during D-Day in June 1944.
Engaged in combat operations by dropping paratroops into Normandy near Ste-Mere-Eglise on D-Day (6 June 1944) and releasing gliders with reinforcements on the following day. The unit received a third Distinguished Unit Citation and a French citation for these missions.
After the Normandy invasion the squadron ferried supplies in the United Kingdom. The squadron also hauled food, clothing, medicine, gasoline, ordnance equipment, and other supplies to the front lines and evacuated patients to rear zone hospitals. It dropped paratroops near Nijmegen and towed gliders carrying reinforcements during the airborne attack on the Netherlands.
Returned to the United States in May 1945, becoming a domestic troop carrier squadron for Continental Air Forces.
In the Korean War the squadron flew airborne assaults at Sukchon and Munsan-ni and aerial transportation between Japan and Korea. The squadron was inactivated in 1957.
The squadron was reactivated in October 1966 at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia and equipped with Lockheed C-130 Hercules tactical transports.
While deployed in Taiwan, crews of the 37th flew to Hanoi on 17 February 1973 in support of Operation Homecoming, the repatriation of American prisoners of war to Clark Air Base, Philippines, on 5 March 1973. It conducted airlift operations during Operation Desert Shield in Southwest Asia, 14 August 1990 – 29 March 1991. It airdropped humanitarian supplies in Operation Provide Comfort for the relief of fleeing Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq, April–May 1991. The 37th flew airlift and airdrop missions to Bosnia and Herzegovina for Operation Provide Promise from July 1992 – January 1996 Continued support with Operations Joint Endeavor/Guard/Forge, 1996–2000. Airlifted troops and equipment to Kosovo, Mar–Jun 1999. Airlifted troops and equipment throughout ETO, 2000 – present; Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In November 2009, the 37th gave up its last C-130E and now flies only Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules models.
Campaigns and Decorations
Campaigns. World War II: Egypt-Libya; Tunisia; Naples-Foggia; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Central Europe. Korea: UN Offensive with Arrowhead; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive with Arrowhead; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter. Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait. Kosovo: Air Campaign.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Middle East, 25 November 1942 – 25 August 1943; France, [6–7] Jun 1944; Korea, 28 November-10 Dec 1950. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat “V” Device: 15 January 2004 – 31 October 2005. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 May 1967 – 30 April 1969; 1 May 1970 – 30 April 1972; 1 May 1972 – 30 April 1974; 15 September 1975 – 30 April 1977; 1 July 1978 – 30 June 1980; 1 July 1981 – 30 June 1983; 1 July 1983 – 30 June 1985; 1 July 1985 – 30 June 1987; 1 July 1987 – 30 June 1989; 1 July 1989 – 30 June 1991; 1 July 1991 – 31 March 1992; 1 July 1993–[30 September 1994]; [1 October 1994]-30 June 1995; 1 July 1996 – 30 June 1997; 24 March-10 Jun 1999; 1 January 2000 – 31 December 2001; 1 January-31 Dec 2002; 1 November 2005 – 31 December 2006; 1 January-31 Dec 2007. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, 1 July 1951–[8 May 1952]. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 October 1967 – 28 January 1973.