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3d Airlift Squadron Plaque,14″, Mahogany


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3d Airlift Squadron Plaque

A carefully carved and hand painted plaque of the 3d Airlift Squadron.

14 inches in length.

The 3rd Airlift Squadron is a squadron of the 436th Airlift Wing of the USAF. It is based at Dover Air Force Base near Dover, Delaware.

World War II
The squadron goes back to the days of World War II when it was activated at Pope Field, North Carolina, in March 1942, as the 3d Air Corps Ferrying Squadron. Two months later, the 3d moved to India, where it was stationed at Chabua Airfield, Upper Assam, India. It was part of the India-China Wing of Air Transport Command and carried supplies and equipment back and forth across The Hump. The squadron was disbanded in late 1943.

Strategic airlift

During the Korean War, the 3rd was reconstituted at Brookley Air Force Base, Alabama as the 3d Air Transport Squadron, and began flying regularly scheduled airlift missions in its eight Douglas C-124 Globemaster IIs to the Arctic, Caribbean, and South America. In June 1958, the squadron moved to Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, where it continued to fly C-124s until August 1965, when it transitioned into jets with the arrival of the first Lockheed C-141 Starlifter.

In June 1970, the squadron, now the 3rd Military Airlift Squadron received the first operational Lockheed C-5 Galaxy to be assigned to a Military Airlift Command (MAC) flying organization. Three years later, the 3d moved to its present home with the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover Air Force Base. Aircrews of the 3d flew support missions for French troops in the Zaire peacekeeping effort. For their efforts, they were co-recipients with a 9th Military Airlift Squadron crew of the Mackay Trophy for the 1978 airlift operation. The 3d proved itself and the C-5 by setting MAC records for departure reliability. In 1986, the 3d received the 436th Military Airlift Wing’s Flying Eagle award four times for having the highest percentage of on-time departures in the wing.

In April 1988, a 3d crew, overcoming the difficulties of flying into unfamiliar territory, airlifted drilling equipment into Semipalitinsk, in the Soviet Union. The mission was part of a joint nuclear weapons detonation monitoring agreement signed by the United States and the Soviet Union. The crew was subsequently awarded the Mackay Trophy for the “most meritorious flight of the year”.

The 3rd continues its distinct history and support of Air Mobility Command by flying humanitarian and contingency missions into such places as Southwest Asia, Somalia, Rwanda, and Haiti. The squadron participated in the first-ever six-ship formation flights of C-5’s in support of the Strategic Brigade Airdrop Test. In October 2003 a crew from the 3rd Airlift Squadron landed the first Galaxy in Iraq at Baghdad International Airport. Until 2004 the unit was also the only Special Operations Low Level capable unit to fly the C-5 Galaxy. This capability was transferred to the smaller and more modern C-17 in 2001.

In 2007 the 3rd Squadron transitioned from operation of the C-5 to the newer Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.


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