Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

42d Expeditionary Airlift Squadron

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Country  United States
Type  Airlift
42d Expeditionary Airlift Squadron
Active  1942-1944; 1956-1957; 2008-2009
Branch  United States Air Force
Engagements  Aleutian Islands Campaign

The 42d Expeditionary Airlift Squadron is a provisional unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe to activate or inactivate as needed. It was last active in 2009 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany in 2009.


World War II

The squadron was first activated at Elmendorf Field, Alaska in May 1942. The 42d transported personnel and supplies to the Aleutian Islands until February 1944.

As combat operations diminished, the squadron departed Alaska with the air echelon leaving on 11 February 1944 and the ground echelon following a week later. The squadron was reunited at Lawson Field, Georgia on 6 March to serve as a Replacement Training Unit (RTU). RTUs were oversized units which trained aircrews prior to their deployment to combat theaters. The squadron also began to participate in exercises with the parachute school at Fort Benning.

However, the Army Air Forces found that standard military units, based on relatively inflexible tables of organization, were proving less well adapted to the training mission. Accordingly, it adopted a more functional system in which each base was organized into a separate numbered unit, while the groups and squadrons acting as RTUs were disbanded or inactivated. As a result, one month after the squadron arrived in Georgia, in April 1944, it was disbanded and its personnel and equipment were transferred to the 811th AAF Base Unit (Parachute Flight Training).

Special Operations

The squadron was reactivated as a "Special" troop carrier squadron at RAF Molesworth in fall 1956, when it absorbed the personnel, SA-16 and C-119F aircraft and special operations mission of the 582d Air Resupply Group. In the spring of 1957, as United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) was preparing to wind down operations at Molesworth, the squadron moved to RAF Alconbury, where it was inactivated in December.

Provisional squadron

It was reformed as the 42d Expeditionary Airlift Squadron in 2007 and allotted to USAFE to activate as needed for operations. USAFE activated the squadron from 2008 to 2009 to fly missions in the United States Africa Command area.


  • Constituted as the 42d Transport Squadron on 17 April 1942
  • Activated on 2 May 1942 Redesignated 42d Troop Carrier Squadron on 5 July 1942 Disbanded on 14 April 1944
  • Reconstituted on 6 February 1956 and redesignated 42d Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium (Special)
  • Activated on 25 October 1956 Inactivated on 8 December 1957
  • Redesignated 42d Expeditionary Airlift Squadron on 6 November 2007 and allotted to United States Air Forces in Europe to activate or inactivate as needed
  • Activated on 1 October 2008 Inactivated on 15 June 2009


  • Eleventh Air Force: 2 May 1942 (attached to XI Air Force Service Command [Provisional]) after 21 June 1942)
  • XI Air Force Service Command: 8 August 1942 (attached to 11th Air Force Troop Carrier Group [Provisional]) after 1 July 1943)
  • 60th Troop Carrier Wing: 6 March 1944 - 14 April 1944
  • Third Air Force: 25 October 1956 - 8 December 1957
  • 404th Air Expeditionary Group: 1 October 2008 - 15 June 2009
  • Stations

  • Elmendorf Field, Alaska, 2 May 1942
  • Lawson Field, Georgia, 6 March 1944 - 14 April 1944
  • RAF Molesworth, England, 25 October 1956
  • RAF Alconbury, England, 31 May 1957 - 8 December 1957
  • Ramstein Air Base, Germany 1 Oct 2008 - 15 June 2009
  • References

    42d Expeditionary Airlift Squadron Wikipedia