Puneet Varma (Editor)

816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron

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Country  United States
816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron
Active  1942-1945; 1953-1960; 2006-present
Branch  United States Air Force
Engagements  World War II - EAME Theater Korean War Afghanistan Campaign Iraq Campaign
Decorations  Distinguished Unit Citation (2x) Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron (816 EAS) is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 385th Air Expeditionary Group, stationed at Al Udeid Air Base, Doha, Qatar and has a few detachments. It is currently engaged in combat operations in Southwest Asia.


During World War II as the 816th Bombardment Squadron, it was one of the last B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber squadrons deployed to Southern Italy as part of the Fifteenth Air Force 483d Bombardment Group in March 1944.


The 816 EAS is equipped with C-17 Globemaster III transports and supports Coalition forces engaging in combat operations as part of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, and also operates in the Horn of Africa.

The mission of the 816th EAS is to provide global strategic airlift, airdrop, aeromedical evacuation and humanitarian relief, to create an air bridge for personnel, equipment and supplies throughout their assigned areas of responsibility.

During a recent deployment of personnel. the aircrews flew about 3,000 sorties in the C-17 Globemaster III, logged more than 8,000 flying hours and airlifted more than 148 million pounds of cargo and more than 37,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors, marines and distinguished visitors throughout Southwest Asia.


Established in late 1943 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron, trained under Third Air Force in Florida. Was deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), being assigned to Fifteenth Air Force in Southern Italy. Engaged in long-range strategic bombardment of enemy military, industrial and transport targets, including oil refineries and production oilfields in Italy; France; Southern Germany; Austria and the Balkans. Continued strategic bombardment until German capitulation in May 1945.

After V-E Day, was assigned to Air Transport Command Green Project which was the movement of troops from Pisa Airfield staging area in Morocco. B-17s were dearmed with flooring and seats for 25 passengers installed. Crew consisted of Pilot, Co-Pilot, Navigator and Flight Engineer. Carried passengers from Pisa to Port Lyautey Airfield, French Morocco where ATC transports moved them across the Atlantic or to Dakar for movement via South Atlantic Transport Route. Inactivated in Italy in September 1945.

Reactivated by Far East Air Force in 1952 in Japan as a C-119 Troop Carrier squadron. Engaged in combat operations in South Korea transporting personnel and supplies to front-line units, under hazardous conditions. Also evacuated wounded personnel to hospital facilities in South Korea and Japan. Remained in Japan after the 1953 Armistice, providing intra-theater transport within Japan, South Korea and Okinawa, inactivated in 1956.

Reactivated in 2006 as a C-17 Globemaster III squadron as part of the Global War on Terrorism. Provides intra-theater transport within Southwest Asia and other locations as directed in support of units engaged in combat operations.


  • Constituted 816th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 14 September 1943
  • Activated on 20 September 1943 Inactivated on 25 September 1945
  • Re-designated 816th Troop Carrier Squadron (Medium) on 15 November 1952
  • . Activated on 1 January 1953

    Inactivated on 18 September 1956
  • Re-designated 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron and converted to provisional status, 1 October 2006.
  • Activated on 1 October 2006


  • 483d Bombardment Group, 20 September 1943 – 25 September 1945
  • 483d Troop Carrier Group, 1 January 1953 – 18 September 1956
  • Air Mobility Command to activate or inactivate at any time after 1 October 2006
  • Attached to: 379th Expeditionary Operations Group, 1 October 2006-Present


  • Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington, 20 September 1943
  • MacDill Field, Florida, 7 November 1943 – 2 March 1944
  • Sterparone Airfield, Italy, 9 April 1944
  • Pisa Airfield, Italy, 15 May-25 September 1945
  • Ashiya AB, Japan, 1 January 1953
  • Tachikawa AB, Japan, 17–18 September 1956
  • Al Udeid Air Base, Doha, Qatar, 1 October 2006 – Present
  • Aircraft

  • B-17 Flying Fortress, 1943–1945
  • C-119 Flying Boxcar, 1953–1956
  • C-17 Globemaster III, 2006–Present
  • References

    816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron Wikipedia

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