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Old 5th March 2020, 12:16
Stig Jarlevik Stig Jarlevik is offline
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Re: USAF Transport overflying Balboa High School, Panama

A few points Kaki

The base unit you mention (554th at Memphis) was deactivated sometime in October 1946. The four aircraft delivered were transferred to Morrison Field, West Palm Beach, FL and handled by 1103rd BU. Now these base units are a bit tricky and they are not the actual AAF Squadrons which flew them. A BU was as the name suggests assigned to a base and it handled all the aircraft assigned to that base. Anyway the transfer was finished by October 15th when all the ground personal had been transferred.
At this point I actually believe the unit was simply known as the C-74 Squadron (The "Second C-74 Squadron" was not activated until shortly after New Year 1947).
The assignment of flights into Albrook Field, Panama was taken on 6 Jan 1947 with two weekly flights. the first being made already on 7 Jan.

True units were formed on 14 March 1947 when both 21st and 22nd Air Transport Squadrons (ATS) were activated within the 2nd ATG. Both Squadrons were quickly re-designated 31st and 32nd ATS on 7 May 1947.

The C-74 was a problematic aircraft since it had its share of engine-problems, and was in fact found to be too heavy for most bases, making it a bit restricted where it could move. Staff was not yet really capable of thinking "big" meaning loading and offloading took far too long simply because they lacked equipment and enough personal. A funny point was that while on the ground it could not be parked more than 24 hours on a single place since it was too heavy for its own tyres and had to be rolled a little bit.

In 1948 when MATS was created a totally different structure was taken on. BU were now assigned ATG status and the two C-74 Squadrons were re-designated again. But that is a different story...

The routes you mention are probably correct, even if I would say the C-74 units flew everywhere they were assigned to go, so much more places than those you list.

Cheers
Stig
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