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Travis Air Force Base Fact Sheets

This database holds fact sheets on Travis Air Force Base weapons, organizations, inventory, careers and equipment. Air Force fact sheets contain up to date information and statistics. If a fact sheet is not listed, please contact the 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs office at 60amwpa@us.af.mil

Fact Sheets Graphic

Travis Air Force Base Fact Sheets

This database holds fact sheets on Travis Air Force Base weapons, organizations, inventory, careers and equipment. Air Force fact sheets contain up to date information and statistics. If a fact sheet is not listed, please contact the 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs office at 60amwpa@us.af.mil



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21st Airlift Squadron


The 21st Airlift Squadron was activated at Archer Field, Brisbane, Australia, April 3, 1942, as the 21st Transportation Squadron. Throughout World War II the squadron remained in the New Guinea-Australia theatre airlifting various types of cargo. In July 1942, the unit was redesignated the 21st Troop Carrier Squadron and began flying the C-46 Commando and the C-47 Skytrain.

When the Korean conflict began in October 1950, the 21st was again called into action. The 21st was the first squadron to ferry supplies into marginal dirt strips. The squadron participated in all major engagements in Korea, including the massive airdrops at Sunchon in which 290.8 tons of supplies and 1,093 paratroopers were dropped in three days. During the 1960's the squadron began airlift missions in support of operations in Southeast Asia.

In 1967, the squadron was redesignated the 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron. In 1968, during the siege of Khe San, crews from the 21st performed massive airdrops and assault landing supporting the besieged outpost. Through 1973 and 1974, the "Bee liners" were instrumental in repatriating American POW's to US soil.

During the 80's, the 21st frequently participated in exercises including TEAM SPIRIT, FOAL EAGLE, TANDEM ORBIT, and COPE THUNDER. The 21st has earned five Distinguished Unit Citations, one Presidential Unit Citation, and four Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards. The 21st was selected for the 1991 Military Airlift Command's Outstanding Tactical Airlift Unit Award and best Active Duty Tactical Airdrop Award at the 1993 Rodeo competition.

On Oct. 1, 1993, the 21st was transferred from Yokota AB, Japan to Travis AFB, Calif. On that historic day, the conversion from the C-130 Hercules to the mammoth C-5 Galaxy was made. Since the conversion to the C-5 Galaxy in 1993, the 21st has helped avert conflict between North and South Korea by flying triple aerial-refueling mission carrying Patriot missile batteries directly to South Korea.

They were also involved in several humanitarian missions in 1994 including transportation of tons of badly needed medical supplies and food to disease-ravaged Rwanda, missions in support of the Haitian and Cuban relief efforts, and closer to home, the 21st provided the first C-5 crew to fly critically-needed firefighter’s equipment to earthquake-stricken Los Angeles. With the awesome combination of the C-5 and aerial-refueling, the 21st delivers heavy and outsized cargo from the cold of Russia to the heat of Indonesia.

Today, the 21st Airlift Squadron continues its long history of service to the nation. On April 3, 2006, the 21st Airlift Squadron celebrated its 64th anniversary. On the same day, the squadron officially transferred from the mighty C-5 Galaxy to America's Premier Airlifter, the C-17A Globemaster III. On Aug. 8, 2006, the 21st welcomed its first C-17, "The Spirit of Solano". With the arrival of that aircraft, the men and women of the 21st Airlift Squadron have continued to uphold the fine tradition of the "Bee liners" as part of the 60th Air Mobility Wing, America's First Choice.

Lineage: Constituted as 21st Transport Squadron on 7 Mar 1942. Activated on 3 Apr 1942.  Redesignated 21st Troop Carrier Squadron on 5 Jul 1942.  Inactivated on 31 Jan 1946.  Activated on 15 Oct 1946.  Redesignated: 21st Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy, on 21 May 1948; 21st Troop Carrier

Squadron, Medium, on 2 Feb 1951; 21st Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy, on 1 Dec 1952; 21st Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium, on 18 Sep 1956; 21st Troop Carrier Squadron on 8 Dec 1966; 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron on 1 Aug 1967; 21st Airlift Squadron on 1 Apr 1992.

Assignments: Air Transport Command, US Army Forces in Australia (later, Air Carrier Service, Air Service Command, Fifth Air Force), 3 Apr 1942; 374th Troop Carrier Group, 12 Nov 1942–31 Jan 1946 (attached to 54th Troop Carrier Wing, 2 Jul–c. 1 Sep 1944). 374th Troop Carrier Group, 15 Oct 1946 (attached to Guam Air Materiel Area, Provisional, 1 Feb–31 Aug 1947; Twentieth Air Force, 5 Mar–15 May 1949; 19 Bombardment Wing, 16 May 1949–31 Jan 1950; Thirteenth Air Force, 1–16 Feb 1950; 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 17 Feb–8 Jun 1950; Far East Air Forces Combat Cargo Command, Provisional, 16 Oct 1950–25 Jan 1951; 374 Troop Carrier Wing, 29 Jun 1951–27 Mar 1952; 6122nd Air Base Wing, 28 Mar–14 Apr 1952; 403rd Troop Carrier Wing, 14 Apr–1 Dec 1952; 374th Troop Carrier Wing, 3 Feb 1956-); 483rd Troop Carrier Group, 18 Sep 1956 (remained attached to 374th Troop Carrier Wing to 1 Jul 1957; attached to 483rd Troop Carrier Wing, 1 Jul 1957–7 Dec 1958); 483rd Troop Carrier Wing, 8 Dec 1958; 315th Air Division, 25 Jun 1960 (attached to Detachment 1, HQ, 315th Air Division, 25 Jun 1960–20 Oct 1964; 6315th Operations Group, 20 Oct 1964–7 Aug 1966); 374th Troop Carrier (later, 374th Tactical Airlift) Wing, 8 Aug 1966; 374th Operations Group, 1 Apr 1992; 60th Operations Group, 1 Oct 1993-Present.

Stations: Archerfield, Australia, 3 Apr 1942; Port Moresby, New Guinea, 18 Feb 1943; Archerfield, Australia, 28 Sep 1943; Nadzab, New Guinea, 26 Aug 1944; Biak, 14 Oct 1944; Atsugi, Japan, 20 Sep 1945; Manila, Philippines, Dec 1945–31 Jan 1946. Harmon Field (later, AFB), Guam, 15 Oct 1946; Clark AFB, Philippines, 27 Jan 1950; Tachikawa AB, Japan, 29 Jun 1950; Ashiya AB, Japan, 21 Jul 1950; Brady AB, Japan, 3 Sep 1950; Itazuke AB, Japan, 24 Oct 1950; Tachikawa AB, Japan, 25 Jan 1951; Ashiya AB, Japan, 26 Jul 1951; Tachikawa AB, Japan, 18 Oct 1951; Ashiya AB, Japan, 28 Mar 1952; Tachikawa AB, Japan, 1 Dec 1952 (deployed at Kisarazu AB, Japan, 14–20 Nov 1955; advanced party at Naha AB, Okinawa, 18 Aug–14 Nov 1958); Naha AB, Okinawa, 15 Nov 1958; Ching Chuan AB, Taiwan, 31 May 1971; Clark AB, Philippines, 1 Nov 1973; Yokota AB, Japan, 1 Oct 1989–1 Oct 1993; Travis AFB, CA, 1 Oct 1993-Present.

Commanders:   Maj Edgar W. Hampton, 3 Apr 1942; Maj Fred M. Adams, 12 Oct 1942; Maj Philip M. Eckberg, 23 May 1943; Maj Myron J. Grimes, 23 Sep 1943; Maj Joseph H. Moore, 3 Jul 1944;  Capt Conrad A. Rowland, 5 Mar 1945; unkn, Nov 1945-31 Jan 1946.  Capt Robert T. Best, 15 Oct 1946; Maj Joseph Mooney, c. Jan 1947; Maj Jack E. Stephens, 17 Jul 1947-unkn; Lt Col Phil B. Cage, c. 1950-unkn; Lt Col William F. Kelleher, c. Jun 1951; Maj Kenneth C. Farmsted, c. Jul 1951; Lt Col James F. Hogan, c. 31 Jul 1951; Maj Frank E. Loftus, 31 Dec 1951; Maj Vernon L. Scott, 16 May 1952; Lt Col Henry G. Althaus, 7 Jun 1952; Lt Col Robert E. Harrington, 1 Dec 1952; Lt Col Harry S. Coleman, 10 Jan 1954; Lt Col Jack D. Dieckman, 19 Oct 1954; Maj Howard Stillwell, 5 Jul 1956; Lt Col Maurice E. Lee Jr., 18 Sep 1956; Lt Col David T. Fleming, 23 Aug 1958; Lt Col Leon A. Smith, 10 Oct 1960; Lt Col Ned M. Letts, 21 Jul 1961; Lt Col Donald. C. Carlson, 24  Dec 1963; Lt Col Jack D. Dieckman, 16 May 1965; Lt Col John F. Ohlinger, 24 Mar 1967;  Lt Col Richard J. Warner, 18 May 1968; Lt Col Richard E. Hansen, 30 Jun 1970; Lt Col Wilfred R. Gebhart, 31 May 1971; Lt Col Daniel W. Snow, 12 Sep 1971; Lt Col Alonzo L. Sudduth, 16 Dec 1971; Lt Col John J. Bibo, 5 Apr 1972; Lt Col Howard H. Geddes, 15 Dec 1972; Lt Col Lawrence L. Brown, 16 Mar 1973; Lt Col Howard H. Geddes, 16 Apr 1973; Lt Col Bruce D. Smith, 22 Jul 1973; Lt Col Myles A. Rohrlick, 9 Dec 1973; Lt Col Jack McConathy Jr., 6 Nov 1975; Lt Col Gerald L. Irwin, 24 Dec 1975; Lt Col Horace J. Randall, 3 Mar 1977; Lt Col Dennis A. Forgey, 28 Jun 1978; Lt Col George W. Howe, 9 May 1980; Lt Col Peter H. Jackson, 5 Feb 1981; Lt Col Ronald S. Michaels, 10 Nov 1981; Lt Col Charles R. Holland, 12 Sep 1983; Lt Col John F. Mauss, 21 Jun 1985; Lt Col Gary J. Machovina, 19 Dec 1986; Lt Col Roger D. Baskett, 16 Jun 1988; Lt Col David L. Spracher, 20 Sep 1989; Lt Col James L. White, 17 Dec 1990; Col Felix M. Grieder, 1 Oct 1993; Lt Col Richard A. Phillips, 5 Jan 1994; Lt Col David Miller, 22 May 1995; Lt Col Donald A. Scherbinske, 21 Jun 1996; Lt Col Kenneth R. Carson, 21 Jun 1997; Lt Col William D. Murdoch, 10 Jun 1999; Lt  Col Michael D. Retallick, 13 Jun 2000; Lt Col Daniel G. Groeschem, 22 Jul 2001; Lt Col Paul H. Guemmer, Jul 2003; Lt Col David E. Pollmiller, 7 Jun 2005; Lt Col William A. Spangenthal, 29 Jun 2007; Lt Col Ethan C. Griffin, 12 Jun 2009-17 May 2011; Lt Col Joseph M. Dingman, 17 May 2011-2013; Lt Col Christopher L. Van Hoof, May 2013- Jun 2015; Lt Col Robert V. Lankford, Jun 2015-Apr 2017; Lt Col Erik S. Fisher Apr 2017-May 2019; Lt Col Steven T. Nolan May 2019-Mar 2021; Lt Col William A. Street, Mar 2021-Present.

Aircraft: DC-2, DC-3, C-39, C-40, C-49, C-50, C-53, C-56, C-60, B-17, B-18, and LB-30, 1942; C-47, 1942-1946; C-46, 1945-1946. C-46, 1946-1949, 1950, 1952; C-54, 1946-1950, 1952-1956; C-47, 1950-1952; C-119, 1956-1959; C-130, 1958-1971, 1971-1993; C-5, 1993-2006; C-17, 2006-Present.

Operations: Included paratroop drops at Nadzab, New Guinea, in Sep 1942 and airborne assault on Sukchon/Sunchon, Korea, in Oct 1950, as well as aerial transportation in South and Southwest Pacific during World War II and in Far East during Korean War. Continued troop carrier and transport operations in the Far East after 1953.  Furnished aircraft and crews for transport and special operations in Southeast Asia, 1962-1973. Flew logistical support and evacuation missions to Cambodia, 17 Mar-12 Apr 1975, and South Vietnam, 17 Mar-29 Apr 1975.  Airlift in Southwest Asia, Dec 1990-Jul 1991, and evacuation of Clark AB, Philippines, Jun-Jul 1991. Provided airlift support for personnel, equipment and supplies to all branches of the US military, 1993-. Transported outsized cargo and helicopters into Dawrin, 1999- Worldwide tactical airlift to Southwest Asia, 2001-

Service Streamers: None.

Campaign Streamers: World War II: Papua; New Guinea; Northern Solomons; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines. Korea: UN Defensive, with Arrowhead; UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers: None.

Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citations: Papua, 23 Jul 1942–23 Jan 1943; Papua, 12 Nov-22 Dec 1942; Wau, New Guinea, 30 Jan-1 Feb 1943; Korea, 27 Jun-15 Sep 1950; Korea, 28 Nov-10 Dec 1950.   Presidential Unit Citation: Southeast Asia, 8 Aug 1967-7 Aug 1968. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat “V” Device: 12 Feb-17 May 1975; 27 Feb-1 Jul 2008. Meritorious Unit Award: 1 Jul 2005-30 Jun 2007.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jan-30 Jun 1961; 1 Jul 1964-30 Apr 1966; 8 Aug 1966-7 Aug 1967; 1 Jul 1983-30 Jun 1985; 1 Nov 1993-31 Jul 1995; 1 Aug 1995-30 Jul 1997; 1 Jul 1997-30 Jun 1999; 1 Jul 1999-30 Jun 2000; 1 Jul 2000-30 Jun 2001; 1 Jul 2001-30 Jun 2003; 1 Jul 2003-30 Jun 2004; 1 Jul 2004-30 Jun 2005; 1 Jul 2007-30 Jun 2009; 1 Jul 2009-30 Jun 2010.  Philippine Presidential Unit Citation (WWII). Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation: 1 Jul 1951-27 Jul 1953. Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation: 21 Jul-15 Aug 1972.

Lineage, Assignments, Stations, and Honors through 2 August 2022.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 2 August 2022.

Emblem: Gules, within an annulet, its inner edge a lightning flash Or, a hurt its outer edge a lightning flash and charged with a stylized bee displayed Sable garnished Or; all within a diminished bordure of the third. MOTTO: BEE LINERS. Approved on 31 Jul 1959 (K 39771) and modified on 9 Dec 1994; replaced emblem approved on 30 Oct 1942 (28653 A.C.).

Prepared by: SSgt Taylor Clifton