Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Association Emblem

At the 2005 Troop Carrier Homecoming, Ace Bowman suggested those present should form an organization of troop carrier and tactical airlift veterans, and that the emblem of the World War II IX Troop Carrier Command should be adopted as the organization emblem. For the convention, organizer Lt. Col. Robert Ruffin had caps made up to present to attendees with patches of Tactical Air Command, Pacific Air Forces, US Air Forces, Europe and IX Troop Carrier Command. There were attendees present whose service dates back to World War II. The IX TCC patch came to symbolize World War II troop carriers after the war. When the association was formed, the patch was adopted as the official emblem and written into the By-Laws in Article II.

The IX Troop Carrier Command was organized in October 1943 as part of Ninth Air Force, which had just transferred to the UK to become the US tactical air force for the upcoming invasion of France. The staff was made up of men who had transferred from I Troop Carrier Command, a training organization that had been set up in the United States in the spring of 1942. Major General Paul Williams, who had commanded troop carrier operations in North Africa and Sicily, but had since taken command of XII Support Command, was brought to the UK to command it. Veteran troop carrier groups that had seen service in North Africa and Sicily transferred to the UK to form the nucleus of the new command, but the bulk of the command was made up of new units that were being trained in the United States. IX Troop Carrier Command flew its first operational mission in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944 in advance of the now-famous D-Day Landings on the Normandy beaches. IX Troop Carrier Command transports continued to provide tactical air transport for US ground and air forces until Germany surrendered in May 1945. In September 1944 its transports dropped paratroops and delivered gliders to the vicinity of Njmegan, in the Netherlands as part of Operation MARKET. Later in the year IX TCC transports dropped supplies to the beleagured 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. The command's final airborne operation was during Operation VARSITY, when paratroops were dropped on the east bank of the Rhine River in preparation for a crossing by British troops.

After the war, IX Troop Carrier Command transferred to the United States to Greenville Air Base, South Carolina to form the nucleus of postwar troop carrier forces. In early 1946, Army Air Forces headquarters decided to elevate IX TCC to become a numbered air force, and it became Third Air Force. The designation was short-lived however. In November 1946 Third Air Force inactivated and its troop carrier groups and wings were placed directly under Tactical Air Command, a new unit that had been formed to command all tactical air forces, including troop carrier, in the Continental US. Two year later, IX Troop Carrier Command was disbanded. However, its legacy lived on in the troop carrier squadrons that made up TAC's troop carrier forces. When the Military Airlift Command activated in January 1966, all of the former air transport wings from Military Air Transport Service were given new designations and lineage belonging to World War II troop carrier groups, most of which had been part of IX Troop Carrier Command. 

The emblem was chosen as the official emblem of the Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Association because it symbolizes the roots of the troop carrier mission, indeed of the modernUS military airlift/air mobility mission.

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