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773rd Airlift Squadron [773rd AS]

The 773rd Airlift Squadron is one of the oldest airlift squadrons in existence today. It historically calls itself the "Fleagles" and is assigned to the 910th Airlift Wing (Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC)), Youngstown Warren Air Reserve Station, Vienna, OH. The unit flies the C-130-H2 Aircraft.

The 773rd AS was originally designated as Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), flying the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. Initially activated at Geiger Field, WA, on 1 August 1943, the squadron has since moved to various locales around the world.

On March 15, 1944 the squadron arrived at Celone Air Field, Italy and flew its first combat mission on 30 March, 1944. Assigned to the 15th Air Force, 463rd Bombardment Group, 5th Bombardment Wing the squadron flew bombing missions against the Axis oil refineries, aircraft factories, and railroad yards. Due to the constant threat of Axis Fighters, Fifteenth Air Force sent the 325th Fighter Group along for escort duty on numerous missions. The 773rd Bombardment Squadron participated in the liberation of Rome, the invasion of Southern France, and the bombing of the communications centers in Northern Italy. In 18 May 1944, the 773rd Bombardment Squadron earned its first Distinguished Unit Citation for the bombing of Ploesti, Rumania. Later, the 773rd received its second Distinguished Unit Citation on the 24 March 1945 for the bombing of tank factories around Berlin. The 773rd also received Campaign Streamers for Rome-Arno, Southern France, North Apennines, Po Valley, Europe Air Offensive, Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Central Europe and for Air Combat.

The 773rd Bombardment squadron was deactivated in September 1945 and reactivated as the 773rd Troop Carrier Squadron on 16 January 1953. During the Vietnam War, the 773rd ALS flew resupply throughout Southeast Asia and was chosen to bring POW's home from Hanoi. As the war drew to a close, the 773rd ALS was chosen to evacuate the last Americans from the Saigon during the pullout. Since then, the squadron has flown combat and humanitarian missions in virtually every corner of the world--from Lebanon to Berlin, and from Southeast Asia to Africa.

After arriving at Dyess AFB, TX, the 773rd ALS routinely deployed to Europe in support of NATO forces and participated in such events as the Israeli Airlift in 1973, and the US State Department Aid Mission "King Grain" for drought relief in the African countries of Mali, Mauritania, and Chad in 1974.

During the crisis in the Middle East, the squadron deployed to Al Kharj Air Base, Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm, and the Liberation of Kuwait in 1991. During the deployment, it flew over 850 sorties carrying equipment, supplies, and personnel in support of coalition forces in addition to the humanitarian airlift of refugees from Iraq to Saudi Arabia. On 1 October 1993, the 773rd was deactivated once again.

Then on 1 April 1995, with the Reserve Forces building, the Department of Defense reactivated the 773rd at the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport, joining the 910th Airlift Wing and the 757th Airlift Squadron. Since that time the 773rd has flown numerous humanitarian missions from Europe to the former Yugoslavia. Delivering peacekeeping forces, food, and medicines to aid the people of the region. The 773rd also continues the rotational airlift requirement for Central and South America, Southeast Asia and the Far East.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:15:18 ZULU