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Valor Without Arms: A History of the 316th Troop Carrier Group, 1942-1945

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Valor Without Arms: A History of the 316th Troop Carrier Group, 1942-1945
  • by Michael N. Ingrisano, Jr.
    • Merriam Press World War 2 History Series
      • Sixth Edition 2012
      • 470 6×9-inch pages
      • 93 photos and illustrations
      • 29 maps and charts
The 316th Troop Carrier Group was formed at Patterson Field, Ohio, in February 1942.  By November, the Group air echelon consisting of Headquarters, 36th, 37th, 44th, and 45th Squadrons, flew to its first overseas post in Egypt. There, staff sergeant pilots flew their C‑47s in support of the British 8th Army across North Africa from Egypt to Tunisia, delivering supplies and pioneering in air evacuation.
     The Group, less the 37th Squadron which remained in Egypt, dropped the 82nd Airborne Division in the invasion of Sicily as part of the operations HUSKY 1 and 2, on 9-11 July, 1943.  In HUSKY 2, the 316th lost 12 out of the 23 troop carrier command aircraft that were shot down by friendly fire.
     In February 1944, the Group moved to Cottesmore, England, from where it participated in the invasions of France (Normandy, D-Day), Holland (MARKET GARDEN), and Germany (VARSITY).
     After 30 months of overseas duty, the 316th, one of the first troop carrier groups to be sent overseas, was one of the first to return to the United States in May 1945.
     Stationed at Pope Field, North Carolina, it trained with the 82nd for the pending invasion of Japan.  That mission was aborted when Japan surrendered in August 1945.
     Group personnel wore nine battle stars, three Distinguished Unit Citations, Silver Stars, numerous Distinguished Flying Crosses, Air Medals, Purple Hearts, and Soldiers' Medals.
     Ingrisano, a radio operator, flew with the 37th Squadron from August 1943 to the end of the war.
     His history is based primarily upon official records. It is heavily footnoted, contains personal recollections from members of the Group, and a roster of some 2700 names.
     Students of the air war in World War II, especially of vertical deployment of troops, and genealogists will find this history to be an excellent source for future research.
     He is also the author of a pre- and post-Civil War history, An Artilleryman's War: Gus Dey and the 2nd United States Artillery.

Reviews

This is the sixth book I've read about WWII glider/troop carrier operations. It is as good and well documented as Green Light by Wolfe and 32nd Troop Carrier Squadron by VanReken. If you are interested in researching a Troop Carrier Group or Squadron's history, this is the book that will show you through its extensive reference listings and footnotes where to find the information (both records and location of records). In fact, some of the footnotes provide detail as interesting as the text! Mr. Ingrisano really did the 316th TCG a great service in writing this book and telling their story. I am sad to have recently learned that he is no longer with us. I am researching my Grandfather's history as a Glider Pilot of the 314th TCG/32nd TCS (one of a few he served with) and this book is helpful because the 316th and 314th were sister Groups and often located closely to one another, with mirroring movements.
     Additionally, the Appendices have a wealth of detailed information, like tabulated combat missions, service members killed in action, their Army Serial Number (ASN), squadron affiliation and place of interment that would be expensive in travel and time to chase down yourself. For those of you researching a particular aircraft tail number, Mr. Ingrisano was thoughtful enough to link crews and aircraft in Appendix IV and V. A list of Glider Pilots is in Appendix VI, and tabulated lists and information of combat crews for each of their combat missions. On p. 363 is a listing of aircraft nose codes of the IX Troop Carrier Command by Wings and Groups. Wing Mission Reports are listed in Appendix XI and 316th TCG Roster is in Appendix XII. And, for the newbie, a handy glossary of military acronyms are found in Appendix XIII. If you want to get a good idea of life and service with the Troop Carrier Wings during WWII, you're looking for a better understanding of Wing organization and/or you are looking for a particular detail about a person or airplane, buy this book! It is fantastic and we owe Mr. Ingrisano a great deal of thanks for putting so much effort into this book.
—James T. Parker
 
Contents
  • Introduction
  • Preface
  • In the Beginning: 1942
  • The Middle East and North Africa: 1942-1943
  • HUSKY 1 and 2, and GIANT: Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944
  • To England
  • Settling In: Training, Training and More Training
  • Normandy: NEPTUNE: BOSTON and FREEPORT
  • TRANSFIGURE to MARKET GARDEN
  • MARKET GARDEN
  • Prelude to VARSITY
  • VARSITY
  • It's Over—Over There
  • Epilogue
  • Bibliography
  • Index
  • Appendices
    • Combat Missions
    • Roll of Honor
    • Honors
    • Air Echelon, November 1942
    • Air Echelon, February 1944
    • Glider Pilots
    • Combat Crews: HUSKY 1 and HUSKY 2
    • Combat Crews: NEPTUNE: BOSTON and FREEPORT
    • Combat Crews: MARKET GARDEN
    • Combat Crews: VARSITY
    • Wing Mission Reports
    • 316th Troop Carrier Group Roster: 1942-1945
    • Glossary

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