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Green Light!: A Troop Carrier Squadron's War from Normandy to the Rhine
By Martin Wolfe
Publisher: United States Government Printing 1989 516 Pages
PDF 47 MB
The history of air warfare is replete with accounts of derring-do and courage by fighter pilots, bomber pilots, and crews. Their exploits are exciting, often very colorful, and capture the imagination of the public. But air warfare does not consist of only fighter and bomber combat. It is a melange of disparate elements— fighters, bombers, airlifters, tankers, and a remarkable variety of ground support activities—combining to form an effective whole. For example, during the recent Gulf War, F-117, F-15, and F-lll combat operations received well-deserved praise; however, these operations would not have been nearly as successful had it not been for the extraordinary support of the U.S. Air Force's tanker and airlift fleet supporting these operations.
In Green Light!, Martin Wolfe tells the story of another organization in an earlier war whose activities never received much publicity yet had a great impact on various combat operations. During World War II, the 81st Troop Carrier Squadron, as its name implies, carried and dropped paratroopers onto the battlefield, often in the face of heavy enemy fire. Despite sometimes heavy losses in this hazardous and demanding job, the 81st TCS never wavered. This book relates the exploits of the 81st, which mirror the combat experience of all World War II troop carrier units.
The term "troop carrier" as an official organizational name is now obsolete, but the direct descendants of the troop carriers are still flying today. The new C-17, the older C-5 and C-141, and especially the workhorse C-130 of Air Mobility Command, the Air Force Reserve, and the Air National Guard fly troops all over the world. These airlifters and their forebears make possible today's "Global Reach—Global Power."