The following is from the dedication speech, by Jerry Teachout, 781st TCS/465th TCW, at the unveiling of a plaque and tree at the Air Force Museum Memorial Park, WPAFB, Ohio in September 1994.
The 465th Bomb Group was born of necessity as were many others during WWII and was equipped with the B-24 Liberator bombers. The 465th BG was sent to Italy and served its country by flying bombing missions all over Germany and supported the infamous bombing raids over Ploesti, Romania cutting the supply of petroleum products to their war machine. The 465th was deactivated after WWII like many others.
The 465th, as we knew it, was reactivated as a Troop Carrier Wing (Medium) on the 21st of August , 1953 at Mitchell AFB, NY replacing the 313th Troop Carrier Group. Our Wing was assigned the 18th Air Force on 25 August 1953 and was equipped with C-119s, the Flying Boxcar. It was under this command that the three Tac squadrons made the departure, from Donaldson AFB, SC to Toul Rosiere AFB, France starting in November 1953, flying in a stream until all had reached their destination. Headquarters units departed from Mitchell AFB in November 1953, lock, stock and barrel via surface transportation.
All units were in their particular assigned place by early January 1954. We then became assigned to the 12th Air Force and attached to the 322nd Air Division (Combat Cargo) as of 1 April 1954.
Shall we reminisce, a little bit, about those days?
Do you remember the national news coverage received through Walter Winchells Sunday evening radio news program that Moscow Molly predicted that the 465th Wing deployment would end in disaster and that we would lose over half of our aircraft due to inexperience, weather, unreliable aircraft and other reasons?
Do you remember why the flying squadrons were split up, the Group Headquarters and 780th to Toul Rosiere, France, supposedly our new base of operations, the 781st to Weisbaden and the 782nd to Neubiberg? The members of the unit sent to Toul will never forget the miserable winter and spring of 1954 with the mud, the tents and the lack of practically everything because the French just were not ready for us..
For the crew members, do you remember that our GCA unit was the very first one that was ever built and how it got us through some of the worst terminal weather ever experienced? Do you remember the places that we landed that were barely on the map? Why??? To satisfy a NATO commitment that required us to literally run an airline carrying every type of cargo known and to supply parts to the NATO Nations that were flying American built aircraft.
In further remembrance of the times of international crisis there was the closing of the Suez Canal, the Lebanon crisis, others of human suffering of the Hungarians in 1956, the avalanches in Italy, the constant presence of the Cold War and the Iron Curtain throughout our stay in Europe. The 465th was there and our mark lies all over that area. It was a very trying time and we were there.
The 465th Troop Carrier Wing was deactivated and replaced by the 317th Troop Carrier Wing on 8 July 1957 to carry on what we had started.
No, the 465th unit designation did not stop with the deactivation of the 465th Troop Carrier Wing. The 465th Strategic Bomb Wing reactivated as of 15 November 1962 equipped with B-52 and KC-135 aircraft at Robins AFB, Georgia until its deactivation on 25 July 1968. In this period of time it served the nation as a nuclear deterrent at Robins and furnished many crews on TDY to the Vietnamese conflict.
Each person has his, or her, own memories of the period with which the 465th TCW is concerned from the first announcement of the European deployment in the early fall of 1953 until we came home when our time was up in 1956 and 1957 leaving the job to be done by others that replaced us.
In this plaque and tree we leave our bit of USAF history as a permanent reminder that we were there and we did our job and did it well....
The plaque reads:
465TH TROOP CARRIER WING
(C-119 side view)
TO HONOR THOSE WHO SERVED WITH
PRIDE AND DISTINCTION
DEDICATED SEPTEMBER 1994
The following was extracted from an email to the Evreux Alumni mailing list on 10/28/99 from Bill Faris (TRAB/EFAB 54-56).
Subj: Reference 465th History
Jim's history is correct with the exception the 313th was a Troop Carrier Wing not group. I was assigned to Mitchell AFB in November 52. It was then the 514th TCW which was a reserved Unit. I was with 514th M & S Group transferred to 514th Maint. Sq. later the 313th. In Aug. 53 the 465th Maint. Sq. advanced party left Mitchell AFB for Toul Rosiere Air Base aboard the USS Patch around Nov/Dec 53. Main body followed in March 54 on the USS General Bunker. The main body arrived in Rose' in Mud on 3 April 54
The following was extracted from an email to the Evreux Alumni mailing list on 10/28/99 from Dick Neufang.
Subj: 465th Troop Carrier Wing Origin
Anyone interested in when or where the 465th was born visit the library of Congress and check out a copy of "Air Force Combat Units of World War II." This book was compiled by the Office of Air Force History in 1983 with a Foreword by Richard H. Kohn, Chief, Office of Air Force History.
On page 340 of said text, the 465th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was constituted on 19 May 1943 and activated on 1 August 1943 at Alamogordo, NM. It moved to McCook Air Field, Nebraska on 5 Oct 1943-1 Feb 1944; Pantanella Airfield, Italy - Apr 1944-Jun 1945; Waller Field, Trinidad - 15 Jun - 31 Jul 1945; Donaldson AFB, SC, 1 Feb to 30 Nov 1953 where it was Redesignated 465th Troop Carrier Group (Medium). It went to Toul/Rosiere AB, France in Dec. 1953 and then to Evreux AB on 20 May 1955. Its motto was, ONUS FERENS VITAM (Cargo Carrying Life).
The 322nd Air Division started out as a Troop Carrier Wing on 4 Dec 1944. It was redesignated 322nd Air Division in Germany on 1 Mar 1954. Both the 465th and 317th were redesignated Wings in 1955.