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313th Airlift Squadron
313th Airlift Squadron.png
313th Airlift Squadron Patch
Active 1943–1945
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Airlift
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
446th Airlift Wing
446th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ McChord Air Force Base
Engagements World War II
Cold War
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm

The 313th Airlift Squadron (313 AS) is a United States Air Force Reserve squadron, assigned to the 446th Operations Group, stationed at McChord Field, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. It is a corollary unit of the active duty 7th Airlift Squadron, 62d Airlift Wing (62 AW).


The mission of the 313th AS consists of airlift, aerial delivery, and aerial refueling on a worldwide basis, flying the C-17 Globemaster jet transport. The majority of the airlift mission is conducted in the Pacific and Alaska; however, missions are also flown to Europe, Africa, and South America.


Activated in late 1943 as a C-47 Skytrain troop carrier squadron, trained under I Troop Carrier Command in the United States. Was not deployed until the spring of 1945 to England, being assigned to the IX Troop Carrier Command, Ninth Air Force. Was not used in combat operations, however did transport supplies and equipment to the front-line ground forces primarily into Germany and evacuated casualties to rear areas. Returned to the United States in September 1945 and was a transport squadron for Continental Air Forces until its inactivation in September 1946.

Redesignated as the 313th Troop Carrier Squadron September 1, 1957, the unit transferred to Portland International Airport, Oregon. The squadron flew the C-46 and the C-119 Flying Boxcar, and in September 1958 flew the first Reserve mission outside the continental United States taking a R-33 engine to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. The squadron was ordered to active service for a month in 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis. It became part of the 939th Troop Carrier Group in 1963 and was redesignated the 313th Tactical Airlift Squadron July 1, 1967.

July 25, 1968, the squadron transferred to McChord AFB, Wash., where it was redesignated as the 313th Military Airlift Squadron as part of the 939th Military Airlift Group. At McChord, it flew the C-141A Starlifter and with a global strategic mission, 313th aircrews saw much service providing airlift to Southeast Asia.

The 313th Military Airlift Squadron was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award in June 1970 and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm in January 1973. A second Air Force Outstanding Unit Award was awarded June 1974 following participation in Operation Nickel Grass in defense of Israel. It became part of the 446th Military Airlift Wing in July 1973.

The 313th Airlift Squadron has also received numerous safety awards and has recently completed 39 years and more than 168,000 hours of accident-free flying.

Operations and Decorations

  • Combat Operations. Called to active service during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and in 1968-1969. Flew missions in support of anti-terrorism operations after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack on the U.S.
  • Campaigns. Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.
  • Decorations. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device: 1 August 2002 – 31 July 2002. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 23 December 1964 – 22 January 1965; 26 January 1968 – 1 June 1969; 1 July 1974 – 30 June 1975; 1 July 1975-30 June 1977; 1 July 1992 – 30 June 1994; 1 July 1994 – 15 August 1995; 1 July 1996-30 June 1998; 1 August 2000 – 31 July 2002; 16 August 2003 – 17 August 2004; 18 August 2004 – 17 August 2005; 18 August 2005 – 17 August 2006; 18 August 2006 – 17 August 2007; 18 August 2007 – 17 August 2008; 18 August 2008 – 17 August 2009. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 April 1966 – 28 January 1973.


  • Constituted as 313th Troop Carrier Squadron on 23 October 1943
Activated on 1 November 1943
Inactivated on 7 September 1946
  • Re-designated: 313th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium' on 10 May 1949
Activated in the Reserve on 27 June 1949
Ordered to active duty on 1 April 1951
Inactivated on 2 April 1951
  • Re-designated: 313th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 26 May 1952
Activated in the Reserve on 13 June 1952
Re-designated: 313th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 1 September 1957
Ordered to active duty on 28 October 1962
Relieved from active duty on 28 November 1962
Re-designated: 313th Tactical Airlift Squadron on 1 July 1967
Re-designated: 313th Military Airlift Squadron (Associate) on 25 July 1968
Re-designated: 313th Airlift Squadron (Associate) on 1 February 1992
Re-designated: 313th Airlift Squadron on 1 October 1994.





 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

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