18th Airlift Squadron

18th Military Airlift Squadron  

18th Air Transport Squadron

18th Ferrying Squadron 

                 18th Ferrying Squadron 

18th Air Transport Squadron  

  18th Military Airlift Squadron

 18th Airlift Squadron

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18th Airlift Squadron History and Lineage


From activation in April until July 1942 the 18th ferried aircraft from the United States to the South Pacific and Southwest Pacific theaters of operations. Most flights originated from McClellan field and proceeded via the Hawaiian Islands, Christmas Island, Canton Island, Fiji Islands, and New Caledonia, to Australia. From July 1942 until disbandment in October 1943, the 18th serviced outbound aircraft, briefed crews of these aircraft and controlled flights until they reached Hawaii.

Reactivated on 18 Jul 1954, at McGuire AFB, NJ, under the Military Air Transport Service (MATS). Became operational in September, flying C-118’s to transport passengers cargo, and mail to South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, as well as within the U.S.. Participated in opera­tions, exercises, and maneuvers of the U.S. armed services; transported important U.S. and foreign officials: and provided airlift support for the United Nations (UN). In December 1956 and January 1957 airlifted over 9,700 Hungarian refugees from Rhein Main AB, West Germany to the United States. In 1961 began flying C-135’s. The first major airlift with these new aircraft was to the Arctic with 2,300 Army personnel for cold weather training. In 1963 participated in the airlift of UN forces and cargo to the Congo and airlifted personnel and cargo to New Zealand in support of Antarctic operations. Changed in 1965 from mostly European flights to airlift support of forces in Vietnam. Participated in an airlift to the Dominican Republic in March 1965 with US forces to preserve order. On 1 Feb 1966, shortly after being designated the 18th Military Airlift Squadron (MAS), all personnel were reassigned, and on 15 Jun 1966 the squadron inactivated.

Became a C-141 squadron when activated in July and organized in August 1968. On 15 August, flew its first mission--to Southeast Asia (SEA). Most regularly scheduled flights through 1969 were to SEA in support of the Vietnam Conflict. Typically, the trip from McGuire AFB and back took from five to seven days. Again in March-June 1972, flights to SEA took a major share of C-141 missions. With the exception of SEA missions, the 18th MAS usually flew transatlantic missions to Greenland, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Each year from activation in 1968 to 1974, resupplied scien­tific stations in the Antarctic involved in Operation Deep Freeze. For three or four months each year, between October and February, flew to New Zealand from McGuire, and then shuttled from New Zealand to the Antarctic.

Provided airlift support for Presidential and Vice-Presidential trips within the U.S. and overseas. Supported NASA’s Apollo program through 1971. Frequently flew humanitarian missions for relief of victims of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, and snowstorms; including flights to Pakistan in 1970 and 1971; Managua, Nicaragua, in 1972 and 1973; Guatemala, Italy, and Turkey in 1976; the Dominican Republic in 1978; and the Yemen Arab Republic in December 1982. Provided, on occasion, airlift for the U.S. State Department and in April 1972 transported two musk oxen to China in exchange for two giant pandas. Airlifted supplies to Israel, 13 October-14 November, in support of that country's defense against its Arab neighbors. Provided airlift of UN peace Keeping forces to the Middle East after the ceasefire, between 19 November and 16 December 1973. Participated, April-June 1975, in airlift of Vietnamese refugees from SEA to the United States. Airlifted French and Belgian troops to Zaire in May and June 1978 to protect and evacuate Europeans threatened by civil war. In July-October 1980, helped airlift an F-4 wing to Egypt in support of first joint USAF/Egyptian Air Force exer­cise. On 9-12 May 1983, the first all woman C-141 crew, members of the 18th MAS, flew from McGuire AFB to Rhein Main AB, Germany on an aeromedical evacuation mission.

Lineage: Constituted 18th Ferrying Squadron on 18 Feb 1942. Activated on 27 Apr 1942. Redesignated 18th Transport Squadron on 19 Mar 1943. Disbanded on 31 Oct 1943. Reconstituted, and rede­signated 18th Air Transport Squadron, Medium on 22 Mar 1954. Activated on 18 Jul 1954. Redesignated: 18th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy, on 1 Jan 1962. 18th Military Airlift Squadron on 8 Jan 1966. Discontinued, and inactivated on 15 Jun 1966. Activated on 11 Jul 1968 and organized on 1 Aug 1968. Redesignated 18th Airlift Squadron 1992. Inactivated 1 July 1995.

ASSIGNMENTS: Pacific Sector, Air Corps Ferrying Command, 27 Apr 1942; 25th Wing, Army Air Forces Ferrying Command (later, South Pacific Wing, Air Transport Command), 23 Jun 1942; 11th Ferrying Group, 28 Jul 1942-31 Oct 1943. 1611th Air Transport Group, 18 Jul 1954; 1611th Air Transport Wing, 18 Jan 1963; 438th Military Airlift Wing, 8 Jan-8 Jun 1966. Military Airlift Command, 11 Jul 1968; 438th Military Airlift Wing, 1 Aug 1968; 438th Military Airlift Group, 1 Oct 1978; 438th Military Airlift Wing, 1 Jun 1980 – 30 September 1994; 305th Operations group, 1 October 1994 – 1 July 1995.

STATIONS: Hamilton Field, Ca, 27 Apr 1942-31 Oct 1943. McGuire AFB, NJ, 18 Jul 1954-8 Jun 1966. McGuire AFB, NJ, 1 Aug 1968 - 1995.

COMMANDERS: Capt Ralph B. Tew, 27 Apr-unkn 1942; unkn, unkn 1942-24 Jun 1943; 1st Lt G C Hopkins, 25 Jun-unkn 1943. Lt Col Augustin Rapisardi, 18 Jul 1954; Maj Ralph I Leslie, 13 Feb 1956; Maj Wallace G. Matthews, unkn-1959; Lt Col Charles G Dennis, Unkn-1961; Lt Col Kenneth P. Christiansen, 1 Jun 1962; Lt Col Roy W. Coffman, 1 Feb – 8 Jun 1966; Lt Col Vernon N. Luber, 1 Aug 1968; Lt Col Raymond E. Johnson, 23 Aug 1969; Lt Col Ralph R. Ruyle Jr., 4 Mar 1971; Lt Col (later Col) Kenneth A. Anderson, 10 May 1971; Lt Col John J. McGuire Jr., 13 May 1974; Lt Col Donald A. Logeais, 1 Feb 1976; Lt Col Jackie D. Bryant, 1 Jul 1976; Lt Col Charles W. Hardie, 1 Dec 1978; Lt Col John A. Jackson Jr. 3 Mar 1980; Lt Col Edwin E. Tenoso, 23 Feb 1981; Lt Col William B. Morrison III, 23 Apr 1982; Lt.Col Thomas D McGurk, 1983; Lt. Col Edward F Mcphillips,1985; Lt.Col George D Schafer, 1990; - - -- - Lt Col Ray M. Cole Jr., 31 Jul 1987;  -----  Lt Col Brian Binn, July 1990; Lt Col William “Skip” Scott III, August 1992; Lt Col Clifton Bray, 1994 was Squadron Commander when 18th was deactivated in July 1995.  ------------(Help me to complete--send names).

AIRCRAFT: Unkn, 1942-1943 (ferried B-17 and B-26 to Jun 1942). C-118, 1954-1961. C-135, 1961-1966. C-141, 1968 - 1995.


Service Streamers: American Theater (WWII)

Campaign Streamers: Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers: Panama, 1989-1990. Decorations: Air Force Outstanding Unit 

Awards: 1 Jul 1966-30 Jun 1967; 1 Jul 1967-[8] Jun 1968; 1 Jul 1982-30 Jun 1984.

Foreign: Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 Aug. 1968 – 28 Jan. 1973.

EMBLEM: A light blue lozenge (diamond shape) within a narrow yellow border. The lower half bearing a white cloud formation shaded gray and outlined black, surmounted by a blue demi-sphere with a diagonal, to viewer's upper left, white grid lines and black rim. In the upper half of the lozenge a stylized black dart trailing a wedge-shaped white and black vapor trail. Below the lozenge a black blank scroll.

Significance: The Globe alludes to global mission the clouds represent all-weather capa­bility. The dart plane form symbolizes modern and projected aerospace vehicles. The blue background indicates sky and space. Approved on 22 Oct. 1963.