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"The 316th had the hazardous and vital job of flying supplies and equipment into the battle zone for Montgomery's forces. Killing Germans was the one aim of all the coordinated operations. As the fighting progressed, battle casualties began to show up at the 316th's field at Agedabia, So for the return trip to their base at Tobruk, as many litters as could be laid on the floor of the planes were taken aboard and flown back for hospitalization in the rear areas. Major Francis Z. Reinus, of New York City, group surgeon, had charge of this operation. Colonel Washburn said only two men died en route, and they had been wounded critically in a land mine explosion as they were coming to the base on a truck.

Later, after results of this spur-of-the-moment evacuation had been studied, it became a planned and large-scale operation, resulting in the saving of many lives and in higher morale.

It was for maintaining supply and evacuation lines in that area that the group was awarded its first Presidential Citation."

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United States Air Force, World War 1939-1945, Regimental histories, 316th Troop Carrier Group


Military History

316th Troop Carrier Group

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