Celebrate 75 with the 96th
By Master Sgt. Angela Parks, 934th Airlift Wing historian
/ Published May 06, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL AIR RESERVE STATION --
Birthdays can not go with out a celebration! And just like my own birthday I think we can celebrate the 96 Airlift Squadron Birthday all month long. The 96 AS was constituted (that’s a big word for formed) May 25, 1943, that makes them 75 years young! It is truly incredible the amount of history this squadron holds. The 96 AS began as the 96 Troop Carrier Squadron in Indiana flying the C-47, a transport aircraft during the last year of WWII. They airdropped troops and supplies between 1943-1945 and inactivated in Oct 1945.
In 1947 the 96 AS came back to life as a Reserve unit in Illinois flying the C-46 , also a transport aircraft, and it wasn’t until June 1949 that the aircraft moved to Wold-Chamberlain Field or better known in our time as Minneapolis International Airport. Their story continues in 1951 when they activated for the Korean conflict for a short time. Although they deactivated after that brief stint, that was not to be the end of their story. The importance of the squadron was clear and in 1952 they were resurrected again as the 96 Fighter-Bomber Squadron flying the F-51 aircraft, sometimes referred to as the P-51. They not only flew the F-51 but the F-80 was also within their repertoire of aircraft. It wasn’t until Sept. 8, 1957 that the "carrier" designation came back into their title when they began flying the C-119 between 1957-1970, and then the C-130 as we have all come to know and love.
It has been 75 years for the 96 AS! 75 years of experience, change, conflict/war involvement, growth, broadening skill sets, developing airmen, advancing for the cause and quite frankly doing everything asked of them in order to Fly, Fight and Win. Happy Birthday 96 AS we celebrate YOU all month long!