Emblem of the MATS 20th Air Transport Squadron The 20th Airlift Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was to the 60th Operations Group, Air Mobility Command, stationed at Travis Air Force Base, California.
It was inactivated on 31 December 1997.
The 20th Airlift Squadron was constituted as the 20th Air Corps Ferrying Squadron on 18 February 1942. It was activated on 1 March 1942 at Houlton Army Airbase, Maine and assigned to the Air Corps Ferrying Command. The unit was reassigned to the 23rd AAF Ferrying Wing (later, North Atlantic Wing, ATC), on 19 June 1942. The squadron was redesignated as the 20th Transport Squadron on 19 March 1943. Before the disbanding of the squadron on 1 September 1943, the 20th was tasked with ferrying aircraft to the United Kingdom along the North Atlantic route.
The squadron was reconstituted and redesignated as the 20th Air Transport Squadron, Medium, on 20 June 1952. It was reactivated at Westover AFB, Maine, on 20 July 1952 and assigned to the 1600th Air Transport Group while flying the C-54 Strikemaster. The squadron's mission was to provide inter-theater and strategic airlift to Europe, North Africa and Canada.
The squadron was redesignated the 20th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy, on 18 April 1954. That same year, the squadron transitioned to the C-124 Globemaster. The 20th was reassigned to the 1607th Air Transport Group, on 15 May 1955 and moved to Dover AFB, Delaware.
Reassigned to the 1607th Air Transport Wing, on 18 January 1963, the squadron transitioned the following year to the C-141 Starlifter. Redesignated as the 20th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy, on 1 January 1965, the unit changed its designation again to the 20th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy, on 1 July 1965. Its mission changed as well to that of providing worldwide airlift, including support of operations in Southeast Asia, from 1965 1973.
Reassigned to the 436th Military Airlift Wing, on 8 January 1966, the squadron was redesignated as the 20th Military Airlift Squadron on 15 January.
The next changes to the 20th would not take place until 1973, when the squadron was reassigned to the 437th Military Airlift Wing, on 1 August and moved to Charleston AFB, South Carolina. The squadron provided support for the evacuation of South Vietnam, in April 1975.
The 20th took an active part in operations in Grenada from October December 1983; Panama, 18 27 December 1989; and Southwest Asia, from August 1990 December 1991.
On 1 October 1991, the squadron was redesignated as the 20 Airlift Squadron and reassigned to the 437th Operations Group. As a result of this, the 20th AS relocated to Travis AFB, California. The squadron was reassigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing on 1 October 1993.
The inactivation of the 20th Airlift squadron marked the end of the C-141 Starlifter era at Travis AFB on 16 December, 1997.
- Constituted as the 20th Air Corps Ferrying Squadron on 18 February 1942
- Activated on 1 March 1942
- Redesignated the 20th Transport Squadron on 19 March 1943
- Disbanded on 1 September 1943
- Reconstituted and redesignated as the 20th Air Transport Squadron, Medium on 20 June 1952
- Activated on 20 July 1952
- Redesignated the 20th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy on 18 April 1954
- Redesignated the 20th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy on 1 January 1965
- Redesignated the 20th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy on 1 July 1965
- Redesignated the 20th Military Airlift Squadron on 15 January 1966
- Redesignated the 20 Airlift Squadron on 1 Oct 1991
- Inactivated on 16 December, 1997
- Air Corps Ferrying Command, 1 Mar 1942
- 23rd AAF Ferrying Wing, (later, North Atlantic Wing, ATC), on 19 June 1942
- 1600th Air Transport Group, 20 July 1952
- 436th Military Airlift Wing, on 8 January 1966
- 437th Military Airlift Wing 1 August 1973
- 437th Operations Group 1 Oct 1991
- 60th Operations Group 1 October 1993-31 December 1997.
- Houlton Army Airbase, Maine, 1 Mar 1942-1 September 1943
Westover AFB, Massachusetts, 20 July 1952
- Dover AFB, Delaware, 15 May 1955
- Charleston AFB, South Carolina, 1 Aug 1973
- Travis AFB, California, 1 Oct 1993-31 December 1997
- C-54 Skymaster, 1952-1954
- C-124 Globemaster II, 1954-1965
- C-141 Starlifter, 1965-1997
- Mueller, Robert, Air Force Bases Volume I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982, Office of Air Force History, 1989