64th Service SquadronAn often unwritten part of Troop Carrier Group operations was the support of the service squadrons. These units were responsible for heavy aircraft maintenance support to the Troop Carrier Groups on station and in the field. The 64th Service Squadron, 49th Service Group was attached to the 440th TCG joined the 440th at Bottesford and remained with the Group for the duration of the war.
Comprised of about 225 men the 64th operated from four tractor trailers and set up heavy maintenance support from airfield hangers. In addition the unit had four mobile repair and reclamation teams that could offer field support for repair and reclamation of aircraft downed in the combat zone.
On the air base the unit set up repair shops to support the individual aircraft crew chiefs with equipment and expertise to repair most any part of the planes. There were instrument and electric shops, machine shops, welding and sheetmetal, fabric, paint and carpentry shops for repairs to C-47s and gliders. In addition members assembled gliders and parapacks.
In the field the 64th had four mobile repair and reclamation units that operated from specially equipped 6x6 trucks with booms and winches to move large aircraft sections. They were called upon to repair aircraft with mechanical problems just about anywhwere and salvage parts of crashed aircraft from the battlezones. Parts and whole sections of aircraft were disassembled in the field and loaded onto flat bed semi-trucks for return to the unit. Each mobile unit had a 12 man team, with each member having certification in multiple aspects of repair.
The 64th was an essential part of 440th Troop Group operations and contributed much to the overall success of the Group.
Photos and information courtesy of SSgt Lino Martinez, 64th Service Squadron Mobile Unit No. 3.