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Troop Carriers at Normandy and Corregidor: Enduring Lessons for Tactical Airlift

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US Army Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth United States

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During World War II, troop carrier aviation developed as a new form of combat flying in order to support emerging airborne tactics. Throughout the war, the troop carrier crews gained experience and developed methods of employment. The airdrop missions at Normandy and Corregidor were two key experiences in the development of airlift tactics. At Normandy, a substandard performance showed that lessons remained unlearned. Eight months later, the troop carriers flew a highly successful mission using a flexible and adaptive plan. As airlift has remained unchanged in many ways during its history, most lessons from the two drops apply today. Therefore, modern airlift doctrine can be analyzed by assessing whether or not it contains the lessons of the past. When examining modern airlift based on Normandy and Corregidor, two ideas stand out. The first is that modern tactics conform to the lessons of World War II. The second is that modern airlift doctrine and joint practices can improve in how they address air integration and cooperation between airlift and airborne forces, lessons learned at both Normandy and Corregidor.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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