|6th Airlift Squadron|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||305th Operations Group|
|Garrison/HQ||Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey|
|Nickname(s)||Bully Beef Express|
|Engagements|| Southwest Pacific Theater|
Southwest Asia Service
Distinguished Unit Citation (4x)
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (14x)
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
|6th Airlift Squadron emblem (approved 1 December 1952)|
The 6th Airlift Squadron is part of the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. It operates the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III supporting the United States Air Force global reach mission worldwide. The main base, along with the flying squadron, is located near the borough of Wrightstown, New Jersey.
Train and equip Boeing C-17 Globemaster III aircrews for global airland operations.
World War II
The squadron was constituted in a major Army reorganization of October 1933, but it was not activated until 1939, shortly after World War II had begun in Europe and the Air Corps began to expand. The squadron was allotted to the Fourth Corps Area and partly organized by July 1934 with reserve personnel at Shreveport, Louisiana and assigned to the 2d Transport Group, On 5 June 1936 it was allotted to the Fifth Corps Area and again organized with reserve personnel at Columbus, Ohio by August 1937. All reserve personnel were withdrawn from the squadron in October 1939.
The squadron was activated on 14 October 1939, at Olmsted Field, Pennsylvania and assigned to the 10th Transport Group. Relieved from the 10th Transport Group on 1 December 1940 and assigned to the 60th Transport Group. Relieved from the 60th Transport Group on 19 May 1941 and assigned to the 61st Transport Group.
The squadron made airlift history during World War II when, in October 1942, it moved to Port Moresby, New Guinea. Then flying Douglas C-47 Skytrains, the 6th became the first personnel transport squadron to fly in the Pacific. It was during this assignment that the squadron earned the nickname Bully Beef Express, as it carried tons of boiled beef to allied combat troops in Australia and New Guinea. The French called it "boujili boef', and the Americanization of the term has continued to this day to be the squadron's emblem.
It has performed worldwide airlift operations since April 1970. The 6th conducted resupply missions in support of scientific stations in the Antarctic during Operation Deep Freeze from 1971 to 1974. It resupplied Israel during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It evacuated Vietnamese refugees during the fall of Saigon in April through June 1975. It has also supported U.S. forces in Grenada, October–December 1983, during the invasion of Panama, December 1989 – January 1990, and during the liberation of Kuwait, August 1990 – March 1991.
- Constituted as the 6th Transport Squadron on 1 October 1933
- Organized with reserve personnel by July 1934 (remained inactive)
- Activated on 14 October 1939
- Redesignated 6th Troop Carrier Squadron on 4 July 1942
- Redesignated 6th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy, on 21 May 1948
- Redesignated 6th Military Airlift Squadron on 8 January 1966
- Discontinued and inactivated on 8 June 1968
- Activated on 8 April 1970
- Redesignated 6th Airlift Squadron on 1 November 1991
- Explanatory notes
- Aircraft is Boeing C-17A Globemaster III Lot XV, serial 03-3126
- Clay, Steven E. (2011). US Army Order of Battle 1919–1941 (PDF). Vol. 3 The Services: Air Service, Engineers, and Special Troops 1919–1941. Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-98419-014-0. LCCN 2010022326. OCLC 637712205. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Retrieved 17 December 2016.