In Their Own Words - The Greatest Generation

"At a time in their lives when their days and nights should have been filled with innocent adventure, love, and the lessons of the workaday world, they were fighting in the most primitive conditions possible across the bloodied landscape of France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and the coral islands of the Pacific." "They faced great odds and a late start, but they did not protest. They won the war; they saved the world." "They have so many stories to tell...." Tom Brokaw, author of "The Greatest Generation."

It is fortunate that members of the 434th Troop Carrier Group from WW II have contributed their own documents, photographs, and personal experiences to preserve and share the history of the unit. Sincere appreciation and a huge 'Thank You' are extended to the gentlemen who have shared their experiences.

I was in the 74th Squadron at Aldermaston, England and later at Mourmelon, France. As a Glider Pilot I had secondary duties as Group Mess Officer. After consultation with the Mess Sergeant, we proceeded to change how breakfast was served. The Mess Sgt. lined up 3 field ranges and his crew served hot pancakes, french toast, fried eggs, etc. right off the grill. No more cold stuff in large pans.... a great success. Dinners and lunches were served the same way.

In February, 1944 the 434th glider pilots were transferred to the 435th Troop Carrier Group in France for Operation Varsity. Later we rejoined the 434th at Mourmelon Le Grande in France and remained there until the end of the war. Our pilots and their C-47s planes spent this time in repatriating newly released POW's from Germany.

Check out the video slideshow of B&W photographs taken by Roland during his service as a glider pilot in WW II:

Here is a link to the Silent Wings Museum at Lubbock, TX.

Roland Minot

Memoirs of 1st. Lt. Alvin E. Robinson. (55 page, 1.62mb PDF file) "Robby' Robinson led a very distinguished flying career, beginning in WW II. Robby's exceptional pilot and navigation skills placed him in high demand. He was assigned to the 74th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 434th Troop Carrier Group prior to D-Day, and was selected to lead the entire D-Day glider formation. Robby was selected to be General Omar Bradley's personal pilot on August 8, 1944 and remained so until the General's retirement on August 15, 1953. This is an exceptionally interesting and historical document.

WW II Military Service With The 71st Troop Carrier Squadron - (17 page PDF document) This is an autobiography by 1st. Lt. John Marshall Jones who flew with the 71st TCS in the latter stages of WW II. Included with the autobiography are many photographs Lt. Jones took while in England and France. One photo in particular is an outstanding air-to-air view of a 71st C-47 taken during a supply mission. Lt. Jones' autobiography is an excellent addition to the history of the 71st TCS and the 434th TCG.

Flying With The 71st Troop Carrier Squadron (24 page PDF document) First Lt. Marvin Litke, a C-47 pilot with the 71st Troop Carrier Squadron, wrote an autobiography of his experiences with the 71st TCS during WW II and flying C-119Gs into the 1950s. He included a copy of the orders for the award of the Air Medal to officers and enlisted men of the 71st TCS following D-Day.

Normandy: A Glider Pilot's Story - by George E. "Pete" Buckley, Flight Officer 74th Troop Carrier Squadron, 434th TCG

Market-Garden: A Glider Pilot's Story - by George E. "Pete" Buckley, Flight Officer 74th Troop Carrier Squadron, 434th TCG

IX Troop Carrier Command's Finest and Final Effort - by George E. "Pete" Buckley, Flight Officer 74th Troop Carrier Squadron, 434th TCG
A Very Special 80th Birthday by Bill Miller, C-47 pilot of the 74th Troop Carrier Squadron

Return to 434th History, Lineage