7310th TAW

7310th Tactical Airlift Wing
322d Tactical Airlift Wing

** Anyone having information on the 7310 & 322 TAW's
is welcome to contribute information to this page.


Although originally envisioned as a bomber base by USAFE, as a result of the Berlin Airlift, Rhein-Main became a principal European air transport terminal. With the end of the blockade, the 513th TCG was inactivated on 16 October 1949. The 61st TCG returned to routine transport operations until the outbreak of the Korean War. The 61st was reassigned to McChord Air Force BaseWashington on 21 July 1950.

The 61st was replaced by the 60th Troop Carrier Wing, which transferred from Wiesbaden Air Base, West Germany on 2 June 1950. The 60th was equipped with the heavier C-82 Packet cargo aircraft. In 1953, the C-119 Flying Boxcar arrived, bringing an increased cargo capability to the wing. The 60th TCW consisted of the following squadrons:

In 1955, with the opening of USAFE bases in France, most heavy transport flights were shifted there and Rhein-Main became a passenger and tactical cargo hub. The 60th Troop Carrier Wing relocated to Dreux-Louvillier Air BaseFrance on 15 October 1955. The 1614th Support Squadron of the 1602nd Air Transport Wing (MATS) headquartered at Chatereaux, France provided aircraft maintenance, passenger services, air cargo handling, hotel operations and airlift operational support during the 1950s and 1960s on behalf of the Military Air Transport Service. Rhein-Main was placed under the 7310th Air Base Wing, and for over a decade provided ground service as well as cargo and passenger loading and unloading for USAFE and MATS transports.

During the Cold War, the dependents of military and government personnel living on base or in the surrounding communities attended the following schools: Gail S. Halvorsen Elementary School, Rhein-Main Elementary School, William H. Tunner Middle School, Rhein-Main Junior High School, Frankfurt American High School.[1]

USAFE turned over the northern part of the base to the German government for use as Flughafen Frankfurt am Main, the chief commercial airport for the greater Frankfurt area, in April 1959, with the remainder of the base remaining in the hands of USAFE as the principal aerial port for U.S. Forces in Germany.

435th Tactical Airlift Wing[edit]

C-5As flown from Rhein-Main AB being offloaded in the Middle East during Operation Desert Shield.

U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster IIIs and C-141 Starlifters are parked on the ramp at Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, on 26 December 1995. The aircraft are being used to deploy troops and equipment for the NATO Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia and Herzegovina and neighboring countries in support of Operation Joint Endeavor.

The 1966 closure of USAFE bases in France increased cargo traffic at Rhein-Main extensively. On 1 July 1969, MAC transferred the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing from RAF High WycombeEngland, to Rhein-Main as host unit and upgraded its facilities. Squadrons assigned to Rhein-Main along with the 435th TAW were:

The 435th TAW operated the Rhein-Main air terminal and providing aircraft maintenance for transitory C-17 Globemaster IIIC-141 Starlifter and C-5 Galaxy aircraft supporting aerial ports in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The 37th TAS took part in airlift operations during Operations Desert Shield/Storm in Southwest Asia (the Middle East), from 14 August 1990 – 29 March 1991. It also air-dropped humanitarian supplies in Operation Provide Comfort for the relief of fleeing Kurdish refugees in northern Iraq in April–May 1991. The 37th AS conducted airlift and airdrop missions to Bosnia and Herzegovina for Operation Provide Promise, starting July 1992.

The 55th AAS flew aeromedical missions throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

On 1 July 1975, the USAF and Military Airlift Command entered into an agreement with the Federal Republic of Germany that only transport aircraft be stationed at Rhein-Main Air Base.

Events of note at Rhein-Main Air Base:

  • On December 10, 1978, the first group of military dependents evacuated from Iran on C-141s landed in Rhein-Main after leaving Tehran late the day before. They had spent the first night in Athens, their second leg of the trip was to Rhein-Main and then they were transported to McGuire Air Force Base. Each plane held approximately 150 women and children.
  • On January 20, 1981, the American hostages held during the Iran hostage crisis were flown to Rhein-Main in a C-9 Nightingale aeromedical aircraft.
  • On 23 October 1983, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon occurred. Rhein Main AB was instrumental in the processing of the casualties from that bombing in the days and weeks to follow. 241 military personnel perished in the blast.
  • On August 8, 1985, The Red Army Faction terrorist group sneaked a car laden with explosives onto the base and parked it behind the headquarters building. At approximately 7:15 AM the car exploded, killing Airman First Class Frank Scarton of Michigan and Becky Jo Bristol of San Antonio, Texas, and wounding 20 others.
  • In 1990, Rhein-Main Air Base was a major staging base for supplies and equipment heading to the Gulf War.

    The unit was activated as the 322d Tactical Airlift Wing on 1 January 1970 at Rhein-Main Air Base West Germany, replacing the 7310th Tactical Airlift Wing.[2]

    The 322d Wing used rotational Lockheed C-130 Hercules squadrons for tactical airlift in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. In addition, the wing used C-118s and C-131s for aeromedical airlift until late 1972, then shifted to C-9As for this work, continuing aeromedical airlift operations through March 1975.[2]

    The wing utilized KC-135 (VIP equipped) to provide transportation for CINCUSAFE until early 1973, followed by KC-135B until early 1974 and by C-135C thereafter. Used VT-29 aircraft to support Air Force North, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization component.[2]

    In March 1973, the wing gained the 7th Special Operations Squadron, equipped with C-47, UH-1H, and C-130E aircraft, which was reassigned from the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Ramstein Air Base when the 26th moved to Zweibrücken AB. All but the C-130s were transferred a few months later, to conduct unconventional warfare operations in Europe.[2]

    The wing was inactivated in June 1975 when it was replaced by the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing.[2]


    ** We would like to invite any former members of these Units to please join our Rhein Main Reunion Group and hopefully you will attend our reunions. Hopefully, you will be able to reconnect with many of your former friends.
    ** Looking for a volunteer to be the POC for the 7310th TAW.
    ** See the Rhein Main Units Tab.

    Webmaster - Stan -- stansvets@gmail.com