HISTORY OF THE 48th TROOP CARRIER SQUADRON
1. Activated in early 1942 under Air Transport (Later I Troop Carrier) Command as a C-47 transport squadron; trained in the southeastern United States.
2. Deployed to North Africa as part of the Operation Torch landings; being assigned to Oujda Airfield; French Morocco. Performed troop carrier and transport airlift of supplies to ground forces advancing though Algeria into Tunisia under Twelfth Air Force. Also evacuated wounded personnel to rear areas. Carried airborne paratroopers and performed airborne assault missions over Sicily and Italy as part of the invasion forces.
3. Reassigned to IX Troop Carrier Command in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) in February 1944 as part of the pre-invasion buildup of forces in England. Performed combat airborne assault missions as part of D-Day; Operation Market-Garden and Operation Varsity 1944-1945. Also performed supply and evacuation missions in France and the Low Countries; participated in the Western Allied invasion of Germany; 1945. Continued combat airlift and supply missions until the German capitulation in May 1945. Squadron continued to operate from Achiet, France during 1945, performing transportation of personnel and supplies within Europe.
4. Unit was demobilized in place during August, and members were redeployed back to the Continental United States for discharge from the service in September 1945.
MILITARY DECORATIONS AWARDED TO TSgt BACKSTROM
(in order of importance)
AIR MEDAL. The Air Medal was awarded for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. The Air Medal was awarded to TSgt Backstrom twice, indicating that he flew somewhere between TEN to FOURTEEN combat sorties into enemy territory where his aircraft was subjected to hostile fire from the enemy (the Air Medal was awarded for every FIVE missions flown).
DISTINGUISHED UNIT CITATION. The 48th Troop Carrier Squadron was awarded two DUCs for heroic actions in two critical battles, Sicily, 11 Jul 1943 and France, 6-7 Jun 1944. Later the DUC was renamed to the Presidential Unit Citation. The collective degree of valor (combat heroism) against an armed enemy by the unit nominated for the PUC is the same as that which would warrant award of the individual award of the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross (it should be noted that these three medals are the next medal below the Medal of Honor - therefore receiving the DUC/PUC is a *VERY* high honor). In some cases, one or more individuals within the unit may have also been awarded individual awards for their contribution to the actions for which their entire unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.
GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL. The Good Conduct Medal is awarded for three year periods of honorable and faithful service (or in other words, not getting in trouble to the point where formal disciplinary action was required).
EUROPEAN-AFRICAN-MIDDLE EASTERN CAMPAIGN MEDAL. Was awarded for service in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater of Operations during WWII. TSgt Backstrom was credited with participation in SEVEN separate campaigns (as indicated by one silver star and two bronze star devices are displayed on the ribbon and medal).
WORLD WAR TWO VICTORY MEDAL. Awarded for military service during World War Two.
TSgt BACKSTROM WAS STATIONED AT...
He lived the life of moving here and there, moving every time his unit was needed somewhere else... based on the unit history it appears that he was based out of six different locations during his time in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater of Operations:
Oujda Airfield, French Morocco, late-May 1943 - mid-Jun 1943
Kairouan Airfield, Tunisia, 16 Jun 1943 - mid-Aug 1943
Sciacca Airfield, Sicily, 23 Aug 1943 - early-Oct 1943
Trapani/Milo Airfield, Sicily, 3 Oct 1943 - early-Feb 1944
RAF Folkingham, England, 4 Feb 1944 - late-Feb 1945
Achiet Airfield, France, 28 Feb 1945 - early-Aug 1945
LIFE AFTER WORLD WAR TWO.
Carl appears to have married shortly after returning to the United States. He married Marie Sharp on October 20, 1945 in Buffalo, NY.