Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
World War II Air Commando / Chindit Memorial
At the Quebec conference in August 1943, President Roosevelt agreed to Prime Minister Churchill's request for U.S. air support of the British "Chindits" commanded by General Orde Wingate.
General H.H. Arnold seized on the opportunity to use the flexibility of air power to fully support ground combat operations. Recruiting of a 528 man all-volunteer force began in September 1943, and by December 1943, men and equipment were in place in India and early operations began.
On March 5, 1944, "Operation Thursday" was launched. British "Chindits" were glider-borne at night to a field 150 miles behind Japanese lines in Burma. A dirt airstrip was carved out the next day, and within a week 12,000 additional troops. 1,300 mules and tons of equipment and supplies were airlifted into "Broadway."
L-1 and L-5 light planes, gliders and a
After May 1944, the redesignated groups' efforts were then directed to the support of the British 14th Army in its victorious drive to Rangoon. Additional personnel were assigned to the group. P-47's replaced the P-51's and operations continued with the same esprit de corps.
The far sighted strategy of General Arnold, the imaginative leadership of Colonels Philip Cochran and John Alison together with the bravery of the 1st Air Commandos played a significant role in the defeat of the Japanese in Burma.
Today Special Operations Air Commandos continue this tradition of dedicated service in missions around the world.
The name Air Commando was chosen by Gen. H. H. Arnold as
Air Commando Motto
During night training a glider crashed killing British Chindits. There was great concern this would lower morale of the Wingate Troops assigned to the glider operations. A written message was received from the British commander advising:
"Please be assured that we will go with your boys, any place, any time, any where."
This phrase was adopted as a motto for the 1st Air Commando Group. It is still used in an abbreviated form by Special Operations Command of the U.S. Air Force.
The Chindits were highly trained jungle fighters who were organized as a reinforced division. Their mission was to infiltrate behind the Japanese and disrupt communication and supply lines. Chindits was a variation of "Chinthe." The
[List of deceased Air Commandos] See photo # 3.
Location. 30° 24.88′ N, 86° 42.039′ W. Marker is in Hurlburt Field, Florida, in Okaloosa County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Independence Road and Cody Avenue. Touch for map. Located at the Hurlburt Field Memorial Air Park, just inside the main gate. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 Independence Road, Hurlburt Field FL 32544, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Medal of Honor Recipients (within shouting distance of this marker); Special Tactics Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Operation Just Cause (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Medal of Honor Recipients (within shouting distance of this marker); C-47 Sky Train (within shouting distance of this marker); Spooky (within shouting distance of this marker); Airman First Class John Lee Levitow (within shouting distance of this marker); C-46 Commando (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hurlburt Field.
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on the Chindits. (Submitted on November 3, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. 1st Air Commando Group Beginings. (Submitted on November 3, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
3. Chindits - Special Force Burma 1942-44. (Submitted on November 3, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Categories. • Air & Space • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 3, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 187 times since then and 51 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 3, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.