Dear Mr. Bailey,

I appreciate your letter. Hope what I will be sending will be interesting. Enclosed is a history of the 64th Troop Carrier Group of which the 17th squadron was a part. I was not part of the original 64th, but joined them in July, 1944. After going overseas as a private, unattached and unassigned, I was assigned to the Bombardment Training Center where new combat crews were trained for combat. I stayed in North Africa for two years. After the BTC was deactivated, I was sent to the 64th at Ciampino Air Base, Rome. When I arrived at the 64th, I knew nothing of the glory the 64th had earned. When I presented my orders to the 17th, there was a huge table in the orderly room piled high with medals, literally hundreds of them. I realized I was not joining an ordinary outfit.

I was trained at Chanute and graduated as an electrical specialist. The man who was the electrician in the 17th was a M.Sgt. and shortly after I joined, he was sent home on points. They gave me his job, little black box, and tool box. Here I was still a private, I knew no one and they didn't know me. I had learned my job well those two years in Africa and I was going to have to prove myself. Shortly after my arrival I made PFC, two months later Corporal. In the winter I made Sgt., and by late spring I was T.Sgt. and head of the department with an assistant. Then the 64th was broken up and I was sent to Waller Field, Trinidad. I stayed there until September, 1945, when I was sent home and discharged in October.

I was discharged with an American Theater Ribbon, European Ribbon, African Ribbon, Middle East Ribbon with one Silver Battle Star, five Overseas Service Bars, and one Service Stripe. I was part of the campaigns of Rome, Arno, North Appenines, Po Valley, Southern France, and the Rhine Land. I am enclosing a poem that I composed for a 64th reunion and a replica of the 17th patch.



Forrest W. Gregg
May 1996