Maj. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, left, XVIII Airborne Corps acting commanding general, retired Sgt. Charles Everett Bullard, former 440th Troop Carrier Group member, and Col. Merle D. Hart, 440th Airlift Wing commander pose in front of aircraft #86-0418 bearing new nose art commemorating the XVIII Abn. Corps Tuesday at Pope Air Force Base.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The 440th Airlift Wing dedicated nose art on a C-130 H Hercules aircraft to commemorate the historic relationship between the 440th Troop Carrier Group and the XVIII Airborne Corps "Sky Dragons" at Hangar 4 at Pope Air Force Base Tuesday the 65th anniversary of the XVIII Abn. Corps.

Maj. Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, XVIII Abn. Corps acting commanding general, along with Maj. Gen. James T. Rubeor, 22nd Air Force commander and Col. Merle D. Hart, 440th Airlift Wing commander, had much to say about the significant partnership between the two units.

"Throughout these major airborne operations, the pilots and aircraft of the 440th expertly delivered our paratroopers to their targets. Today, just like 65 years ago, the 440th serves with distinction by delivering our troopers to their drop zones here at Fort Bragg and men and women overseas. That makes this ceremony extra special," said Allyn.

The ceremony was also special for retired Sgt. Charles Everett Bullard, one of the original crew chiefs of the 440th Troop Carrier Group. "I can't put it in words, this is thrilling," he said. After joining the Army Air Corps at age 17 in Arkansas, Bullard flew in C-47s delivering paratroopers to their targets during Operations Market Garden and Varsity.

Master Sgt. Kevin Brody and Senior Airman Jacqueline Pender, 440th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, designed the nose art. "We looked at the history of XVIII Airborne Corps and the 440th back in World War II. We took some of their symbols," said Brody.

After a few revisions, they used the XVIII Airborne Corps patch and master parachutist badge along with the American and Army flags to create the artwork that would be placed on the C-130 by crew chiefs, Staff Sgt. Dale Etter, Senior Airman Aaron Bunch and other Airmen.

"This is an outward symbol of the great relationship and history that our units sustain," said Allyn.

After more than 60 years away, the 440th Airlift Wing returned to their original home at Pope Air Force Base June 10, 2007, to once again put the "air" in airborne for the XVIII Abn. Corps.

From the skies over Europe during World War II to the present and beyond, the XVIII Abn. Corps and the 440th Airlift Wing stand ready to respond to any crisis around the world.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16