440th AW Ends Service That Began on D-Day

The Air Force Reserve’s 440th Airlift Wing has flown its last C-130 Hercules out of Pope Field, N.C., marking the end of the flying service of an historic unit that traces its roots to the drop of 101st Airborne Division paratroopers into Normandy during the June 4, 1944, D-Day assault on Nazi-occupied Europe. A 440th AW aircrew flew the C-130H2 to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., on June 29, the last flight for the unit, which will be inactivated in September, according to an AFRC release. The Hercules, which has served with the 440th since it came from the factory in 1988, was turned over to the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group. The wing’s other C-130s had been transferred earlier to other units to replace older Hercules. “This is the final chapter that started with the buildup to Normandy,” said MSgt. Jeff Brown, flight engineer for the last mission. “It’s a sad day when a piece of history this large comes to an end.” The shutdown of the 440th also marks the end of the wing’s direct support to the Army’s paratrooper training mission at the adjoining Fort Bragg, which it has provided since moving to Pope in 2007.