|Air Transportation Technician
Supervises the loading, unloading, balancing, tying down and stowing of cargo in aircraft and the operation of loading equipment.
Supervises execution of manifests, airways bills, and other forms required in connection with the movement of air freight and passengers.
May assist officer-in-charge of priorities, air freight terminal, or weights and balances in air transportation operation.
Must know limitations of load capacity for all types of cargo aircraft.
Taffic Clerk (MOS 2967)
As member of the crew of a transport airplane, performs various duties in connection with handling of passengers, loading and unloading of cargo, and maintenance of records pertinent to flight.
Shares responsibility for maintenance of cabin discipline among passengers and security of passengers and cargo. Distributes meals to passengers and crew members. Takes appropriate measures for protection of cargo and equipment, guarding against pilferage and unauthorized diversion of cargo. Collects passenger's transportation request, checks loading and unloading of cargo, passengers and passengers baggage. Has custody of all traffic forms and prepares papers required by customs authorities. Serves as couriers for classified mail and cargo.
May jettison cargo when so instructed.
Must be familiar with tie-down systems and proper placement of cargo in cabin to insure safe loading and unloading.
|FLIGHT CLERKS OVER THE
HUMP AND THE BERLIN AIRLIFT
A perception has developed within the loadmaster community that the World War II flight clerks assigned to Air Transport Command flew as part of the crews on what is now famous as the Hump Airlift from India into China. A paper written by a loadmaster who was a student at the US Air Force Senior NCO Academy makes this assertion, basing it on what the author had been told by a retired USAF flight engineer who had flown in Air Transport Command in India and captions of a couple of photographs he found in documents in the school library. His paper assumes that those flight clerks peformed what are now loadmaster duties. His assumptions, however are incorrect. While it is true that there were flight clerks assigned to the India/China Division of the Air Transport Command for flight operations, it appears that they were assigned solely to flights carrying passengers. Cargo loading was handled by ground teams supervised by an air transportation technician who was assigned to ground duty and was not a member of the flight crew. The ICD newspaper the HUMP EXPRESS is available online. I have scrutinized each issue and have only found two references to flight clerks, and both are in regard to passenger flights. In fact, the picture referenced in the SNCO Academy paper is of a flight clerk conferring with representatives of Fleet Service, which was established as part of Air Transport Command in early 1945 to service airplanes being used on passenger flights with blankets, meals, magazines, etc. There are several articles that mention Hump crews and none include a flight clerk. Crewmembers mentioned are a pilot, copilot, aerial engineer or crew chief and radio operator. Hump crews did not even include navigators because (1) they were over land on established routes and (2) weight was critical so only the minimum necessary crew flew on cargo missions. A couple of articles refer to jettisoning of cargo by crew chiefs, engineers and radio operators, with no mention of flight clerks. There are several references to weight and balance officers and to ground loading crew supervisors. One article about a transport crew that crashed but was spared serious injury because their load had been properly secured gives credit to the two members of the loading crew responsible for securing it. Of the two articles that mention flight clerks, the first relates how they passed out magazines provided by Fleet Service to passengers and the other refers to inflight announcements made over the P/A System.
The Berlin Airlift was started as and remained a troop carrier operation from start to finish, with MATS C-54s (including Navy airplanes and personnel) supplementing troop carrier groups that had been brought to Germany from as far away as Japan on TDY status. The airlift started with C-47s but within the first couple of months became an all-C-54 operation. (At least as far as US paticipation is concerned. British and French crews continued flying C-47s, or Dakotas as they were known, along with a variety of other transports. At least one B-24 that had been converted to a transport was operated by Scottish Airways.) As during the Hump operation three years before, the C-47 and C-54 crews consisted of two pilots, an engineer or crew chief and a radio operator. A single C-74 operated on the airlift for six weeks during which it flew 24 round trips into Berlin. A single YC-97 was also assigned to the airlift during the final weeks, but only flew a few missions before suffering a nosegear problem. Since the C-74 featured an elevator and hoists, there may have been some kind of cargo handler assigned to the Berlin missions. At that time MATS included a number of flight traffic specialists as the World War II flight traffic clerks had been renamed, and it is possible that some of them were trained to operate cargo handling equipment on the C-74. On the other hand, their cargos consisted mostly of either coal or flour in bags and was either loaded by hand or by mechanized conveyors.