Operation Magic Carpet

USS Saratoga – Operation Magic Carpet

When the Army Air Forces Band (Special) completed their tour of duty in the European Theater of Operations without Major Glenn Miller in late July 1945, they returned to the United States from the port of Le Havre, France aboard the SS Santa Rosa, as part of “Operation Magic Carpet”. Following V-E Day and, later, V-J Day, eight million American service men and women returned home as part of Operation Magic Carpet, aboardĀ ocean liners, troop ships, cargo ships and warships. Priority medical cases returned via AAF Air Transport Command and Naval Air Transport Service aircraft. During this time, the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) started a series of programs named “Magic Carpet” rebroadcasting big band programs from the USA to service personnel overseas. The programs included the bands of Ray McKinley, Tex Beneke and others including many members of the Army Air Forces Band (Special) who had returned to civilian life. You can learn more about Operation Magic Carpet and the AFRS Magic Carpet programs in a catalog produced by Dennis M. Spragg and located here:

AFRS Magic CarpetĀ