In October 1941 the ferrying of planes, training of personnel, and movement of air freight began on a limited scale at Hensley Field, fifteen miles west of Dallas (see NAVAL AIR STATION, DALLAS). On May 26, 1942, the Midwest Sector of the Air Corps Ferrying Command became the Fifth Ferrying Group, and on September 28 activities were transferred to Love Field in Dallas. Fewer than a hundred enlisted men formed the original cadre, and a local recruiting program was initiated. The group had its basic training and indoctrination camp at White Rock Lake, in eastern Dallas.
The primary mission was the ferrying of military planes from factory areas to domestic stations and fighting fronts. Functions in addition to ferrying included training, transport, servicing, and post maintenance. A complete training program for the crew of pilots, navigators, flight engineers, radio operators, and weather observers was formulated to qualify the crews to fly "anything, anywhere, anytime." The first important course was for B-24s. Later courses included A-20s, B-25s, C-47s, and B-29s. Because of its proximity to several great aircraft factories, the Fifth Ferrying Group became a dispatching system for strategic domestic and foreign ferrying routes, and its headquarters became a stopover and servicing point for planes being ferried by other groups of the Ferrying Division. In February 1943 the Fifth Ferry Group assumed supervision of nine subordinate units and service stations of the First Army Airway Communication System Wing, located in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. In the summer of 1944 the group assumed responsibility for the newly established Military Air Transport, which was to transport war supplies and materials, move personnel to and from assignments, and evacuate war wounded from coastal ports of entry to general hospitals.
The personnel of the group comprised both men and women, civilian and military. The Women's Airforce Service Pilots were civilians, and the Women's Army Corps were military. At the end of World War II the Fifth Ferrying Group was discontinued.