"Operation Magic Carpet" was the movement home of the eight million American service personnel stationed overseas at the end of World War II. Beginning with the European Theatre in May 1945 and continuing with the Pacific Theatre in September 1945, the Merchant Marine and Navy shipped service men and women home aboard passenger, cargo and military vessels. The movement was augmented by the Air Transport Command of the Army Air Forces and Naval Air Transport Service, who flew priority wounded personnel home. "Operation Magic Carpet" was essentially completed by December 1946.
In July 1945, the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) started a new series of 15-minute programs culled from big band sustaining remote broadcasts around the country and named the series "Magic Carpet" in honor of the ongoing operation to bring service personnel home. The comprehensive history of "Magic Carpet" series has been made possible by the foresight of living and deceased producers and collectors who have saved the documented history of AFRS and, in particular, many of the "Magic Carpet" transcription discs. "Magic Carpet" is another in the series of GMA histories of AFRS programs made possible by the generosity of our colleagues.
You can climb aboard for a ride on the "Magic Carpet" here:
Updated: May 17, 2017
Dr. Michael Arié
Edited and prepared by:
Dennis M. Spragg