11th Bomb Squadron

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11th Bomb Squadron
2d Bomb Wing - Boeing B-52H-175-BW Stratofortress 61-0036.jpg
Boeing B-52H-175-BW Stratofortress 61-0036, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana
Active 26 June 1917 - 31 July 1927
1 June 1928 - 2 November 1945
1 September 1954 - 18 June 1958
1 October 1982 - 31 May 1991
1 July 1994 - present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Bombardment
Part of Air Force Global Strike Command
Garrison/HQ Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.
Nickname Jiggs Squadron or Bewilderment Group
Colors Gold and Black
Mascot Mr. Jiggs
Tail Code "LA"
Engagements World War I
World War II
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DCU
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Insignia
11th Bomb Squadron emblem 11th Bomb Squadron.jpg

The 11th Bomb Squadron (11 BS) is a unit of the United States Air Force 2d Operations Group located at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The 11th is equipped with the B-52H Stratofortress.[1]

The 11 BS is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, first being organized as the 11th Aero Squadron on 26 June 1917 at Kelly Field, Texas. The squadron deployed to France and fought on the Western Front during World War I as a Day Bombardment squadron. It took part in the St. Mihiel offensive and Meuse-Argonne offensive.[2]

During World War II the unit served in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy and later B-25 Mitchell medium bomber squadron as part of Fifth Air Force. During the Cold War it was both a tactical MGM-1 Matador and BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile squadron as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe.[3][4]

Mission[edit]

Exceptional warriors ready now to provide responsive, flexible and accurate bomber combat power and expeditionary combat support to warfighting commanders… anytime… anywhere.[5]

History[edit]

World War I[edit]

see: 11th Aero Squadron for expanded World War I history
11th Aero Squadron posing with its Dayton-Wright DH-4s (Note "Mr Jiggs" on each fuselage), Maulan Airdrome, France, November 1918.

The 11th saw combat as a day bombardment unit with First Army, 14 September 1918, which was a bloody baptism of fire. But an attempted raid the following day practically devastated the fledgling squadron. "Out of a formation of six planes which crossed the lines," remembered surviving veteran Paul S. Green, "only one succeeded in staggering back in a riddled condition." Henceforward, the 11th Squadron, earlier and officially designated the "Jiggs Squadron" was unkindly referred to throughout the U.S. Air Service as the "Bewilderment Group."[6] Jiggs was a cartoon character invented five years before by an 11th Squadron officer, George McManus, whose comic strip, "Bringing Up Father," was the first of its kind to attract a worldwide readership. The Bewilderment Group's emblem featured the famous Jiggs with a bomb tucked under his arm.[7] The 11th flew from then to the 5 November 1918 and went on to fly Mexican border patrol from c. August–November 1919. It participated in demonstrations of effectiveness of aerial bombardment on warships on 5 September 1923.

Intra-War period[edit]

With the end of World War I, the 11th Aero Squadron returned to New York Harbor. It arrived in about 30 April where it transferred to Camp Mills, Long Island the next day. There most of the men of the 11th Aero Squadron were demobilized, and returned to civilian life.

On 26 May 1919, the 11th was transferred administratively to Ellington Field, Texas, where it was manned and equipped with war surplus Dayton-Wright DH-4s. Its mission was to take part in the United States Army Border Air Patrol along the Mexican Border. Between August and November 1919, it operated from Marfa Field, and flew a border patrol along the Rio Grande between Lajitas to El Paso, Texas. It moved to Kelly Field, Texas on 8 November 1919 and became part of the 1st Day Bombardment Group, although it remained on standby if needed along the Mexican Border.

Curtiss B-2 Condor formation flight over Atlantic City, N.J. S/N 28-399 is in the foreground (tail section only). Aircraft were assigned to 11th Bombardment Squadron, 7th Bombardment Group at Rockwell Field, California. This flight of 4 aircraft completed cross-country flight to Atlantic City, NJ

In 1921 the Squadron was re-designated 11th Squadron (Bombardment), and in 1922 as the 11th Bombardment Squadron. Transferred on 30 June 1922 to Langley Field, Virginia, and conducted bombing tests on obsolete warships off Chesapeake Bay. Transferred on 3 June 1927 to March Field, CA, and assigned to the Air Corps Training Center. Inactivated on 31 July 1927 due to budget issues at March Field and personnel transferred to the 54th School Squadron.

Activated on 1 June 1928 at Rockwell Field, CA, and assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group. Transferred on 29 October 1931 to March Field, CA. Conducted food relief airdrop missions to Indians snowed-in on reservations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah 16–21 January 1932 and for marooned miners north of Las Vegas, NM, 13 February 1933. Awarded the Mackey Trophy for 1933.

Transferred on 5 December 1934 to Hamilton Field, CA. The 11th furnished the cadre to activate the 22nd when they were constituted as the 11th and 22nd Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), activated and assigned to 7th Bombardment Group at Hamilton Field, California on 20 October 1939. These future 'Flying Falcons' operated the B-18 bomber and the A-17 attack aircraft. After gathering personnel and equipment at Hamilton Field and conducting training the units then re-equipped with the B-17 Flying Fortress, moving on to Fort Douglas, Utah on 7 September 1940, and later to Salt Lake City, Utah in June 1941. Both Squadrons performed rescue and patrol duties from Fort Douglas, UT, c. 21 Jun − 13 Nov 1941.

In November 1941 the Squadrons prepared for reassignment to the Philippines. The ground echelons sailed from San Francisco on 21 November with the air echelons expected to remain in the States until the ground echelon arrived in the Philippines. Before their arrival, however, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, and shortly thereafter began the campaign against the Philippines.

World War II[edit]

Dutch East Indies campaign[edit]

Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the air echelons of the 11th conducted anti-submarine patrols along the California coast from Muroc, California from 8 to 12 December 1941 before moving on out into the Pacific Theater. Assigned to detached duty to USN at Brisbane, Australia, 22 Dec 1941, the Squadron flew combat while operating from Hickam Field, HI, 18 Dec 1941 − 5 Jan 1942

Japanese forces attacked the Netherlands East Indies at about the same time the air echelon of the 11th arrived, beginning a battle that ended in the withdrawal of United States forces in early March. During the unsuccessful defense of the Indies, the main body of the Squadron flew from Jogjakarta, meanwhile a detachment operated under Navy control from the Fiji Islands and then from Australia.

Major Austin A. Straubel (September 4, 1904–February 3, 1942) was commander of the 11th Bombardment Squadron and acting commander of the 7th Bombardment Group when he died from burns received in the crash of a B-18 Bolo near Surabaya, Java.[8][9] Austin Straubel International Airport, near Green Bay, Wisconsin, is named after him Austin Straubel.

On/about 4 March 1942 the 11th withdrew to Melbourne, Australia, where they remained for about a month. In April 1942 the Squadron transferred all of their equipment and personnel to the 19th Bombardment Group.

China Air Task Force[edit]

The squadron returned to the United States in mid-1942, leaving B-17s in Australia and being re-equipped under Third Air Force as a B-25 Mitchell medium bombardment squadron. With the cadre units in place at Columbia, other personnel began to arrive from various parts of the U.S., by far the biggest contingent coming in from Keesler Field, Miss.

While this build up was going on an advance cadre of the ground element of the 11th were establishing the organization in the China-Burma-India Theater. That cadre arrived at Karachi, India, 20 May 1942, working their way to their staging base at Allahabad, India, by 27 May, and moving on to Kunming, China by 14 June. The unit was one of the first bomber units in the CBI. The aircraft were readied for flight operations by Air Technical Service Command at Karachi Air Depot and dispatched to Chakulia Airfield, now in Bangladesh in December.

In the middle of April, 1942, the air element of the 11th consisting of trained B-25 combat crews began to arrive at Morrison Field, Fla., as part of Project 157. Each crew was assigned an aircraft. Some two weeks were spent outfitting the B-25s, testing all the apparatus, and getting the crews accustomed to working together. The night of 2 May 1942, the first crews left for overseas, flying along the South Atlantic Ferry Route initially bound for Natal, Brazil. The B-25s were not only completely fitted and ready for immediate combat, but were loaded with a great variety of extra ground equipment for maintaining planes and crews. Every one of the planes had at least 500 pounds over the maximum weight overload for safe flight and this route had never been flown over by combat crews before, as Ferrying Command pilots had flown Mitchells along the route only with gasoline in the fuel tanks carrying little else.

Once reaching Natal, the ferrying route to Accra on the African Gold Coast was taken, then across southern Africa to Kartum, Sudan. Then the planes were flown through Aden and followed the old British Imperial airlines route around the southern part of Arabia and Iran to Karachi, India. At Accra, several B-25's picked up formations of six to eight P-40's which had landed from a carrier. Many of these same P-40's and pilots later flew escort on missions in China. Several planes never reached India and some arrived several months after the others. By the end of May, 1942 most of the other crews of Project 157 arrived in Karachi and were assigned to the 11th Bombardment Squadron.

On 2 June 1942, six B-25s left Allahabad on a secret mission of 15 days duration. Each aircraft carried one extra crewman to act as relief during the expected two weeks' activity. This was to be the first tactical mission of the 11th Bombardment Squadron as a B-25 squadron. That night saw them at Dinjan, India, in the Assam Valley and the western end of the ferry route across the Himalayan Mountains "Hump" into Southern China. At 0600 hours the next morning the flights took off for Kunming, China, detouring by way of Lashio, Burma. By 10 June, eight B-25s had reached their base at Kunming. The 11th Bombardment Squadron was the first United States air combat unit in China. Until their arrival, only the American Volunteer Group (AVG) was flying combat missions.

Operating under the provisional China Air Task Force (CATF) at Kumming, the combat first mission in China was on 1 July 1942, against shipping in the Hankow area. It must have been a surprise to the enemy for no opposition of any kind was found. The next day, three ships made a return trip to Hankow, this time concentrating on the warehouse and docking facilities.

On 15 September 1942 the 11th was transferred from the 7th Bombardment Group to the 341st Bombardment Group. The 341st Bomb Group usually functioned as if it were two groups, with its headquarters and two of its squadrons, the 22d and 491st operating under Tenth Air Force in India and flying missions against the Japanese in Burma. The 11th, although assigned to the 341st, received its operational orders from the CATF, which later became Fourteenth Air Force.[10][11]

From several airfields in China the group engaged primarily in attacking enemy concentrations and storage areas and in conducting sea sweeps and attacks against inland shipping. They also bombed and strafed such targets as trains, harbors, and railroads in French Indochina and the Canton-Hong Kong area of China. Received a DUC for developing and using a special (glip) bombing technique against enemy bridges in French Indochina.

The 11th remained in China until the end of the Pacific War, then flying back to India and leaving its surviving aircraft in Karachi before its personnel sailed back to the United States. It was inactivated on 2 November 1945, the day after the Squadron personnel debarked at Newark, New Jersey.

Cold War[edit]

Activated in 1954 as a MGM-1 Matador tactical missile squadron under Ninth Air Force. It was subsequently redesignated the 11th Tactical Missile Squadron on 8 June 1955, and on 1 July 1956 the 11th deployed to Europe attached to the 7382nd Guided Missile Group (Tactical) at Hahn AB, West Germany, assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. It was reassigned to the 587th Tactical Missile Group, also at Hahn AB.

On 18 June 1958, the 11th TMS was inactivated and replaced with the 822d Tactical Missile Squadron, 587th Tactical Missile Group, with the activation of the 38th Tactical Missile Wing at Hahn AB and the inactivation of the 701st Tactical Missile Wing.

Reactivated in 1982 as a BGM-109G Ground Launched Cruise Missile squadron at RAF Greenham Common, England. Inactivated in 1991 with the elimination of GLCMs from Europe as a result of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Modern era[edit]

Re-designated as a Heavy Bomb Squadron and equipped with B-52Hs at Barksdale AFB in 1994 as part of Air Combat Command; reassigned to Global Strike Command in 2010.

Since 1994, it has trained B-52 combat crews, maintained readiness to deploy in support of national objectives, and maintained ability to sustain heavy firepower in global situations.

Lineage[edit]

  • Organized as 11th Aero Squadron on 26 June 1917
Re-designated: 11th Aero Squadron (Day Bombardment), 26 August 1918
Re-designated: 11th Aero Squadron, 22 June 1919
Re-designated: 11th Squadron (Bombardment) on 14 March 1921
Re-designated: 11th Bombardment Squadron on 25 January 1923
Inactivated on 31 July 1927, personnel transferred to the 54th School Squadron.
  • Activated on 1 June 1928
Re-designated: 11th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 6 December 1939
Re-designated: 11th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 15 September 1942
Re-designated: 11th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 9 October 1944
Inactivated on 2 November 1945
  • Consolidated (11 January 1982) with 11th Pilotless Bomber Squadron, Light, which was constituted on 17 June 1954.
Activated on 1 September 1954
Re-designated 11th Tactical Missile Squadron on 8 June 1955
Inactivated on 18 June 1958, personnel and equipment reassigned to 822d Tactical Missile Squadron.
  • Activated on 1 October 1982
Inactivated on 31 May 1991
  • Re-designated 11th Bomb Squadron on 24 June 1994
Activated on 1 July 1994.

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft and missiles[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^ AFHRA 11 Bomb Squadron (ACC)
  2. ^ Series "E", Volume 9, History of the 11th-13th Aero Squadrons. Gorrell's History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917–1919, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
  3. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 
  4. ^ Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
  5. ^ Barksdale Air Force Base - Welcome
  6. ^ Joseph, Frank: Last Of The Red Devils, page 110. Galde Press, Inc., 2003.
  7. ^ Joseph, Frank: Last Of The Red Devils, page 112. Galde Press, Inc., 2003.
  8. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,774013,00.html
  9. ^ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,774351,00.html
  10. ^ Group Records and Squadron History Reports, AFHRA, Maxwell AFB, AL
  11. ^ Web Home of the 341st Bomb Group: Forward
  • U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles, (2009), George Mindling, Robert Bolton ISBN 978-0-557-00029-6
  • United States War Department (1920), Battle Participation of Organizations of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, Belgium and Italy, 1917-1919, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1920

External links[edit]