321st Air Refueling Squadron

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321st Refueling Squadron
Shield Strategic Air Command.png
Boeing KC-135 J57 takeoff.JPEG
KC-135A taking off
Active 1953-1965
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Air Refueling
Part of Strategic Air Command
Insignia
321st Refueling Squadron emblem 321st Air Refueling Squadron - SAC - Patch.png

The 321st Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 301st Bombardment Wing at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, where it was inactivated on 15 March 1965.

The squadron was first active during World War II as the 321st Transport Squadron, operating a courier service from the United Kingdom and France until it was disbanded in 1945.

The 321st Air Refueling Squadron was activated as a Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker squadron in 1953. In 1962, the unit converted to Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers, which it flew until it was inactivated in 1965 and replaced by the 32d Air Refueling Squadron.

The two squadrons were consolidated into a single unit in September 1985.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

The 321st Transport Squadron was activated in November 1943 in Northern Ireland and operated a courier service in the British Isles. In 1944 it moved to France and conducted the same duties on the European continent until it was disbanded in November 1945

Cold War[edit]

Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter

Strategic Air Command (SAC) activated the 321st Air Refueling Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas in late 1953 as a Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker squadron.[1] At Sheppard, the squadron was a tenant of Air Training Command's 3750th Air Base Group, the host organization at Sheppard, but was attached to the 96th Bombardment Wing at Biggs Air Force Base after July 1954.[2][3] Four months later, it was assigned to the 321st Bombardment Wing at Pinecastle Air Force Base, Florida, but remained a tenant organization, moving to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama as a tenant of the 3800th Air Base Wing of Air University.[4] It was not until August 1956, when the squadron moved to Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, that it was stationed with its parent wing.

The squadron flew the KC-97 Stratotanker, providing air refueling to USAF units, from 1953 until 1963. The squadron converted to Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers that year and was inactivated in 1965 and its mission, personnel and equipment were transferred to the 32d Air Refueling Squadron.

The 321st Transport Squadron and the 321st Air Refueling Squadron were consolidated into a single unit on 19 September 1985[5]

Lineage[edit]

321st Transport Squadron

  • Constituted as the 321st Transport Squadron (Cargo and Mail) c. 26 October 1943
Activated 1 November 1943
  • Disbanded 15 November 1945[5]
  • Reconstituted 19 September 1985 and consolidated with the 321st Air Refueling Squadron as the 321st Air Refueling Squadron[5]

321st Air Refueling Squadron

  • Constituted as the 321st Air Refueling Squadron, Medium on 17 September 1953
Activated in 8 December 1953[1]
  • Redesignated 321st Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 1 April 1963
  • Discontinued and inactivated on 15 March 1965
  • Consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 321st Transport Squadron[5]

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

  • Douglas C-47 Skytrain, 1943-1945
  • Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker, 1954-1963
  • Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker, 1963-1965

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""See Mueller, p. 543
  2. ^ Mueller, p. 537
  3. ^ a b Ravenstein, p. 134
  4. ^ Mueller, pp. 383, 389
  5. ^ a b c d Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 September 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
  6. ^ Ravenstein, p. 172
  7. ^ Ravenstein, p. 48
  8. ^ Ravenstein, p. 144
  9. ^ a b c Station number in Anderson
  10. ^ Station numbers in Anderson, Johnson
  11. ^ Station number in Johnson
  12. ^ Mueller, p. 543
  13. ^ Mueller, p. 389

Bibliography[edit]

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