350th Air Refueling Squadron

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350th Air Refueling Squadron Air Mobility Command.svg
USMC-100727-M-0381B-149.jpg
Active 1942-1945; 1947-1949; 1956-1976; 1982-Present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Air Refueling
Part of Air Mobility Command
Eighteenth Air Force
22d Air Refueling Wing
22d Operations Group
Garrison/HQ McConnell Air Force Base
Nickname Red Falcons
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat V
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
Insignia
350th Air Refueling Squadron Emblem (approved 17 Apr 1959)[1] 350th Air Refueling Squadron.jpg
World War II ETO fuselage code and color[2] LN
Yellow

The 350th Air Refueling Squadron (350 ARS) is part of the 22d Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. It operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting air refueling missions.

Mission[edit]

To organize, train and equip to provide global mobility, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

World War II 350th Bombardment Squadron emblem[Explanatory 1]

Organization and Training for Combat[edit]

The squadron was originally established as one of the original Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadrons of the 100th Bombardment Group in mid-1942[3] under Third Air Force but was immediately transferred to Second Air Force for training. It remained a paper unit until the initial cadre of the ground echelon (4 officers and 27 enlisted men) were assigned at Gowen Field, Idaho.[4] Two days later the squadron departed for Walla Walla Army Air Base, Washington for Phase I training. There the first aircrew arrived on 1 December 1942.[5]

In February 1943 the ground echelon went to Kearney AAF, Nebraska, while the air echelon went to Ainsworth, Casper and Scottsbluff Army Air Fields where they acted as instructors training other units for the next three months.[6] On 28 April, Colonel Alkire, the first group commander was relieved of duty. Two days later, the air echelon returned to Wendover Field, and would not be reunited with the ground echelon until arriving in England in June.[7]

The ground echelon proceeded by rail to Camp Kilmer, then embarked on the RMS Queen Elizabeth, sailing on 27 May and arriving at Greenock on the Firth of Clyde, where they disembarked on 3 June.[8] The flight echelon ferried their aircraft through Maine, Newfoundland, Labrador and Iceland to the United Kingsom.[9]

Combat in the European Theater[edit]

The 350th engaged in strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Germany, sustaining very heavy losses of personnel and aircraft while conducting many unescorted missions over enemy territory attacking airfields, industries, naval facilities and transportation hubs. The squadron flew its first mission against Bremen, Germany on 25 June 1943.[10] During the summer of 1944, aircrews bombed enemy positions at Saint-Lô, followed by similar campaigns at Brest in August and September. In October 1944, the squadron attacked enemy and ground defenses in the allied drive on the Siegfried Line, then bombed marshaling yards, German occupied villages, and communication targets in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945. Attacked enemy targets in Germany during the spring of 1945, ending combat operations a strike on Berlin on 20 April 1945.[11]

The squadron emained in Europe as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe occupation forces, dropping food to the people in the west of the Netherlands, and in June transported French Allied former prisoners of war from Austria to France. Demobilizing in England, in December 1945 the squadron inactivated[3] as a paper unit.

Cold War[edit]

SAC 350th Bombardment Squadron emblem

Reserve Organization[edit]

The 350th activated in the Air Force Reserve in 1947 at Columbia AAB, South Carolina.[3] It is unclear whether or not the unit was manned or equipped. It was inactivated in 1949[3] when Continental Air Command reorganized its reserve organization according to the Wing Base Organization.

Strategic Air Command[edit]

The squadron reactivated under Strategic Air Command received new, swept wing B-47 Stratojets in 1956[3] which were designed to carry nuclear weapons and to penetrate Soviet air defenses with its high operational ceiling and near supersonic speed. The squadron flew the B-47 for about a decade when by the mid-1960s it had become obsolete and vulnerable to new Soviet air defenses. The squadron began to send its Stratojets to The Military Aircraft Storage and Disposal Center at Davis-Monthan AFB for retirement in 1965, the last being retired in 1966, one of the last B-47 Squadrons.

DC-130 Hercules carrying a pair of AQM-34 Firebee drones banking over the USS Chosin.

Redesignated as a strategic reconnaissance squadron, operating AQM-34 Firebee strategic reconnaissance drones launched from DC-130 Hercules aircraft and recovered by CH-3 helicopters from, 1966–1976. Additionally, it provided refueling support for SR-71 aircraft from, 1983–1990. The 350th also provided cargo support and intratheater refueling during combat in Southwest Asia from, August 1990–March 1991.[1]

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as the 350 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Activated on 1 June 1942
Redesignated 350 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 15 December 1945
  • Redesignated 350 Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 9 July 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 16 July 1947
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
  • Redesignated 350 Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 1 August 1955
Activated on 1 Jan 1956[12]
Redesignated 350 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron on 25 June 1966
Inactivated on 1 July 1976
  • Redesignated 350 Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 19 January 1982
Activated on 28 January 1982
Redesignated 350 Air Refueling Squadron on 1 September 1991[13]

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft and Missile[edit]


References[edit]

Explanatory notes[edit]

  1. ^ The emblem depicts a gremlin dropping bombs out of a chamber pot and was the idea of Sgts Bowa, Hawkins, Hays, and Pvt Parker. Parker did the design work. Sheridan pp. 13-14

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Robertson, Patsy, AFHRA Factsheet 350 Air Refueling Squadron 2/13/2008 (retrieved September 9, 2013)
  2. ^ Watkins, Robert (2008). Battle Colors: Insignia and Markings of the Eighth Air Force In World War II. Vol I (VIII) Bomber Command. Atglen, PA: Shiffer Publishing Ltd. pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-7643-1987-6. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 434–435. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 
  4. ^ Sheridan, Jack W. (1946). They Never Had It So Good: The Personal, Unofficial Story of the 350th Bombardment Squadron (H), 100th Bombardment Group (H), USAAF 1942-1945. San Francisco, CA: Stark-Rath Printing Co. pp. 5, 160. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  5. ^ Sheridan, pp. 7, 23
  6. ^ Sheridan, p. 19
  7. ^ Sheridan p. 29
  8. ^ Sheridan, pp. 40, 45
  9. ^ Sheridan, pp. 49-50
  10. ^ Sheridan, p. 162
  11. ^ Sheridan, p. 165
  12. ^ a b c d e Lineage, assignments, stations, and aircraft through 1963 in Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 434-435
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lineage, assignments, stations, and aircraft after 1963 in AFHRA Factsheet
  14. ^ Station number in Anderson, Capt. Barry (1985). Army Air Forces Stations: A Guide to the Stations Where U.S. Army Air Forces Personnel Served in the United Kingdom During World War II. Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

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

See also[edit]