534th Bombardment Squadron
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|534th Bombardment Squadron|
Emblem of the 534th Bombardment Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
It was inactivated on 27 June 1949.
Established in late 1942 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron; it trained under II Bomber Command in Washington, Texas and Idaho. It received deployment orders for the European Theater of Operations (ETO) in May 1943.
The squadron was assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England in June 1943, to RAF Ridgewell. The unit's mission was to conduct strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany. It operated chiefly against strategic objectives on the Continent. It participated in the intensive bombing campaign against enemy aircraft factories during Big Week, 20–25 February 1944, the Group often supported ground troops and attacked targets of interdiction when not engaged in strategic bombardment.
The squadron supported the Normandy invasion in June 1944 by bombing bridges and airfields near the beachhead. It attacked enemy positions in advance of ground forces at Saint-Lô in July 1944. The squadron assisted the airborne assault on Holland in September. It struck airfields and communications near the battle zone during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 - January 1945. It also supported the Allied crossing of the Rhine in March 1945 and then operated against communications and transportation in the final push through Germany.
After V-E Day, the unit returned to Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota in July 1945, although many combat personnel were demobilized upon their return to the United States. A small cadre of personnel were formed with replacement personnel assigned. The unit was programmed for conversion to B-29 Superfortress very heavy bombers; however, no aircraft were assigned. The Japanese capitulation in early August led to the units' inactivation on 28 August, with personnel either reassigned to other units or demobilized.
The squadron was reactivated in the Air Force Reserve in February 1947 at Sioux City Army Air Base, Iowa. Having been allotted to the organized reserves, with assignment to the Second Air Force, Air Defense Command, it was redesigned as a very heavy bombardment unit on 27 December 1946. In late September 1947, the squadron was assigned to the 381st Bombardment Group, (Very Heavy). In July 1948, the group was reassigned from the Second Air Force to the Tenth Air Force, which in December, became a part of the Continental Air Command, the forerunner of the Strategic Air Command (SAC).
The 534th Squadron was inactivated on 27 June 1949 due to budget restrictions.
- Constituted the 534th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy) on 28 Oct 1942
- Activated on 3 Nov 1942
- Redesignated the 534th Bombardment Squadron, (Heavy) on 20 Aug 1943
- Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.
- Redesignated the 534th Bombardment Squadron, (Very Heavy) on 28 Jan 1947
- Activated in the reserve on 27 Feb 1947
- Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949.
- 381st Bombardment Group, 3 Nov 1942-28 Aug 1945; 15 Sep 1947-27 Jun 1949
- Gowen Field, Idaho, 3 Nov 1942
- Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington, 1 Dec 1942
- Pyote Army Air Field, Texas, 27 Dec 1942
- Pueblo Army Air Base, Colorado, 6 Apr-10 May 1943
- RAF Ridgewell (AAF-167), England, 2 Jun 1943-24 Jun 1945
- Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, 3 Jul-28 Aug 1945
- Sioux City Army Air Base, Iowa, 27 Feb 1947-27 Jun 1949
- B-17 Flying Fortress, 1942-1945
- B-29 Superfortress, 1947-1949
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . 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.