77th Weapons Squadron
|77th Bombardment Squadron|
B-1B Lancer from Dyess AFB, Texas performing a fly-by during a firepower demonstration
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Advanced B-1 Lancer Training|
|Part of||USAF Weapons School|
|Garrison/HQ||Nellis AFB, Nevada
GSU at Dyess AFB, Texas
Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (12x)
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
|77th Weapons Squadron emblem|
The unit activated on 15 January 1941 at Fort Douglas, Utah. After combat operations in the Pacific theater during World War II, the 77th contributed to America’s nuclear deterrent during the Cold War and formed the backbone of the Air Force’s B-52 force during the Vietnam War.
The 77 WPS is the current designation of one of the oldest and most decorated bombardment squadrons in the United States Air Force. It provides weapons training to B-1B Lancer squadrons at Dyess Air Force Base, TX and Ellsworth AFB, SD.
World War II
The squadron was activated in January 1941 as a Northwest Air District medium bomber squadron, equipped with a mixture of B-18 Bolos, PT-17 Stearman trainers and early model B-26 Marauders. Upon completion of training, it was assigned to the new Elmendorf Field, near Anchorage, Alaska; being one of the first Air Corps units assigned to the Alaska Territory. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the squadron flew antisubmarine patrols over the Gulf of Alaska.
When the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands in June 1942, the squadron was reassigned to Fort Glenn Army Airfield on Adak Island; and began combat missions over the captured islands of Kiska and Attu. Flew combat missions with B-26 Marauders and later B-25 Mitchell medium bombers during the Aleutian Campaign, remaining in Alaska until the end of World War II in 1945 when the squadron personnel were demobilized and the unit inactivated as a paper unit in early of November 1945.
Reactivated as a Strategic Air Command B-29 Superfortress squadron in 1946, being trained in the midwest then reassigned to Alaska in late 1946. Mission changed from strategic bombardment training to strategic reconnaissance and mapping; engaging in very long range reconnaissance missions in the Bering Straits; North Pacific coast and Arctic Ocean coastline of the Soviet Union. Squadron performed charting and other mapping missions, most likely including ferret and ELINT missions, possibly overflying Soviet airspace.
Squadron returned to the Continental United States in 1947, being equipped with B-36 Peacemaker strategic bombers, both in the bomber and strategic reconnaissance versions. Undertook strategic bombardment training missions on a global scale, including strategic reconnaissance missions with the RB-36s until the phaseout of the B-36 from SAC in 1957.
Re-equipped with B-52D Stratofortresses and stood nuclear alert and conducted global strategic bombardment training missions until 1966. Began rotational deployments to Andersen AFB, Guam where squadron began flying conventional strategic bombardment Arc Light missions over Indochina (1966–1970). Converted to B-52G in 1971 and returned to nuclear alert status; upgrading to B-52H in 1977. Received first production B-1B Lancers in 1985 and maintained nuclear alert until taken off alert after the end of the Cold War in 1991. Performed strategic bombardment training until inactivated in 1997 as part of the drawdown of the USAF.
Organization reactivated activated as the USAF Weapons School B-1 Division on 28 August 1992 at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Re-designated as the 77th Weapons Squadron in 2003. It provides training to B-1 aircrews at Dyess.
- Constituted 77th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 20 November 1940
- Activated on 15 January 1941
- Inactivated on 5 November 1945
- Re-designated 77th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 15 July 1946
- Activated on 4 August 1946
- Re-designated: 77th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 28 May 1948
- Re-designated: 77th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 16 May 1949
- Re-designated: 77th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Photographic) on 1 April 1950
- Re-designated: 77th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on 16 July 1950
- Re-designated: 77th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 1 October 1955
- Re-designated: 77th Bomb Squadron on 1 September 1991
- Inactivated on 31 March 1995
- Activated on 1 April 1997
- Inactivated on 19 September 2002
- Re-designated 77 Weapons Squadron on 24 January 2003
- Activated and organized on 3 February 2003, assuming resources of B-1 Division, USAF Weapons School
- 42d Bombardment Group, 15 January 1941
- 28 Composite (later, 28 Bombardment) Group, 2 January 1942
- Eleventh Air Force, 20 October-5 November 1945
- 28 Bombardment (later, 28 Strategic Reconnaissance) Group, 4 August 1946
- Attached to 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 10 February 1951-15 June 1952
28 Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 28 Bombardment) Wing, 16 June 1952
- 28th Operations Group, 1 September 1991 – 31 March 1995; 1 April 1997 – 19 September 2002
- USAF Weapons School, 3 February 2003–present