301st Bombardment Squadron
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|301st Bombardment Squadron|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
Established in 1952 as an RB-36 Peacemaker strategic reconnaissance squadron. Conducted global strategic reconnaissance 1953–1955, gradually shifting to a bombardment training mission beginning in 1964. Re-equipped with standard B-36J strategic bombers, conducting worldwide training exercises and standing nuclear alert. In 1959 with the phaseout of the B-36, was reassigned to SAC provisional 4135th Strategic Wing, being re-equipped with B-52G Stratofortress intercontinental heavy bombers. Was reassigned to Eglin AFB, Florida.
At Eglin, the squadron participated in testing at Eglin for North American AGM-28 Hound Dog supersonic, jet-powered, air-launched cruise missile. In July 1960, the Hound Dog reached initial operational capability with the 301st BS being first B-52 unit. In 1960, SAC developed procedures so that the B-52 could utilize the Hound Dog's J52 engine for additional thrust while the missile was located on the bomber's pylon. This helped heavily laden B-52s into the air. The Hound Dog could then be refueled from the B-52's wing fuel tanks.
One Hound Dog missile crashed near the town of Samson, Alabama when it failed to self-destruct after a test launch at Eglin AFB. In 1962, a Hound Dog was accidentally dropped to the ground during an under-wing check. In May 1962, operation "Silk Hat" was conducted at Eglin AFB. During this exercise a Hound Dog test launch was conducted before an audience of international dignitaries headed by U.S. President John F. Kennedy and U.S. Vice President Lyndon B Johnson.
Was inactivated in 1963 when SAC inactivated its provisional Strategic Wings, redesignating them permanent Air Force Wings. Squadron was inactivated with aircraft/personnel/equipment being redesignated 62d Bombardment Squadron in an in-place, name-only transfer.
- Established as 301st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Heavy on 4 Jun 1952.
- Activated: on 16 Jun 1952
- Redesignated: 301st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 1 Oct 1955
- Discontinued, and inactivated on 1 Feb 1963; personnel/aircraft/equipment transferred to the 62d Bombardment Squadron
- 72d Strategic Reconnaissance (later Bombardment) Wing, 16 Jun 1952 – 17 Jun 1959 (not operational: 16 Jun-15 Mar 1953; 11 1958-17 Jun 1959)
- 4135th Strategic Wing, 17 Jun 1959 – 1 Feb 1963