341st Air Refueling Squadron
|341st Air Refueling Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Motto(s)||Latin: Potentium Providimus "We Provide Power"|
|Engagements||European Theater of World War II|
|Patch with 341st Air Refueling Squadron emblem|
|641st Bombardment Squadron Emblem (approved 21 December 1943)|
The 641st Bombardment Squadron was an inactive United States Air Force unit. After training with Douglas A-20 Havocs in the United States the squadron deployed to the European Theater of World War II, where it engaged in combat until the Surrender of Germany. It was last assigned to the 409th Bombardment Group at Westover Field, Massachusetts, where it was inactivated on 7 November 1945.
The 341st Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. After organizing and training at Castle Air Force Base, California it moved to Dow AFB, Maine. It provided air refueling for Strategic Air Command (SAC) units from Dow until it was inactivated on 1 February 1963 as SAC replaced its tanker force with more modern Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers.
The two squadrons were consolidated in 1985, but the consolidated squadron has not been active. It was converted to provisional status in February 2001 and redesignated 341st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron.
World War II
The 641st Bombardment Squadron was activated in June 1943 at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma as one of the four original squadrons of the 409th Bombardment Group. The squadron trained under Third Air Force in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana with A-20 Havoc light bombardment aircraft.
The 641st initially flew sweeps over Occupied France from its base in England, attacking coastal defenses, V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket sites, airfields, and other targets in France in preparation for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy. After D-Day, the squadron supported ground forces during the Battle of Normandy by hitting gun batteries, rail lines, bridges, communications, and other objectives. During July 1944, it aided the Allied offensive at Caen and the breakthrough at Saint-Lô with attacks on enemy troops, flak positions, fortified villages, and supply dumps.
In December, the squadron converted to Douglas A-26 Invaders. It then participated in the Battle of the Bulge by attacking lines of communications and logistics. The squadron continued combat operations until May, flying its last combat mission against an ammunition dump in Czechoslovakia on 3 May.
The unit returned to the United States and initially was assigned to Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina where it prepared to deploy to the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) for operations against the Japanese Home Islands. The deployment to the Pacific Theater was cancelled with the Surrender of Japan in August. The 641st was inactivated at Westover Field, Massachusetts in early November.
The 341st Air Refueling Squadron was activated in June 1955 at Castle Air Force Base, California, although it did not become operational until 20 July. After completing training with the 93d Bombardment Wing at Castle, the squadron moved to its permanent home at Dow Air Force Base, Maine where it was assigned to the 4060th Air Refueling Wing. The squadron mission was to provide air refueling for Strategic Air Command (SAC) units. The squadron flew KC-97F and KC-97G Stratotankers from activation in 1955 until it was discontinued in 1963.
The 341st provided refueling support for SAC wings deploying and redeploying from Europe and North Africa during Reflex operations. It also deployed to locations such as Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland and Thule Air Base, Greenland. In 1960 the squadron transferred to the 4038th Strategic Wing, which replaced the 4060th wing at Dow as part of a SAC program to disperse its Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers over a larger number of bases, thus making it more difficult for the Soviet Union to knock out the entire fleet with a surprise first strike.
During October and November 1962 the 341st temporarily curtailed training and assumed an increased alert posture in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The squadron became non-operational on 15 July 1963 and was inactivated on 1 September as part of the phaseout of the KC-97 from SAC.
The 641st Bombardment Squadron and the 341st Air Refueling Squadron were consolidated into a single unit on 19 September 1985 but the consolidated squadron has not been active.
641st Bombardment Squadron
341st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron
- 409th Bombardment Group: 1 June 1943 - 7 November 1945
- Fifteenth Air Force: 11 June 1954 (attached to 93d Bombardment Wing)
- 4060th Air Refueling Wing: 15 August 1955
- 4038th Strategic Wing: 1 February 1960
- 397th Bombardment Wing: 1 February 1963 - 1 September 1963
- United States Air Forces Europe to activate or inactivate as needed: 5 February 2001
|Air Offensive, Europe||7 March 1944 – 5 June 1944||641st Bombardment Squadron|
|Normandy||6 June 1944 – 24 July 1944||641st Bombardment Squadron|
|Northern France||25 July 1944 – 14 September 1944||641st Bombardment Squadron|
|Rhineland||`5 September 1944 – 21 March 1945||641st Bombardment Squadron|
|Ardennes-Alsace||16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945||641st Bombardment Squadron|
|Central Europe||22 March 1944 – 21 May 1945||641st Bombardment Squadron|
|Air Combat, EAME Theater||7 March 1944 – 11 May 1945||641st Bombardment Squadron|
- Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 690–691
- Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 294–295
- Ravenstein, p. 130
- Abstract, History 4060 Air Refueling Wing Sep 1956 (retrieved 8 October 2013)
- Abstract, History 4060 Air Refueling Wing Feb 1957 (retrieved 9 October 2013)
- Abstract History 4060 Air Refueling Wing Jan-Jun 1956 (retrieved 9 October 2013)
- Abstract, History 820 Air Division Aug-Sep 1958 (retrieved 8 October 2013)
- Abstract, History 6 Air Division Oct 1962 (retrieved 9 October 2013)
- Ravenstein, p. 213
- Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 September 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
- Lineage, including stations and aircraft through 1945 in Maurer, Combat Squadrons pp. 690-691
- Abstract, History 4060 Air Refueling Wing March 1958 (retrieved 9 October 2013)
- Station number in Anderson
- Station number in Johnson
- Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 76. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
- 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 (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Johnson, 1st Lt. David C. (1988). U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO) D-Day to V-E Day (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.