343d Bomb Squadron
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|343d Bomb Squadron|
Emblem of the 343d Bombardment Squadron (SAC)
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The squadron flies the B-52H Stratofortress.
Established as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron and trained by Third Air Force. Deployed to Egypt in June 1942 over South Atlantic Transport Route transiting from Morrison Field, Florida though the Caribbean to Brazil; performed trans-Atlantic crossing from Brazil to Liberia, then transited east across central Africa to Sudan. Lastly the group reformed with the ground echelon which traveled by ship around the Cape of Good Hope, joining with air echelon in British Palestine.
Assigned to the newly formed IX Bomber Command, the squadron operated from airfields in Egypt; Libya and Tunisia supporting the British Eighth Army in the Western Desert Campaign. Also staged long-range strategic bombardment of enemy military and industrial targets in Sicily; Italy and the Southern Balkans, including attacking the German-controlled oilfields at Ploiești, Romania.
Reassigned to Fifteenth Air Force in southern Italy; continuing strategic bombardment raids on Occupied France; Southern Germany; Austria and targets in the Balkans. In the summer of 1944, the squadron participated in the invasion of southern France, assisted in the Soviet advance into the Balkans, and supported the partisans and guerrillas in Yugoslavia and neighboring countries.
The squadron returned to the United States in May 1945; being redesignated as a B-29 Superfortress heavy bomb squadron and began training for deployment to the Central Pacific Area and conduct strategic bombardment raids over the Japanese Home Islands. Training continued until the unit was inactivated at the end of July, its equipment and personnel being merged into the other three squadrons of its host group.
Reactivated in 1947 as a Strategic Air Command B-29 Superfortress medium bomb squadron. Performed strategic bombardment training missions during the postwar era. In 1950 the squadron deployed to Far East Air Forces at Yokota Air Base, Japan and flew strategic bombardment missions over North Korea after the breakout of the Korean War. The squadron flew its first combat mission on 7 August, striking marshalling yards at Pyongyang, capital of North Korea. Attacked enemy communication lines and supported United Nations ground forces. Targets included rail facilities, oil centers, bridges, roads, troop concentrations, airfields, and military installations. Engaged in combat operations until the 1953 armistice, however the squadron remained in Japan until July 1954 when reassigned administratively to Lincoln AFB, Nebraska and its B-29s sent to storage and reclamation.
At Lincoln, re-equipped with new B-47E Stratojets. Engaged in strategic bombardment training with the B-47 throughout the rest of the 1950s, into the early 1960s. Inactivated in 1966 with the phaseout of the B-47 and closure of Lincoln AFB.
Reactivated as a reserve B-52 Stratofortress Squadron in 2010.
- Constituted 343d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
- Activated on 3 Feb 1942
- Redesignated 343d Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 23 May 1945
- Inactivated on 27 Mar 1946
- Activated on 1 Jul 1947
- Redesignated 343d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 28 May 1948
- Discontinued, and inactivated on 25 Jun 1966
- Redesignated as 343d Bomb Squadron on 9 Mar 2010
- Activated on 1 Apr 2010.
- 98th Bombardment Group, 3 Feb 1942
- 40th Bombardment Group, 10 Nov 1945-27 Mar 1946
- 98th Bombardment Group, 1 Jul 1947
- 98th Bombardment Wing, 16 Jun 1952
- 98th Strategic Aerospace Wing, 1 Feb 1964-25 June 1966
- 917th Operations Group, 1 Apr 2010–8 Jan 2011
- 307th Operations Group, 8 Jan 2011–Present
- B-24 Liberator, 1942–1945
- B-29 Superfortress, 1945; 1947–1954
- B-47 Stratojet, 1954–1966
- B-52 Stratofortress, 2010–Present
- 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.
- 343 Bomb Squadron Factsheet