349th Air Refueling Squadron
|349th Air Refueling Squadron|
349th Air Refueling Squadron Patch
|Active||1 June 1942 – 1 December 1945
29 May 1947 – 27 June 1949
1 January 1956 – 1 June 1992
1 January 1994 - Present
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Mobility Command
18th Air Force
22d Air Refueling Wing
22d Operations Group
|Garrison/HQ||McConnell Air Force Base|
AFOUA w/ V Device
FCdG w/ Palm
The 349th Air Refueling Squadron (349 ARS) is part of the 22d Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. It operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting aerial refueling missions.
Established as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron in mid-1942; trained initially under Third Air Force in the southeast, then transferring to Second Air Force in the Pacific Northwest. Operated as an Operational Training Unit (OTU) in the Midwest until being deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO), being assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England in June 1949.
Engaged in strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Germany, sustaining very heavy losses of personnel and aircraft while conducting many unescorted missions over enemy territory attacking airfields, industries, naval facilities and transportation hubs. During the summer of 1944, aircrews bombed enemy positions at Saint-Lô, followed by similar campaigns at Brest in August and September. In October 1944, the squadron attacked enemy and ground defenses in the allied drive on the Siegfried Line, then bombed marshaling yards, German occupied villages, and communication targets in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945. Attacked enemy targets in Germany during the spring of 1945, ending combat operations with the German Capitulation in May 1945.
Remained in Europe as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe occupation forces, dropping food to the people in the west of the Netherlands, and in June transported French Allied former prisoners of war from Austria to France. Demobilizing in England, in December 1945 the squadron inactivated as a paper unit.
Activated in the Reserves in 1947 at Miami Airport, Florida. Unclear whether or not the unit was manned or equipped; inactivated in 1949 due to budget restrictions. Reactivated under Strategic Air Command received new, swept wing B-47 Stratojets in 1956 which were designed to carry nuclear weapons and to penetrate Soviet air defenses with its high operational ceiling and near supersonic speed. The squadron flew the B-47 for about a decade when by the mid-1960s it had become obsolescent and vulnerable to new Soviet air defenses. The squadron began to send its stratojets to AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB for retirement in 1965, the last being retired in 1966, one of the last B-47 Squadrons.
Redesignated as a strategic reconnaissance from, 1966–1976. The squadron flew air refueling in support of the SR-71 Blackbird from, 1976–1990 and provided cargo and air refueling support to combat units in Southwest Asia from, August 1990–March 1991.
- Constituted 349 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
- Activated on 1 Jun 1942
- Redesignated 349 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 20 Aug 1943
- Inactivated on 1 Dec 1945
- Redesignated 349 Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 13 May 1947
- Activated in the Reserve on 29 May 1947
- Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
- Redesignated 349 Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 1 Aug 1955
- Activated on 1 Jan 1956
- Redesignated: 349 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron on 25 Jun 1966
- Redesignated: 349 Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, on 30 Sep 1976
- Redesignated: 349 Air Refueling Squadron on 1 Sep 1991
- Inactivated on 1 Jun 1992
- Activated on 1 Jan 1994
- 100th Bombardment Group, 1 Jun 1942 – 1 Dec 1945; 29 May 1947-27 Jun 1949
- 100th Bombardment (later, 100 Strategic Reconnaissance; 100 Air Refueling) Wing, 1 Jan 1956
- 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 15 Mar 1983
- 9th Operations Group, 1 Sep 1991 – 1 Jun 1992
- 22d Operations Group, 1 Jan 1994 – present
- B-17 Flying Fortress (1942–1945)
- AT-6 Texan (1947–1949)
- AT-7 Navigator (1947–1949)
- AT-11 Kansan (1947–1949)
- B-47 Stratojet (1956–1966)
- U/WU-2 (1966–1976)
- KC-135 Stratotanker (1976–1992, 1994 – present)
- Maurer, Maurer (1961). Air Force Combat Units of World War II History and Insignia. Zenger Pub. ISBN 978-0-89201-092-9.