357th Airlift Squadron

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357th Airlift Squadron
357th Airlift Squadron.jpg
357th Airlift Squadron Patch
Active 28 January 1942 – 15 April 1946
14 June 1952 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Airlift
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
22d Air Force
908th Airlift Wing
908th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Maxwell Air Force Base
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Emblem of the 357th Bombardment Squadron

The 357th Airlift Squadron (357 AS) is part of the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. It operates C-130 Hercules aircraft providing global airlfit.


Activated in early 1942 as a B-24 Liberator Operational Training Unit (OTU), later becoming a Replacement Training Unit (RTU) for deployed combat units, assigned to II Bomber Command. Inactivated in April 1944 when heavy bomber training ended.

Redgesignated as a B-29 Superfortress very heavy bombardment Squadron under Second Air Force on 1 April 1944 at Dalhart Army Airfield, Texas. Initially equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses for training, due to shortage of B-29 Superfortresses. Moved to Harvard Army Airfield, Nebraska, in August 1944 and equipped with B-29B limited production aircraft.

After completion of training deployed to Central Pacific Area (CPA), assigned to XXI Bomber Command, Northwest Field (Guam) for operational missions. B-29Bs were standard production aircraft stripped of most defensive guns to increase speed and bomb load, The tail gun was aimed and fired automatically by the new AN/APG-15B radar fire control system that detected the approaching enemy plane and made all the necessary calculations.

Mission of the squadron was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands. Dntered combat on 16 June 1945 with a bombing raid against an airfield on Moen. Flew first mission against the Japanese home islands on 26 June 1945 and afterwards operated principally against the enemy's petroleum industry. Flew primarily low-level, fast attacks at night using a mixture of high-explosive and incendary bombs to attack targets.

Flew last combat mission on 15 August 1945, later flew in "Show of Force" mission on 2 September 1945 over Tokyo Bay during formal Japanese Surrender. Inactivated on Guam 15 April 1946, personnel returned to the United States and aircraft sent to storage in Southwest United States.

It trained for troop carrier missions from 1952 to 1967. The squadron airlifted troops and their equipment during the Cuban Missile Crisis, October–November 1962.

The squadron has flown numerous, worldwide airlift missions, including missions in the Gulf War and the Bosnian relief effort.

Operations and Decorations[edit]

  • Combat Operations: Combat in Western Pacific, 23 Jun-14 Aug 1945.
  • Campaigns: Air Offensive; Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific.
  • Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citation: Japan, 22–29 July 1945. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 July 1972 – 15 March 1974; 1 January 1976 – 30 November 1977; 1 February 1980 – 31 January 1982; 1 September 1986 – 31 August 1988; 1 September 1991 – 31 August 1993.


  • Constituted 357th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Activated on 1 June 1942
Inactivated on 10 April 1944
  • Redesignated 357th Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 27 June 1944
Activated on 7 July 1944
Inactivated on 15 April 1946
  • Redesignated 357th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 26 May 1952
Activated in the Reserve on 14 June 1952
Ordered to active duty on 28 October 1962
Relieved from active service on 28 November 1962
Redesignated: 357th Tactical Airlift Squadron on 1 July 1967
Redesignated: 357th Tactical Air Support Squadron on 25 April 1969
Redesignated: 357th Tactical Airlift Squadron on 15 December 1971
Redesignated: 357th Airlift Squadron on 1 February 1992.


Bases stationed[edit]

Aircraft operated[edit]

Aircraft flying in this unit[edit]

85-0039(H) (Jul'92)


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links[edit]