515th Bombardment Squadron

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515th Bombardment Squadron
515th Bombardment Squadron - Emblem.png
Emblem of the 515th Bombardment Squadron
Active1942-1945; 1958-1962
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
TypeBombardment

The 515th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 376th Bombardment Wing, stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. It was inactivated on 9 January 1962.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Established in the Middle East during late 1942 to aid British Forces during the Western Desert Campaign. Initially equipped with obsolete B-17C/D Flying Fortresses transferred from Tenth Air Force. Replaced with B-24 Liberators flown from Florida via South America; over to then across Central Africa then north to Egypt in early 1943. Became part of United States Middle East Air Forces (USMEAF), later Ninth Air Force.

Operating from bases in BritishPalestine, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, attacked shipping in the Mediterranean and harbor installations in Libya, Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy to cut enemy supply lines to North Africa. Struck airdromes, marshalling yards, and other objectives in Sicily and Italy after the fall of Tunisia in May 1943. Reassigned to Fifteenth Air Force in late 1943, and moved to southern Italy. Squadron flew long range strategic bombardment missions to targets in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans to bomb factories, marshalling yards, oil refineries, oil storage facilities, airdromes, bridges, harbors, and other objectives.

Demobilized and inactivated after the German Capitulation in June 1945.

Strategic Air Command[edit]

From 1958, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet wings of Strategic Air Command (SAC) began to assume an alert posture at their home bases, reducing the amount of time spent on alert at overseas bases. The SAC alert cycle divided itself into four parts: planning, flying, alert and rest to meet General Thomas S. Power’s initial goal of maintaining one third of SAC’s planes on fifteen minute ground alert, fully fueled and ready for combat to reduce vulnerability to a Soviet missile strike.[1] To implement this new system B-47 wings reorganized from three to four squadrons.[1][2] The 515th was activated at Lockbourne Air Force Base as the fourth squadron of the 376th Bombardment Wing. The alert commitment was increased to half the squadron's aircraft in 1962 and the four squadron pattern no longer met the alert cycle commitment, so the squadron was inactivated on 1 January 1962.[2]

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted 515th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 Oct 1942
Activated on 31 Oct 1942
Inactivated on 24 Jun 1945
  • Redesignated 515th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 20 Aug 1958
Activated on 1 Dec 1958
Discontinued, and inactivated on 1 Jan 1962

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Detachment operated from Benina Airport, Benghazi, Libya, 3-11 Oct 1943

Aircraft[edit]

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ a b Schake, p. 220 (note 43)
  2. ^ a b "Abstract (Unclassified), History of the Strategic Bomber since 1945 (Top Secret, downgraded to Secret)". Air Force History Index. 1 April 1975. Retrieved 4 March 2014.