59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron

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59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron - AWS - Emblem - 1.png
Emblem of the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
Active 1945-1964
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Weather Reconnaissance
Squadron emblem

The 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was to the 9th Weather Reconnaissance Group, stationed at Goodfellow Air Force Base, Texas.

It was inactivated on 8 May 1964.

History[edit]

The 59th Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Long Range, Weather, was originally activated at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma on 10 Aug 1945, equipped with RB-17G Flying Fortresses reconnaissance aircraft. It quickly moved to Ardmore AAF, Oklahoma and then on to Drew Field, Florida, followed by MacDill Field, Florida-all still in 1945. On 26 Jan 1946, the squadron moved to Castle Field, California; then again moved to Fairfield-Suisun AAF, California on 22 Oct 1946, where the Flying Fortresses were replaced by F-13As (a B-29 variant), for very long range weather reconnaissance flights. Three of the squadron's F-13As were earmarked for weather reconnaissance duties in support of the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. In March 1946, three B-29s of the 59th had a variety of weather instruments installed at Tinker Field, and then departed for the Pacific and "Operation Crossroads". On 25 May 1946, another F-13A of the 59th flew the first "synoptic" weather reconnaissance mission from Castle out over the northeastern Pacific. On 1 Jun 1947, the 59th moved to Ladd Field, Alaska Territory where it was inactivated on 15 Oct 1947; its personnel and aircraft being absorbed into the SAC (Strategic Air Command) 72d Reconnaissance Squadron.

The squadron designation was reactivated at Kindley AFB, Bermuda, on 3 March 1955 as the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Flight under the 9th Weather Reconnaissance Group. It was equipped with WB-50D Superfortresses; the mission of the 59th WRF was flying into tropical storms and hurricanes - Hurricane Hunting. On 1 April 1956, it was redesignated the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. The squadron remained at Kindley AFB until its inactivation on 18 March 1960, (due to budget reductions).

In 1963, the 59th was re-activated briefly at Goodfellow AFB, Texas without personnel or aircraft. It was discontinued and inactivated on 8 May 1964.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as the 59th Reconnaissance Squadron, Long Range, Weather on 1 Aug 1945
Activated on 10 Aug 1945
Redesignated as the 59th Reconnaissance Squadron, VLR, Weather 7 Dec 1945
Inactivated 15 Oct 1947
  • Activated as the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Flight 8 May 1955
Redesignated as the 59th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron 1 Apr 1956
Inactivated 18 Mar 1960
  • Reactivated on 1 Jul 1963
Organized on 8 Jul 1963
Discontinued and inactivated 8 May 1964

Assignments[edit]

  • Undetermined, 10 Aug 1945
  • 311th Reconnaissance Wing, 7 Dec 1945
  • Air Transport Command, 13 Mar 1946
  • Air Weather Service, 20 Mar 1946
  • 1st Air Weather Group (Provisional), 19 Jul 1946
  • 308th Reconnaissance Group, Weather, 1 Jun-15 Oct 1947
  • 9th Weather Group, 8 May 1955-18 Mar 1960
  • 9th Weather Reconnaissance Group 1 Jul 1963-8 May 1964

Stations[edit]

  • Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma, 10 Aug 1945
  • Ardmore Army Airfield, Oklahoma, 1945
  • Drew Field, Florida, 1945
  • MacDill Army Airfield, Florida, 7 Dec 1945
  • Castle Army Airfield, California, 26 Jan 1946
  • Fairfield-Suisun Army Airfield, California, 22 Oct 1946
  • Ladd Army Airfield, Alaska Territory, 1 Jun-15 Oct 1947
  • Kindley AFB, Bermuda, 3 Mar 1955-18 Mar 1960
  • Goodfellow AFB, Texas 1 Jul 1963-8 May 1964

Aircraft[edit]

  • TB-17 Flying Fortress, 1945-1947
  • B-25 Mitchell, 1946-1947
  • RB-29 Superfortress, 1946-1947, 1955-1956
  • WB-50 Superfortress, 1955-1960.

References[edit]

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