744th Bombardment Squadron
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|744th Bombardment Squadron|
Emblem of the 744th Bombardment Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 744th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 456th Bombardment Wing. It was last stationed at Beale Air Force Base, California, and was inactivated on 30 September 1975.
Established in mid-1943 as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron; trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in January 1944, being assigned to Fifteenth Air Force in Southern Italy.
Engaged in very long range strategic bombardment missions against enemy strategic targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans until April 1945. Bombed aircraft factories, assembly plants, oil refineries, storage areas, marshalling yards, airdromes, and other objectives until the German Capitulation in May 1945.
Most of squadron was demobilized in Italy in May 1945; returning to United States with skeleton staff. Re-equipped and redesignated a B-29 Superfortress very heavy bomb squadron, and received new personnel. Began training under Second Air Force for planned deployment to the Western Pacific Area (WPA), however Japanese Capitulation in August led to inactivation of squadron in October.
Reactivated in the reserve as a C-46 Commando Troop Carrier Squadron, but neither manned or equipped. Inactivated in 1949 due to budget restrictions; reactivated in 1952 and equipped with C-119 Flying Boxcars. Assigned to Tactical Air Command Eighteenth Air Force. Supported Army forces in the United States with airlift capability and support for airborne training operations. Inactivated in 1956 due to budget restrictions.
Reactivated under Strategic Air Command in 1963, replacing provisional B-52G Stratofortess squadron at Beale AFB, California. Performed intercontinental training and deployments, also standing nuclear alert. Beginning in 1966, squadron deployed personnel to forward bases in the Western Pacific, where they engaged in combat missions over Indochina as part of Operation Arc Light. In 1975 was inactivated and redesignated as the 34th Bombardment Squadron when SAC pulled out of Wright-Patterson AFB and redesignated the squadron due to seniority precedence when it was reassigned to Beale.
- Constituted 744th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 14 May 1943
- Activated on 1 Jun 1943
- Redesignated 744th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 5 Aug 1945
- Inactivated on 17 Oct 1945
- Activated in the reserve on 12 Jul 1947
- Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
- Redesignated 744th Troop Carrier Squadron (Medium) on 15 Oct 1952
- Activated on 1 Dec 1952
- Inactivated on 9 Jul 1956
- Redesignated 744th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), and activated, on 15 Nov 1962
- Organized on 1 Feb 1963; receiving aircraft/personnel/equipment as a redesignation of the 31st Bombardment Squadron
- Inactivated on 30 Sep 1975; aircraft/personnel/equipment redesignated as 34th Bombardment Squadron
- 456th Bombardment Group, 1 Jun 1943-17 Oct 1945; 12 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949
- 456th Troop Carrier Group, 1 Dec 1952
- 456th Troop Carrier Wing, 1 Mar 1955-9 Jul 1956
- Strategic Air Command, 15 Nov 1962
- 456th Strategic Aerospace (later Bombardment) Wing, 1 Feb 1963-30 Sep 1975
- B-24 Liberator, 1943–1945
- B-29 Superfortress, 1945
- C-119 Flying Boxcar, 1 December 1952 – 9 July 1956
- B-52 Stratofortress, 1 February 1963 – 30 September 1975
- 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.