74th Bombardment Squadron

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74th Bombardment Squadron
Emblem of the 74th Bombardment Squadron
Active 1919-1952
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Bombardment

The 74th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 106th Bombardment Wing, based at March Air Force Base, California. It was inactivated on 1 December 1952.


World War II[edit]

Flight of 74th Attack Squadron A-17s over Panama
74th AS Northrup A-17 closeup with ground crew, 1939
B-24D Liberators flying from Rio Hato Panama, 1944

Established as the 74th Aero Squadron, presumably a tactical defense unit, 1918–1919.

Re-established in 1933 at Albrook Field, Panama Canal Zone. Operated Northrop A-17s as a dive-bomber 17th Attack Squadron. Designated as the 74th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) at Albrook Field circa 5 March 1940, converting to Douglas B-18 Bolo. On 20 November 1940, the squadron was again re-designated as the 74th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy). On 14 July, the Squadron moved from Albrook to Howard Field, in anticipation of receipt of its first Boeing B-17B Flying Fortress the following month.

The Squadron moved from Howard Field to Aguadulce Field, Panama, on 8 November 1941 and, following the Pearl Harbor Attack, moved to Rio Hato Army Airfield on 11 December. By 16 January 1942, the unit had been transformed, and found itself at Guatemala City Airport, Guatemala, equipped with six Boeing B-17B's and four B-17E's taken over and consolidated from other units. In August 1942, the Squadron was assigned to the 40th Bombardment Group and this assignment lasted until 12 May 1943. Began conversion to Consolidated B-24D Liberators in mid-1943. By October 1943, the 74th was the only Sixth Air Force tactical unit still operating from Guatemala City Airport and, the following month, ended its association with the 6th Bombardment Group, when that organization was disbanded. It subsequently fell directly under VI Bomber Command.

The period between April and August, the unit moved again to the remote Seymour Island AAF on the Galapagos Islands. The move accomplished, the unit engaged in patrols over the eastern Pacific. The unit returned to Aguadulce Field, Panama, on 13 February 1945 after only some seven months. In May. the Squadron moved to Rio Hato Field, remaining until the end of the war, being inactivated on 1 November 1946.

Korean War[edit]

The squadron was reactivated as the 135th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 27 March 1951. It operated B-29 Superfortresses as part of the Federalized 106th Bombardment Group, New York Air National Guard that was elevated to active duty at March AFB, California during the Korean War. The 135th Bomb Squadron continued operations under SAC's Fifteenth Air Force until it was inactivated, with personnel and equipment being assigned to the 320th Bombardment Wing when the guardsmen were relieved from active duty on 1 December 1952.


  • Organized as 74th Aero Squadron on 22 February 1918
Demobilized on 28 January 1919
  • Organized on 17 June 1919
Demobilized on 25 September 1919
  • Reconstituted and consolidated (1936) with 74th Attack Squadron which was constituted on 18 October 1927
Redesignated: 74th Pursuit Squadron on 8 May 1929
Activated on 1 October 1933
Redesignated: 74th Attack Squadron on 1 September 1937
Redesignated: 74th Bombardment Squadron on 1 November 1939
Redesignated: 74th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 6 December 1939
Redesignated: 74th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 20 November 1940[1]
Inactivated on 1 November 1946
  • Redesignated: 135th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 27 March 1951
Activated on 1 May 1951
Inactivated on 1 December 1952.




See also[edit]


  1. ^ Conaway, William. "74th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)". VI Bomber Command In Defense Of The Panama Canal 1941 - 45. 
  2. ^ Conaway, William. "6th Bombardment Group (Heavy)". VI Bomber Command In Defense Of The Panama Canal 1941 - 45. 
  3. ^ Conaway, William. "40th Bombardment Group (Heavy)". VI Bomber Command In Defense Of The Panama Canal 1941 - 45. 
  4. ^ Conaway, William. "VI Bombardment Command History". Planes and Pilots Of World War Two. 


External links[edit]