351st Air Refueling Squadron
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|351st Air Refueling Squadron|
351st Air Refueling Squadron Patch
1 June 1942 - 15 December 1945 |
17 July 1947 - 27 June 1949
1 January 1956 - 25 June 1966
31 March 1992 - Present
|Branch||United States Air Force|
United States Air Forces in Europe |
3rd Air Force
100th Air Refueling Wing
100th Operations Group
Pax Opus Nostrum |
Peace is our Profession
75 px DCU |
75 px FCdG w/ Palm
Established as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron in mid-1942; trained initially under Third Air Force in the southeast, then transferring to Second Air Force in the Pacific Northwest. Operated as an Operational Training Unit (OTU) in the Midwest until being deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO), being assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England in June 1949.
Engaged in strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Germany, sustaining very heavy losses of personnel and aircraft while conducting many unescorted missions over enemy territory attacking airfields, industries, naval facilities and transportation hubs. During the summer of 1944, aircrews bombed enemy positions at Saint-Lô, followed by similar campaigns at Brest in August and September. In October 1944, the squadron attacked enemy and ground defenses in the allied drive on the Siegfried Line, then bombed marshaling yards, German occupied villages, and communication targets in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945. Attacked enemy targets in Germany during the spring of 1945, ending combat operations with the German Capitulation in May 1945.
Remained in Europe as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe occupation forces, dropping food to the people in the west of the Netherlands, and in June transported French Allied former prisoners of war from Austria to France. Demobilizing in England, in December 1945 the squadron inactivated as a paper unit.
Activated in the Reserves in 1947 at Miami Airport, Florida. Unclear whether or not the unit was manned or equipped; inactivated in 1949 due to budget restrictions. Reactivated under Strategic Air Command received new, swept wing B-47 Stratojets in 1956 which were designed to carry nuclear weapons and to penetrate Soviet air defenses with its high operational ceiling and near supersonic speed. The squadron flew the B-47 for about a decade when by the mid-1960s it had become obsolete and vulnerable to new Soviet air defenses. The squadron began to send its stratojets to AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB for retirement in 1965, and the unit inactivated in 1966, one of the last B-47 Squadrons.
Reactivated in England in 1992 as an aerial refueling squadron.
- Constituted 351st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
- Activated on 1 Jun 1942
- Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 20 Aug 1943
- Inactivated on 15 Dec 1945
- Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 3 Jul 1947
- Activated in the Reserve on 17 Jul 1947
- Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
- Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 1 Aug 1955
- Activated on 1 Jan 1956
- Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1966
- Redesignated 351st Air Refueling Squadron on 26 Mar 1992
- Activated on 31 Mar 1992.
- Designated as 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron when squadron components deployed to support Air Expeditionary operations after 1 October 1994.
- 100th Bombardment Group, 1 Jun 1942-15 Dec 1945; 17 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949
- 100th Bombardment Wing, 1 Jan 1956-25 Jun 1966
- 100th Operations Group, 31 Mar 1992–Present
- World War II
- In 2011, the 351st Air Refueling Squadron deployed a portion of its KC-135 Stratotanker fleet to Istres-Le Tubé Air Base in support of Operation Unified Protector, as the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron.
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, AL: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- AFHRA 351 ARS Page
- This story was written by Senior Airman Rachel Waller. "RAF Mildenhall continues support for NATO Libyan operations". mildenhall.af.mil. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
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