301st Air Refueling Wing
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 301st Air Refueling Wing
caption= 301st Bombardment Group Insignia
301st Bombardment/Air Refueling Wing Insignia
dates= 1942 - 1945, 1946 - 1979
United States Army Air Forces United States Air Force
role= Bomber, Refueling
Twelfth Air Force
Strategic Air Command
Mediterranean theatre of World War II Rickenbacker AFB, Ohio
* World War II: European Campaign (1942-1945)
anniversaries=The 301st Air Refueling Wing is an inactive wing of the
United States Air Force. The units last assignment was at Rickenbacker AFB, Ohiowhere it was inactivated on 30 November 1979.
The origins of the unit go back to
World War II, when the 301st Bombardment Group was a United States Army Air Forcescombat organization. It served primarily in the Mediterranean, African, and The Middle East Theaters of World War II. After the war, the 301st was one of the original units of Strategic Air Command. During the Cold War, the 301st Bomb Wing was a B-29 Superfortressand a B-47 Stratojetunit before being redesignated a KC-135 Stratotankerunit in the 1960s.
* Constituted as 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. : Activated on 3 Feb 1942.
* Redesignated 301st Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in Aug 1945.:: Inactivated on 15 Oct 1945.
* Activated on 4 Aug 1946. Assigned to Strategic Air Command. : Established as 301st Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, on 15 Oct 1947.: Organized on 5 Nov 1947: Discontinued on 1 Aug 1948.
* Redesignated 301st Bombardment Wing, Medium, and activated on 1 Aug 1948. : Redesignated 301st Air Refueling Wing on 15 Jun 1964.: Inactivated 30 November 1979.
* Second Air Force, 3 Feb 1942
* First Air Force, 21 Jun 1942
Eighth Air Force: VIII Bomber Command, c. 9 Aug 1942
Twelfth Air Force: XII Bomber Command, 14 Sep 1942
Fifteenth Air Force: 5th Bombardment Wing, Jan 1943 - 10 Jul 1945
* Continental Air Forces:
Second Air Force, Jul 1945:: 16th Bombardment Operational Training Wing,
17 Aug-15 Oct 1945.
Strategic Air Command: Fifteenth Air Force, 4 Aug 1946 - 1 Apr 1950: Second Air Force, 1 Apr 1950:: 4th Air Division, 10 Feb 1950::: Attached to 7th Air Division, 3 Dec 1952 - 4 Mar 1953::: Attached to 5th Air Division, 10 Feb - 17 Apr 1954:: 801st Air Division, 15 Apr 1958:: 817th Air Division, 15 Mar 1965:: 57th Air Division, 15 Nov 1965:: 40th Air Division, 2 Jul 1966:: 42d Air Division, 31 Mar 1970:: 40th Air Division, 1 Jul 1973:: 42d Air Division, 1 Jul 1975 - 30 Nov 1979
United States Army Air Forces
* Geiger Field,
Washington3 Feb - 27 May 1942
* Alamogordo AAF,
New Mexico, 27 May - 21 Jun 1942
* Richard E Byrd Field,
Virginia21 Jun - 19 Jul 1942
RAF Chelveston, England9 Aug - 26 Nov 1942
Algeriac. 26 Nov - 5 Dec 1942
* Maison Blanche,
Algeria5 - 16 Dec 1942
Algeriac. 16 Dec 1942 - 17 Jan 1943
* Ain M'lila,
Algeriac. 17 Jan - 6 Mar 1943
Algeria6 Mar - 6 Aug 1943
Tunisia6 Aug - 7 Dec 1943
Cerignola, Italyc. 7 Dec 1943 - 1 Feb 1944
Lucera, Italy1 Feb 1944 - 28 Jul 1945
* Sioux Falls AAF,
South Dakota28 Jul - 23 Aug 1945
* Pyote AAF,
Texas23 Aug - 15 Oct 1945 United States Air Force
* Clovis AAF,
New Mexico, 4 Aug 1946 - 16 Jul 1947
* Smoky Hill AAF (AFB),
Kansas, 16 Jul 1947 - 7 Oct 1949
Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, 7 Nov 1949 - 15 Apr 1958
* Lockbourne (later, Rickenbacker) AFB,
Ohio, 15 Apr 1958 - 30 Nov 1979
World War II
* 32d Bombardment Squadron 1942-1945,
* 352d Bombardment Squadron 1942-1945
* 353d Bombardment Squadron 1942-1945
* 354th Bombardment Squadron 1942
* 419th Bombardment Squadron 1942-1945
* 32d Bombardment Squadron, June 16, 1952 - June 8 1964
* 301st Bombardment Squadron, June 16, 1952 - April 15, 1958: 31st Bombardment Squadron, April 15, 1958 - March 15, 1965
* 352d Bombardment Squadron, June 16, 1952 - June 8, 1964
* 353d Bombardment Squadron, June 16, 1952 - June 8, 1964
* 419th Bombardment Squadron, December 1, 1958- Jan 1, 1962
91st Air Refueling Squadron, June 15, 1964 - July 1, 1971
B-17 Flying Fortress, 1942-1945
B-29 Superfortress, 1947-1953
Boeing KB-29, 1949-1953
B-47 Stratojet, 1953-1961, 1963-1964, RB-47 1958, EB-47 1961-1965
KC-97 Stratotanker, 1953-1961, 1962-1963
KC-135 Stratotanker, 1963-1979
World War II
Constituted as 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 3 Feb 1942. Trained with
B-17 Flying Fortresses. Moved to England, Jul-Aug 1942, and assigned to Eighth Air Force. Began combat in Sep 1942 and attacked submarine pens, airfields, railroads, bridges, and other targets on the Continent, primarily in France.
Twelfth Air Forceand moved to North Africain Nov 1942. Bombed docks, shipping facilities, airdromes, and railroad yards in Tunisia, Sicily, and Sardinia. Attacked enemy shipping between Tunisia and Sicily. Received a Distinguished Unit Citationfor action on 6 Apr 1943 when the group withstood intense antiaircraft fire from shore defenses and nearby vessels to attack a convoy of merchant ships off Bizerteand thus destroy supplies essential to the Axis defense of Tunisia. Assaulted gun positions on Pantelleriaduring May-Jun 1943. Flew numerous missions to Italy, Jul-Oct 1943.
Fifteenth Air Forcein Nov 1943, moved to Italyin December, and afterward directed most of its attacks against such strategic targets as oil centers, communications, and industrial areas in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Received another DUC for a mission to Germanyon 25 Feb 1944 when, in spite of vicious encounters with enemy fighters, the group bombed aircraft production centers at Regensburg.
Other operations for the group during 1944-1945 included flying missions in support of ground forces in the
Anzioand Cassinoareas, supporting the invasion of Southern France, knocking out targets to assist the Russian advance in the Balkans, and aiding the Allied drive through the Po Valley.
Returned to the US in July 1945. Redesignated 301st Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in August and prepared for transition to
B-29 Superfortresses and a move to the Southwest Pacific. Inactivated on 15 Oct 1945.
Activated on 4 Aug 1946. Assigned to
Strategic Air Command. Equipped with B-29 Superfortresses. Conducted strategic bombardment training, 1947-1948, and aerial gunnery training for other SAC organizations, Nov 1947-Jan 1948.
Reassigned to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana in 1949, the 301st was one of the first units to conduct aerial refueling operations with the
KB-29tanker version of the Superfortress. The wing converted to the sleek new Boeing B-47 Stratojet in 1953 and traded in its KB-29 tankers for the upgraded Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker.
The mission of the 301st was to train for strategic bombing missions and to conduct aerial refueling. The wing deployed to
Englandin 1953 and to French Moroccoin 1954.
It was reassigned to
Lockbourne AFB, Ohio on 15 April 1958 where it became an Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) unit and was engaged in various clandestine intelligence missions. Although equipped with the B-47 Stratojet, the 301st added electronic countermeasures activities to other missions in 1958 with the addition of the RB-47 and later EB-47. With these aircraft, the wing soon devoted most of its activity to ECM work. The RB-47 carried out many ferret missions around the periphery of Soviet territory, and sometimes inside.
Became an air refueling wing in Apr 1964, discontinuing all previous missions. Inaddition, participated in the post attack command and control system from 3 Mar 1965 to 30 Jun 1966.
From 9 Jun to 8 Oct 1972, most of the wing headquarters staff, all tactical aircraft and crews, and most of the maintenance personnel, plus support personnel invarious categories, deployed in
Southeast Asia(U-Tapao RTNAF) , attached to other SAC organizations. A reduced wing headquarters remained in the United States to administer activities of the combat support group and hospital at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio.
From 19 Dec 1972 to 18 Jan 1973, the wing repeated previous deployed condition on a smaller scale, with deployed resources forming a provisional air refueling squadron at
Clark ABin the Philippines.
The 301st ARW was inactivated on 30 November 1979 in conjunction with SAC turning over Rickenbacker to the
Air National Guard. It's KC-135As were sent to various Air National Guard units.
* Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
* Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
* Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
* [http://www.301bg.com 301st Bomb Group Website]
* [http://www.strategic-air-command.com/wings/0301bw.htm 301st Bomb Wing at Strategic-Air-Command.com]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/agency/301bw.htm 301st Bomb Wing at globalsecurity.org]
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