The 30th Bombardment Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. On 19 September 1985 it was consolidated with the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, also known as the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.
|30th Bombardment Squadron|
|Active||13 June 1917 – 1 February 1963 (as operational squadron)|
25 May 1953 – present (as air demonstration squadron)
|Branch||United States Air Force|
World War I
World War II (Pacific Theater)
30th Bombardment Squadron Patch
The squadron's history dates to 13 June 1917 when the 30th Aero Squadron was organized at Kelly Field, South San Antonio, Texas, less than a month after the United States' entry into World War I. Most of the men of the squadron arrived at Kelly Field when it was nothing but a sand heap and a few tents. The men were recruited from around the United States with the idea they would become pilots. However, upon arrival they were issued picks and shovels, their first job was to dig trenches around the field for water and utility lines. Construction was the order of the day, and the men received their indoctrination into the Army as soldiers, standing guard duty and other rudimentary duties. The lack of sanitary facilities and also uniforms meant most men worked in the civilian clothing they arrived in and slept in them without bathing until latrines and washing facilities were constructed. The men dug ditches for water mains, erected wooden buildings for barracks.
On 11 August 1917, the squadron received orders for overseas duty, and it traveled by train to Fort Totten, New York in preparation for service in France. On 22 August they were transported to the Port of Entry, Hoboken, New Jersey, and were boarded on the RMS Baltic. The next day, they left Pier 59, en route to Halifax, Nova Scotia where the ship anchored awaiting for a convoy. Finally, on 5 September, the convoy was formed and the trans-Atlantic journey began.
On the night of 14 September, two red rockets were fired from an accompanying destroyer that had spotted a submarine periscope. The destroyer dropped depth charges on the submarine, and the Baltic made a sudden turn to port, that caused both men and anything loose aboard the ship to move. Suddenly a large explosion was heard and five long blasts were made by the ship's whistle and everyone on board was ordered to report to their assigned lifeboats. The Baltic's captain announced that a torpedo had struck the ship, but it had only made a glancing blow on the bow; that the emergency pumps were working and there was no danger.
The next morning the ship arrived at Liverpool, England, the squadrons on the Baltic being the first American airmen to land there. The 30th was boarded on a train and proceeded to Southampton, where it was stationed at a Rest Camp, arriving at 1:00 am on 16 September. At Southampton, fifty men of the squadron were detached to the Royal Flying Corps for three months training as aircraft mechanics. The remainder of the squadron were to proceed to France. The squadron arrived at Le Havre, then continued by train to the Etampes aerodrome, France, arriving on the 18th. At Étampes, ten more men of the squadron were taken out and sent to Lyons, where they took a ten-week course in La Rhone and Hispano-Suiza aircraft engines.
On 23 September, the remainder of the squadron moved to Issoudun Aerodrome, France, for the construction of an American School and several airfields. What became the 3d Aviation Instructional Center would be the largest airfield in the world at the time, its mission was to train American pursuit (Fighter) pilots and give them the skills to go into combat over the Front against the German aviators. When the men of the 30th Aero Squadron arrived, all they could see was one completed barracks, and another in the process of erection, and three other smaller buildings. As was the case at Kelly Field earlier, the men went to work in various construction tasks, and were joined by several other squadrons in their work. A power grid was installed along with various water and telephone lines. Streets were laid down and various wooden buildings were erected.
The squadron began to work on what was later the best and largest machine shops of the AEF. The shop began as a simple hangar. As various drills and lathes and other equipment and specialized tools arrived the shop was expanded until it could accommodate the large number of aircraft engines that were arriving. As the camp progressed the members of the 30th Aero Squadron could be found in most of the various shops of the school, assembling newly arrived aircraft, working on engines, machine-guns and in the warehouses, stocking and receiving parts and other supplies. By the time of the Armistice on 11 November, the men of the squadron held responsible positions in many of the support areas of the 3d AIC. Although they did not enter combat, the men provided the means to train the pilots who went to the front and gave them the best of training so they might accomplish their work.
The 30th, remained at Issodun until the end of December, 1918 when orders were received to proceed to the 1st Air Depot, Colombey-les-Belles Airdrome, France, for demobilization. From Colombey, the squadron was moved to a staging camp under the Services of Supply at Bordeaux, France, in January waiting for a date to report to a base port for transportation home. In mid-March, the squadron boarded a troop ship, arriving in New York on 5 April. From there, the 30th moved to Mitchel Field, New York where the men were demobilized and returned to civilian life.
The 30th Squadron (Bombardment) was re-constituted as a reserve Army Air Service unit on 24 March 1923, being assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group in the III Corps area. It was an active associate unit to the 20th Bombardment Squadron at Langley Field, Virginia. Its members spending their reserve commitments with the 20th, primarily supporting the Dayton-Wright DH-4s of the 20th. It was re-designated as the 30th Bombardment Squadron on 25 January 1923. It was moved to the IX Corps Area in California in 1927 but never fully organized in the reserves. It was then moved to the VIII Corps area in Texas, and its members trained as individual reservists at Kelly Field.
On 24 June 1932 it was transferred to the United States Army Air Corps as a regular unit without reservists, being activated at Rockwell Field, San Diego, California. There it was assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, being equipped with Douglas OA-4 Dolphin and Grumman OA-9 Goose amphibious flying boats. Its mission was to provide military transport, and perform search and rescue missions. The squadron was transferred on 25 October 1935 to March Field, California when the Air Corps facilities in San Diego were transferred to the Navy. At March, the squadron transitioned to the Martin B-10 bomber. The B-10 was the Air Corps' first all-metal monoplane bomber to go into regular use, and was faster than the pursuit aircraft in use at the time.
The 30th was upgraded again to a Heavy bombardment squadron in December 1939 when it received its first Boeing B-17B Flying Fortresses. The B-17B was the first production version of the Flying Fortress, and the squadron was upgraded to the faster and better-armed B-17C in late 1940, and to the B-17D which had additional upgrades in 1941. The 30th helped make aviation history on the night of 13–14 May 1941 when they took its from March Field to Hickam Field, Hawaii to transfer them to the 11th Bombardment Group there, landing on schedule within 30 minutes of each other and in the order they took off. As part of the reinforcement effort of the Philippines, the squadron redeployed to Clark Field, Luzon between 16 October and 4 November 1941. The bombers traveling individually and at night on their longest leg, flew a trans-Pacific route from Hickam Field to Midway Island; Wake Island; Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea; Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, then into Clark Field, a distance of over 10,000 miles, nearly all of it over water.
The 30th Bombardment Squadron had its B-17D aircraft on the line at Clark Field on 8 December 1941 when word was received from Hawaii about 4:00 A.M. of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Along with the 28th Bombardment Squadron of the 19th Bomb Group, there were 19 B-17s at Clark. A little before 8:00 A.M., the radar at Iba Airfield informed the Air Warning Service (AWS) at Nielson Field that at least 30 Japanese aircraft were flying south over Luzon apparently headed for Clark Field. in order to prevent them from being destroyed on the ground by a Japanese air attack, all flyable B-17s at Clark were ordered into the air and to patrol the waters around Luzon. A frenzied effort was made to get the bombers into the air which was accomplished by 8:30 A.M.
In the meantime, General Lewis H. Brereton, General MacArthur's air commander, got approval to carry out a strike against Japanese air bases on Formosa, and the B-17s were recalled to Clark. When the Fortresses returned about 11:00 A.M., two and a half hours after taking off, three of them were equipped with cameras for reconnaissance and the remainder were loaded up with 100-lb and 300-lb bombs in preparation for the planned mission to Formosa.
The outward appearance of a normal peacetime day in the FEAF disappeared at 11:27 A.M., when Iba radar again picked up a flight of aircraft over the Gulf of Lingayen on the west coast of Luzon, north of Iba Point and reported the sighting to the AWS at Nielson Field. Delays kept the American aircraft on the ground, however, by 12:30 P.M., the three reconnaissance B-17s of the 19th Bombardment Group were taxiing out for the initial photographic mission to Formosa when about 200 Japanese aircraft struck. The first notice of an attack was when Japanese Bombers were seen in tight "V" formations over Clark Field and someone yelled "Here they come!"
Unfortunately, all the P-40 Warhawk fighters of the 24th Pursuit Group had been recalled for refueling and were on the ground at the time of the attack. The attack on Clark Field was devastating. All except one of the 19th Bombardment Group's B-17s were destroyed or damaged on the ground. The sole survivor had not taken off on the morning alert, and had been taken up in the air while the rest were being prepared for the Formosa raid.
At Clark Field, three or four of the damaged 19th Bomb Group's B-17s were put back into service. They were joined by the Group's sixteen B-17 that were at Del Monte Field, 500 miles south on Mindanao. By 9 December, reconnaissance missions were being undertaken by crews of the 30th Bomb Squadron in search of the Japanese fleet. On 10 December, a Japanese convoy was spotted, and five B-17s were dispatched. This was the first American bombardment mission of World War II. No fighter opposition was encountered, and some hits were recorded on the transports. That same day, a B-17C piloted by Captain Colin P. Kelly dropped bombs from high altitude on what the crew thought to be a Japanese battleship. Hits were recorded, and a tremendous explosion was observed. Kelly's plane was immediately pounced upon by Zeros, one of which was flown by Saburo Sakai, who was later to become a famous ace. Kelly guided his heavily damaged plane back towards Clark Field. He ordered the crew to parachute to safety, but before Kelly himself could leave, the aircraft exploded and Kelly was killed.
By 14 December, out of the original 35 B-17s in the Philippines, only 14 remained, and it was decided to pull them back to Del Monte Field on Mindanao, out of range of the Japanese. Ground crews of the squadrons at Clark, no longer needed to support the few planes left were transferred to the V Interceptor Command, and fought as infantry during Battle of Bataan and after their surrender, were subjected to the Bataan Death March, although some did escape to Australia and some presumably fought on as unorganized guerrilla forces during the Japanese occupation.
However, the bombers were unable to operate from Del Monte, the airfield being essentially a cut cane field with no support facilities. Also without pursuit planes for escorts, the B-17s were attacked constantly by the Japanese fighters in the air over Luzon. The B-17s also had to be kept constantly in the air. as Japanese reconnaissance patrols were constantly searching for any airfields that had B-17s parked on the ground. This meant that the aircraft engines were constantly burning up time, and there were no maintenance facilities to service them in the field. Beginning on 17 December, it was decided that the surviving B-17s based in the Philippines needed to be evacuated to Australia for operations.
The combined air echelon of the 19th Bombardment Group (28th, 30th and 93rd Squadrons) with 14 B-17 Flying Fortresses that survived the Battle of the Philippines arrived at Batchelor Airfield, southeast of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, between 17 and 21 December 1941. They were the only aircraft of the Far East Air Force to escape. The Group was forced to leave its ground personnel at Del Monte Field.
In Australia, the escaped airmen of the 30th Bombardment Squadron were joined by Americans who had arrived from the states in December and re-formed as an effective combat unit with some B-17Es that had arrived at Brisbane. Some of the most war-weary planes from Del Monte were sent south to Laverton in Victoria for major overhauls. However almost immediately upon arrival, on 29 December 11 B-17s of the squadron were sent to Singosari Airfield near Malang, Java, to continue combat operations. The 19th Bomb Group flew B-17Es, B-24Cs, and some Lend-lease LB-30s (B-24As) that were commandeered by the USAAC from a Royal Air Force order. The squadron operated from Singosari Field and participated in numerous attacks against Japanese targets in the Celebes, in Sumatra, and participated in raids against shipping during the Japanese invasion of Bali in the Netherlands East Indies. However, by late February, the position of Allied forces in Java had become untenable, and the squadron was evacuated on 2 March back to Australia when the Japanese defeated Allied ground forces in the Dutch East Indies.
It must be remembered that in these early months of World War II, B-17 operations from Australia were not the smooth, well-practiced operations that would be seen later over Europe with the Eighth Air Force. Fifth Air Force operations were more of an improvised affair, and the numbers of B-17s that were lost in one-day missions in Europe than more than were operational any day in the entire Fifth Air Force. Maximum effort Group missions were lucky to involve six or ten aircraft at most. Crews lived in makeshift accommodations with swarms of insects, disease, poor food, and lack of spare parts. They battled furious tropical storms as much as the enemy and flew incredibly hazardous missions, often at night. Their planes were battle-worn and flew without fighter protection. Even when a few replacement aircraft dribbled in, the 21,000 mile journey from South Florida through the Caribbean then across the South Atlantic and through Africa and India to Australia meant the aircraft arrived in need of overhaul immediately upon their arrival.
From Batchelor Airfield, flights were flown to the Philippines that staged though Del Monte Field for transport of supplies to the Philippines and evacuation of personnel. On 10 March, 1st Lt. Harl Pease piloted 41-2452 from Batchelor to Del Monte. The aircraft was loaded with emergency supplies for the ground forces. After the took off from Batchelor airfield, a failure of the hydraulic system rendered the supercharger and wheel brakes inoperative, which meant a low altitude flight of 1,500 miles and a landing without brakes. The aircraft had to be ground looped to stop it in time. However it was patched up and flown back to Australia with 16 passengers where it again had to ground loop as the brakes were inoperative.
When General Douglas MacArthur was ordered to Australia, he arrived at Del Monte on 13 March. He found one non-flyable B-17 at the field. On the 16th three B-17Cs arrived from Batchelor that were loaded full of sulfur drugs, quinine and cigarettes for the military forces in the Philippines. They were advised that they were to fly MacArthur and his family and staff back to Australia. At midnight on 17 March, two of the B-17s, with MacArthur sitting in the radio operators seat of one of the planes, both of them overloaded, took off from a flare-lit airfield. The flight took them over the captured enemy islands of the Celebes, Timor, and the northern part of New Guinea. Somehow they managed to avoid enemy Zero fighters. However, when they reached Darwin, it was under attack by Japanese bombers, so the planes had to be diverted to Batchelor Field. Another flight was flown up to Del Monte the next day loaded with more emergency supplies. They landed and took on board the remainder of MacArthur's staff along with a number of valuable records.
Another mission planned would staged through Del Monte in late March to break the Japanese blockade encircling the Bataan Peninsula. An unknown number of B-17s were flown up to Del Monte and along with the remaining P-40 Warhawks of the 24th Pursuit Group and a Philippines Air Corps Seversky P-35 to escort the bombers to attack Japanese positions in Bataan. However, before the raid could be carried out, the Japanese broke the American line and the Americans had to retreat to Corregidor Island. However, the bombers flew up to Del Monte Field on 10 April and a bombardment mission against Japanese forces was carried out, concentrating on Legazpi, Cebu, Iloilo and Davao. American losses were one B-17 and one P-40. Japanese losses were one light cruiser, several transports and damage to their ground installations at Davao. After the raid the B-17s returned to, Australia. It was the last flight of a B-17 to the Philippines before the Japanese overwhelmed the last American forces on Mindanao.
After its aircraft were repaired and reinforced with additional personnel at Melbourne, the 30th was sent to Northern Queensland where it operated from Cloncurry and Longreach Airports. From Longreach, the squadron participated in the Battle of the Coral Sea, in May 1942, and raided enemy transportation and communications targets as well as troop concentrations during the Japanese invasion of Papua New Guinea. Moving to Mareeba Airfield, along the coast of the Coral Sea in Queensland, the squadron bombed enemy airdromes, ground installations, and shipping near Rabaul, New Britain in August 1942. Capt. Harl Pease, who had been with the group since the start of the war, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for a mission flown on 7 August 1942. The squadron also began staging raids from Mareeba though Jackson Airfield (7-Mile Field), New Guinea in July 1942 and Henderson Field, Guadalcanal in August.
By late 1942, the USAAF decided that no more B-17s would be sent to the Pacific, and that units would be withdrawn or re-equipped in the Pacific in favor of the longer-ranged B-24 Liberator. The men of the 30th Bombardment Squadron left Mareeba Field, on 10 November 1942 and returned to the United States after nearly a year of continuous combat in very hazardous conditions.
Upon its return from the Pacific, the 30th Bombardment Squadron was assigned to Pocatello Army Airfield, Idaho, where it became a B-17 Operational Training Unit (OTU) under II Bomber Command. Its mission was to train newly formed units on the B-17. It was moved to the new Pyote Army Air Base, Texas, in January 1943, where it was a Replacement Training Unit (RTU), training replacement airmen on the B-17 prior to them being assigned to combat units with the Eighth Air Force in England or Fifteenth Air Force in Italy. The tactics and techniques learned in combat in the Southwest Pacific against the Japanese by the men of the squadron were immensely valuable lessons to the new aircrews being sent to Europe or Italy.
On 1 April 1944, the squadron was relieved from training duties and reassigned to the 314th Bombardment Wing, Second Air Force and began training as a B-29 Superfortress Very Heavy bombardment squadron, although the squadron was completely remanned and none of the Pacific veterans were part of the squadron by that time. When training was completed the squadron was moved to North Field Guam in the Mariana Islands of the Central Pacific Area in January 1945 and assigned to XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force. Its mission was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands and the destruction of its war-making capability.
The 30th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) initially flew "shakedown" missions against Japanese targets on Moen Island, Truk, and other points in the Carolines and Marianas. The squadron began combat missions over Japan on 25 February 1945 with a firebombing mission over Northeast Tokyo. The squadron continued to participate in wide area firebombing attacks, but the first ten-day blitz resulted in the Army Air Forces running out of incendiary bombs. Until then the squadron flew conventional strategic bombing missions using high explosive bombs.
The squadron continued attacking urban areas until the end of the war in August 1945, its subordinate units conducted raids against strategic objectives, bombing aircraft factories, chemical plants, oil refineries, and other targets in Japan. The squadron flew its last combat missions on 14 August when hostilities ended. Afterwards, its B 29s carried relief supplies to Allied prisoner of war camps in Japan and Manchuria.
In the postwar years, the 19th Bombardment Group conducted sea-search, photographic mapping, and training missions from its base at North Field, Guam, in the western Pacific. It was the only Bombardment Group not in the Strategic Air Command chain of command and, in 1950, the only Bombardment Group permanently stationed outside the continental limits of the United States.
When the Korean War broke out in June 1950, the 30th was one of three B-29 squadrons of the 19th that deployed from Guam to Kadena AB, Okinawa, to conduct combat operations. On 28 June the squadron attacked North Korean storage tanks, marshalling yards, and armor in the vicinity of Seoul, South Korea. This was the first of just under 650 combat missions during the course of the war. Operating under Far East Air Force Bomber Command (Provisional), the 30th was reinforced with refurbished B-29s that were placed in storage after World War II, then brought back into operational service.
Operations over North Korea included attacking an oil refinery and port facilities at Wonsan, a railroad bridge at Pyongyang, and Yonpo Airfield. After United Nations ground forces pushed the communists out of South Korea, the squadron turned to strategic objectives in North Korea, including industrial and hydroelectric facilities. It also continued to attack bridges, marshalling yards, supply centers, artillery and troop positions, barracks, port facilities, and airfields.
The 30th continued bombardment operations until the June 1953 armistice in Korea; returned to the United States in May 1954; the squadrons B-29s being sent to reclamation.
Re-equipped with B-47 Stratojets in 1954 as part of Strategic Air Command. Flew strategic bombardment training missions until 1962 when B-47s were being phased out of the inventory. In 1960 was reassigned to SAC provisional 4133d Strategic Wing, being re-equipped with B-52H Stratofortress intercontinental heavy bombers. Was reassigned to Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota by SAC to disperse its heavy bomber force. Conducted worldwide strategic bombardment training missions and providing nuclear deterrent. Was inactivated in 1963 when SAC inactivated its provisional Strategic Wings, redesignating them permanent Air Force Wings. Squadron was inactivated with aircraft/personnel/equipment being redesignated 46th Bombardment Squadron in an in-place, name-only transfer.
On 19 September 1985 the Air Force consolidated the 30th Bombardment Squadron with the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, the USAF Thunderbirds, which was activated on 25 May 1953. The consolidated unit was bestowed the lineage, history and honors of the 30th Bombardment Squadron.
The 102nd Infantry Division was a division of the Philippine Army under the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE).
Organized in early 1942, the division was responsible for the defense of the Cagayan Sector of Mindanao. It fought in the defense of Mindanao against Japanese invasion in early May, and surrendered after the Fall of Corregidor during the Philippines Campaign of 1941–1942.19th Airlift Wing
The 19th Airlift Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Mobility Command's Eighteenth Air Force. It is stationed at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas. The wing is also the host unit at Little Rock.
The Wing provides the Department of Defense its largest Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport fleet, supplying humanitarian airlift relief to victims of disasters, to airdropping supplies and troops into the heart of contingency operations in hostile areas.
Active for over 60 years, the 19th was a component wing of Strategic Air Command's deterrent force during the Cold War. The wing served in the Korean War and Operation Desert Storm. Its component units are currently engaged in combat operations as part of the Global War on Terrorism.
The 19th Airlift Wing is commanded by Colonel Gerald A. Donohue. Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant David Morse.319th Air Base Wing
The 319th Air Base Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command. It is stationed at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. The wing is the host unit at Grand Forks.
The wing was one of only three "super tanker" wings in the United States Air Force.
The 319th Air Base Wing is commanded by Colonel Benjamin Spencer. Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Todd R. Krulcik.36th Electronic Warfare Squadron
The 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron is an active United States Air Force unit. Its is stationed at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where it is assigned to the 53d Electronic Warfare Group
During World War II, as the 36th Bombardment Squadron the squadron conducted special operations and electronic warfare missions over Europe from 1943 until the end of the war.46th Bomb Squadron
The 46th Bomb Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 319th Operations Group at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota, where it was inactivated on 16 July 1994.
The squadron was first organized in the reserve in 1947 as the 46th Bombardment Squadron. It was not fully manned before it was mobilized in 1951 and its personnel used as fillers for other units. From May 1955 to November 1957 it served in the reserves as the 46th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, standing air defense alert at its home station, Memphis Municipal Airport, during 1956 and 1957. It was inactivated when the Air Force reserves converted to an all troop carrier command.
From 1963 through the end of the Cold War, the squadron stood nuclear alert. It also deployed aircraft and personnel to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.5th Interceptor Command
The 5th Interceptor Command (Provisional) was a temporary command organization of the United States Army Air Forces. It was wiped out in the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42). The survivors fought as infantry during Battle of Bataan and after their surrender, were subjected to the Bataan Death March, although some did escape to Australia.AGM-28 Hound Dog
The North American Aviation AGM-28 Hound Dog was a supersonic, turbojet-propelled, air-launched cruise missile developed in 1959 for the United States Air Force. It was primarily designed to be capable of attacking Soviet ground-based air defense sites prior to a potential air attack by B-52 Stratofortress long range bombers during the Cold War. The Hound Dog was first given the designation B-77, then redesignated GAM-77, and finally as AGM-28. It was conceived as a temporary standoff missile for the B-52, to be used until the GAM-87 Skybolt air-launched ballistic missile was available. Instead, the Skybolt was cancelled within a few years and the Hound Dog continued to be deployed for a total of 15 years until its replacement by newer missiles, including the AGM-69 SRAM and then the AGM-86 ALCM.Albert Francis Hegenberger
Albert Francis Hegenberger (September 30, 1895 – August 31, 1983) was a major general in the United States Air Force and a pioneering aviator who set a flight distance record with Lester J. Maitland, completing the first transpacific flight to Hawaii in 1927 as navigator of the Bird of Paradise. Hegenberger was an aeronautical engineer of note, earning both the Mackay Trophy (1927) and Collier Trophy (1934) for achievement.Cloncurry Airport
Cloncurry Airport (IATA: CNJ, ICAO: YCCY) is an airport in Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia.Del Monte Airfield
Del Monte Field was a heavy bomber airfield of the Far East Air Force (FEAF) located on Mindanao in the Philippines. The airfield was located in a meadow of a Del Monte Corporation pineapple plantation.Fifth Air Force
The Fifth Air Force (5 AF) is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). It is headquartered at Yokota Air Base, Japan. It is the U.S. Air Force's oldest continuously serving Numbered Air Force. The organization has provided 70 years of continuous air power to the Pacific since its establishment in September 1941.Fifth Air Force is the Headquarters Pacific Air Forces forward element in Japan, and maximizes partnership capabilities and promotes bilateral defense cooperation. In addition, 5 AF is the air component to United States Forces Japan.Its mission is three-fold. First, it plans, conducts, controls, and coordinates air operations assigned by the PACAF Commander. Fifth Air Force maintains a level of readiness necessary for successful completion of directed military operations. And last, but certainly not least, Fifth Air Force assists in the mutual defense of Japan and enhances regional stability by planning, exercising, and executing joint air operations in partnership with Japan. To achieve this mission, Fifth Air Force maintains its deterrent force posture to protect both U.S. and Japanese interests, and conducts appropriate air operations should deterrence fail.Fifth Air Force is commanded by Lieutenant General Kevin B. Schneider.Grand Forks Air Force Base
Grand Forks Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: RDR, ICAO: KRDR, FAA LID: RDR) is a United States Air Force installation in northeastern North Dakota, located north of Emerado and 16 miles (26 km) west of Grand Forks. In the 2010 census, the base was counted as a census-designated place with a total population of 2,367, down from 4,832 in 2000.Opened 62 years ago in early 1957, the base's current host unit is the 319th Air Base Wing (319 ABW) assigned to the Air Combat Command (ACC). The 319th Air Base Wing is commanded by Colonel Benjamin W. Spencer and the wing Command Chief Master Sergeant is CMSgt Brian C. Thomas.
Schools on base: Nathan Twining Elementary School.
During the Cold War, GFAFB was a major installation of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), with B-52 bombers, KC-135 tankers, and Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles.List of B-47 units of the United States Air Force
The Boeing B-47 Stratojet was operational with the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command beginning in May 1951 with the first operational B-47As to the 306th Bombardment Wing, Medium, based at MacDill AFB, Florida.
In March 1961, President John F. Kennedy directed the phaseout of the B-47. However this was delayed in July by the onset of the Berlin crisis of 1961–62. In the following years, B-47s were gradually delivered to the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC) at Davis-Monthan AFB.
Strategic Air Command B-47 Bombardment Wings were divided among the Second, Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces. This list is of the units B-47s were assigned to, and the bases at which they were stationed .List of B-52 Units of the United States Air Force
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress has been operational with the United States Air Force since 1955. This list is of the units it was assigned to, and the bases it was stationed.
In addition to the USAF, A single RB-52B (52-008) was flown by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) until it was retired on 17 December 2004. It now is on static display at the west gate of Edwards AFB, California. One other B-52H (61-0025) was flown for many years by the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards, and was transferred to NASA on 30 July 2001 as a replacement for the RB-52B. On 9 May 2008, that aircraft was flown for the last time to Sheppard AFB, Texas where it became a GB-52H maintenance trainer, never to fly again.Mareeba Airfield
Mareeba Airfield (IATA: MRG, ICAO: YMBA) is an airfield located 4.3 nautical miles (8.0 km; 4.9 mi) south of Mareeba, Queensland, Australia. Built in 1942 as a US Army Air Force base during World War II, the airfield had two runways, with a complement of taxiways, hardstands and a containment area. After the war, much of the airfield reverted to agricultural use, while the southern runway remains as an active airfield.Robert B. Williams (general)
Robert Boyd Williams (November 9, 1901 – February 10, 1977) was a major general in the United States Army Air Forces and an eminent combat commander during World War II. He personally led the B-17 raid on the Schweinfurt ball-bearing factories on 17 August 1943, the first large-scale deep penetration bombing raid on Germany. He was also an important personage in the training of heavy bombardment units both before and after his combat tour.United States Air Force Thunderbirds
The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron ("Thunderbirds") is the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force (USAF). The Thunderbirds are assigned to the 57th Wing, and are based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Created 66 years ago in 1953, the USAF Thunderbirds are the third-oldest formal flying aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world, after the United States Navy Blue Angels formed in 1946 and the French Air Force Patrouille de France formed in 1931.
The Thunderbirds Squadron tours the United States and much of the world, performing aerobatic formation and solo flying in specially marked aircraft. The squadron's name is taken from the legendary creature that appears in the mythologies of several indigenous North American cultures.
On 1 March 2013, the USAF announced that due to budget cuts, aerial demonstration team performances would cease indefinitely, effective 1 April 2013. On 6 December 2013 the Thunderbirds announced their 2014 schedule and the resumption of their appearances.United States Army Air Forces in Australia
During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces established a series of airfields in Australia for the collective defense of the country, as well as for conducting offensive operations against the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. It was from these airports and airfields in Australia, that the Fifth Air Force was able to regroup, re-equip and begin offensive operations against the Empire of Japan after the disasters in the Philippines and Dutch East Indies during 1942.United States Army Air Forces in the South West Pacific Theatre
During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces engaged in combat against the air, ground and naval forces of the Empire of Japan in the South West Pacific Theatre.
As defined by the United States Department of War, the South West Pacific theatre included the Philippines, the Dutch East Indies (excluding Sumatra), Borneo, Australia, the Australian Territory of New Guinea (including the Bismarck Archipelago), the western part of the Solomon Islands and some neighbouring territories. The theatre took its name from the major Allied command, which was known simply as the "South West Pacific Area".
The major USAAF combat organizations in the region was Fifth Air Force, based in Australia after the Battle of the Philippines (1941–42). From Australia, the Allied forces, led by General Douglas MacArthur, first moved north into New Guinea in 1942, then into the Netherlands East Indies in 1943, and returning to the Philippines in 1944 and 1945. Moving with the Allied ground forces, the USAAF Fifth Air Force established a series of airfields, some at existing facilities, but most were carved out of the jungle to provide tactical air support of the ground forces.
In addition to the Fifth Air Force units, elements of Seventh and Thirteenth Air Force advanced into the theatre as Japanese land and naval forces were driven out of the Central and South Pacific Areas.
Strategic Air Command (SAC)
Previously: Philippine Department Air Force (1941); Far East Air Force (1941-1942)