Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the Mediterranean Theater of Operations

The Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) was the second-largest user of the B-17 Flying Fortress during World War II. There were a total of six combat groups (twenty-four squadrons) equipped with the bomber assigned to the Theater.

2dbg-b-17s-Amendola-Takeoff-1944
B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 2d Bombardment Group on a mission from Amendola Airfield, Italy, 1944

Overview

Initially equipped with the B-17F Fortress, two bombardment groups (97th and 301st) were flown from airfields in England to Algiers and Oran in Algeria in November 1942 after the Operation Torch landings. They were assigned to the 5th Bombardment Wing, XII Bomber Command, Twelfth Air Force.[1]

The initial two combat groups were joined in February 1943 by the 99th and in April 1943 by the 2d Bombardment Groups, which arrived from the United States. These heavy bomber units supported the American Fifth Army as it drove west into Tunisia during the North African Campaign. Initial targets were enemy positions in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy and islands in the Mediterranean Sea.[1]

On 1 November 1943, Twelfth Air Force became a tactical organization of fighters and medium bombers. Its heavy bombardment units (B-17 and B-24 Liberator) were joined with those of Ninth Air Force which had been based in Libya and which was moving without personnel or equipment to England. The combined heavy bomber forces were designated as Fifteenth Air Force, with all B-17 groups remaining assigned to the 5th Bombardment Wing. Fifteenth Air Force's mission was to carry out long distance bombardment missions against enemy targets in Southern and Central Europe. The groups were also upgraded to the B-17G Fortress in late 1943, and were moved to newly captured airfields in the Foggia area of Southern Italy. In Italy two new B-17 groups, the 463d and 483d Bombardment Groups arrived from Third Air Force training airfields in the Southeastern United States in the spring of 1944 to reinforce the command.[1]

From their bases in Southern Italy, the Fortresses engaged in long-range strategic bombardment attacks against the enemy in the Balkans, Occupied Italy, Austria, Germany and France. Additionally, Fifteenth Air Force B-17s joined with Eighth Air Force B-17s as part of Operation Frantic, the shuttle bombing raids against targets on the Eastern Front, landing at Poltava Airfield (AAF-559) in the Soviet Union during the spring of 1944.[1]

Fifteenth Air Force, along with its B-17 units were inactivated after the German Capitulation in May 1945.[1]

Airfields

B-17 units in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations operated from the following Airfields:

Algeria (Twelfth Air Force) [1]
Ain M'lila Airfield (2d, 301st Bombardment Groups, Jan–Jul 1943)
36°00′19″N 006°34′22″E / 36.00528°N 6.57278°E (Approximate)
Biskra Airfield (97th, 301st Bombardment Groups, Dec 1942 – Feb 1943)
34°47′36″N 005°44′17″E / 34.79333°N 5.73806°E
Chateau-dun-du-Rhumel Airfield (2d, 97th Bombardment Groups, Feb–Aug 1943)
36°08′39″N 006°07′53″E / 36.14417°N 6.13139°E (Approximate)
Maison Blanche Airport, Algiers, (97th Bombardment Group, Nov 1942)
36°41′27″N 003°12′55″E / 36.69083°N 3.21528°E
Navarin Airfield (2d 99th Bombardment Groups, Feb–Apr 1943)
36°07′11″N 005°49′29″E / 36.11972°N 5.82472°E (Approximate)
Oran Tafaraoui Airport (97th, 301st Bombardment Group, Nov–Dec 1942)
35°32′27″N 000°32′02″W / 35.54083°N 0.53389°W
Saint-Donat Airfield (301st Bombardment Group, Mar–Aug 1943)
36°06′38″N 005°59′19″E / 36.11056°N 5.98861°E (Approximate)
Tunisia (Twelfth/Fifteenth Air Force)[1]
Bizerte Airfield (2d Bombardment Group, Dec 1943)
37°14′36″N 009°47′11″E / 37.24333°N 9.78639°E
Depienne Airfield (97th Bombardment Group, Aug–Dec 1943)
36°25′49″N 010°00′31″E / 36.43028°N 10.00861°E
Massicault Airfield (2d Bombardment Group, Jul–Dec 1943)
36°43′15″N 009°56′35″E / 36.72083°N 9.94306°E
Oudna Airfield (99th, 301st Bombardment Groups, Aug–Dec 1943)
36°38′09″N 010°05′48″E / 36.63583°N 10.09667°E
Pont du Fahs Airfield (97th Bombardment Group, Mar–Aug 1943)
36°21′00″N 009°50′42″E / 36.35000°N 9.84500°E
Italy (Fifteenth Air Force)[1]
Amendola Airfield (2d, 97th Bombardment Group, Dec 1943 – May 1945)
41°32′29″N 015°42′44″E / 41.54139°N 15.71222°E
Celone Airfield (463d Bombardment Group, Mar 1944 – May 1945)
41°32′26″N 015°31′57″E / 41.54056°N 15.53250°E (Approximate)
Lucera Airfield (301st Bombardment Group, Feb 1944 – May 1945)
41°29′52″N 015°25′29″E / 41.49778°N 15.42472°E
Tortorella Airfield (99th, 483d Bombardment Groups, Dec 1943 – May 1945)
41°29′03″N 015°39′15″E / 41.48417°N 15.65417°E
Sterparone Airfield (483d Bombardment Group, Apr 1944 – May 1945)
41°36′02″N 015°18′48″E / 41.60056°N 15.31333°E
  • Foggia Airfield (2d Bombardment Group, Postwar use, unit inactivation and aircraft storage area)
41°25′55″N 015°32′07″E / 41.43194°N 15.53528°E
  • Marcianise Airfield (97th, 99th Bombardment Groups) (Postwar use, unit inactivation and aircraft storage site)
41°06′55″N 014°10′34″E / 41.11528°N 14.17611°E
  • Pisa Airport (483d Bombardment Group) (Postwar use by Air Transport Command)
43°41′02″N 010°23′33″E / 43.68389°N 10.39250°E

Most combat airfields were temporary wartime facilities quickly constructed with pierced-steel planking runways and parking areas, with tents used for personnel quarters and a few wooden buildings used for operations. In Tunisia and Italy, some captured German Luftwaffe or Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) airfields were repaired and placed into service. Today, most show little evidence of their existence other than some faint outlines in agricultural fields.

Units

  • US Army, Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF) [2]
2 July – 18 December 1942 [2]
1st Provisional Bombardment Group; Later: 376th Bombardment Group (No Tail Code) [2]
Provisional organization formed at RAF Lydda, British Palestine on 1 July 1942. It had nine B-17E Flying Fortresses transferred from the 7th Bombardment Group, Fifth Air Force in Australia that had escaped from the Philippines or were sent from the United States in January 1942. The B-17s attacked the harbor at Tobruk, Libya seven times with day and night raids throughout July. Withdrawn for depot-level maintenance then returned for several more raids against enemy targets in Libya, Crete and Greece during October–December 1942. Last operational use made on 18 December 1942 when they attacked harbor facilities at Sousse, Tunisia. Transferred to non-combat duties with Air Transport Command.[2][3]
2d Bombardment Group - Emblem
25 April 1943 – 1 July 1945[4]
Entered Combat: 28 April 1943[5]
20th Bombardment Squadron (Circle-Y)][6][7]
49th Bombardment Squadron (Circle-Y V)[7][8]
96th Bombardment Squadron (Circle-Y T) [7][9]
429th Bombardment Squadron (Circle-Y Half-Arrow) [7][10]
Deployed from Great Falls Army Air Base, Montana to Camp Don B. Passage (Casablanca), French Morocco, 12 April 1943; Air echelon arrived at Marrakesh, French Morocco, 16 April 1943; Operations began from Navarin Airfield, Algeria, 22 April 1943 Inactivated at Foggia Airfield, Italy, 28 February 1946[4]
97th Bombardment Group - Emblem
13 November 1942 – 29 October 1945 [12]
Entered Combat: 16 November 1942
340th Bombardment Squadron (Triangle-Y O Red Diagonal Stripe Tail Rudder) [7][12]
341st Bombardment Squadron (Triangle-Y 1 Red Diagonal Stripe Tail Rudder) [7][13]
342d Bombardment Squadron (Triangle-Y 2 Red Diagonal Stripe Tail Rudder) [7][14]
414th Bombardment Squadron (Triangle-Y 3 Red Diagonal Stripe Tail Rudder) [7][15]
Transferred from VIII Bomber Command, 13 November 1942; Arrived Maison Blanche Airport, Algiers, Algeria, 13 November 1942; The first combat heavy bomber mission of Twelfth Air Force was flown from Maison Blanche Airport on 16 November 1942 when six B-17s of the 340th Bombardment Squadron attacked Sidi Ahmed Airfield at Bizerte, Tunisia. Inactivated at Marcianise Airfield, Italy on 29 October 1945 [11]
99th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing Emblem
22 February 1943 – 8 November 1945 [17]
Entered Combat: 16 March 1943[5]
346th Bombardment Squadron (Diamond-Y I) [7][17]
347th Bombardment Squadron (Diamond-Y II) [7][18]
348th Bombardment Squadron (Diamond-Y III) [7][19]
416th Bombardment Squadron (Diamond-Y IV) [7][20]
Deployed from Sioux City Army Air Base, Iowa, 22 February 1943; Operations began from Navarin Airfield, Algeria 22 February 1943. Inactivated at Marcianise Airfield, Italy, 8 November 1945 [16]
301st Bombardment Group - Emblem
26 November 1942 – 28 July 1945 [22]
Entered Combat: 28 November 1942[23]
32d Bombardment Squadron (Square-Y Green Tail Rudder A/1) [7][24]
352d Bombardment Squadron (Square-Y Green Tail Rudder B/2) [7][25]
353d Bombardment Squadron (Square-Y Green Tail Rudder C/3) [7][25]
419th Bombardment Squadron (Square-Y Green Tail Rudder D/4) [7][22]
Transferred from VIII Bomber Command, 26 November 1942; Arrived at Tafaraoui Airport, Oran, Algeria on 24 November 1942, mounted first combat mission on 28 November, attacking Bizerte Airfield and dock area in Tunisia. Moved to Biskra Airfield, Algeria, 16 December 1942. Returned to Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, 28 July 1945 [21]
463d Bombardment Group - Emblem
9 March 1944 – 25 September 1945
Entered Combat: 30 March 1944[27]
772d Bombardment Squadron (Wedge-Y Orange Tail Rudder) [7][28]
773d Bombardment Squadron (Wedge-Y Orange Tail Rudder) [7][29]
774th Bombardment Squadron (Wedge-Y Orange Tail Rudder) [7][30]
775th Bombardment Squadron (Wedge-Y Orange Tail Rudder) [7][31]
Deployed from Lakeland Army Airfield, Florida, 9 March 1944; Operated from Celone Airfield, Italy 9 March 1944 – 25 September 1945 Inactivated in Italy [26]
483d Bombardment Group - Emblem
9 March 1944 – 25 September 1945 [33]
Entered Combat: 1 April 1944[34]
815th Bombardment Squadron (Y-Star Red Tail Rudder I) [7][33]
816th Bombardment Squadron (Y-Star Red Tail Rudder II) [7][35]
817th Bombardment Squadron (Y-Star Red Tail Rudder III) [7][36]
840th Bombardment Squadron (Y-Star Red Tail Rudder IV) [7][37]
Deployed from MacDill Army Airfield, Florida, 30 March 1944; Operated from Sterparone Airfield, Italy, 9 April 1944 – 15 May 1945
After war ended, assigned to Air Transport Command and moved to Pisa Airport, Italy, 15 May 1943. B-17s converted to transport configuration and used to transport personnel to Port Lyautey Airfield, French Morocco where ATC transports moved them across the Atlantic. Inactivated in Italy on 25 September 1945 [32]

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4., pp25-26
  2. ^ a b c d COMBAT CHRONOLOGY US ARMY AIR FORCES MEDITERRANEAN – 1942
  3. ^ 9th Bombardment Squadron 7BW History office
  4. ^ a b Maurer, Units, 2d Bombardment Group pp25-26
  5. ^ a b COMBAT CHRONOLOGY US ARMY AIR FORCES MEDITERRANEAN – 1943, PART 1
  6. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Hess and Styling (2003), B-17 Flying Fortress Units of the MTO (Combat Aircraft) Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1841765805
  8. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 49th Bombardment Squadron
  9. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 96th Bombardment Squadron
  10. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 429th Bombardment Squadron
  11. ^ a b Maurer, Units, 97th Bombardment Group pp338-339
  12. ^ a b Maurer, Squadrons, 340th Bombardment Squadron
  13. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 341st Bombardment Squadron
  14. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 342d Bombardment Squadron
  15. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 414th Bombardment Squadron
  16. ^ a b Maurer, Units, 99th Bombardment Group pp170-171
  17. ^ a b Maurer, Squadrons, 346th Bombardment Squadron
  18. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 347th Bombardment Squadron
  19. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 348th Bombardment Squadron
  20. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 416th Bombardment Squadron
  21. ^ a b Maurer, Units, 301st Bombardment Group pp173-174
  22. ^ a b Maurer, Squadrons, 419th Bombardment Squadron
  23. ^ Rickard, J (13 September 2012), 301st Bombardment Group (Second World War) , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/301st_Bombardment_Group.html
  24. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 32d Bombardment Squadron
  25. ^ a b Maurer, Squadrons, 352d Bombardment Squadron
  26. ^ a b Maurer, Units, 463d Bombardment Group pp338-339
  27. ^ Rickard, J (27 March 2014), 463rd Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/463rd_Bombardment_Group.html
  28. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 772d Bombardment Squadron
  29. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 773d Bombardment Squadron
  30. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 774th Bombardment Squadron
  31. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 775th Bombardment Squadron
  32. ^ a b Maurer, Units, 483d Bombardment Group pp338-339
  33. ^ a b Maurer, Squadrons, 815th Bombardment Squadron
  34. ^ Rickard, J (24 April 2014), 483rd Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/483rd_Bombardment_Group.html
  35. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 816th Bombardment Squadron
  36. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 817th Bombardment Squadron
  37. ^ Maurer, Squadrons, 840th Bombardment Squadron
128th Airborne Command and Control Squadron

The 128th Airborne Command and Control Squadron is a unit of the Georgia Air National Guard 116th Air Control Wing located at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia. The 128th is equipped with the E-8C Joint STARS.

The squadron's first predecessor is the World War I 840th Aero Squadron, which was organized on 1 February 1918 and, after training in Texas, served in France as a depot unit. It returned to the United States in the March 1919 and was demobilized .

The 128th Observation Squadron was allotted to the Georgia National Guard and was organized in May 1941. Four months later it was mobilized, and trained in aerial reconnaissance. In June 1942, the squadron began antisubmarine patrol missions over the Gulf of Mexico, being redesignated as the 21st Antisubmarine Squadron in the spring of 1943. After the Navy assumed control of the squadron's mission, it began training as a heavy bomber unit as the 818th, then the 840th Bombardment Squadron. It deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in 1944, and engaged in strategic bombing until the end of World War II, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations before being inactivated in September 1945 at Pisa Airport, Italy. During the war, it was consolidated with the World War I aero squadron.

In May 1946, the squadron was allotted to the National Guard as the 128th Fighter Squadron. It was mobilized again for the Korean War, but deployed to France to reinforce United States Air Forces Europe's fighter force. When its activation was ended in July 1942, it was inactivated and transferred its personnel and planes to the 494th Fighter-Bomber Squadron, activating the same day in the Georgia Air National Guard as the 128th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The squadron trained as a fighter unit until 1961, when it assumed the airlift mission as the 128th Air Transport Squadron. In 1973, the squadron returned to the fighter mission as the 128th Tactical Fighter Squadron. It became the 128th Bomb Squadron in 1996, and assumed its current role in 2003.

20th Bomb Squadron

Not to be confused with XX Bomber CommandThe 20th Bomb Squadron is a unit of the 2d Operations Group of the United States Air Force located at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The 20th is equipped with the Boeing B-52H Stratofortress.

Formed in May 1917 as the 20th Aero Squadron, the squadron saw combat in France on the World War I Western Front. It took part in the St. Mihiel offensive and Meuse-Argonne offensive.

After the war, it served with the Army Air Service and Army Air Corps as the 20th Bombardment Squadron During the 1920s and 1930s, the squadron was involved in field service testing of new bomber aircraft, notably the Y1B-17 Flying Fortress.

During World War II the squadron fought in the North African and Italian Campaigns. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions during a raid on Steyr, Austria.

It was a part of Strategic Air Command during the Cold War. As a medium bomber squadron it deployed to stand alert at forward bases in "Reflex" operations. After equipping with Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses stood nuclear alert, but during the Viet Nam War the squadron deployed frequently to perform Operation Arc Light bombing missions. Since 1993, the 20th Bomb Squadron has flown the B-52H Stratofortress long-range strategic bomber, which can perform a variety of missions. Today the squadron is engaged in the Global War on Terrorism.

32nd Air Refueling Squadron

The 32nd Air Refueling Squadron, sometimes written as 32d Air Refueling Squadron, is part of the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey. It operates the KC-10 Extender aircraft conducting air refueling missions. The squadron is one of the oldest in the United States Air Force, its origins dating to 19 May 1917, being organized at Kelly Field, Texas. The squadron deployed to England as part of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. During World War II, the squadron saw combat service as a B-17 Flying Fortress unit, assigned to the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy. During the early years of the Cold War, it was an RB-47 Stratojet Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron as part of Strategic Air Command (SAC).

340th Weapons Squadron

The 340th Weapons Squadron is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the USAF Weapons School. It is stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The 340th is assigned to the 57th Wing, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. The mission of the squadron is to provide Boeing B-52 Stratofortress instructional flying.

On 3 February 1942, Captain Paul Tibbets (of Enola Gay fame) was given command of a new squadron that would later become the 340th Bombardment Squadron. The 340th Bomb Squadron was involved in combat missions in both the European and Mediterranean theaters from 1942 through 1945. The most notable of these were the Operation Tidal Wave raids on Hitler’s largest oil refinery in Ploiești, Romania. During the Vietnam War, B-52 crews from the 340th BS participated in the Linebacker offensives over the skies of North Vietnam. In August 1990 the 340th deployed aircrews for Operation Desert Storm.

341st Bombardment Squadron

The 341st Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 4038th Strategic Wing. It was last stationed at Dow Air Force Base, Maine, and was inactivated on 1 February 1963.

During World War II, the 341st Bombardment Squadron was a B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 97th Bombardment Group, Fifteenth Air Force. It earned Two Distinguished Unit Citations.

342d Bombardment Squadron

The 342d Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 4137th Strategic Wing. It was last stationed at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia and was inactivated on 1 February 1963.

During World War II, the 342d Bombardment Squadron was a B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 97th Bombardment Group, Fifteenth Air Force. It earned two Distinguished Unit Citations.

347th Bombardment Squadron

The 347th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 4047th Strategic Wing. It was inactivated at McCoy Air Force Base, Florida on 1 April 1963.

During World War II, the 347th Bombardment Squadron was a B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 99th Bombardment Group, Fifteenth Air Force. It earned Two Distinguished Unit Citations.

348th Reconnaissance Squadron

The 348th Reconnaissance Squadron is an active United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 69th Reconnaissance Group. It was activated at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota on 19 September 2011.

During World War II, the 348th Bombardment Squadron was a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 99th Bombardment Group of Fifteenth Air Force. It earned two Distinguished Unit Citations.

352d Bombardment Squadron

The 352d Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 301st Bombardment Wing, stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, where it was inactivated on 8 June 1964.

During World War II, the 352d Bombardment Squadron was a B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 301st Bombardment Group, Fifteenth Air Force. It earned two Distinguished Unit Citations. The first in 1943, the second in 1944.

The squadron later earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period covering 1 January 1961 to 31 December 1962.

353d Bombardment Squadron

The 353d Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 301st Bombardment Wing, stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. It was inactivated on 8 June 1964.

During World War II, the 353d Bombardment Squadron was a B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 301st Bombardment Group, Fifteenth Air Force. It earned Two Distinguished Unit Citations.

414th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron

The 414th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It operates the MQ-1B Predator, last known assigned to the 39th Expeditionary Operations Group, Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

During World War II, the 414th Bombardment Squadron was a B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 97th Bombardment Group, Fifteenth Air Force. It earned Two Distinguished Unit Citations.

416th Flight Test Squadron

The 416th Flight Test Squadron is a United States Air Force squadron. It is assigned to the 412th Operations Group, Air Force Materiel Command, stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

During World War II, the 416th Bombardment Squadron was a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 99th Bombardment Group of Fifteenth Air Force. It earned two Distinguished Unit Citations for its performance in combat.

419th Flight Test Squadron

The 419th Flight Test Squadron is a United States Air Force squadron. It is assigned to the 412th Operations Group, Air Force Materiel Command, stationed at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

During World War II, the 419th Bombardment Squadron was a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 301st Bombardment Group, Fifteenth Air Force. It earned Two Distinguished Unit Citations. In 1958, the squadron was activated as a Boeing B-47 Stratojet squadron as part of Strategic Air Command's nuclear force, but was discontinued four years later. In 1993, the squadron was consolidated with the 6519th Test Squadron, which had been conducting test operations at Edwards since 1989.

429th Attack Squadron

The 429th Attack Squadron is a classic associate squadron, stationed at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. It is geographically separated from its parent 926th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

The squadron was previously the 429th Bombardment Squadron, a Boeing B-47 Stratojet unit based at Hunter Air Force Base, Georgia, where it was inactivated on 1 January 1962.

The squadron was first organized during World War I as the 41st Aero Squadron, and served in France during that war before being demobilized in 1919. In 1924 it was consolidated with the 41st School Squadron, which had been organized in 1922. The squadron later converted to the reconnaissance mission as the 41st Observation Squadron. During World War II, as the 429th Bombardment Squadron, it was a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 2d Bombardment Group. It earned Two Distinguished Unit Citations while serving in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, inactivating in Italy after the end of the war.

775th Troop Carrier Squadron

The 775th Troop Carrier Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 1st Air Commando Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida on July 1964.

The squadron was first activated as the 775th Bombardment Squadron during World War II. After training in the United States with Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers, it deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, where it participated in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations before inactivating in Italy.

The squadron was redesignated the 775th Troop Carrier Squadron and activated in June 1955 at Ardmore Air Force Base, Oklahoma and equipped with Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars. It was inactivated in August 1957, when the 463d Troop Carrier Wing completed its transition to the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. At was activated again at Pope Air Force Base and equipped with Fairchild C-123B Providers. The squadron moved to Hurlbert, where its assets were used to form the 317th Air Commando Squadron and the squadron was inactivated.

815th Airlift Squadron

The 815th Airlift Squadron is a flying unit of the United States Air Force assigned to the Air Force Reserve Command and part of the 403d Wing at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. It operates Lockheed C-130J Hercules aircraft providing global airlift.

During World War II as the 815th Bombardment Squadron, it was one of the last Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber squadrons deployed to Southern Italy as part of the Fifteenth Air Force 483d Bombardment Group in March 1944 The squadron earned two Distinguished Unit Citations in combat over Germany. After the war, it helped transport American soldiers returning to the United States until it was inactivated in Italy.

The squadron was activated as the 816th Troop Carrier Squadron in 1953 in Japan, when it replaced a reserve unit that had been activated for the Korean War. It airlifted troops and materiel in the Pacific until inactivating in 1969.

Four years later, the squadron was activated in the reserves. It has performed airlift and weather reconnaissance missions from Keesler

816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron

The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 385th Air Expeditionary Group, stationed at Al Udeid Air Base, Doha, Qatar and has a few detachments. It is currently engaged in combat operations in Southwest Asia.

During World War II as the 816th Bombardment Squadron, it was one of the last B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber squadrons deployed to Southern Italy as part of the Fifteenth Air Force's 483d Bombardment Group in March 1944. The squadron earned two Distinguished Unit Citations in combat over Germany. After the war, it helped transport American soldiers returning to the United States until it was inactivated in Italy.

The squadron was activated as the 816th Troop Carrier Squadron in 1953 in Japan, when it replaced a reserve unit that had been activated for the Korean War. It airlifted troops and materiel in the Pacific until inactivating in 1956.

817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron

The 817th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It was engaged in combat operations in Southwest Asia. It was inactivated in 2014, however it can be reactivated by Air Mobility Command at any time needed for contingency operations.

During World War II as the 817th Bombardment Squadron, it was one of the last Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber squadrons deployed to southern Italy as part of the Fifteenth Air Force 483d Bombardment Group in March 1944.

The squadron was converted to airlift operations and activated in the Pacific area, where it served during both the Korean and Vietnam Wars until it was inactivated in 1970.

96th Bomb Squadron

The 96th Bomb Squadron is a unit of the United States Air Force 2d Operations Group located at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The 96th is equipped with the Boeing B-52H Stratofortress.

Formed in August 1917, the 96 BS saw combat on the World War I Western Front, in France. It took part in the St. Mihiel offensive and Meuse-Argonne offensive. Later, it served with the Army Air Service and Army Air Corps in the Inter-War period it participated in Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell's 1921 off-shore bombing tests and during World War II fought in the North African and Italian Campaigns. It was a part of Strategic Air Command during the Cold War. Since 1993, the 96th Bomb Squadron has flown the B-52H Stratofortress long-range heavy bomber, which can perform a variety of missions. Today the squadron is engaged in the Global War on Terrorism.

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