348th Bombardment Squadron
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|348th Bombardment Squadron|
Emblem of the 348th Bombardment Squadron
|Active||1942-1945; 1947-1949; 1953-1973|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 348th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 99th Bombardment Wing. It was inactivated at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts on 30 September 1973.
Established in early 1942 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron; trained under Second Air Force first in the Pacific Northwest, but the poor flying weather in the northwest forced a relocation to the Midwest for the second and third phases of training.
After completion of training, the 99th departed for the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in Algeria, where the ground echelon went by ship from New York to Marrakech, Morocco; the air echelon flying to Morrision Field, Florida then along the South Atlantic Route to Navarin Airfield, Algeria where the ground and air echelons of the group were reunited in late February 1943. Assigned to Twelfth Air Force, the squadron engaged in combat operations in support of American ground forces in Algeria and Tunisia during the 1943 North African campaign.
Helped force the capitulation of Pantelleria Island in June 1943. Bombed in preparation for and in support of the invasions of Sicily and southern Italy in the summer and fall of 1943. Was reassigned to the new Fifteenth Air Force in October 1943 and until the German Capitulation in May 1945, engaged in strategic bombardment of enemy targets in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece, attacking oil refineries, marshaling yards, aircraft factories, and other strategic objectives. Squadron was demoblized in Italy in late 1945; inactivated in November.
Activated in the reserves in 1947, however unit never equipped or manned. Inactivated in 1949 due to budget restraints. Reactivated in 1953 as a Strategic Air Command B-36 Peacemaker intercontinental strategic bombardment squadron. Engaged in worldwide strategic bombardment training and stood nuclear alert until 1956 when the B-36 was retired. Re-equipped with B-52 Stratofortresses and continued training and nuclear alert status. Deployed to Pacific during Vietnam War, engaging in Arc Light combat missions over North Vietnam; also deployed to Thailand flying out of U-Tapao RTNAF for combat missions over Cambodia and Laos. Inactivated in 1973 with the inactivation of parent 99th Bombardment Wing and closure of Westover AFB.
- Constituted 348th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
- Activated on 1 Jun 1942
- Inactivated on 8 Nov 1945
- Redesignated 348th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 13 May 1947
- Activated in the reserve on 29 May 1947
- Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
- Redesignated 348th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy), and activated, on 1 Jan 1953.
- Redesignated 348th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 30 Sep 1973
- Inactivated on 31 Mar 1974
- 99th Bombardment Group, 1 Jun 1942-8 Nov 1945; 29 May 1947-27 Jun 1949
- 99th Strategic Reconnaissance (later Bombardment) Wing, 1 Jan 1953-30 Sep 1973
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, AL: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.