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The 351st Air Refueling Squadron is part of the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England. It operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting air refueling missions.

351st Air Refueling Squadron
United States Air Forces in Europe.png
57-1493 KC-135R 100 ARW 351 ARS USAFE RAF Mildenhall (5026463934).jpg
Active1942–1945; 1947–1949; 1956–1966; 1992–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleAir refueling
Part ofUnited States Air Forces in Europe
Garrison/HQRAF Mildenhall
Motto(s)Pax Opus Nostrum Latin Peace is our Profession[1]
EngagementsEuropean Theater of Operations
Desert Storm
Kosovo War[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
French Croix de Guerre with Palm[1]
Insignia
351st Air Refueling Squadron emblem (approved 16 September 1958)[1]351st Air Refueling Squadron.jpg
Patch with 351st Bombardment Squadron emblem (World War II)[2]351st Bombardment Squadron - Emblem.png

Contents

HistoryEdit

World War IIEdit

 
100th Bombardment Group B-17s

Established as a Boeing 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 in the Midwest until being deployed to the European Theater of Operations, being assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England in June 1943.

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, France 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.

Air Force ReserveEdit

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.

Strategic Air Command bombardment operationsEdit

Reactivated under Strategic Air Command received new, swept wing Boeing 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.

Air refueling in EuropeEdit

Reactivated in England in 1992 as an air refueling squadron.[1] *In 2011, the 351st Air Refueling Squadron deployed a portion of its Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker fleet to Istres-Le Tubé Air Base in support of Operation Unified Protector, as the 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron.[3]

LineageEdit

  • Constituted as the 351st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Activated on 1 June 1942
Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 15 December 1945
  • Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 3 July 1947
Activated in the reserve on 17 July 1947
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
  • Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 1 August 1955
Activated on 1 January 1956
Discontinued and inactivated on 25 June 1966
  • Redesignated 351st Air Refueling Squadron on 26 March 1992
Activated on 31 March 1992[1]

AssignmentsEdit

StationsEdit

Aircraft operatedEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker serial 57-1493.
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Kane, Robert B. (19 July 2010). "Factsheet 351 Air Refueling Squadron (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  2. ^ Watkins, pp. 48-49
  3. ^ Senior Airman Rachel Waller. "RAF Mildenhall continues support for NATO Libyan operations". mildenhall.af.mil. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
  4. ^ Station number in Anderson.

BibliographyEdit

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