351st Air Refueling Squadron
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|351st Air Refueling Squadron
|Active||1942–1945; 1947–1949; 1956–1966; 1992–present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||United States Air Forces in Europe|
|Motto(s)||Pax Opus Nostrum Latin Peace is our Profession|
|Engagements||European Theater of Operations|
|Decorations||Distinguished Unit Citation|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
|351st Air Refueling Squadron emblem (approved 16 September 1958)|
|Patch with 351st Bombardment Squadron emblem (World War II)|
World War IIEdit
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. *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.
- 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
- 100th Bombardment Group, 1 June 1942 – 15 December 1945
- 100th Bombardment Group, 17 July 1947 – 27 June 1949
- 100th Bombardment Wing, 1 January 1956 – 25 June 1966
- 100th Operations Group, 31 March 1992 – present
- Orlando Army Air Base, Florida 1 June 1942
- Barksdale Field, Louisiana, c. 18 June 1942
- Pendleton Field, Oregon c. 26 June 1942
- Gowen Field, Idaho, 28 August 1942
- Walla Walla Army Air Field, Washington, c. 1 November 1942
- Wendover Field, Utah, c. 30 November 1942
- Sioux City Army Air Base, Iowa, c. 28 December 1942
- Kearney Army Air Field, Nebraska, c. 30 January – May 1943
- RAF Thorpe Abbotts (Station 139), England, 9 June 1943 – December 1945
- Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, c. 20–21 December 1945
- Miami Army Air Field, Florida, 29 May 1947 – 27 June 1949
- Portsmouth Air Force Base (later Pease Air Force Base), New Hampshire, 1 January 1956 – 30 April 1966
- RAF Mildenhall, England, 31 Mar 1992 – present
- Aircraft is Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker serial 57-1493.
- Kane, Robert B. (19 July 2010). "Factsheet 351 Air Refueling Squadron (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
- Watkins, pp. 48-49
- Senior Airman Rachel Waller. "RAF Mildenhall continues support for NATO Libyan operations". mildenhall.af.mil. Retrieved 6 November 2012.
- Station number in Anderson.
- Anderson, Capt. Barry (1985). Army Air Forces Stations: A Guide to the Stations Where U.S. Army Air Forces Personnel Served in the United Kingdom During World War II (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL yes: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Watkins, Robert (2008). Battle Colors: Insignia and Markings of the Eighth Air Force In World War II. Vol I (VIII) Bomber Command. Atglen, PA: Shiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7643-1987-6.