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The 731st Airlift Squadron is part of the 302d Airlift Wing at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. It operates Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft providing global airlift.

731st Airlift Squadron News Photo 070502-F-4883S-067.jpg
A squadron C-130 Hercules makes a drop during annual Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System training
Active1942–1945; 1947–1951; 1952–1982; 1982–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part ofAir Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQPeterson Air Force Base
EngagementsEuropean Theater of Operations[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
731st Airlift Squadron emblem (modified 22 July 1996)[1]731st Airlift Squadron.png
331st Bombardment Squadron emblem (approved 10 April 1943)[1]331st Bombardment Squadron - Emblem.png




World War IIEdit

Activated as a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomb squadron; trained under Second Air Force. Completed training in early 1943; deploying to European Theater of Operations (ETO) assigned to VIII Bomber Command of the Eighth Air Force in England. Engaged in long-range strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany, March 1944 – May 1945 attacking enemy military and industrial targets as part of the United States' air offensive against Nazi Germany. Most personnel demobilized in Europe after the German capitulation in May 1945; squadron inactivated as a paper unit in November.


Reactivated in 1947 as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomb squadron in the reserve, however equipped with trainers until 1949 when equipped with the Douglas B-26 Invader light bomber. Squadron activated in 1951 as a result of the Korean War; personnel and equipment assigned as replacements, then inactivated as a paper unit.

Reactivated in 1952 with RB-26 Invader photo-reconnaissance aircraft; Curtiss C-46 Commando transports; North Emerican F-51 Mustangs, and other second-line aircraft. In 1957, moved from Scott Air Force Base, Illinois to Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Massachusetts and re-equipped with Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars for tactical airlift. Activated during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962; returned to reserve status after crisis was resolved. In 1966, re-equipped with Douglas C-124 Globemasters for performing strategic airlift on a worldwide scale. Reassigned to various Air Force reserve wings; flying Fairchild C-123 Providers until inactivation in 1982. Reactivated in Colorado in the Air Force Reserve same date and equipped with Lockheed C-130 Hercules.


  • Constituted as the 331st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Activated on 15 June 1942
Redesignated 331st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 29 November 1945
Redesignated 331st Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavyon 13 May 1947
Activated in the reserve on 29 May 1947
Redesignated 331st Bombardment Squadron, Light on 26 June 1949
Ordered to active service on 10 March 1951
Inactivated on 20 March 1951
  • Redesignated 331st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 26 May 1952
Activated in the reserve on 14 June 1952
Redesignated 331st Bombardment Squadron, Tactical on 18 May 1955
Redesignated 731st Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 1 July 1957
Ordered to active service on 28 October 1962
Relieved from active duty on 28 November 1962
Redesignated: 731st Military Airlift Squadron on 1 January 1967
Redesignated: 731st Tactical Airlift Squadron on 1 October 1972
Inactivated on 1 October 1982
  • Activated in the reserve on 1 October 1982
Redesignated 731st Airlift Squadron on 1 February 1992[1]






  1. ^ a b c d e f g Robertson, Patsy (31 August 2010). "Factsheet 731 Airlift Squadron (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 9 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b Station number in Anderson
  3. ^ Station information in Robertson, except as noted.


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website