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37th Bomb Squadron
37th Bomb Squadron Rockwell B-1 Lancer.jpg
37th Bomb Squadron Rockwell B-1 Lancer being prepared for Operation Odyssey Dawn at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., March 27, 2011.
Active 13 June 1917 - 5 April 1919
1 September 1933 - 31 January 1938
1 February 1940 - 26 November 1945
19 May 1947 - 10 September 1948
10 May 1952 - 25 June 1958
1 July 1977 - 1 October 1982
1 January 1987 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Strategic Bombing
Part of Air Combat Command
12th Air Force
28th Bomb Wing
28th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Ellsworth Air Force Base
Nickname(s) Tigers
Mascot(s) Billy
Engagements Doolittle Raid
Operation Desert Fox
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DCU
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Ruban de la croix de guerre 1939-1945.PNG FCdG w/Palm
Presidential Unit Citation (South Korea).svg ROK PUC
37th Bomb Squadron emblem 37th Bomb Squadron.jpg

The 37th Bomb Squadron (37 BS) is part of the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. It operates B-1 Lancer aircraft providing strategic bombing capability.

The squadron is one of the oldest in the United States Air Force, its origins dating to 13 June 1917, being organized at Kelly Field, Texas. The squadron deployed to England as part of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. The squadron saw combat during World War II, and later became part of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) during the Cold War.

Mission[edit | edit source]

Provide rapid, decisive and sustainable combat airpower anytime, anywhere.

History[edit | edit source]

World War I[edit | edit source]

Established as a World War I Aero Squadron in Texas; deployed to France in September 1917. The squadron participated in aircraft construction from 1917–1918 and conducted flying training in 1918. Returned to the United States and inactivated in 1919.

Inter-war years[edit | edit source]

Reactivated in 1933 as a Pursuit Squadron, equipped with P-6 Hawks, A-8 Shrike and A-17A Nomad attack aircraft. Assigned to the Southeast Air District, flying coastal patrol missions from Langley Field, then Barksdale Field. Moved to Colorado and re-equipped with B-18 Bolo medium bombers; deploying to the Pacific Northwest.

World War II[edit | edit source]

The 37th It flew antisubmarine patrols from, December 1941–c. March 1942. The squadron also contributed aircrews for the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo, Japan on 6 April 1942. After the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, the squadron flew antisubmarine patrols over the Northwest Pacific coast until May 1942.

After the Japanese invasion of the Aleutian Islands, squadron was deployed to the Alaska Territory. Flew combat missions during the Aleutian Campaign from forward bases on Adak and Amchitka during 1943 with B-25 Mitchells, attacking enemy targets on the occupied islands until their surrender.

A B-26B of the 37th Bomb Squadron with extensive flak damage over Europe, September 1943.

Returned to the Continental United States in late 1943; re-equipped with B-24 Liberator heavy bombers and trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to European Theater of Operations (ETO); being assigned to Eighth Air Force in England. Engaged in various special operations missions as a CARPETBAGGER unit, assisting resistance forces by dropping supplies, weapons and personnel over Occupied Europe until August 1944. Engaged in PSYOPS warfare against Nazi Germany, dropping leaflets and flying other combat missions until the German capitulation in May 1945.

Most of squadron personnel demobilized in England during the summer of 1945, unit returned to the United States and being redesignated as a Very Heavy B-29 Superfortress bombardment squadron. War in Pacific Theater ended before unit completed training and the squadron was inactivated in October 1945.

Cold War[edit | edit source]

Reactivated in 1947 under Tactical Air Command but not manned or equipped. Inactivated in 1948. As a result of the Korean War, the squadron was reactivated again as part of Far East Air Force and equipped with B-26 Invader bombers equipped for night attacks. Carried out attacks on Communist forces primarily over South Korea until the Korean War armistice in 1953, then withdrawn to Japan where it remained until it was demobilized and administratively reassigned to Eglin #9 Field in 1955.

Re-equipped with Martin B-57A Canberra jet bombers and conducted evaluation testing of the aircraft at Eglin; transitioned to B-66B Destroyers in 1956, the first squadron to receive the new tactical bomber. Deployed to RAF Sculthorpe, England briefly in 1958 before returning to Eglin and performing more testing on B-66s with Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO) and until being inactivated due to budget cuts later in the year.

Reactivated as a B-52 Stratofortress squadron in 1977; inactivated in 1982 as part of the inactivation of the B-52D.

Modern era[edit | edit source]

Reactivated in 1987 as a B-1 Squadron

Lineage[edit | edit source]

37th Aero Squadron emblem

  • Organized as 37th Aero Squadron on 13 Jun 1917
Demobilized on 15 Apr 1919
  • Reconstituted, and re-designated 37th Pursuit Squadron, on 24 Mar 1923
Activated on 1 Sep 1933
Re-designated 37th Attack Squadron on 1 Mar 1935
Inactivated on 31 Jan 1938
  • Re-designated 37th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 6 Dec 1939
Activated on 1 Feb 1940
Re-designated 37th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 9 Oct 1944
Inactivated on 26 Nov 1945
  • Re-designated 37th Bombardment Squadron, Light, on 29 Apr 1947
Activated on 19 May 1947
Inactivated on 10 Sep 1948
  • Re-designated 37th Bombardment Squadron, Light, Night Intruder, on 8 May 1952
Activated on 10 May 1952
Re-designated 37th Bombardment Squadron, Tactical, on 1 Oct 1955
Inactivated on 25 Jun 1958
  • Re-designated 37th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 16 Jun 1977
Activated on 1 Jul 1977
Inactivated on 1 Oct 1982
  • Activated on 1 Jan 1987
Re-designated 37th Bomb Squadron on 1 Sep 1991.

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Attached to the 17th Bombardment Wing, 8 Jun 1957-25 Jun 1958

Stations[edit | edit source]

Aircraft[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

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