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506th Air Refueling Squadron
P-47-44-200097-406fs-371fg
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 44-200097 of the 406th Fighter Squadron at Furth/Industriehafen
Country Flag of the United States.svg United States
Branch Flag of the United States Air Force.png United States Air Force
Service history
Active 1953-1955
Role Air Refueling
Motto Any Time Any Where
Battles European Theater of World War II
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Commanders
Insignia
Insignia 506th Air Refueling Squadron

The 506th Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 42d Air Division at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas where it was inactivated on 1 July 1957 and its personnel and equipment transferred to the 92d Air Refueling Squadron.

The Squadron was first activated as the 406th Fighter Squadron in 1943, one of the original squadrons of the 371st Fighter Group. The squadron saw combat in the European Theater of World War II before being inactivated in 1945, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation for its attacks in March 1945 that led to the defeat of Axis forces in southern Germany.

The 506th Air Refueling Squadron was established in 1953 by Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Dow Air Force Base, Maine and equipped with rigid flying boom KB-29P Superfortress tankers. The squadron mission was to provide in-flight refueling for its parent wing and other USAF units. It moved to Bergstrom in 1955 and was inactivated there when SAC transferred its fighter force to Tactical Air Command.

HistoryEdit

World War IIEdit

The 406th Fighter Squadron was activated ar Richmond Army Air Base, Virginia in the summer of 1943[1] as one of the three original squadrons of the 371st Fighter Group. The squadron trained in the northeastern United States with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts under First Air Force before moving overseas in the spring of 1944.[2]

Upon arriving in England, the squadron became an element of Ninth Air Force at Bisterne Close, England. The squadron's first combat operation was a fighter sweep over Occupied France. Prior to Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy, the 406th flew fighter sweeps, dive bombing and escort missions.[2]

On D-Day the 406th patrolled the beachhead. attacking railroads, trains, vehicles. gun emplacements and other targets. Soon after the invasion, the squadron moved to France and participated in the air interdiction that preceded the Allied breakout at St Lo in late July and supported the following drive across northern France. It continued to operate in northeastern France and southwestern Germany through the winter of 1945, attacking storage dumps, marshalling yard, factories, bridges, roads, and vehicles. In December 1944 it provided close air support for ground forces engaged in the Battle of the Bulge.[2]

The squadron was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its attacks between 15 March and 21 March 1945 that contributed to the defeat of Axis forces in southern Germany. It continued combat operations until the Surrender of Germany in May.[2] The squadron remained with the occupation forces in Germany until October 1945 when it returned to the United States and was inactivated.[1]

Cold WarEdit

The 506th Air Refueling Squadron was established on 25 September 1953 by Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Dow AFB and initally equipped with rigid flying boom KB-29P Superfortress tankers.[3] Its mission was to provide in-flight refueling to the Republic F-84 Thunderjet strategic fighters of its parent wing. The squadron also supported other USAF units as directed. In 1954 the squadron deployed to Kindley Air Force Base, Bermuda to support SAC fighters of the 508th Strategic Fighter Wing.[4]

In 1955 SAC concentrated its strategic fighter units, and the 506th's parent 506th Strategic Fighter Wing moved to Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma in March. The squadron remained at Dow and was reassigned to the 4060th Air Refueling Wing until August, when it moved to Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas,[5] where it was assigned to the 42d Air Division,[6] the parent of the 12th Strategic Fighter Wing, to which the squadron was attached.[7]

The 506th was inactivated at Bergstrom on 1 July 1957 and its mission, personnel, and equipment were transferred to the 92d Air Refueling Squadron, which was activated that same day to assume SAC resources at Bergstrom as the 42d Air Division and SAC fighter organizations were transferred to Tactical Air Command.[6]

The 406th Fighter Squadron and the 506th Air Refueling Squadron were consolidated in 1985, but the consolidated unit has not been active.[8]

LineageEdit

406th Fighter Squadron

  • Constituted as the 406th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 15 May 1943
Activated on 15 July 1943
Inactivated on 10 November 1945[9]
  • Consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 506th Air Refueling Squadron as the 506th Air Refueling Squadron[8]

506th Air Refueling Squadron

  • Constituted as the 506th Air Refueling Squadron, Medium and activated on 25 September 1953
Inactivated on 1 July 1957[6]
  • Consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 406th Fighter Squadron as the 506th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy[8] (remained inactive)

AssignmentsEdit

StationsEdit

AircraftEdit

  • Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, 1943-1945[1]
  • Boeing KB-29 Superfortress, 1953-unknown
  • Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker, unknown-1957

Awards and CampaignsEdit

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer PUC ArmyDistinguished Unit Citation15 March 1945-21 March 1945406th Fighter Squadron, Germany[1]
Campaign Streamer Campaign Dates Notes
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal streamerAir Offensive, Europe7 March 1944 – 5 June 1944406th Fighter Squadron[1]
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal streamerNormandy6 June 1944 – 24 July 1944406th Fighter Squadron[1]
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal streamerNorthern France25 July 1944 – 14 September 1944406th Fighter Squadron[1]
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal streamerRhineland5 September 1944 – 21 March 1945406th Fighter Squadron[1]
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal streamerArdennes-Alsace16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945406th Fighter Squadron[1]
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal streamerCentral Europe22 March 1944 – 21 May 1945406th Fighter Squadron[1]
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal streamerAir Combat, EAME Theater7 March 1944 – 11 May 1945406th Fighter Squadron[1]

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Maurer, Maurer, ed (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 497–498. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_sq_of_the_af_wwii.pdf. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Maurer, Maurer, ed (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 257–258. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/af_combat_units_wwii.pdf. 
  3. Abstract, History 47 Air Division Jan 1955 (retrieved October 13, 2013)
  4. Abstract, History 506 Strategic Fighter Wing Oct 1954 (retrieved October 13, 2013)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 32. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100921-026.pdf. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Abstract, History 42 Air Division May-Jul 1957 (retrieved October 13, 2013)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 27. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_wings.pdf. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 September 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
  9. 9.0 9.1 Lineage and stations through 1945 in Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 497-498
  10. Ravenstein, pp. 273-274
  11. Abstract, History 506 Strategic Fighter Wing March 1955 (retrieved October 13, 2013)
  12. Station number in 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. Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. http://www.afhra.af.mil./shared/media/document/AFD-081010-027.pdf. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 13.7 Station number in Johnson, 1st Lt. David C. (1988). U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO) D-Day to V-E Day. Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. http://www.afhra.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-081010-027.pdf. 

BibliographyEdit

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


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