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6th Air Refueling Squadron
6th Air Refueling Squadron.jpg
6th Air Refueling Squadron Patch
Active 1 February 1940 - 20 May 1946
15 June 1947 - 27 June 1949
10 April 1951 - 1 August 1951
1 November 1957 - 25 January 1967
3 January 1989 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Aerial refueling
Part of Air Mobility Command
18th Air Force
60th Air Mobility Wing
60th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Travis Air Force Base
Motto(s) Vis Extensa
Strength Extended
Engagements World War II
Operation Just hope
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Aircraft flown
Tanker KC-10 Extender

A KC-10 Extender from Travis Air Force Base, CA, refuels an F/A-22 Raptor (later redesignated F-22 Raptor).

Emblem of the World War II 6th Bombardment Squadron

For the Strategic Air Command 6th Bombardment Squadron, see: 6th Bombardment Squadron

The 6th Air Refueling Squadron (6 ARS) is part of the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California. It operates the KC-10 Extender aircraft conducting aerial refueling missions.


Activated in early 1940 as part of the pre-World War II build up of the United States Army Air Corps after the breakout of war in Europe. Assigned to the GHQ Northeast Air District, equipped with pre-production YB-17s; later early model B-17C/D heavy bombers. After the Pearl Harbor Attack. flew antisubmarine patrol missions in the Caribbean from, January–June 1942.

Returned to the United States in June 1942 and was assigned to II Bomber Command. Was an Operational Training (OTU) and later Replacement Training Unit (RTU) for B-17 heavy bomber units and replacement personnel until March 1944 with the end of Heavy Bomber training.

Redgesignated as a B-29 Superfortress very heavy bombardment Squadron under Second Air Force. Deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO), assigned to North Field, Guam under XXI Bomber Command. Flew very long range strategic bombardment missions over the Japanese Home Islands, attacking military, industrial and transportation targets. Switched to night incendiary raids attacking major Japanese cities in the spring of 1945, causing massive destruction of urbanized areas. Continued strategic bombing raids and incendiary attacks until Japanese Capitulation in August 1945.

Squadron remained in Western Pacific, although largely demobilized in the fall of 1945. Some aircraft scrapped on Tinian; others flown to storage depots in the United States. Remained as a paper unit assigned to Twentieth Air Force until inactivated in early 1948.[1]

The 6th performed air refueling training from, 1959–1962 and flew worldwide air refueling from, 1963–1967, including support of tactical aircraft flying in Southeast Asia. The squadron has again flown worldwide air refueling since 1989, including support of deployments to Southwest Asia from, 1990–1991. It provided humanitarian airlift to Somalia from, 1992–1993.[1]

On 19 Sep 1985 the 6th Air Refueling Squadron was consolidated with the 6th Bombatdment Squadron (Very Heavy), a unit that was last active 27 Jun 1949. This action was directed by Department of the Air Force Letter DAF/MPM 662q Attachment 2 (Inactive Units), 19 Sep 1985. The Consolidated Unit will retain the Designation of 6th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy".


  • Constituted as 6 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 22 Dec 1939
Activated on 1 Feb 1940
Redesignated as 6 Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 28 Mar 1944
Inactivated on 1 Apr 1944
  • Activated on 1 Apr 1944
Inactivated on 20 May 1946
  • Activated in the Reserve on 15 Jun 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with the 6 Air Refueling Squadron, Medium, which was constituted on 6 Apr 1951
Activated on 10 Apr 1951
Inactivated on 1 Aug 1951
  • Redesignated as 6 Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, on 1 Apr 1957
Activated on 1 Nov 1957
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jan 1967
  • Activated on 3 Jan 1989
Redesignated as 6 Air Refueling Squadron on 1 Sep 1991


Bases stationed[1][]

Aircraft Operated[1][]



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

See also[]

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