278,232 Pages

913th Air Refueling Squadron Shield Strategic Air Command.png
Boeing KC-135 on takeoff using water injection to increase thrust
Active 1940-1946; 1958-1981
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Air Refueling
Nickname(s) The Thirsty Thirteenth (World War II)
Engagements South West Pacific Theater of World War II
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation
Insignia
913th Air Refueling Squadron Emblem 913th Air Refueling Squadron.PNG

The 13th Troop Carrier Squadron was an inactive unit of the United States Army Air Forces. During World War II the squadron served in the South West Pacific Theater of World War II, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations, a Navy Unit Commendation and a Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation for its wartime actions. Its last assignment was with the 403d Troop Carrier Group at Nichols Field, Luzon, Philippines, where it was inactivated on 15 October 1946.

The 913th Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 2d Bombardment Wing, stationed at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana. The squadron responded to the Cuban Missile Crisis and provided aircraft and aircrews to support the Viet Nam War, It was inactivated on 1 November 1981 and replaced by a squadron flying KC-10s.

The two squadrons were consolidated in September 1985 but the consolidated squadron has not been active since.

History[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

13th Troop Carrier Squadron Patch

The 13th Transport Squadron was activated in late 1940[1] as one of the three original squadrons of the 61st Transport Group.[2] Personnel for the squadron were drawn from the 5th Transport Squadron, located at Patterson Field, Ohio.[3]

The headquarters and squadrons of the 61st were initially scattered at various depot bases, with the 13th at Patterson Field,[1] site of the Fairfield Air Depot. The 61st was finally united with its component squadrons at Pope Field, North Carolina in May 1942. Shortly after this the group and squadrons were renamed Troop Carrier organizations.[1][2] The squadron trained with the group in the southeast, using Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Douglas C-53 Skytrooper aircraft,[2] but in the fall of 1942 the 13th deployed by itself to the Pacific.[1]

C-47s flying supplies to a forward airfield in New Guinea escorted by P-40s

Upon arrival in the theater, the squadron, operating from bases in New Caledonia, began to transport vital ammunition and supplies to Guadalcanal and to evaucate wounded personnel on return trips.[3] For this action the squadron earned its first Distinguished Unit Citation.

In August 1943 the squadron was assigned to the 403d Troop Carrier Group[4] and then moved to Espiritu Santo.[1] It supported the New Guinea and Philippines campaigns by transporting men and cargo to combat areas. The 13th evacuated casualties, and dropped or airlanded supplies to guerilla forces in the Philippines. On 23 February 1945 the squadron dropped paratroopers into Laguna de Bay, Luzon to free civilians held prisoner by the Japanese. The unit moved to the Philippines in 1945 and remained after the Japanese surrender as part of Far East Air Forces. It flew occupation troops to Japan, evacuated prisoners of war and flew cargo and personnel between Australia and Japan.[4] In early 1946 the squadron began to transition into Douglas C-54 Skymasters.[1]

In October 1946 the 403d Troop Carrier Group was replaced by the 374th Troop Carrier Group. As a result the 13th was inactivated and its mission, personnel and equipment were transferred to the 22d Troop Carrier Squadron.[1][5]

Cold War[edit | edit source]

The 913th Air Refueling Squadron was activated in June 1958 by Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The squadron was equipped with Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers and assigned to the 4238th Strategic Wing as part of SAC's plan to disperse its Boeing B-52 Stratofortress units to make it more difficult for the Soviet Union to destroy the entire fleet with a first strike. The squadron mission was to provide air refueling to the B-52s of its parent wing and other USAF units as directed. Half of the squadron's aircraft were maintained on fifteen minute alert, fully fueled and ready for launch. The squadron trained for this mission until inactivation except for periods when its aircraft and crews were deployed with other SAC organizations conducting combat operations.[6]

From October through November 1962 the squadron's training was interrupted as it assumed an increased alert posture during the Cuban Missile Crisis. After tensions eased, the unit resumed normal operations.[7] The 913th transferred to the 2d Bombardment Wing in 1963 when SAC replaced its parent wing[6] with an organization that had a more distinguished history and could continue its lineage.[8]

The 913th began supporting SAC operations in Southeast Asia in 1965, and increased its support of these operations over the following two years. From May to November 1972 all but four of the squadron's KC-135s and a handful of crews were on loan to other SAC units. Following the return of its assets, the squadron continued to support operations in Southeast Asia until 1975.[6] The squadron resumed its training and alert mission until it was inactivated in 1981 and replaced by the 32d Air Refueling Squadron when the 22d Bombardment Wing began to operate McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extenders.[9]

The 13th Troop Carrier Squadron was consolidated with the 913th Air Refueling Squadron in September 1985 but the consolidated squadron has not been active since.[10]

Lineage[edit | edit source]

13th Troop Carrier Squadron

  • Constituted as the 13th Transport Squadron on 20 November 1940
Activated on 1 December 1940
Redesignated the 13th Troop Carrier Squadron on 4 July 1942
Inactivated on 15 October 1946[11]
  • Consolidated with 913th Air Refueling Squadron as the 913th Air Refueling Squadron on 19 September 1985[10]

913th Air Refueling Squadron

  • Constituted as the 913th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 7 April 1958
Activated on 1 June 1958
Inactivated on 1 November 1981
  • Consolidated with 13th Troop Carrier Squadron on 19 September 1985[10] (remained inactive)

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Stations[edit | edit source]

Operated from Los Negros Island, Admiralty Islands, 16 August-4 October 1944

Operated from Wakde Airfield, Wakde, Netherlands East Indies, 4–19 October 1944

Aircraft[edit | edit source]

Awards and Campaigns[edit | edit source]

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer PUC Army.PNG Distinguished Unit Citation 10 October 1942-9 December 1942 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Streamer PUC Army.PNG Distinguished Unit Citation 17 April 1945-30 June 1945 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 July 1965-1 December 1965 913th Air Refueling Squadron[13]
Navy Unit Commendation streamer (USMC).png Navy Unit Commendation 11 December 1942-15 July 1944 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines) Streamer.png Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation 17 October 1944-4 July 1945 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Campaign Streamer Campaign Dates Notes
Streamer APC.PNG Guadalcanal 10 October 1942 – 21 February 1943 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Streamer APC.PNG New Guinea 24 January 1943 – 31 December 1944 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Streamer APC.PNG Northern Solomons 23 February 1943 – 21 November 1944 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Streamer APC.PNG Bismarck Archipelago 15 December 1943 – 27 November 1944 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Streamer APC.PNG Western Pacific 17 April 1944 – 2 September 1945 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Streamer APC.PNG Leyte 17 October 1944 – 1 July 1945 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Streamer APC.PNG Luzon 15 December 1944 – 4 July 1945 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]
Streamer APC.PNG Southern Philippines 27 February 1945 – 4 July 1945 13th Troop Carrier Squadron[1]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  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 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 Maurer, Maurer, ed (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 75. 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 Maurer, Maurer, ed (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 125–127. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/af_combat_units_wwii.pdf. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Abstract, History 13 Troop Carrier Squadron activation-Sep 1943 (retrieved October 8. 2013)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 287-288
  5. Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 119-120
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 7–9. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_wings.pdf. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Abstract, History 4238 Strategic Wing Nov 1962 (retrieved October , 2013)
  8. MAJCON units like the 4138th could not carry a permanent history or lineage. Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). A Guide to Air Force Lineage and Honors (2d, Revised ed.). Maxwell AFB, AL: USAF Historical Research Center. p. 12. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 Abstract (Unclassified), History 2 Bombardment Wing Oct-Dec 1981 (Secret) (retrieved October 8, 2013)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 September 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Lineage, including assignments, stations and aircraft in Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 75
  12. 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. 22. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100921-026.pdf. 
  13. AF Pamphlet 900-2, Unit Decorations, Awards and Campaign Participation Credits Department of the Air Force, Washington, DC, 15 Jun 1971, p. 477

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

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

External links[edit | edit source]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Air Force website http://www.af.mil.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.