Lake Charles / Chennault AFB
|The base was named after General
Chennault who commanded the famous Flying Tigers of World War II
Channault AFB had two B-47 wings
When the Korean War began in 1950 a cadre was formed to
reactivate the 44th Bombardment Wing at March Air Force Base, Calif. In
July 1951 the cadre moved to Lake Charles Air Force Base, La., where the
wing became operational. The wing initially trained B-29 crews for combat
duty in Korea.
The 68th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium was
established on October 4, 1951 and activated on October 10, 1951 at Lake
Charles AFB, later renamed Chennault AFB. It received it's initial
cadre of 16 people from the 44th Bomb Wing and began reconnaissance
training using borrowed B-29s. It received it's own B-29 s in May
1952, then began training as a bombardment wing.
The 68th bomb group was assigned to Lake Charles AFB,
LA. in 1952. In 1959 the 68th Bombardment Wing of the Strategic Air
Command was stationed at Lake Charles Air Force Base, LA (renamed
Chennault AFB). The 68th Bombardment Wing at Chennault Air Force Base, LA
was a B-47 jet unit of SAC which also flew the KC-97.
B-47 Stratojet & KC-97 tankers
On June 16, 1952, the 68th Reconnasissance wing was redesignated the 68th
Bombardment Wing, Medium and flew B-29s. Late the next year the
Superfortress was replaced with the new all-jet B-47 Stratojet. The
wing also received KC-97 tankers and added a refueling mission.. It
conducted strategic bombardment training from May 1954 to June 1963 and
air refueling operations from May 1954 to September 1957. the 44th Bomb
Wing received its B-47s in 1953.
Missiles and B-52 Stratofortress
The 44th Bomb Wing was discontinued in 1960, but
was reactivated in 1962 as the 44th Strategic Missile Wing at Ellsworth
AFB, South Dakota. The 68th Moved without personnel or equipment to
North Carolina on April 15, 1963, where it replaced the 4241st Strategic
Wing at Seymore-Johnson AFB. It was officially redesignated the 68th
Bombardment Wing, Heavy on that date. It conducted strategic
bombardment training with B-52s and air refueling operations with KC-135s.
The base was closed in 1963.