2nd Bombardment Wing
"Liberty We Defend"
|Based at: Davis-Monthan
AFB, Hunter AFB, Barksdale AFB
Aircraft: B-29, B-50, B-47, B-52, KB-29, KC-97, KC-135, EC-135
Status: Active. Flies B-52H
Squadrons: 20 BS, 49 BS, 62 BS, 98 BS, 429 BS, 596 BS, 2 AR, 71 AR, 308
AR, 913 AR
The 2nd Bombardment Wing is the oldest
bombardment unit in the Air Force. It had it's beginning during
War I as the 1st Day Bombardment Group. In 1921, it was redesignated
the 2nd Bombardment Group. During World War II, it operated B-17s in
North Africa and Italy. It was inactivated at the end
of the war.
The 2nd was established
as a bombardment wing, very heavy, on 15 October 15, 1947, and activated at
Davis-Monthan Field (later Davis-Monthan AFB), Arizona on November 5th,
where it flew B-29s. The wing headquarters were not
operational, so it functioned as the 2nd Bombardment Group. From
November 17, 1947 to December 31, 1848, it was attached to the 43rd
Bombardment Group, except for a short period it spent in
England. In 1948, the huge B-36 Peacemaker came into service,
so B-29s could no longer be considered "very heavy." In
July 1948, the wing was redesignated the 2d Bombardment Wing, Medium.
A few months later, the wing became operational. On January 1, 1949,
it moved to Chatham AFB, Georgia, but stayed only until April 1st when it
moved to nearby Hunter AFB, where drew on the manpower of other
organizations. During 1949 and 1950, it converted to B-50s and
trained in global bombardment operations. It was deployed at RAF
Mildenhall, England, May–Aug 1951, RAF
Upper Heyford, England from September to December, 1952.
Terry Horstead email@example.com
wrote, "2nd Bomb Wing and Assigned Units relocated from Davis Monthan
AFB, Az on to 1 April 1949 to Chatham AFB, Ga This was a Temporary
Home until facilities
at Hunter Field (Later Air Force Base) The final move was made to Hunter
on the 22nd of September 1949.
The 2nd added air
refueling mission in Jan 1949 with the KB–29Ms. In June 1950, the 2nd AREFS
turned over their aircraft and people to the newly formed 307th AREFS at
Davis-Monthan. The 2nd AREFS reactived at Hunter with the 2nd BW. They
received KB-29Ps one by one from the conversion line at Tinker and learned
to fly them. In the Fall of 1953 they began receiving KC-97Es and Fs from
McDill. The KC-97E was a sickly thing that was plaged with spark plug
fouling. They later received KC-97Gs and flew them all until April 1963. In
April 1963, the 2nd BW took over the KC-135s of the 913th AREFS at
Barksdale. In April 1968 the 2nd gained another KC-135 unit, the 71st AREFS.
They operated KC-135As until deactivation in 1994. It received KC-10 tankers
and the 32nd AREFS in Nov of 1981 to augment refueling operations for the
USAF, AFRES, and ANG. In Jan 1989, the 2nd AREFS rejoined the 2nd BW, now
flying KC-10s. On June 1, 1992, it gave up the 2d and 32d Air Refueling
Squadrons and all KC–10s to Air Mobility Command.
Revised Air Refueling section
The Jet Age
On November 25, 1953, it received the new
B-47. They were flown by the 20th, 40th, 96th, and 429th Bomb
Squadrons. Deployed to Sidi Slimane AB, French Morocco,
In August and September of 1954 and July and August of 1956.
1956 it and the 308th Bombardment Wing, conducted tests to
determine the feasibility of the ground alert concept. Between
July of 1959 and April of 1961, it service tested a "super wing"
concept using 70 of the Stratojets. It continuing flying the B-47
until April 1, 1963. It was a big day as the wing was also relocated
to Barksdale AFB in Louisiana. There it absorbed the B-52s, KC-135s,
and personnel of the 4238 Strategic Wing stationed there and was
redesignated the 2nd Bomb Wing (Heavy).
From April of 1963 to March of 1970, the 2nd
supported the Second Air
Force’s post-attack command and control system. It flew the EC–135, 1966–1970
and the RC–135, 1977–1979.
During the Vietnam war, all aircraft and crews were on loan to SAC organizations involved
in combat operations in Southeast Asia, beginning in 1965. It provided increased
support in 1966 and 1967. On 15 Apr 1968, the 2nd gained a second B–52 and a
second KC–135 squadron, again becoming a SAC "super wing." It conducted
both bombardment training and air refueling operations, Apr 1963 to date except for
periods when from late
May 1972 until October 26, 1973, when it loaned all wing B–52 resources to SAC
organizations in the Far East and Southeast Asia; from May 1972 to early Nov
1972, loaned all but four of the wing’s KC–135s and a few aircrews to other
SAC units. After the return of combat resources, the wing continued supporting
SAC operations in Southeast Asia into 1975, on a reduced scale
Provided air refueling for rescue efforts in Grenada, Oct–Nov 1983, the attack
on Libya, Apr 1986, and the invasion of Panama, Dec 1989–Jan 1990.
On August 7, 1990, the 2nd deployed B–52, KC–135, and KC–10
aircraft, aircrews, and support personnel to several mid-east locations in support of
During Desert Shield On the opening day of Desert Storm,
the 2nd Bomb Wing launched seven of it's B-52s from Barksdale AFB against enemy targets in Iraq,
resulting in the longest combat mission in aviation history and the first combat
launching of conventional Air Launched Cruise Missiles (ALCM). It's
mission ended on April 17, 1991.
It was redesignated the 2nd Wing on
September 1, 1991, and redesignated the 2nd Bomb Wing on October 1,
1993. It is an active wing flying B-52Hs.
2nd Group: Nov. 5, 1947-Jul 12, 1948 (detached Nov. 17-1947-July 12,
1948); July 12, 1948-June 5-1952
(Detached July 12-Dec. 31, 1948
and Feb. 8-May 15, 1950; not operational Feb. 10, 1951 -
June 16, 1952.
11 BS: Activated on July 1, 1994 as part of consolidation
process that has concentrated the B-52H
fleet at two bases. Assigned
to the 2nd bomb with the immediate effect to fulfill crew training
duties. Currently active with B-52H
20 BS: Attached Feb. 10, 1951 - June 15, 1952;
Assigned June 16, 1952 - June 25-1964
(Not operational Feb.12 - May
5, 1965). Acquired b-52Es previously used by the 436 BS,
April 1, 1963, and operated them as part of the 2nd Bomb with until
reassigned to the 7th Bomb Wing on June 26, 1964. Reassigned to 2nd
Wing on Dec. 17,1992
and currently active with B-52H as part of 2nd Bomb
49 BS: Attached Feb. 10, 1951-June 15, 1952; Assigned June
16, 1952-April 1, 1963, according
Air Force Wing History. No further information.
62 BS June 25-1964 - (Not operational May 31, 1972 -
Oct. 26, 1973) Equipped with B-52G
when reassigned from the 39th
Bomb Wing on June 25, 1965. Utilized them with the 2nd Bomb Wing
until Dec. 17, 1992, when inactivated and replaced by the 20 BS.
98 BS Attached Feb. 10, 1951 - June 15, 1962;
Assigned June 16, 1952 - April 2, 1963.
Listed in Air Force Wing
History. No further information.
429 BS: Oct. 1, 1958 - Jan
1, 1962 (not operational Nov. 6, 1961 - Jan 1, 1962)
Listed in Air Force Wing History. No further
596 BS: April 15, 1958 - April 1, 1993. (Not operational May 31, 1972 - Oct 26, 1972)
Equipped with B-52B
when reassigned from the 397th Bomb
Wing on April 5, 1968.
Flew with the
2nd Bomb Wing until 1992, when reequipped with the B-52H.
Inactivated October 1, 1993 and replaced by the 96 BS.
Attached Feb. 10, 1951 - June 15, 1952. Assigned June 16, 1952 -
April 1, 1963
71 AR: Assigned April 15, 1968 -
308 AR: Assigned July 1,1959 - March 1-1960
913 AR: Assigned April 1, 1963 -
Following provided by James Webb
2 AR: Attached 1 Jan 1949-16 Sep 1950. Assigned 16 Sep
1950 - April 1, 1963, 3 Jan 1989-1 Jun 1992 (Stayed at Barksdale until Fall
1994, but belonged to AMC and 458th OG)
32 AR: Assigned 1 Nov 1981-1 Jun 1992 (Stayed at Barksdale until Fall 1994,
but belonged to AMC and 458th OG)
71 AR: Assigned April 15, 1968 -1994
308 AR: Assigned July 1,1959 - March 1-1960
913 AR: Assigned April 1, 1963 -1981