as 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 1 Jul 1949 and activated on July 16,1949
Home AFB. On November 12, 1949, it moved to Fairfield-Suisun (later, Travis) AFB,
California It flew B–29s and RB–29s. It was redesignated
the 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Heavy on November 14, 1950.
The wing performed
long-range strategic reconnaissance from July 1949 to October 1955, and some limited
reconnaissance to September of 1958. It was fully integrated with 9th Strategic Reconnaissance
(later, 9th Bombardment) Wing from November 12, 1949 to February 10, 1951.
It maintained a manned
headquarters, but had no operational control over assigned it's units.
From February 1, 1950 to February 10, 1951, it shared a commander in common with the 9th Wing.
In 1951, it received the new B-36 Peacemaker
bombers and the RB-36 reconnaissance versions. It began
maintaining proficiency in strategic bombardment in July 1953 but was not
redesignated as a bombardment wing until October 1, 1955. It's planes were
flown by the 23rd, 31st and 72nd Squadrons until 1958 when replaced by
Don Stout wrote, "The last RB-36 of
the 5th Wing departed Travis AFB on 30 Sept 1958. The 5th received it's
first B-52G on 15 Feb 1959, and received it's 30th B-52G on 4 June 1959."
Added air refueling to other
missions in Dec 1959. It flew KC-135s until relieved of it's air refueling mission in June 1992.
wings had 45 bombers and a squadron of tankers. The success of the
Soviet Missile program in the late 1950's made it obvious that they were
fat targets. This led to SAC dispersing them. Two of the 5th
Bombardment Wing's B-52 squadrons were used to form Strategic
Wings. This left the wing with one squadron of fifteen Stratofortresses.
In 1968, the 5th Bomb Wing phased down at Travis
and moved without
personnel or equipment to Minot AFB, North Dakota, where it absorbed the B-52s,
KC-135 and other aircraft and personnel of the 450th
Bombardment Wing, Heavy. Flying EC-135s, it supported the post-attack command and control system (PACCS)
from July 1968 to December 1969. Continued global strategic bombardment training and air
The 5th Bomb Wing loaned B-52 and KC–135 aircraft and crews to SAC organizations involved in combat operations in Southeast Asia
between 1968 and 1975.
During Desert Shield and Desert Storm,
personnel and KC–135 aircraft were deployed in support of operations in
the mid-east, 1990–1991. Redesignated the 5th Wing on 1 September
1, 1991and the 5th Bomb Wing on June 1, 1992.
The wing became the first unit to deploy B-52s to Iceland in
exercise Northern Viking in July 1995. It has since had deployments to
Mighty Force, Coalition Flag and Coronet Aquarius, and
non-combat tasks flown directly
from Minot. In the winter of 1995, the wing
became home to the first female combat-qualified B-52 crew member. In June 1996,
the wing flew a Global Power mission with the secretary of the Air Force. It was
the first time any SECAF has flown on a Global Power mission. The flight gave
the secretary first-hand knowledge of the capabilities of the B-52 to support
American’s global interests.
The 5th Bomb Wing
currently maintains and flies B-52H's from Minot AFB under the Combat Air
Command. It also supports the mission of the 91st
5th Bombardment: July 16, 1949 - June 16, 1952 (Detached 12 Nov.
1949 -10 Feb. 1952;
Not operational 10 Feb. 1951-16 June
23 BS: Attached Feb. 10, 1951 - June 15, 1952;
Assigned June 16, 1952 - Equipped with B-52G
from Feb. 1959
and utilized them until 1968. Transferred to Minot AFB, ND on July
acquired the B-52H previously flown by the 720 BS,
450 Bomb Wing. Currently active with the
5th Bomb Wing
31 BS: Attached Feb. 10, 1951-June 15, 1952; Assigned
June 16, 1952- Oct 1, 1949.
Attached Oct 2, 1959 - Jan
18-1960. Equipped with B-52G in 1959, before being transferred
the 4126th Strategic Wing. However planes remained assigned to the 5th
Bomb Wing until
Oct 1, 1959; then they were attached to the 5th Bomb Wing
from Oct 10, 1959 to Jan 18, 1960
while moving from Travis to Beale.
Full control of the squadron and aircraft passed to the
Wing on Jan 18, 1960.
72nd Attached Feb. 10-1951-June 15, 1952; Assigned June 15, 1952 -
July 1, 1958.
Assigned July 1, 1958 to the 4134th
Strategic Wing at Mather AFB, California.
Returned on June1, 1995 as par of
consolidation process that concentrated the B-52H at two bases.
Assigned to 5th Bomb with immediate effect. Currently on duty
with the wing.
129 BS: Attached Oct 14, 1952-Jan 1, 1953
347 BS: Attached Jan 1 - Sept 12, 1953 (not operational Aug 20 - Sept
906 AR: Assigned July 24, 1968 -
916 AR: Assigned Sept 1 -1959 - July 25, 1968