The 28th was established as the
28th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, on 28 Jul 1947.
.It was assigned to
the Rapid City Army Air Field, later changed to Rapid City AFB and
Eventually to Ellsworth AFB. The 28th Bomb Group flew B-29
from 1947–1950. In 1947, the B-29 was the
Air Force's heaviest Bomber, but as the B-36 came into service, that was
no longer the case. The unit was redesignated: the 28th Bombardment Wing, Medium, on 12 Jul
1948. In 1950, the 22nd flew RB-29s. It maintained proficiency in heavy bombardment, 1947–1948
and in global bombardment, deploying tactical components or segments
thereof as needed, 1948–1950.
The 28th operated B-36 bombers out of Ellsworth
AFB, North Dakota from July 1949 to May 1957. Aircraft were
assigned to the 72nd, 717th and 718th Bombardment Squadrons. The
unit was renamed the
28th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 16 May 1949; the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing
on 1 Apr 1950; and the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Heavy, on 16 Jul
1950. From 1950 to 1957, it flew RB-36s. Performed global strategic reconnaissance,
1950–1955, with bombardment as a secondary mission, 1954–1955. Trained primarily
as a bombardment wing from 1955, but retained a reconnaissance capability to Sep
1956. Deployed at Andersen AFB, Guam, Apr–Jul 1955.
The unit was renamed 28th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 1 Oct
1955 and began receiving B-52Ds in 1957. They were assigned to the
37th, 77th, 717th, and 718th Bombardment Squadrons. On September 26, 1958, two
of it's B-52Ds established
world speed records over two different routes. One B-52D flew at 560.705 mph for
10,000 kilometers in a closed circuit without payload; the other at 597.675 mph
for 5000 kilometers, also in a closed circuit without payload.
the 717th Bomb Squadron was assigned to the 4245th Strategic Wing at
Sheppard AFB, Texas and the 718th Bomb Squadron was reassigned to the
4128 Strategic Wing at Amarillo AFB in Texas. The 77th Bomb
Squadron remained. The 28th had, in effect, become a strategic
wing, but was not redesignated as such.
The 28th added aerial refueling to it's
mission in 1959 when it's 928th Air Refueling Squadron began flying KC-135
tankers. On October 1, 1960, it was renamed the 28th Air Fueling
Squadron. On July 1, 1962, it was joined by the 97th Air Refueling
Squadron that flew KC-97s until March 15, 1964. The 28th took over
the few remaining KC-97s and operated them along with it's
The 28th Bomb Wing controlled a
non-equipped Titan missile squadron, the 850th Strategic Missile Squadron,
from December 1, 1960 to January 1, 1962.
Command and Control
The 28th began operating post-attack command and control system for
Fifteenth Air Force in Jan 1965, maintaining this capability through a rear
echelon during the absences of the remainder of the wing. From April
1, 1970 to Sept. 1, 1991, the 4th Airborne Command and Control squadron
was attached to the wing.
Performed airborne launch control functions for the USAF Minuteman missile wings
with EC–135 aircraft and provided logistic support to the 44th Missile Wing.
Lost airborne command post mission in Sep 1992.
of the 28th and 484th Bomb Wings deployed to Guam in March and April of 1966,
replacing the B-52Fs then flying combat missions over Vietnam. The 28th Bomb Wing
has overseen the operation of B-52C's, B-52D's, B-52G's,
and B-52H's. Except for a small rear
echelon left at Ellsworth AFB, SD, the wing’s headquarters staff, tactical
aircraft and crews, and most support personnel were integrated into ARC LIGHT
forces for combat in Southeast Asia. From April 1972 to Oct 1973 the wing had most of its tactical aircraft and crews on loan to SAC organizations
involved in combat operations, and the wing continued supporting Pacific forces
with planes and crews into 1975.
It converted from B–52G to B–52H models in 1977.
Expanded B–52H mission in 1984 to include sea reconnaissance, surveillance, and
conventional operations from forward bases overseas. The 28th replaced it's B–52H with B–1B bomber in 1987. In 1989, won
the Fairchild Trophy for excellence in bombing and navigation and the Omaha
Trophy, presented to the outstanding wing in SAC.
The 28th upgraded it's tanker force to
KC–135Rs in 1985–1986. The 28th provided tanker support for
restoration of democracy in Panama Dec 1989–Jan 1990, and deployed tanker and
airborne command post aircraft to Southwest Asia Aug 1990– Mar
It was deactivated on Sept. 2, 1991. Lost air
refueling mission in Jun 1992.
28th BG (later, 28th Strategic Reconnaissance; 28th
Operations): 15 Aug 194716 Jun 1952
(detached 19 Jul18 Oct 1948); 1 Sep
Other than the 37 BS, the squadrons
of the 28th Bomb Wing began with B-29s and soon
converted to the B-36. All
later flew B-52s.
37 BS: Assigned Jul 1, 1977 Oct 1, 1982; Jan 1, 1987 Sep
Flew B-52H from activation in 1977
until inactivation in 1987.
77 BS: Attached Feb 10, 1951 June15, 1952, Assigned Jun
16, 1952 Sep 1, 1991
c. Mar 9 c. Sep 21, 966, c. Jan 15 Jul 19, 1968, c. Aug 19. 1969
c. Mar 23, 1970)
Flew B-52D from June 1957 until
1971. Also flew B-52C (1967-71). converted to B-52G
in 1971. Converted to B-1B in
717 BS: Attached Feb 10, 1951 June 15, 1952, Assigned Jun 16, 1952
Feb 1, 1960
Flew B-52D from June 1957
until Feb. 20,1960, when reassigned to the 4245th
at Sheppard AFB, Texas.
718 BS: Attached Feb 10, 1951 June 15, 1952, Assigned June 16, 1952
Feb 20, 1960.
Flew B-52D from June 957
until Feb. 20, 1960, when reassigned to the 4128th
at Amarillo AFB, Texas.
850 SM: Assigned Dec 1, 1960 Jan 1, 1962.
28 AR: Assigned Oct 1, 1960 Sept 1, 1991 (Detached c. Mar
9 c. Sep 21, 1966,
c. Jan 15 c. Jul 19, 1968,
c. Aug 19, 1969 c. Mar 23, 1970).
97 AR: Assigned Jul 1, 1962 Mar 15, 1964.
928 AR: Assigned Feb 1, 1959 Oct 1, 1960.
4 Airborne Command and Control: 1 Apr 19701 Sep 1991.