55th Strategic Wing
55th Strategic Recon Wing

Motto: "We see all"


Based at: Forbes AFB,  Ramey AFBOffutt AFB
Aircraft: See Below
Status: Active as 55th Wing
Squadrons: 38 SR, 338 SR, 343 SR, 548 SM, 2 ACCS
55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing Association

     Established as the 55th Strategic Wing on June 29, 1948.  Activated July 19, 1948 at Topeka (later Forbes) AFB, Kansas.  Inactivated Oct. 14, 1949.  Redesignated 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium on Oct. 27, 1950.  Activated on November 1, 1950 at Ramey AFB, Puerto RIco November 1, 1950.
Reconnaissance Activities.  
    The 55th provided precise Shoran and Hiran mapping and photographic reconnaissance, 1948-49.  Performed strategic reconnaissance, charting photography, precise electronic geodetic mapping, and electronic reconnaissance 1950-1954.  When mapping and charting functions were transferred on May 1, 1954, the wing assumed the mission of global strategic reconnaissance, including electronic reconnaissance, weather reconnaissance (to June 1963) and photography reconnaissance (to May 1964).  Deployed at Ben Guerir AB French Morocco, May-August 1955.  It flew B/RB 17s (1948-49), RC-54 (1948), B/RB-29s (1950-51), RB-50 (1950-54) and EB-RB-47s (1954-1957)
Offutt AFB - Missiles, Command and Control
     Official Air Force Wing History states that it assumed responsibility for the Atlas missile complex at Offutt AFB, Nebraska from 1964 to March 1965, but did not move there until August 15, 1966.  In that month, it became responsible for SAC's airborne command post and post attack command and control operations.  In addition, it flew SAC logistic support missions after September 1971.  It flew EC/KC-135, RC-125, and C-135 aircraft.   Conducted K/E/RC-135 pilot receiver training as required.  Gained an E-4 squadron in 1975 and became responsible for the Advanced Airborne Command Post.
     Now the 55th Wing
55  BG: Assigned  July 19, 1948 - Oct 14-1949) (Not operational July 19-Oct 26, 1948)
       Nov 2, 1950-June 16, 1952 (not operational)
     1 SR, Provisional) Attached Sept 1 - Oct 9, 1948; Attached 10-26 Oct, 1948
        Attached Jan 14-June 1, 1949
  23 SR: Attached June 1-17, 1949
  38 SR: Attached Jan 6, 1951-June 15, 1952.  Assigned June 16, 1952-April 1, 1970
323 SR: Attached Sept. 19-Oct. 10, 1949
338 SR: Attached Nov. 25, 1950-June 15-1952; Assigned June 15-1952-Jue 15, 1963
        Assigned March 25-Dec. 25, 1967
343 SR Attached July 19-Oct 26, 1948; Attached Jan 4, 19551-June 15, 1952
        Assigned June 16, 1952 -.
548 SM: Attached August 1 - 31, 1964.  Assigned Sept. 2, 1956 - March 25, 1965.
2nd Airborne Command and Control: April 1, 1970 -.  
From the Offutt AFB website, June 2003:
The Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth has made significant contributions to the defense of our great nation for more than 50 years.  Having won honor and distinction for its combat record during World War II with two Distinguished Unit Citations, the wing has since compiled an admirable record of achievements.  Since its inception, the unit has operated around the world, flying a wide variety of aircraft.   The history of the Fightin’ Fifty-Fifth began in January 1941, when the 55th Pursuit Group was activated at Hamilton Field, California.  Redesignated the 55th Fighter Group in May 1942, the group departed for England on September 4, 1943.  Assigned the mission of escorting 8th Air Force bombers on daylight bombing raids over Europe, the group completed its combat tour of duty with a distinguished record in seven campaigns.  The 55th was the first operational P-38 unit in the European theater as well as the first US Army Air Force unit to fly over Berlin.  With more than 600 combat missions, the group destroyed over 400 enemy aircraft while damaging more than 100.  The 55th, inactivated in August 1946, had 16 aces credited with 90 victories.
Less than a year later, the group reactivated as the 55th Reconnaissance Group at MacDill Field, Florida with assignment to Strategic Air Command (SAC).  In June 1948, the 55th transferred operations to Topeka (later named Forbes AFB) Field, Kansas, and became the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Group.  On 1 November 1950, the 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (SRW) activated and was bestowed with the awards and honors of the 55th Reconnaissance Group at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico.  In 1952, the wing returned to Forbes AFB, Kansas and converted to RB-50s.  The wing formally assumed a global strategic reconnaissance mission in 1954 and transited to the RB-47E “Stratojet.”
The 55th SRW moved to Offutt AFB, Nebraska, in August 1966.  That same year the 55th’s 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron assumed responsibility for SAC’s airborne command and control system.  The 2nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron inherited this mission after activation on April 1, 1970.  The 1st Airborne Command and Control Squadron, flying E-4A aircraft, transferred to the 55th on November 1, 1975, bringing with it the National Emergency Airborne Command Post, now called the National Airborne Operations Center.  On March 1, 1986, the 55th SRW became the host unit at Offutt after the inactivation of the 3902nd Air Base Wing.