92nd Bombardment Wing
92nd Air Refueling Wing
|Based at: Fairchild
Aircraft: B-29, B-36, B-52, KB-29,
Status: Now the 92nd Air Refueling Wing
Squadrons: 325 BS, 326 BS, 327 BS, 567 SM, 22 AR, 43 AR, 92 AR
Established and organized as the 92nd Bombardment
Wing, Very Heavy at Spokane Army Air Field on November 17,1947. It would
be it's home for a very long time. In 1947, the facility was renamed
Spokane Air Force and the following year, it was renamed Fairchild AFB. In 1947, Fairchild
was transferred to the Strategic Air Command and assigned
to the 15th Air Force. The 92nd was a double wing, as it had two
groups: the 92nd and the 98th. Both flew the B-29 Superfortress, the most advanced bomber of their day, the B-29.
On July 12, 1948, the 92nd was redesignated a medium
bomb wing. This was because SAC was bringing the enormous new B-36 into it's inventory, which caused a
reclassification of aircraft size.
North Korean forces crossed the 38th Parallel
on June 25, 1950, thus starting the Korean War On July 3, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, AF Chief of Staff,
ordered the 22nd Bomb Wing and 92nd Bomb Wing detached from SAC and assigned to the Far
East Air Force (FEAT). The 92nd left for Yokota AB, Japan. After only a few months, General Douglas MacArthur released the 92nd to
return to the states while the 98th remained in the Far East. [See Korean
The 92nd returned to Fairchild, where it was soon trading in it's B-29s for the new
B-36 Peacemaker. The new designation resulted from all
B-29 wings being reclassified as medium. The new designation was short
lived. On July 20, 1951, the unit received it's first B-36.
As the 92nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy, it pioneered mass deployment of the
huge plane to the Far East in the fall of 1953. The wing was deployed to
Andersen AFB, Guam from October 15, 1954 to January 12, 1955 and from
April 25, to July 6, 1957. About this time, the 111th Reconnaissance Wing (Air National Guard) was
activated at Fairchild. Later, this unit was redesignated the 99th Bombardment
Wing and transferred to Westover AFB, Mass.
B-52 Stratofortress and Atlas Missiles
The 92nd continued to fly it's B-36s.
1957 saw the arrival of the B-52 Stratofortress.
B52Cs were transferred from the 99th Bombardment Wing and new B-52Ds were
received from Boeing. There were three squadrons: 325th, 326th and 327th.
In September 1967, aerial refueling was added to it's mission. It
started out with KB-29s, but they were replaced by KC-135s the following
Between 1958 and 1960, Vandenberg and Frances Warren
Air Force Bases had Atlas missile training squadrons. The 92nd was the
first bomb wing to receive the fully operational Atlas-E. This
additional mission resulted in the wing being redesignated the 92nd Strategic
Aerospace Wing on Feb. 15, 1962. The Atlas remained operational until
June 25, 1965.
Soviet missiles presented SAC with a big problem.
Flight time to the United States was only twenty-eight minutes. It took
twelve minutes to detect and identify them. This left only fifteen
minutes to get an entire wing off the ground. This resulted in SAC
adopted a dispersal strategy. B-52 wings were reduced to one fifteen
plane squadrons and there would be only one per base. The excess planes
were used to form the new four-digit strategic wings. The 92nd lost two
of it's bomb squadrons. The 326th was assigned to the
4141st Strategic Wing at
Glasgow AFB and the 327th was reassigned to the 4170th Strategic Wing at Larson
Vietnam & Desert Storm
The 92nd was deeply involved in the Vietnam War
from early 1965 to December 1975 through deployment of both bombers and
tankers. It was especially active from March to September of both 1968
and 1969, when all of it's B-52 and half of its KC-135s plus support personnel
were in involved in the hostilities. Virtually the entire wing was assigned to
the war efforts from June 1972 to October 1973.
The 92nd deployed 560 personnel to Desert Shield and
Desert Storm from August 1990 to March 1991. The 43rd and 92nd Air Refueling Squadrons flew 721 sorties, and off loaded a total of 22.5
million pounds of fuel in support of Operations
Desert Express, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Desert Comfort, Desert Calm and
Provide Comfort. The two squadrons' crews and aircraft also flew 200 combat sorties.
Reorganizations of the 1990s.
On September 1, 1991, under Air Force reorganization the 92nd Bombardment
Wing (Heavy) was redesignated the 92nd Wing, emphasizing it's dual bombing and
refueling. In June 1992 the wing became part of the newly formed Air Combat Command and
was redesignated the 92nd Bomb Wing. It's bomber and tanker crews took top
honors at Proud Shield '92. This was SAC's final Bombing/Navigation Competition.
December 7, 1993 the 92nd Bomb Wing's
B-52s were assigned to ACC and the KC-135s were assigned to AMC and
designated the 453rd Operations Group. During the spring of 1994, B-52s were
transferred to other units and flown to other bases with the last bomber leaving
May 25, 1994. The bomber mission of the 92nd had ended after 52 years, giving
over to the new refueling mission on July 1, 1994. On July 1, 1994, the 92nd Bomb Wing was redesignated the 92nd Air Refueling
Wing, and Fairchild AFB was transferred from Air Combat Command (ACC) to Air
Mobility Command (AMC). Dubbed as the new “tanker hub of the Northwest,” the wing is capable of
maintaining an air bridge across the nation and the world in support of US and
allied forces. Fairchild currently has more than 60 active duty and Air National
Guard KC-135 aircraft assigned. These aircraft and the dedicated members of Team
Fairchild continue to actively support missions in Southwest Asia and throughout
On July 1, 1994, it lost it's bomber mission and was
redesigned the 92nd Air Refueling Wing
90 BW: Attached Jan 1, 1951 - Nov 31, 1951
98 BW: Attached Nov 17, 1947- July 12, 1948 (Not operational) Attached
July 12, 1948 - April 15, 1950
(Not Operational). Attached May 16, 1950
- Mar 31, 1951.
93 BG: Assigned Nov 17,
1947 - July 12, 1948; July 12 -1948 - June 16, 1962 (Detached Feb 7 -
May 19, 1949 and July 9 - Oct 1950)
Not operational Feb 16, 1951 - June 16, 1952.
98 BG: Attached Nov 17, 1947 - July 12, 1948; July 12 - Aug 21, 1948;
Dec 10, 1948 - May 16, 1949:
May 19 1949 --April 15,1950; rear
echelon (no aircraft or crews) Attached Aug 2, 1950 - Apr 16,1951
454 Group: Attached Jan 27, 149-June 16, 1951
The 92nd three bomb squadrons flew
B-29s, B-36s and B-52s.
325 BS: Attached Feb 16, 1951 - June 15, 1952. Assigned June 16,
1952 - July 1, 1994
(Detached Mar 22 - Sept 22, 1968 and Mar
15 - Sep 14, 1969 Not operational Jun 1, 1972 -
Oct 24, 1973. Flew B-52D from March
1957 until 1971, plus some B-52Cs during 1967-71.
Received B-52Gs in1970-71 and B-52Hs in
1985. Disposed of B-52H in 1994.
326 BS: Attached Feb 16, 1961 - June 15, 1952. Assigned Jun 16, 1952 -
April 1, 1961
(Detached Mar 1 - Apr 1, 1961 to Glascow
AFB) Flew B-52D from March 1957 until April 1, 1961
when reassigned to the 4141st
Strategic Wing at Glasgow AFB, Montana.
327 BS: Attached Feb 16, 1951 - June 15, 1952. Assigned Jun 16, 1952 -
June 1, 1960
(Not operational Feb 5 - June 1957.
Reassigned to the 4170th Strategic Wing at Larson
567 SM Assigned Apr 1, 1960 - June 25, 1964 (Not operational Apr
6- Jun 25, 1965
22 AR: Assigned Jun 15, 1960 - July 1, 1962 (Not operational June 14 -
July 1, 1962
43 AR: Assigned Apr 2, 1966
(Detached c Mar 22 - Jul 8, 1968 and Jun 9 - Sep 14, 1969)
92 AR: Assigned Jul 1, 1957
(Detached Jul 1 - Sep 13, 1957; Jul 9 - Sep 22, 1968 and
Mar 15 - June 9, 1969.