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353d Bombardment Squadron

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Active  1942-1964
Type  Bombardment
Country  United States
353d Bombardment Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force
Engagements  World War II - American Campaign (Antisubmarine) World War II - EAME Theater
Decorations  Distinguished Unit Citation (2x) Air Force Outstanding Unit Award

The 353d Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 301st Bombardment Wing, stationed at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. It was inactivated on 8 June 1964.

Contents

During World War II, the 353d Bombardment Squadron was a B-17 Flying Fortress squadron, assigned to the 301st Bombardment Group, Fifteenth Air Force. It earned Two Distinguished Unit Citations.

History

Established as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron in early 1942; trained under Second Air Force. Flew antisubmarine patrols off the California coast from, late May-early June 1942, then over the Mid-Atlantic coast during June–July 1942.

Deployed to European Theater of Operations (ETO) in August 1942, being assigned to VIII Bomber Command, one of the first B-17 heavy bomb squadrons assigned to England. Engaged in strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe attacking enemy military and industrial targets. Reassigned to Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) as part of Operation Torch invasion of North Africa. Assigned to Twelfth Air Force and operated from desert airfields in Algeria and Tunisia during North African and Tunisian campaign. Assigned to Northwest African Strategic Air Force during Invasion of Sicily and later Italy in 1943. Allocated to Fifteenth Air Force for strategic bombing of Nazi Germany and occupied Europe. Attacked enemy targets primarily in the Balkans; Southern France; Southern Germany and Austria from southern Italy; engaged in shuttle bombing missions to airfields in the Soviet Union during the summer of 1944.

Personnel largely demobilized after German capitulation in May 1945; squadron reassigned to the United States and was programmed for conversion to B-29 Superfortress operations and deployment to Pacific Theater, plans canceled after Japanese capitulation in August 1945. Aircraft sent to storage and unit inactivated largely as a paper unit in October 1945.

Reactivated in 1946 as a Strategic Air Command B-29 strategic bombardment squadron. Deployed to Furstenfeldbruck AB, Germany, July–August 1948; to RAF Station Scrampton, England, October 1948-January 1949; and to RAF Stations Lakenheath and Sculthorpe, May–November 1950 for "show of force" missions in Europe as a result of the Berlin Blockade by the Soviet Union and rising Cold War tensions in Europe. Squadron deployed to Far East Air Forces in February 1951, flying combat missions over North Korea; attacking strategic industrial and military targets during the Korean War.

Returned to the United States in June 1952, being equipped with YRB-47B Stratojet long-range reconnaissance aircraft. Used for strategic reconnaissance missions until 1953 when production RB-47E aircraft received. Flew reconnaissance missions on a worldwide basis. Operations of unit still classified; suspected that squadron deployed frequently to Thule AB, Greenland and flew missions deep into the heart of the Soviet Union, taking a photographic and radar recording of the routes attacking SAC B-52 bombers would follow to reach their targets. Inactivated in 1964 with phaseout of the B-47 from the inventory.

Lineage

  • Constituted 353d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
  • Activated on 3 February 1942. Re-designated 353d Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 5 August 1945 Inactivated on 15 October 1945
  • Activated on 4 August 1946
  • Re-designated 353d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 28 May 1948 Inactivated on 16 June 1964

    Assignments

  • 301st Bombardment Group, 3 February 1942 – 15 October 1945; 4 August 1946 (detached 10 February 1951 – 16 June 1952)
  • 301st Bombardment Wing, 16 June 1952 – 8 June 1964
  • Aircraft

  • B-17 Flying Fortress, 1942–1945
  • B-29 Superfortress 1946-1952
  • YRB-47B Stratojet, 1952–1953
  • RB-47E Stratojet, 1953–1964
  • References

    353d Bombardment Squadron Wikipedia


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