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51st Bombardment Squadron

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Active  1947-1982
Type  Bombardment
Country  United States
51st Bombardment Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force

The 51st Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 68th Bombardment Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina on 30 September 1982.



The 51st Bombardment activated in the reserve in 1947 as a Continental Air Command weather reconnaissance squadron at Hamilton AFB. It later flew long-range strategic reconnaissance flights. The squad was later inactivated in 1949 a result of budget reductions.

It was reactivated in 1951 as a Strategic Reconnaissance squadron; however it had few personnel. The squadron received second-line RB-29 Superfortresses in May 1952, remaining in a second-line status with this equipment until 1953 when the squadron was brought up to full personnel strength and received new B-47 Stratojet bombers. Becoming operationally ready with the B-47 in May 1954, the 51 Bombardment squadron conducted strategic bombardment training and air refueling to meet SAC's global commitments. The B-47s were reassigned in late 1962 from Chennault AFB when it was decided close the base and the squadron placed on inactive status.

It was reorganized on 15 Apr 1963 as a B-52G Stratofortress Squadron, receiving equipment and personnel from the inactivating 73d Bombardment Squadron. The squadron conducted strategic bombardment training and global refueling operations to meet SAC commitments. Aircraft, most aircrews and maintenance personnel, and other support personnel were loaned to other SAC units for combat operations in Southeast Asia, 27 May 1972 – 15 July 1973.

The squadron returned to nuclear alert after the end of the Vietnam War, but was inactivated as a result of the retirement of the B-52Gs in 1982.


  • Constituted as the 51st Reconnaissance Squadron, Weather
  • Activated on 1 Aug 1947 Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949 Redesignated as: 51st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Medium (Photographic) on 4 Oct 1951 Activated on 10 Oct 1951 Redesignated as 51st Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 10 Oct 1951 Redesignated as 51st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 15 Apr 1963 Organized on 15 Apr 1963 Inactivated on 30 Sep 1962


  • 68th Reconnaissance Group, 1 August 1947 – 27 June 1949
  • 68th Reconnaissance Group, 10 August 1951
  • 68th Strategic Reconnaissance (later Bombardment) Wing, 16 June 1952 – 30 September 1982
  • Stations

  • Hamilton Field (later, AFB), California, 9 Apr 1947 – 27 Jun 1949
  • Lake Charles (later, Chennault) AFB, Louisiana, 10 Oct 1951
  • Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, 15 Apr 1963 – 30 Sep 1982
  • Aircraft

  • RB-29 Superfortress, 1947-1949, 1951-1952
  • B-47 Stratojet, 1953–1963
  • B-52 Stratofortress, 1963–1982
  • References

    51st Bombardment Squadron Wikipedia

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