Puneet Varma (Editor)

528th Bomb Squadron

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Active  1942-1995
Role  Bombardment
Country  United States
Part of  Strategic Air Command
528th Bomb Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force

The 528th Bomb Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 380th Bombardment Wing, based at Plattsburgh AFB, New York. It was inactivated on 30 September 1995.



Established in late 1942 as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron; trained under Second Air Force in Texas, and later in Colorado. Deployed to the Southwest Pacific Area (SPA) in April 1943, being assigned to Fifth Air Force in Australia.

The air echelon had already arrived at Fenton Airfield in the Australian Northern Territory when the ground elements started out from Port Darwin by truck. The meaning of "Northern Territory" was made clear to every member who made the trip from Port Darwin to Fenton by truck. There were no signs of life except for the herds of curious kangaroos that froze on sight and then scampered away. This was to be the home of the 528th for the next fourteen months.

From its home at Fenton, the 528th reached out to the Japanese installations in the Netherlands East Indies, striking at well fortified Japanese oil refining and dock facilities, and cutting the Japanese supply lines. On 23 April 1944, on a bombing run over Noemfoor Island, five aircraft of the 528th Participated in the wildest shooting spree of the war for the squadron. These five B-24s were intercepted by twenty-five Japanese fighters and a very hot battle ensued for the next hour. Twelve of the enemy fighters were shot down, all five of the Liberators managed to make it back to Fenton, although heavily damaged. The squadron was not without losses though, one deadly and six wounded. This battle resulted in 21 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 10 Silver Stars being awarded to members of the 528th.

Moved to the Philippines where the squadron operated in early 1945, then to Okinawa where combat operations ended after the Japanese Capitulation in August. After the war, squadron personnel were demobilized and returned to the United States, the B-24s sent to reclamation in the Philippines. Inactivated as a paper unit in early 1946.

In 1947, the 528th Bombardment Squadron was reactivated as a reserve unit of the Strategic Air Command at MacDill Field, Florida. The squadron remained an inactive reserve unit until 1951 when the squadron was inactivated.

The squadron was again activated in 1955 as part of the 380th Strategic Aerospace Wing and equipped with the B-47 Stratojet. Flying the B-47, the 528th took a place as part of SAC's nuclear deterrent to war which were designed to carry nuclear weapons and to penetrate Soviet air defenses with its high operational ceiling and near supersonic speed. The squadron flew the B-47 for about a decade when by the mid-1960s it had become obsolete and vulnerable to new Soviet air defenses. The squadron began to send its stratojets to AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB for retirement, being replaced by the B-52G Stratofortress in 1966, receiving its aircraft from the inactivating 70th Bombardment Squadron at Loring AFB, Maine. The 528th was the only squadron assigned to the wing at this time. Crews of the 528th were deployed in support to the war in Southeast Asia on a rotating TDY basis for Arc Light operations in the late 1960s.

In 1969, it was announced that the 528th would be receiving the Air Force's newest weapons system, the General Dynamics FB-111A Aardvark medium bomber. While maintaining the largest Alert Force commitment in the command, the squadron never failed an Operational Readiness Inspection or Buy None. In 1976, the Weapons Delivery Capability and Bombing Reliability for both evaluations was 100%. In 1977, an all-time SAC record for bombing accuracy was set, and during a December 1978 evaluation, a record number of releases was achieved with "Outstanding" reliability. This sustained professional competence has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 45th Air Division Award for Outstanding Bombardment Squadron and General John D. Ryan Award (1976), and two Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards (1975 and 1978).

At the annual SAC Bomb Comp in 1974, the tradition begun by "The Pride of the Adirondacks" was revived by an FB-111A nicknamed "Apple One". A 528th crew won top honors and helped to bring the Fairchild Trophy to Plattsburgh AFB. In 1975, another 528th team took the Best Crew Award and Plattsburgh took the High Noon Trophy. With three of the four crews wearing the gold scarf, the unprecedented second consecutive Fairchild Trophy was won in 1976. The 528th BS was recognized as the "Best Bomb Squadron in SAC" in 1976 and earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award in 1978.


  • Constituted 528th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 October 1942
  • Activated on 3 November 1942 Inactivated on 20 February 1946
  • Redesignated 528th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 13 May 1947
  • Activated in the reserve on 29 May 1947 Redesignated 528th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 26 June 1949 Ordered to active service on 1 May 1951 Inactivated on 16 May 1951
  • Activated on 11 July 1955
  • Inactivated on 30 September 1995


  • 380th Bombardment Group, 3 November 1942 – 20 February 1946
  • Attached to: Royal Australian Air Force, 28 April 1943 - 21 February 1945
  • Fourteenth Air Force, 29 May 1947
  • 380th Bombardment Group, 16 June 1947 – 16 May 1951
  • 380th Bombardment Wing, 11 July 1955 – 30 September 1995
  • Stations

  • Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, 3 November 1942
  • Biggs Field, Texas, 2 December 1942
  • Lowry Field, Colorado, 4 March-19 April 1943
  • Fenton Airfield, Australia, 28 April 1943
  • RAAF Base Darwin, Australia, c. 20 August 1944
  • San Jose, Mindoro, c. 21 February 1945
  • Motobu Airfield, Okinawa, 8 August 1945
  • Fort William McKinley, Luzon, C. 28 November 1945 – 20 February 1946
  • MacDill AFB, Florida, 29 May 1947 – 16 May 1951
  • Plattsburgh AFB, New York, 11 July 1955 – 30 September 1995
  • Aircraft

  • B-24 Liberator, 1942–1945
  • B-29 Superfortress, 1947–1951
  • B-47 Stratojet, 1955–1965
  • B-52 Stratofortress, 1966–1971
  • General Dynamics FB-111A Aardvark, 1971–1991
  • References

    528th Bomb Squadron Wikipedia

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