The 622d Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. The squadron was first established during World War II as the 22d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron. The squadron served in the European Theater of World War II, where it earned a Distinguished Unit Citation and a French Croix de Guerre with Palm for its actions in combat.
The unit was again active in the Air Force Reserve as the 22d Reconnaissance Squadron from 1947 to 1949 but apparently was not equipped with its own aircraft. In 1985 the squadron was consolidated with the 622d Air Refueling Squadron.
The 622d Air Refueling Squadron served with Tactical Air Command (TAC) beginning in 1955. It was last assigned to the 4440th Aircraft Delivery Group at England Air Force Base, Louisiana, where it was inactivated on 1 Apr 1964.
The squadron was first activated in September 1942 as the 22d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, a component of the 5th Photographic Group. The outfit existed essentially on paper until 21 December 1943 when 12 officers and 129 enlisted men were transferred from the 10th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron. After training, the unit left Colorado Springs on 17 May 1943 and traveled to England aboard the RMS Queen Mary. There it served as a photographic reconnaissance unit until the end of the war.
The Squadron arrived at the RAF Mount Farm airfield on 8 June 1943. The unit was equipped with Lockheed F-5 (P-38) Lightning photographic aircraft and its first mission was flown on 24 June 1943. The 22nd Reconnaissance Squadron was combined with the 13th Photographic Squadron and 14th Photographic Squadron into the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group on 7 July 1943. In 1943, the 22nd was among the squadrons flying the first photoreconnaissance missions against Peenemünde.
It received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its coverage of bridges, marshalling yards, canals, highways, and other targets that contributed to the success of the Normandy Campaign/ It provided reconnaissance support for the Battle of the Bulge and the Rhine crossings. Its work was also recognized by the French, who awarded the unit the French Croix de Guerre with Palm.
The squadron was redesignated as the 22d Reconnaissance Squadron in 1947 and allotted to the Air Force Reserve. It apparently was not fully equipped and was inactivated in the summer of 1949 when Continental Air Command adopted the wing base organization (Hobson Plan) for its reserve units.
The 622d Air Refueling Squadron was established in 1955 by Tactical Air Command to provide dedicated in-flight refueling, initially for F-100 Super Sabres and later for other in-flight refueling capable TAC fighters, fighter bombers, and reconnaissance aircraft. The squadron was initially equipped with transferred Strategic Air Command (SAC) KB-29M Stratofortrresses that were converted to aerial tankers using a British-developed Probe and drogue refueling system.
The squadron re-equipped with KB-50 Superfortress in 1957 which provided greater speed to refuel jet aircraft. KB-50s were modified about 1960 to the KB-50J configuration, which added a J-47 turbojet engine underneath each wing in place of the auxiliary fuel tanks in order to further increase the speed of the aircraft while conducting air refueling operations.
By 1963 aircraft were phased out due to age. SAC, with KC-97s and KC-135s became the Air Force's single manager for air refueling. The squadron inactivated in early 1964 when KB-50Js sent to AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.
The consolidated squadron was converted to provisional status and redesignated the 622d Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron. It is known to have operated from Istres le Tube, France from 2003 to 2004 to support Operation Joint Forge.
22d Reconnaissance SquadronConstituted as the 22d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 14 July 1942
Activated on 2 September 1942
Redesignated 22d Photographic Squadron
on 6 February 1943
Redesignated 22d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
on 13 November 1943
Inactivated on 16 December 1945
Redesignated 22d Reconnaissance Squadron
, Photographic on 11 March 1947 and allotted to the reserves
Activated on 23 October 1947
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
Consolidated with 622d Air Refueling Squadron as 622d Air Refueling Squadron on 19 September 1985 (remained inactive)
622d Air Refueling SquadronConstituted as 622d Air Refueling Squadron, Fighter-Bomber on 1 July 1955
Activated on 18 July 1955
Redesignated 622d Air Refueling Squadron
, Tactical on 1 July 1958
Inactivated on 1 Apr 1964
Consolidated with 22d Reconnaissance Squadron as 622d Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 19 September 1985 (remained inactive)
Converted to provisional status and redesignated 622d Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron unknown
Activated before 16 April 2003
Inactivated on 22 December 2004
5th Photographic Group: (later 5th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group): 2 September 1942 (attached to Eighth Air Force after June 1943)
7th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group (later 7th Photographic Group, 7th Reconnaissance Group): 7 July 1943 – 21 November 1945.
74th Reconnaissance Group: 23 October 1947 - 27 June 1949
Eighteenth Air Force: 1 Jul 1955
4505th Air Refueling Wing: 1 Jul 1958
4440th Aircraft Delivery Group: 8 Oct 1963 – 1 Apr 1964 (nonoperational)
AAB, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 2 September 1942 – 17 May 1943
Mount Farm, England, 8 June 1943 (detachment operated from Attlebridge, England, 14 February - ca. 6 March 1944)
Chalgrove, England, 26 March 1945
Villacoublay, France, ca. 14 October 1945 - ca. 5 December 1945
Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, 15 December 1945 – 15 December 1945
Stewart Field, New York, 23 October 1947
Stamford, Connecticut, 5 March 1948 - 27 June 1949
Alexandria AFB (later England AFB), Louisiana, 18 Jul 1955 – 1 Apr 1964
Istres-Le Tubé Air Base, unknown - 22 December 2004
Lockheed P-38 and F-5 Lightning, 1943-1945
Supermarine Spitfire, 1943-1945
North American P-51 Mustang, 1945
KB-29M Superfortress, 1955-1957
KB-50/KB-50J Superfortress, 1957-1963
Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, 2003-2004