Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

720th Bombardment Squadron

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Active  1943-1968
Type  Bombardment
Country  United States
720th Bombardment Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force

The 720th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 450th Bombardment Wing. It was last stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and was inactivated on 25 July 1968.



Established in mid-1943 as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron; trained under Second Air Force primarily in New Mexico. Deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in December, being assigned to Fifteenth Air Force in Southern Italy.

Engaged in very long range strategic bombardment missions against enemy strategic targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans until April 1945. Bombed aircraft factories, assembly plants, oil refineries, storage areas, marshalling yards, airdromes, and other objectives until the German Capitulation in May 1945.

Most of squadron was demobilized in Italy in May 1945; returning to United States with skeleton staff. Re-equipped and redesignated a B-29 Superfortress very heavy bomb squadron, and received new personnel. Began training under Second Air Force for planned deployment to the Western Pacific Area (WPA), however Japanese Capitulation in August led to inactivation of squadron in October.

Reactivated under Alaskan Air Command in 1954 as an F-86D Sabre air defense interceptor squadron. Inactivated in 1955; reactivated under Tactical Air Command in 1957 as an F-100 Super Sabre day fighter squadron in Texas, being redesignated Tactical Fighter squadron in 1958. Only active briefly as budget cuts forced inactivation in 1958 with the closure of Foster AFB.

Reactivated under Strategic Air Command in 1963, replacing provisional B-52H Stratofortess squadron at Minot AFB, North Dakota. Performed intercontinental training and deployments, also standing nuclear alert. Beginning in 1966, squadron deployed personnel to forward bases in the Western Pacific, where they engaged in combat missions over Indochina as part of Operation Arc Light.

Inactivated in 1968 when SAC pulled out of Travis AFB, California and the 5th Bombardment Wing moved to Minot. Personnel and equipment redesignated as 23d Bombardment Squadron due to seniority precedence of older wing.


  • Constituted 720th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 6 Apr 1943
  • Activated on 1 May 1943 Redesignated 720th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 23 May 1945 Inactivated on 15 Oct 1945
  • Redesignated 720th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 29 Oct 1953
  • Activated on 25 Dec 1953 Inactivated on 8 Aug 1955
  • Redesignated 720th Fighter-Day Squadron on 13 Nov 1957
  • Activated on 11 Dec 1957 Redesignated 720th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1958 Inactivated on 18 Dec 1958
  • Redesignated 720th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), and activated, on 15 Nov 1962
  • Organized on 1 Feb 1963; assuming aircraft/personnel/equipment of the 525th Bombardment Squadron (Inactivated) Inactivated on 25 July 1968; aircraft/personnel/equipment redesignated 23d Bombardment Squadron


  • 450th Bombardment Group, 1 May 1943 – 15 Oct 1945
  • 11th Air Division, 25 Dec 1953 – 8 Aug 1955
  • 450th Fighter-Day (later Tactical Fighter) Wing, 11 Dec 1957 – 18 Dec 1958
  • Strategic Air Command, 15 Nov 1962
  • 450th Bombardment Wing, 1 Feb 1963 – 25 July 1968
  • Stations

  • Gowen Field, Idaho, 1 May 1943
  • Clovis AAB, New Mexico, 21 May 1943
  • Alamogordo AAF, New Mexico, c. 8 Jul-26 Nov 1943
  • Manduria Airfield, Italy, 2 Jan 1944 – 13 May 1945
  • Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, c. 31 May 1945
  • Harvard Army Airfield, Nebraska, 24 Jul-15 Oct 1945
  • Ladd AFB, Alaska Territory, 25 Dec 1953
  • Eielson AFB, Alaska Territory, 17 May 1954 – 8 Aug 1955
  • Foster AFB, Texas, 11 Dec 1957 – 18 Dec 1958
  • Minot AFB, North Dakota, 1 Feb 1963
  • Aircraft

  • B-24 Liberator, 1943-1945
  • B-29 Superfortress, 1945
  • F-86 Sabre, 1954-1955
  • F-100 Super Sabre, 1958
  • B-52 Stratofortress, 1963-1968
  • References

    720th Bombardment Squadron Wikipedia

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