|Country United States|
Garrison/HQ Travis Air Force Base
|Type Air refueling|
|Active 1943–1945; 1948–1951; 1955–1958; 1966–1978; 1982-present|
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Air Force Reserve Command 4th Air Force 349th Air Mobility Wing 349th Operations Group
The 79th Air Refueling Squadron (79 ARS) is a United States Air Force Reserve squadron, assigned to the 349th Operations Group, stationed at Travis Air Force Base, California. It is a corollary unit of the active duty 9th Air Refueling Squadron, 60th Air Mobility Wing (60 AMW).
Formed in April 1943 by I Troop Carrier Command, trained and equipped at various bases in the United States for the balance of the year. Deployed to England, being assigned to IX Troop Carrier Command, Ninth Air Force in early January 1944, during the Allied buildup prior to the invasion of France.
The squadron participated in the D-Day operation, dropping 101st Airborne Division paratroops near Cherbourg, then carried out re-supply and glider delivery missions the following day.
The squadron's aircraft flew supplies into Normandy as soon as suitable landing strips were available and evacuated casualties to England. On 17 July the air echelon flew to Grosseto airbase in Italy to prepare for operations connected with the invasion of southern France returning to England on 24 August.
Squadron moved to France in July 1944 and for the balance of the Northern France Campaign and the Western Allied invasion of Germany was engaged in combat resupply of ground forces, operating from Advanced Landing Grounds in northern France. Delivered supplies to rough Resupply and Evacuation airfields near the front lines, returning combat casualties to field hospitals in rear areas. Dropped airborne forces during Operation Market-Garden in September 1944 into the Netherlands; later participated in the airborne invasion of Germany in March 1945. After V-E Day, the squadron evacuated prisoners of war.
Returned to the United States in August 1945, became a transport squadron for Continental Air Command, Inactivated on 15 November 1945. Operated in the reserve, 1948-1951 with C-47s, activated during the Korean War. Its personnel and aircraft assigned as fillers for active-duty units, inactivated a few days later as an administrative unit.
It performed worldwide airlift operations from, 1966–1971, including missions to Southeast Asia. The squadron also flew airborne early warning and control missions in the air defense of the United States, using Lockheed EC-121 Warning Stars from its base at Homestead AFB Florida, 1971-1978. Since 1982 it has trained for and flown worldwide air refueling and strategic airlift missions, including contingency and humanitarian relief operations.