Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

872d Bombardment Squadron

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Country  United States
Role  Bombardment
Active  1943-1944; 1944-1946; 2007; 2009
Branch  United States Air Force
Engagements  American Theater of World War II Pacific Theater of Operations

The 872d Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with 382d Bombardment Group stationed at Camp Anza, California. It was inactivated on 4 January 1946.



The squadron was established in late 1943 as the 872d Bombardment Squadron at El Paso Army Air Base, Texas, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress very heavy bombardment squadron that was one of the original operational squadrons of the 497th Bombardment Group. The squadron's initial cadre was drawn from the 491st Bombardment Group.

In December the squadron moved on paper to Clovis Army Air Field, New Mexico. At Clovis, the squadron began to man its air echelon by January 1944. The 872d drew heavily on aircrews of the 480th Antisubmarine Group who were returning to the United States from duty in England and Africa to fill out its crews. Aircrew training at Clovis was limited to ground training, although some flying in Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator aircraft assigned to the 73d Bombardment Wing was accomplished. Key personnel trained with the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida.

In April 1944, the air and ground echelons united at Pratt AAF, although its personnel were detached to other units of the group. In May the United States Army Air Forces reorganized its very heavy bombardment units. Shortly after arrival at Pratt, the 872d Bombardment Squadron and the support units of the 497th group were inactivated and their personnel absorbed into the remaining squadrons of the group.

The squadron was reactivated four months later as an element of the 382d Bombardment Group at Dalhart Army Air Field, Texas. Its ground echelon deployed to Tinian by ship in early August 1945 while the air echelon remained at the last training base in Kansas after the Japanese surrender. The ground echelon remained in the Marianas supporting other units' aircraft and demobilization. The air echelon demobilized with its new B-29 aircraft remaining in Kansas, where they were assigned to postwar units. The entire unit inactivated by December 1945.

In 2007 the squadron was converted to provisional status as the 872d Air Expeditionary Squadron and assigned to United States Air Forces Europe to activate or inactivate as needed. It was activated in 2007 at Bulboaca, Moldava and in 2009 at Keflavik International Airport, Iceland.


  • Constituted as the 872d Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 19 November 1943
  • Activated on 20 November 1943 Inactivated on 10 May 1944
  • Activated on 19 September 1944
  • Inactivated on 4 January 1946
  • Converted to provisional status and redesignated 871st Air Expeditionary Squadron on 2 July 2007
  • Activated on 21 July 2007 Inactivated on 17 August 2007 Activated on 28 July 2009 Inactivated on 1 September 2009


  • 497th Bombardment Group: 20 Nov 1943 - 10 May 1944
  • 382d Bombardment Group: 19 September 1944 - 4 January 1946
  • United States Air Forces Europe to activate or inactivate as required: 2 July 2007
  • Stations

  • El Paso Army Air Base, Texas, 20 November 1943
  • Clovis Army Air Field, New Mexico, 1 December 1943
  • Pratt Army Air Field, Kansas, 13 April 1944 - 10 May 1944
  • Dalhart Army Air Field, Texas, 19 September 1944
  • Smoky Hill Army Air Field, Kansas, 11 December 1944 - 1 August 1945
  • Guam, 8 September 1945 (ground echelon only; air echelon remained in US until inactivation)
  • Tinian, c. Oct-15 Dec 1945 (ground echelon only)
  • Camp Anza, California, 28 December 1945 - 4 January 1946
  • Bulboaca, Moldava, 21 July 2007 - 17 August 2007
  • Keflavik International Airport, Iceland, 28 July 2009 - 1 September 2009
  • Aircraft

  • Combination of B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, and B-25 Mitchell used for training, 1944-1945
  • B-29 Superfortress, Received in late spring, 1945.
  • References

    872d Bombardment Squadron Wikipedia

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