|Country United States||Role Air refueling|
|Active 1941–1946; 1953–1960; 1960–1965; 1994–2005; 2010-2015|
Branch United States Air Force
Motto(s) Ubique Latin Everywhere
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
The 96th Air Refueling Squadron (96 ARS) is an associate unit of the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii in partnership with the 203rd Air Refueling Squadron and 154th Maintenance Group of the Hawaii Air National Guard. It was inactivated on 3 September 2015.
The 96 ARS operates the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting aerial refueling missions.
World War II
The 96th Air Refueling Squadron was constituted as the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) on 20 November 1940 and activated on 15 January 1941 at March Field, California. Originally attached to the 41st Bombardment Group, it became assigned to it on 25 February 1942. The squadron was tasked with conducting antisubmarine patrols, from December 1941–August 1942 and from December 1942–February 1943.
It was redesignated as the 396th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 22 April 1942 and as the 396th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, c. 9 May 1943. Trained with North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers, being assigned to Seventh Air Force. Deployed to the Central Pacific Area, from 19 January–23 September 1944, engaging in combat operations in the Gilbert Islands, then returning to Hawaii in October 1944.
Deployed to Okinawa in June 1945, flying combat bombardment missions over eastern China and Formosa. Prepared for combat action as part of Operation Downfall, the planned invasion of the Japanese Home Islands however the Japanese Capitulation in August cancelled those plans. Squadron demobilized on Okinawa during the fall of 1945, aircraft being sent to reclamation in the Philippines. Personnel returned to the United States and squadron inactivated on 27 January 1946.
Activated as 96th Air Refueling Squadron, Medium in 1953. Based at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma; supported refueling operations primarily in Northeast Air Command and Alaskan Air Command areas. Also deployed to Guam in 1956 flying KC-97F and G aircraft. The squadron was reassigned to the 11th Bombardment Wing, on 3 December 1957. Redesignated as the 96th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 8 March 1958, the squadron converted that same year to the KC-135A. The 96th ARS was discontinued on 1 October 1960. Organized on 15 December 1960, and assigned to 11th Bombardment (later, 11th Strategic Aerospace) Wing, at Altus AFB, OK, with the KC-135A as its aircraft, it was discontinued and inactivated, on 25 June 1965 and its mission, personnel and aircraft were transferred to the 11th Air Refueling Squadron, which was transferred on paper to Altus from Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.
Redesignated as the 96th Air Refueling Squadron, reactivated, on 1 April 1994 with KC-135Rs.
396th Bombardment Squadron
96th Air Refueling Squadron