436th BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON


 

 

HISTORY OF THE 436th BOMBARDMENT SQUADRON

The 436th Bombardment Squadron (436BS) was originally organized 18 August 1917 as the 88th Reconnaissance Squadron and activated 1 September 1917 at Kelly Field, Texas. The squadron received its first airplanes - 12 LWFs - on 27 September 1917 and moved to Garden City, New York, arriving 11 October 1917. Here the unit prepared to leave for France and join the war effort. Almost two weeks later on 27 October, the unit embarked from New York City by ship. On 12 November the 88th disembarked at Le Harve, France and moved to Colombey-Les-Belles, France to await arrival of their aircraft so they could begin flying operations. The unit moved to Amanty, France on 1 February 1918. In May 1918 the 88th was assigned to the I Corps Observation Group. Its mission was primarily to keep the command informed by visual and photographic reconnaissance of the general situation within and behind enemy lines. To accomplish this task, a routine schedule of operations was prescribed for each day consisting of several close-range reconnaissance missions in the sector and, toward dusk, a reconnaissance for active hostile batteries in action. Special missions were flown as required in addition to the daily routine work.

The squadron flew the AR type two-seater, 190-horsepower, Renault single engine aircraft. Subsequently, the 88th transitioned into the Sopwith type, two-seater, Rhone rotary engine, 120-horsepower aircraft. On 28 May, 1918 the squadron moved to Ourches, France. It joined the I Corps Observation Group on 6 July and moved to Francheville, France on 7 July where it began operations. The main purpose of operations undertaken was a thorough reconnaissance and surveillance of the enemy opposite the Marne Sector in order to keep the command informed of movements and dispositions.

On 20 July 1918 the Sopwith airplane was replaced with the Salmson. The 88th continued operations from Francheville until 25 July when it was assigned to the III Corps Observation Group and moved on 4 August to Ferme-De-Greves, France. Following this the 88th along with two French squadrons were organized under the 26th Division and flew in the Vesle area. The tactical staff and personnel of the 88th comprised the commanding officer, three pilots, designated as flight commanders; two observers, designated as operations and assistant operations officers; 15 additional pilots, of whom three were deputy flight commanders; and 16 additional observers. The squadron was further divided into three sections or flights of six aircraft each. Missions assigned the 88th involved: short-range visual reconnaissance, short-range photographic, adjustment of light artillery fire, and infantry contact probes.

On 4 September the unit moved temporarily to Goussancourt, France then moved back to Greves on 9 September. Next the 88th moved to Souilly, France on 12 September and was attached to the V Corps Observation Group. From 12 to 17 September the 88th operated over the lines at St. Mihiel. The unit took part in the St. Mihiel Offensive from 10 August to 17 September. During that time the squadron conducted photographic, corps visual reconnaissance and command missions. Also, on 14 September the 88th moved to Pretz-En-Argonne, France.

Shortly after the St. Mihiel Offensive, a certain redistribution of units took place between the various corps air units in preparation for the Argonne-Meuse Offensive. The 88th returned to Souilly on 20 September under control of the 3rd Army Corps Observation Group. Following the Muese-Argonne Offensive and the end of the war, the squadron served with VII Army Corps Occupation Force. During this time, it was assigned to Bethelainville, France on 4 November 1918, then to Villers-La-Chevre, France on 29 November, then to Treir, Germany on 6 December 1918, and back to LeMans, France on 1 June 1919.

The squadron left France by ship on 11 June and docked in New York City on 25 June 1919. From there the 88th moved to Mitchell Field, Long Island, New York and was assigned to the 2nd Wing on 27 June 1919. At Mitchell Field the unit picked up DH-4 Dehavilland aircraft and moved to Scott Field Illinois on 11 July 1919. It was inactivated on 7 August 1919 at Scott Field.

Less than a month later, on 5 September 1919 the unit was reorganized at Langley Field, Virginia. Once again it was assigned to the 2nd Wing which had moved to Langley from Mitchell Field, New York. On 28 October the 88th was attached to the newly arrived 1st Army Observation Group at Langley. The squadron was assigned to the 1st Army Group on 24 March 1920. While at Langley, the 88th flew the DH-4 Dehavilland and the O-2 Douglas. On 10 February 1921, the 88th was reassigned at Langley to the Air Service Field Officers’ School. Following this the squadron was redesignated the 88th Squadron on 14 March 1921. From 6 May to 3 October 1921 the 88th was attached to the 1st Provisional Air Brigade for demonstrations in the effectiveness of aerial bombardment on warships off the Virginia Capes. This operation was conducted on World War I German ships consisting of the battleship Osfriesland, cruiser Frankfurt, destroyer G-102 and submarine U-17. Also, the test, commanded by Brigadier General William Mitchell, were flown on the US Navy obsolete battleships San Marcos (ex-Texas) and USS Alabama. The 88th participation consisted of photo reconnaissance flown out of Langley.

During this time the 88th operated from Charleston, West Virginia 3 to 8 September 1921. Also, a detachment operated from Charleston until 30 October 1921. On 15 October 1921 the unit moved to Godman Field, Kentucky assigned to the Fifth Corps Area. In September 1922 the 88th took part in quelling a civil disturbance in West Virginia during coal strikes. This was the first time an Air Corps unit ever took part in such an event. Following this the 88th moved to Wilbur Wright Field, Ohio. On 25 January 1923 the 88th underwent a redesignation becoming the 88th Observation Squadron. The squadron moved to Brooks Field, Texas on 7 May 1927 and was inactivated on 1 August 1927. While at Brooks, the 88th was assigned to the Air Corps Training Center.

Almost a year later, on 1 June 1928 the 88th was activated at Post Field, Fort Sill, Oklahoma and assigned to the Eighth Corps Area. Then on 30 June 1931 it was reassigned to the 12th Observation Group at Fort Sill. The 88th moved with the 12th to Brooks Field, Texas on 5 November 1931. At Brooks the squadron was redesignated the 88th Observation Squadron (Long Range, Amphibian) on 1 March 1935. The same date, it became a part of the 1st Wing at Brooks.

On 28 September 1935 the unit moved with the 1st Wing to Hamilton Field, California flying the O-35 Douglas aircraft. A year later the squadron was redesignated again, this time to 88th Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 September 1936. With this, the 88th was attached to the 7th Bomb Group at Hamilton the same day. The 88th had previously served under the 7th when it was the lst Army Observation Group in 1919 at Langley Field, Virginia. During the next year the squadron flew the B-12, Martin; B-7, Douglas; and the B-10 Martin bombers. The 88th was relieved from attachment-to the 7th Bomb Group on 1 October 1937 and then assigned to the 7th the same day. The 88th dropped food and supplies, and flew photographic missions in conjunction with flood relief operations in central California on 12 and 13 December 1937. While assigned to the group the 88th made a mock bombing raid on the Boeing Aircraft Plant in Seattle, Washington using their newly assigned Boeing B-17C bombers in November 1937.

On 6 December 1939 the 88th was redesignated the 88th Reconnaissance Squadron (Long Range) at Hamilton Field. The remainder of 1937 and up to 1940 the 88th continued training and were part of the nation's main air defense for the Northwest Pacific coast. At this time the squadron was attached to General Headquarters Air Force. The 88th moved to Ft. Douglas, Utah on 7 September 1940 for training in preparation for deployment to the Philippines.

From September to November 1940 the squadron trained in the B-17C for deployment. Then on 20 November the 88th was redesignated 88th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) at Ft. Douglas. The unit was reassigned to Salt Lake City, Utah on 15 January 1941 until 5 December 1941 when the 7th Bomb Group departed for the Philippines with 35 Boeing B-17C bombers. Arriving in San Francisco the group flew to Hamilton Field and departed the next night, 6 December for Hickam Field, Hawaii. The bombers arrived on 7 December during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. A number of the group planes were lust to the Japanese aircraft because they were unarmed at the time. It was impossible for the group to remain for repairs at the bomb shattered Hickam Field, so they departed for Australia leaving the 88th behind for patrol duty.

On 10 February 1942 the 88th and its B-17s flew to Nandi Airport, Fiji Islands and set up operations. The squadron left Fiji on 18 February arriving at Townsville, Australia on 20 February 1942. The 88th joined up with the 7th Bomb Group at Townsville then moved to Karachi, India on 12 March 1942. At Karachi the 88th established a camp in a dirigible hanger east of the city. From this point the first mission against the Japanese was flown in Burma on 12 April 1942. Following this, on 22 April, the 88th was redesignated the 436th Bomb Squadron (Heavy).

Then on 1 June 1942, the 436th moved to Allahabad, India. Outstanding missions during this time consisted of bomber raids on Akyab, Rangoon and various points in Burma. The squadron then moved to Gaya, India on 14 November 1942 and set up operations.

As the second year of World War 11 progressed, the 436th was still engaged in moving while continuing to strike the enemy from various bases in India. On 25 February 1943 the squadron relocated with its B-17s to Bishnupur, India. During the ensuing months, the 436th bomber crews distinguished themselves by undertaking every possible type of mission, practical or not. Missions deep into Thailand, Burma and the Adaman Islands over shark infested waters, jungles notorious for headhunters, and through skies filled with enemy fighters.

On 25 September, the 436th with its new Consolidated B 24 Liberator bombers moved once again to Panagarh, India. The squadron concentrated operations on Japanese shipping attacks in the Bay of Bengal, and hit airfields at Meiktila, Lasha and Rangoon. The 436th moved to Madhaiganj, India on 13 December 1943. Following this the squadron B-24s flew the longest bomber mission to date to Bangkok, Thailand. The bombers were in the air for over 15-hours. Heavy damages were inflicted on Japanese installations at this port and commendations for the mission were forth coming from Brigadier General Davidson and Major General Stratemeyer.

In the early part of 1944, the group and 436th joined the Tenth Air Force in India. They continued operations in Burma, Thailand and the Adaman Islands, inflicting heavy damage to enemy installations. When the monsoon season arrived it was no longer practical to carry the flights deep into Burma, so the squadron moved to Tezgaon, India on 14 June 1944, located near Dacca, India. Here the 436th pioneered another first--the B-24 low level radio controlled (AZON) bombing technique. On 6 October they moved to Madhaiganj, India.

Following this, the 436th began to destroy Japanese communications in Burma. The Dan Dara Bridge, termed by the allies as the most important enemy target in Burma, was knocked out in November 1944 by 436th bombers. This was the first in a series of bridges which fell to the excellent low level bombing of the 7th Bomb Group. Railroads and jetties were completely knocked out and enemy communications thoroughly disrupted throughout Burma in November.

During December 1944, a detachment of the 436th was moved to Luliang, China. From there, they ferried gasoline to Suichwan, China until January 1945 in support of Fourteenth Air Force operations in China.

Early in 1945, the group began in earnest to knock out bridges and became known as "Bridge Busters". While the 7th Bomb Group carried out its primary mission of destroying the enemy communications and supply movement in Burma and Thailand, it was again called upon to support Fourteenth Air Force and the XX Bomber Command in continuing operations against the Japanese at the end of January.

In February the group again established a new record for dropping bombs. The 9th, 436th and 492nd Bomb Squadrons hit Japanese troop concentrations daily. Their pinpoint precision bombing resulted in the re-taking of Mandalay and other central Burma areas by the British 14th Army. The 7th set new records in March 1945 when they flew the longest formation attack mission by heavy bombers, deep into Kra Isthmus. Crews of the 436th taking part in the operation flew an average com at time of 17-hours, quite an increase over the 14-hours flown in 1943 when they attacked Bangkok, Thailand.

During the first three weeks of April 1945, a new bombing technique for destroying bridges (AZON) was utilized by the B-24s in the group for dive bombing missions. On 24 April a day that will long be remembered by the men in the Burma area, all the group B-24s that were in commission set out to destroy permanently the Burma-Siam Railroad. Using the dive bombing technique, 41 B-24s ranged up and down the railroad, hitting bridges at tree top levels. When all the planes had returned safe and the count of bridges destroyed was verified by photographs, a total of 37 had been lost to the enemy. Following this mission the group participated in the invasion of Akyab, the Ramaree Islands, and the final goal of the allied forces in Burma-Rango6n, occupied earlier in May 1945.

On I June 1945 the 436th moved its B-24s to its last overseas location of the war, Tezpur, India. From there the squadron was assigned duty hauling high octane gasoline to China in June 1945 over the treacherous Hump" routes. Fighting ceased on all fronts during this interim and the 436th celebrated victory in Japan--VJ Day, as only a unit with four years overseas could. The gasoline haul over the "Hump" continued until late October 1945. A total of over two million gallons of gasoline had been transported to China since June 1945 by the 7th Bomb Group squadrons. Following this, the group, along with the 436th returned to the United States by ship, departing India on I December 1945. The ship arrived at New York City on 4 January 1946 and the unit moved on to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on 5 January. The unit was inactivated on 6 January 1946 at Camp Kilmer.

Nine months after the 7th inactivated, following an illustrious World War II record, it was redesignated the 7th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and activated at Fort Worth Army Air Field, on 1 October 1946. The newly formed 7th consisted of the 9th, 436th and 492nd Bombardment Squadrons; the 25th Base Service Squadron; 35th Air Engineering Squadron; and the 578th Air Material Squadron. Training began in the B-29 in November under the standards established by the Strategic Air Command which was activated on 21 March 1946.

Throughout 1947, the group prepared its people for any combat eventuality that might arise training with assigned B-29s in global bombardment operations. Within the United States SAC units flew many simulated attacks on major metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles (11 April), New York (16 May), and Chicago (1 August) as part of the first SAC maximum effort missions. The most significant flight for the 7th was over New York on 16 May when 101 SAC B-29s theoretically dropped their bombs in a maximum effort operation. Bombers of the 7th took part in all three of the first maximum effort missions previously listed.

On 12 September the group deployed 30 B-29s to Giebelstadt, West Germany. This flight was the largest bomber formation flown from Fort Worth AAF overseas to date. Enroute the aircraft flew to Maine over Greenland, Iceland, Great Britain and landing in Germany on 13 September. During their ten-day stay, the group's bombers participated in training operations over Europe. The unit redeployed from Germany on 23 September.

Later, on 31 October, the 7th flew 10 B-29s (6-436BS and 4-492BS) to Langley Field, Virginia to take part in a joint Army Air Force-Navy operation. It was intended as a test of the Navy's interception of Army Air Force bombers for two weeks. At Langley the group bombers joined the Eighth Air Force Composite Group for the purpose of bombing Naval Forces in the Atlantic Ocean. Beginning 1 November, the Composite Group was tasked to keep an "enemy" task force, located in an area south of Bermuda, under constant surveillance. On 3 November, the group bombers took part in successful surveillance missions off Bermuda. Aircraft involved used parallel search patterns spaced 60 miles apart, locating the Navy fleet two hours after entering the search area. By flying a rotation system, at least two B-29s of the Composite Group maintained surveillance of the fleet through 4 November. Each aircraft remained on station for six hours while maintaining surveillance at altitudes of 800 feet to 24,000 feet, depending on the weather.

As for the bombing phase of the exercise, only part of it was successful due to breakdowns in communications and difficulty in identifying ships from 24,000 feet. A group of five squadrons led by the 307th Bombardment Group attacked the naval force of 16 ships on 4 November. After rendezvous over Bermuda, the lead aircraft aborted and in the process of the alternate's taking over the flight, several aircraft believed to be on a collision course, caused the entire formation to scatter in Confusion. After regrouping, the bomb run was completed. Results were satisfactory as 7BG bombers returned to Fort Worth AAF recovering the same day.

On 3 November the 7th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy was established under the Hobson Plan and organized at Fort Worth AAF on 17 November 1947. The 7th Bomb Group was assigned under the newly activated wing.

Following this the 436th Bomb Squadron deployed 10 B-29s (3 borrowed from the 9BS and one from the 492BS) to MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida on 13 November for antisubmarine warfare training, conducted by the 307th Bomb Group. Lieutenant Colonel H. E. Goldsworthy, 436th Bomb Squadron commander, commanded the 436th bombers. The aircraft remained for about three weeks. While at MacDill the 436th established a new endurance record for standard combat equipped B-29 aircraft flying out of Fort Worth AAF. On 14 November, one B-29 from the 436th operated for 4,460 statute miles, non-stop, flying a closed course carrying a normal fuel load of 6,700 gallons. During the 436th stay at MacDill, Headquarters, United States Air Force announced on 28 November that SAC would be assigned strategic aerial mining training and operations to its mission along with antisubmarine warfare.

On 7 January 1948, the wing engaged in a maximum effort mission using 24 of the 30 assigned B-29 bombers at Carswell. The flight route went from Fort Worth to Clovis, New Mexico, Kansas City, where a simulated bombing mission was carried out, and then back to Carswell AFB. From 15 to 17 January three wing B-29 bombers took part in the Eighth Air Force Group Competition held at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tuscon, Arizona. During March, headquarters, SAC notified the 436th Bomb Squadron that it would transfer six B-29s during April to the 93rd Bombardment Group, Castle AFB, California.

April opened with the wing sending four flight engineers to Consolidated-Vultee, Fort Worth, manufacturer of the new B-36 six-engine bomber. Those individuals were: Master Sergeants Russell L. Stokum (436BS), John L. Corley, Ernest 0. Benefield (9BS), and Carl T. Moden (492BS). Once trained all four would return in 30 days to the wing and await arrival of the first B-36 in June to the wing. In a companion class were five crew chiefs: Master Sergeants Orville C. Simmonds (492BS), E. A. Moore (436BS), John T. Travis (492BS), Golden M. Joyner (436BS), and Lowell E. Quilling (9BS).

On 10 April the wing sent Captain W. D. Morris, 436BS, bombardier-navigator-radar and Lieutenant R. E. Munday, navigator, to Consolidated-Vultee to assist in a long range cruise flight of a B-36. The flight was accomplished as planned. A total of 31 500-pound bombs were released over target successfully from 25,000 feet at night during the flight out of Carswell AFB. April closed with the 436th Bomb Squadron sending six assigned B-29s to the 93rd Bombardment Group at Castle APB, California on 30 April. This allowed the unit to prepare for the arrival of the first B-36s in June 1948.

In May the 436th Bomb Squadron was selected to represent the wing in the Eighth Air Force Group Competition. Two B-29s from the 436th deployed on 9 May for a routine over-water flight to Hawaii in the competition. The bombers spent approximately two days in Hawaii before returning to Carswell on 13 May.

On 18 May 1948, Captain Morris, 436BS, was the assigned bombardier in a B-36 flight made to test the bomb loading and dropping 2,000 pound bombs. All 25 bombs carried were released over the Naval Range at Corpus Christi, Texas from 31,000 feet. The same day, a wing record was established by a 436th Bomb Squadron B-29, piloted by Captain H. S. Trewitt, Jr. His aircraft departed Carswell on 18 May and flew 4,588 statute miles to set an endurance record in the B-29 returning on 19 May to Carswell. Excellent maintenance, superior navigation and flight engineering, plus the fact that full advantage was taken of weather conditions, attributed to the success of this long range flight record.

On 2 June, six 436th Bomb Squadron B-29s participated in a SAC readiness test which included all the Bombardment Groups in Eighth and Fifteenth Air Force. The 436th aircraft rendezvoused over Springfield, Illinois then flew to Kansas City, Detroit and back to Carswell. In the Detroit area, the bombers made camera bombing attacks on Selfridge AFB, Michigan. Following this, all participating aircraft returned to respective bases. In line with the National Security Program and the intensified training program for the Organized Reserve Corps (ORC) and the National Guard, 72 members of the Tennessee Air National Guard from Nashville, Tennessee were assigned to the 436th Bomb Squadron for training on 19 June. The guard members flew three B-29 missions on 19 and 20 June each. Their training included bombing and formation flying with 436th instructors.


June, 1948
Photo via Frank Kleinwechter

1st B-36 delivered to 436th Bomb Squadron in June, 1948.   Lt. Gen. Harry Goldsworthy to right of Warren Baulch, John Harrington and unknown.

 

The 436th Bomb Squadron deployed two B-29s to Shemya Island, Alaska on 25 July. The aircraft were originally scheduled to return on a non-stop flight. But due to bad weather they were forced to land at Walker AFB, Roswell, New Mexico for fuel. Once fueled the aircraft returned to Carswell. The remainder of July found the wing preparing for a maximum effort flight over New York City to celebrate the opening of the New York City International Airport. The air review was conducted on 31 July in a very successful manner with the wing placing three assigned B-36 bombers in the formation among numerous B-29 aircraft dispatched to fly the mission from various SAC bases. A total of nine wing B-29s (3-9BS, 3-436BS and 3-492BS), plus the three B-36 aircraft flown out of Carswell, one from each of the three squadrons assigned.

Following the fly-over, three wing B-29s (one from each squadron assigned) flew non-stop 5,000 miles from New York City to Los Angeles and back to New York City as a feature flight of the airport dedication ceremonies landing at the airport. All three B-29s and the B-36 on static display since 30 July, returned to Carswell on I August. As July closed out three 436th Bomb Squadron B-29s were transferred to Castle AFB, California.

On 8 August Major William G. Renfro, 436th Bomb Squadron, flew the Eighth Air Force commander, Major General Roger M. Ramey, to Europe in a B-29. While in Europe the General attended conferences and toured Europe. The aircraft returned to Carswell with the General on 28 August. During August, the wing received four B-36A bombers (2-9BS, 1-436BS and 1-492BS) for a grand total of 11 assigned B-36 bombers and 14 B-29A bombers.

On 18 September, wing B-29 bombers flew in a SAC maximum effort mission. A total of ten B-29s took part (4-9BS, 4-436BS and 1-492BS). Additionally, six wing B-36 bombers flew separate mission to key cities in the United States giving the public its first look at the world's largest bomber. Three of the B-36s were from the 492nd Bomb Squadron and the other three from the 436th Bomb Squadron. Five routes were flown on 18 September by the aircraft. Two 492nd aircraft flew from Carswell on an 8,500-mile circuit to El Paso, Tuscon, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Salt Lake City and back to Carswell. Next, one 492nd B-36 took off from Carswell and flew to Kansas City, Omaha, Denver, Abilene, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and landed at Carswell. The fourth B-36, from the 436th Bomb Squadron, flew to Des Moines, Minneapolis, Duluth, Chicago, Detroit, Ft. Wayne, Indianapolis, St. Louis and back to Carswell. The fifth B-36, assigned to the 436th, left Carswell and flew direct to Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D. C., Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis and back to Carswell. The last B-36, 436th bomber, flew to Birmingham, Atlanta, Charleston, Jacksonville, Miami Tampa, Montgomery, New Orleans, Shreveport, Houston, San Antonio and finally landing at Carswell.

One additional B-36A arrived in late October bringing to a total of 18 B-36A aircraft assigned. Of those, the 9th Bomb Squadron had five B-36s, the 436th had eight, and the 492nd five. Also, four B-29s were assigned, one in the 9th, one in the 436th and two in the 492nd.

From 7 to 9 December, a B-36B of the 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group, and a B-50A of the 43rd Bomb Group, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, two of SAC's newest bombers, completed a round trip non-stop flight from Carswell AFB to Hawaii and back. The B-36, commanded by Major John D. Bartlett, flew the mock attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, flying over 8,000 miles without landing in 35 hours and 30 minutes. As the month closed 36 B-36s (18-As and 18-Bs) were assigned to the group with no aircraft assigned to the 1lth Bomb Group as yet. Of those, the 9th Bomb Squadron had 12 (6-As and 6-Bs), 436th totaled 12 (6-As and 6-Bs), and the 492nd had 12 (6-As and 6-Bs).

On 11 January, Lieutenant Colonel Harry E. Goldsworthy (later, Lieutenant General) replaced Major Ireland as 1lth Bomb Group commander. Colonel Goldsworthy had been the 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group, commander. A five ship B-36 formation was flown four days later on 15 January 1949, in an air review over Washington, D. C. commemorating the inauguration of the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman. Then on 25 January a total of six B-36s (3-As, 11BG and 3-Bs, 7BG) led an aerial review in commemoration of the 7th Bomb Wing and Eighth Air Force birthdays over Carswell AFB. Following the B-36s were B-29s of the 509th Bomb Group, Walker AFB, Roswell, New Mexico and F-82 fighters from Kearney AFB, Kearney, Nebraska. The flight of 7th Bomb Wing aircraft was led by Lieutenant Colonel Ellery D. Preston, 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group, commander. As the month closed the 436th had 10 B-36s (5-As and 5-Bs).

0n 15 February the 7th Bomb Group, led by Colonel Clark, Wing commander, flew a sixteen ship formation commemorating air progress, in an aerial review over Andrews Field, Maryland. This formation was the largest B-36 formation to date of the world's largest bomber.


March, 1949 at Carswell
Photo by Frank Kleinwechter
Scan and digital processing by Don Pyeatt.

 

During April, a total of 25 B-36s were assigned to the 7th Bomb Group (7-As and 18-Bs). The 436th had eight (2-As and 6-Bs). On 26 May 1949, 7th Bomb Wing became the first unit in the Air Force to receive the world's largest land aircraft, the Consolidated C-99 43-52436 cargo aircraft. The wings were made in Fort Worth and shipped to Convair, San Diego, California in 1947 for assembly to the fuselage manufactured at Convair. It first flew from San Diego on 24 November 1947. After successful tests, it was flown to Fort Worth and modified with the standard four-wheel landing gear and bigger engines. It was the sister ship to its far-reaching counterpart bomber, the B-36, and had been assigned to the 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group for a series of inspections prior to reassignment with another Air Force unit at Kelly AFB, San Antonio Texas in September 1949.

The gigantic, cigar-shaped aircraft had its modification and flight test program administered by the 436th Bomb Squadron. During June, the C-99 had a complete over-all inspection. Maintenance of the double decked C-99 was the responsibility of Master Sergeant Howell M. Covert, 436th Bomb Squadron crew chief. He and Technical Sergeant C. E. Cornell, his assistant, had just completed a seven-week familiarization training course on the C-99 at Consolidate-Vultee in Fort Worth. The aircraft bore a striking resemblance to the huge B-36 "Peacemaker". The C-99 however was 20 feet longer and 10 feet higher than the slender B-36. Wingspan of the two aircraft was 230 feet. Designed from almost identical specifications, except for fuselages, both aircraft were equipped with multiple-wheel main landing gears. Both were powered by six pusher-type engines located on the trailing edge of the wing. The weight of the C-99 was 265,000 pounds. It could haul 400 fully equipped troops, 100,000 pounds of cargo, or 300 litter patients and their attendants.

The Volume of the C-99 interior was 300,000 cubic feet; equivalent to 10 railroad freight cars. Its top speed was 300 mph with a maximum range of 8,100 miles. Service ceiling was set at 30,000 feet. The central portion of the 230 foot wing span was seven and a half feet thick, high enough to permit installation of a catwalk so that crew members could climb into the wing to check engines during flight. This huge transport had an upper and lower cargo deck, connected by two stairways. The two electrically opened in flight to permit dropping cargo. Four electrical hoists, operating on overhead rollers extending the length of each cargo area, were used to load and unload the aircraft.

Maintenance people assigned to the 436th Bomb Squadron constructed four specially built loading cranes for the C-99. These cranes expedited loading the transport. In June, the 436th totaled seven B-36s (1-A and 6-Bs) plus one C-99.

During July the 436th totaled seven B-36Bs and one C-99 (at Kelly AFB, Texas since late June for engine changes). On 29 August, the wing flew three B-36B aircraft in a fly-over at the Pennsylvania Railroad Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in conjunction with a commemoration of President Harry S. Truman and the Secretary of Defense who were attending the National American Legion Convention.

During September 1949 wing B-36s flew in several fly-over demonstrations. The first occurred on 3 September when two 7th Bomb Group B-36Bs and one llth Bomb Group B-36B accomplished a fly-over at the Cleveland Air Races, Cleveland, Ohio. On 4 September, three more wing B-36B (2-7BG and 1-11BG) flew a second fly-over at the air races in Cleveland. The last fly-over for the Air Races occurred on 5 September with three B-36s (2-7BG and 1-11BG). During September the 7th Bomb Wing received Eighth Air Force Operations Order 19-49, dated 15 September 1949. This order instructed that a forward operational area at Eielson AFB, Alaska, be established for future training flights to Alaska. This exercise was to provide a means of testing the existing facilities at Eielson and give the wing experience in maneuvers in Arctic flying. The operation was called Operation Drizzle.

Convinced that the first SAC Bombing Competition had provided better bombing and a competitive spirit throughout SAC, Lieutenant General Curtis E. LeMay, CINCSAC, decided to make it an annual affair. Held from 3 to 7 October 1949, the second competition included 13 bomb groups: three B-36, eight B-29, and two B-50. The B-36 crews operated out of their home bases. Six crews from the wing took part, three from the 7th Bomb Group (9BS, 436BS, 492BS) and three from the llth Bomb Group (26BS, 42BS, 98BS). Each participating crew accomplished three visual bomb releases and three radar releases from 25,000 feet. The 7th Bomb Group placed 4th overall with the llth Bomb Group crews 13th out of 13 groups. December was uneventful as the wing prepared a second B-36B 44-92078 (436BS, 7BG) for APG-3 modification.

On 21 August 1950, 18 B-36B aircraft departed Carswell for Limestone APB, Maine to participate in a special training mission (Unit Simulated Combat Mission). It consisted of simulated radar bombing (RBS) of St. Louis, Missouri using Limestone AFB as the pre-strike launch ' base. All the aircraft (9-7BG and 9-11BG), two from each squadron under respective groups, recovered at Limestone the same day. On 23 August, 17 of the bombers launched out of Limestone. The one bomber left experienced maintenance problems and once fixed returned to Carswell. The flight of bombers flew direct to St. Louis for the RBS run. It was accomplished with no problems as all aircraft recovered at Carswell on 24 August.

Next, on 20 September, three B-36Ds (436BS, 492BS, 9BS) of the 7th Bomb Group participated in an exact profile of the war plan. The mission consisted of a night attack on Fort Worth with additional training accomplished by making a simulated bomb run (RBS) over Birmingham, Alabama. Also, the aircraft conducted a live firing over the Eglin AFB Gunnery Range, Florida before recovering at Carswell.

Later in the month, two more D models arrived bring the total number of B-36D aircraft in the wing to six. The two were assigned to the 436th tomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group (49-2650) and the 98th Bomb Squadron, 1lth Bomb Group (49-2649).

Three 7th Bomb Group B-36D aircraft (9BS, 436BS, 492BS) took part in a special training mission. The purpose was to determine requirements in people, equipment, and supplies for staging through bases other than Carswell or home base. On 13 October one North American B-25 Mitchell (assigned to 8AF at Carswell) flew to March AFB, California with the advance party. The next day, prior to the bombers deploying, a Douglas C-54 Skymaster cargo aircraft launched from Carswell with support people recovering later in the day at March. The three bombers conducted a simulated bombing mission (TBS) over Fort Worth after take-off then proceeded to Phoenix, Arizona and accomplished a second RBS run. The bombers then flew to the Pacific Ocean for a gunnery mission. Completing this, they landed at March AFB. The three bombers launched from March on 16 October and flew to Castle AFB, California. On 17 October the bombers redeployed from Castle to Carswell. Enroute the bombers took part in A camera gunnery mission at 25,000 feet in Southern California with four Republic F-84 Thunderjet fighters of the 78th Fighter Group, Hamilton AFB, San Rafael, California. The F-84 was a descendant of the first bearer of the "Thunder" name, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, famed "Jug" of World War IT. Additionally, the bombers conducted a RBS run over San Francisco and Sacramento, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Fort Worth before landing at Carswell.

As the month of November 1950 closed, eight B-36D aircraft (4-7BG and 4-llBG) deployed to Limestone AFB, Maine on 30 November to test pre-strike staging facilities, and evaluate B-36D aircraft and combat crews on a profile mission. On 1 December 1950, six of those B-36s launched out of Limestone and flew direct to Ramey AVB, Puerto Rico. Enroute to Ramey, the bombers flew simulated bomb runs (RBS) on Charleston, South Carolina and Tallahassee, Florida. The two remaining B-36 bombers at Limestone deployed to Carswell on 2 December landing the same day. The six bombers at Ramey returned to Carswell on 5 and 6 December 1950. This operation closed out flying activity for 1950.

In January 1951 Headquarters, United States Air Force approved a proposal to reorganize SAC's combat forces at base level by General Curtis E. LeMay, CINCSAC. Prior to this reorganization, each combat wing consisted of a wing headquarters, a combat group with tactical squadrons, a maintenance and supply group, air base group, and a medical group.

Next, the wing took part in a special training mission to the United Kingdom. The purpose of the mission was to evaluate the B-36D under simulated war plan conditions. Also, further evaluate the equivalent airspeed and compression tactics for heavy bombardment aircraft; and evaluate select crew capability for bombing unfamiliar targets. The aircraft, staging through Limestone AFB, Maine, would land at RAF Lakenheath, England following a night radar bombing attack on Helgoland, Germany. From there, the bombers would conduct a simulated bomb run on the Houston Bomb Plot, London, finally landing at Lakenheath. Originally, 11 bombers launched out of Carswell on 14 January to Limestone AFB. On 15 January all were set to depart Limestone. Of those, two aborted shortly after takeoff for engine failures, and three more returned to Carswell that .day. The remaining six (1-9BS, 2-436BS, 7BG; and 1-26BS, 1-42BS, 1-98BS, 11BG) landed at RAF Lakenheath on 16 January following the two scheduled bomb runs. This was the first deployment of wing and SAC B-36 aircraft to England and Europe. For the next four days, the flight flew sorties out of England. The aircraft redeployed to the states on 20 January 1951, arriving at Carswell on 21 January.

February opened with several organizational changes at Carswell due to SAC's announced reorganization in January this year. Also, the 7th Bomb Wing underwent a complete reorganization on 16 February. The 7th Bomb Group was reduced to one officer and one enlisted In a caretaker status. Thus, the three bomb squadrons, 9th, 436th and 492nd were attached directly to the wing and taken out from under the group on 16 February.

Three days later on 19 February 1951, the 436th Bomb Squadron received a plaque from SAC for its distinguished record as the first B-36 unit in SAC to fly over 400 hours in one month. Following this, five wing B-36Ds took part In a mock bombing mission over Portland, Oregon. The aircraft, TDY to Eielson AFB, Alaska since 19 February, launched out of Eielson on 22 February. The bombers flew a high-level bombing mission over Portland then recovered at Carswell the same day.

During March 1951, the wing established a new unit flying record when the 436th Bomb Squadron flew 477 hours with six B-36s in 29 days out of Carswell.

From 12 to 16 April, the wing flew its B-36 aircraft in -night bombing missions against industrial targets in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. The purpose of the missions was to determine the wing's bombing capability against a complex industrial target. On 12 April, 17 B-36s (12-Ds and 5-Bs) in the wing flew the first sorties on Indianapolis. All aircraft completed the long-range flight on 13 April. Eight more B-36s (5-Ds and 3-Bs) flew out of Carswell on 16 April to bomb Indianapolis. The bombers recovered at Carswell on 17 April following the mission. During the sorties on 12 and 16 April the bombers also attacked secondary targets of New York City (B-36Ds only); Oklahoma City, and Austin, Texas (B-36Bs only) before flying the primary mission over Indianapolis.

A familiarization flight to Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada was flown in September 1951. The purpose of the mission was to familiarize the 436th Bomb Squadron with the staging base at Goose Bay, and test the capabilities and facilities of the base. on 4 September the 436th deployed six B-36D aircraft. While at Goose Bay the aircraft flew a polar navigation sortie to Thule, Greenland. The six bombers returned to Carswell on 22 September. Enroute a partial profile mission was conducted. On 30 September, a total of 29 B-36s were assigned in the wing, 25-Ds and 4-Fs.

The wing conducted a simulated combat mission out of Carswell on 11 October 1951 using three B-36Fs (1-9BS, 1-436BS, 1-492BS). The mission was flown in the Eglin AFB Range, Florida. All three aircraft completed the mission as scheduled and returned to Carswell on 12 October.

1952

The wing launched seven B-36s (3-9BS, 3-436BS, and 1-492BS) from Carswell on a night bombing evaluation on 5 March 1952. The target area was greater St. Louis. The purpose of the mission was to evaluate pattern-bombing methods with out-dated target information. After completing the mission and landing at Carswell on 6 March, B36F-10-50-1067, 436BS, burned up on the ramp with only minor injuries recorded. The accident resulted from the left landing gear failure. This was the sixth major accident involving a B-36 in the wing to date.

On 28 March, 12 Wing B-36s (4-9BS, 4-436BS and 4-492BS) flew a unit simulated combat mission in the Eglin AFB Range, Florida. All aircraft recovered at Carswell on 29 March.

Eighteen wing B-36s (6-9BS, 6-436BS, 6-492BS) participated in a high altitude formation flight on 24 April. Purpose was to accomplish formation radar camera attacks against New Orleans and Houston, high altitude gunnery, and other scheduled training including ECM simulated runs against Forbes AFB, Kansas and Carswell. Also, the aircraft conducted individual RBS runs on targets of choice at Oklahoma City and Little Rock, Arkansas.

On 28 March 1952, 7 men died in the crash at Carswell of B-36 50-1066.  Returning to base after takeoff because of a loose cowl, the landing gear on the heavily-loaded aircraft failed when it touched down short of the runway.


28 May 1952
Photo via Ed Calvert

June 1952 opened with the wing taking part in a high-altitude formation flight against Dallas. A total of 18 wing B-36s (6-9BS, 6-436BS, 6-492BS) flew the mission on 5 June. Following the attack, all aircraft flew to South Texas and participated in a gunnery exercise on the Matagorda Island Gunnery Range. The exercise involved four primary purposes to test and evaluate the feasibility of a new formation tactic; test wing capability to attack large force multiple targets within a large city complex; test the defensive fire power of B-36 aircraft at high altitude; and to test the feasibility of maintaining formation to crosshair distance prior to making individual bomb runs. All aircraft recovered at Carswell the dame day.

On I July, nine wing B-36s (5-Hs and 4-Fs) departed Carswell to take part in a high altitude formation radar camera attacks on New York City. Aircraft participating were from the 9th Bomb Squadron (3), 436th Bomb Squadron (3), and 492nd Bomb Squadron (3). The nine B-36s flew the scheduled attack on New York City. From there the bombers flew to Montgomery, Alabama and recovered at Carswell on 2 July.

The next flying exercise took place on 27 July as the wing launched 21 B-36s (7-9BS, 7-436BS, and 7-492BS) from Carswell as part of a joint SAC/ADC attack on Detroit, Michigan. Enroute to Detroit the bombers were intercepted by Air Defense Command (ADC) F-86 and F-94 Fighters. The North American F-86 SABRE was the Air Force's first swept-wing fighter and entered operational service in February 1949. The Lockheed F-94 STARFIRE was the first jet-powered all-weather fighter to enter service with the Air Force and first to feature a speed-boosting afterburner. It became operational in May 1950 with the Continental Air Command. Fighter opposition was considered ineffective as all bombers attacked the target then returned to Carswell the same day.

August opened with a B-36F-5 49-2679 of the 436th Bomb Squadron destroyed by fire on 4 August 1952. While parked on the parallel runway at Carswell, gasoline overflowed from the number three tank vent, which was ignited by the exhaust from the B-10 power unit. No loss of life resulted with only minor injuries to three crewmembers. This was the seventh B-36 destroyed in the wing to date.

Two days later, on 6 August 1952, a unit simulated combat mission was flown against Philadelphia by 19 wing B-36s (7-F and 12-H), nine of the 9th Bomb Squadron, five of the 436th Bomb Squadron and five of the 492nd Bomb Squadron. After launch the bombers flew to Maine and encountered some F-84, F-86 and F-94 fighters in the Northeastern United States. From Maine, the bombers attacked Philadelphia. Following this the aircraft landed at Carswell on 7 August. Fighter opposition was very small during the mission, and did not affect the mission's effectiveness. Overall, the mission was considered very successful.

The 436th Bomb Squadron flew the best gunnery mission in Eighth Air Force on 17 August 1952. The 436th crew of Captain Richard S. George received a letter of appreciation from Major General S. E. Anderson, Commanding General, Eighth Air Force.

Six wing B-36s (2-D, 2-F and 2-H) were dispatched from Carswell AFB on 2 October 1952 on a night tactics mission to accomplish cell compression, station-keeping, and camera attacks on Texarkana, Texas, Baton Rouge, Louisiana; radar runs on Tampa, Florida, and night celestial navigation and actual armament firing. The mission was flown by two 9th Bomb Squadron, two 436th Bomb Squadron, and two 492nd Bomb Squadron bombers. The mission was flown as planned with all aircraft finishing up with the actual firing on the Matagorda Gunnery Range, Texas before landing back at Carswell.

1953

As part of a unit simulated combat mission to RAF Fairford, United kingdom, 18 wing B-36s (6-9BS, 6-436BS, and 6-492BS) flew from Carswell to the staging base at Goose Bay, Labrador on 2 and 3 February 1953. Also on 2 February, five C-124 aircraft deployed from Carswell to RAF Fairford with the wing Advon party. Enroute to the United Kingdom the aircraft stopped at Kindley AFB, Bermuda and Lajes AFB, Azores, before landing at Fairford. On 6 February, 17 B-36s departed Goose Bay with one additional returned to Carswell. Enroute to Fairford the aircraft experienced adverse weather conditions.

For the next week, the wing crews flew training missions out of Fairford. The Advon party, flying on C-124 aircraft departed Fairford on 13 February and returned to Carswell by way of Lajes AFB and Kindley AFB on 14 February. The wing B-36s departed on 13 February for the flight home. A total of 14 took off for Goose Bay. Of those, one B-36H 51-5729 of the 9th Bomb Squadron crashed near Goose Bay killing two of the 17 crewmembers on 13 February. Additionally, two B-36Hs were directed to remain at Fairford for seven days to conduct special weapons training. On 21 February the two B-36s flew to Westover AFB, Massachusetts for fuel, then took off on 23 February landing at Carswell the same day.

During March the wing provided 12 B-36s (4-9BS, 4-436BS, 4-492BS) for the Atomic Energy Commission Tests at Frenchman Flat, Nevada from 20 to 23 March. The wing's primary purpose in the tests was to provide photographic support.

From 24 to 28 April the wing took part in a SAC evaluation mission against Springfield, Missouri. Eighteen B-36s (6-9BS, 6-436BS, 6-492BS) participated flying out of Carswell during the four day exercise with excellent results. Fifty-two B-36s (23-Ds and 29-Hs) were assigned on 30 April 1953.

The wing took part in a simulated combat mission on 11 June. A total of 17 B-36s (6-9BS, 7-436BS, 8-492BS) flew the mission bombing Biloxi, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, Houston, Waco and Fort Worth, Texas. All aircraft recovered at Carswell on 12 June.

July 1953 opened with three wing Featherweight B-36Hs (1-9BS, 1-436BS, 1-492BS) participating in a two-phase bombing operations on 10 July. The exercise was nicknamed "TAILWIND". Each bomber flew simulated attacks on three vital control centers of the Air Defense Command: Colorado Springs, Colorado (ADC HQ); Albuquerque, New Mexico and Buffalo, New York. Following the attacks, all aircraft recovered at Carswell. Aircraft commanders in the first phase were Major Fredrick E. Bachman, Jr. (436BS), Major Wells F. Zerdecki (492BS), and Major Thomas A. Bell (9BS). Also, the same day 18 B-36s (15-7BMW and 3-11BMW) took part in Phase II flying to Savannah, Georgia then north for an attack on New York City. The wing B-36s were from the 9th Bomb Squadron (5), 436th Bomb Squadron (5), and 492nd Bomb Squadron. Additionally, Lieutenant Colonel George E. Cameron (436BS) and Lieutenant Colonel Clifford Schoeffler (9BS) were the two formation leaders in Phase II. All aircraft in Phase II landed at Carswell on 10 July following completion of the mission.

In September, the wing flew a simulated visual bombing mission against an industrial target complex in Omaha, Nebraska in three phases. The primary purpose of the mission was to test the visual RBS capabilities of the wing crews under optimum conditions. On 1 September 1953, eight wing B-36s (2-9BS, 3-492BS, 3-436BS) flew the attack on Omaha in Phase I. A total of 10 B-36Hs (3-9BS, 3-436BS, 3-492BS, and 1-11BMW) launched out of Carswell on 14 September and flew the mission over Omaha. Phase III was flown on 18 September with 10 wing B-36s (2-9BS, 3-436BS, 4-492BS). Of those, four (2-9BS, 1-436BS, 1-492BS) did not make the visual bomb run over Omaha due to cloud cover and flew the mission on 26 September. Overall, the results of the exercise were excellent. Additionally, this was the first time the wing had participated in a visual K-type evaluation.

On 3 September, the wing flew one B-36H (492BS), commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Delbert L. Huffman, Deputy Director of Operations in the wing, to Dayton, Ohio for a practice fly-over at the Dayton Air Show. The show itself was conducted on 5 September with eight wing B-36s (3-9BS, 3-436BS, 3-492BS) flew out of Carswell and took part in a formation fly-over in commemoration of 50 years of powered flight and the Ohio Sesquicentennial Celebration.

On 7 October 1953 ten wing B-36s (3-9BS, 3-436BS, 4-492BS) deployed to Nouasseur AB, French Morocco on a unit simulated combat mission. Prior to this, on 4 October, two C-124 cargo planes, with support equipment and personnel departed Carswell and arrived in Morocco on 6 October. This was followed by another C-124 with maintenance personnel on 5 October. The aircraft stopped at Lajes Field, Azores enroute to Morocco and landed on 8 October at Nouasseur. All aircraft launched on 7 October touched down at Nouasseur on 8 October. The wing redeployed to Carswell on 14 October as the 18 B-36s departed and arrived at Carswell on 15 October. Also, on 14 October one C-124 with support equipment and personnel left Morocco and flew to Carswell landing on 16 October. On 15 October one C-97 cargo plane, with support personnel and one C-124 with cargo departed for Carswell arriving on 17 October with a stop at Lajes Field first.

Between 25 and 31 October 1953 two wing B-36 crews (Cameron, 436BS and Schoeffler, 9BS) represented the wing in the annual SAC Bombing Competition, staging out of Walker AFB, New Mexico. This was the fifth competition held since 1948. Also, the competition welcomed the Boeing B-47 Stratojet for the first time. One change in the competition occurred as units were prohibited from using spare aircraft. The wing placed seventh and a B-36 unit, the 92nd Bomb Wing, Fairchild AFB, Washington won the Overall competition.

On 23 November 1953, wing B-36H bombers (6-9BS, 6-436BS, and 6-492BS) accomplished a unit simulated combat mission that involved cell bombing over the Eglin AFB Range, Florida. All aircraft recovered at Carswell on 24 November.

Two new J-model B-36s were assigned in December. The first, B-36J 55-2219 went to the 9th Bomb Squadron on 18 December.

1954

The year 1954 opened with the 436th Bomb Squadron taking part in two emergency evacuation exercises. The first on I January and the second on 25 February. Following this, 19 wing B-36s (6-9BS, 7-436BS, and 6-492BS) participated in Operation Pathand from 14 to 18 March. The operation involved flying unit simulated combat missions to Goose Bay, Labrador, Canada.

As part of the United States "Good Will Policy," three wing B-36s (1-9BS, 1-436BS, 1-492BS) were committed to take part in the Nicaraguan Army Day Celebration by making a fly-over. This was a non-stop flight from Carswell to Nicaragua and back.

From 30 April to 5 May 1954 the 436th took part in a SAC bombing evaluation, nicknamed "ALAMO," against an industrial complex in the San Antonio area. The six B-36s (2-9BS 2-436BS, and 2-492BS) accomplished the test successfully.

Next, the 436th deployed with three B-36s as part of ten wing B-36s to Nouasseur AB, French Morocco on 1 August 1954. The purpose of the flight was to fly unit simulated combat missions. The ten aircraft returned to Carswell on 16 August. Following this, the wing sent two B-36 crews (1-436BS, 1-492BS) to the sixth annual SAC Bombing Competition held from 23 to 29 August. The wing B-36s staged out of Walker AFB, New Mexico like last year. Overall, the crews captured first place in bombing and runners-up for the Fairchild Trophy won by the 305th Bomb Wing, MacDill AFB, Florida.

From 11 to 22 October 1954, 14 wing 8-36s (4-9BS, 5-436BS, 5-492BS) participated in a combined operational readiness test/unit simulated combat mission. This joint exercise carried the bombers as far south as Mexico City, as far west as Los Angeles, as far east as Texarkana, and as far north as Springfield, Illinois.

1955

The year 1955 opened with the 436th flying in a unit simulated combat mission from 15 to 28 February. It was rated one of the most successful missions ever attempted by the wing. The mission was an evaluation to determine the units' capability to bomb certain types of targets around Bedford, Indiana. The 15 wing B-36s staged out of Loring AFB, Maine.

Due to the construction of runways and taxi strips at Carswell, the entire wing, lead by Colonel Raymond S. Sleeper, deployed to Nouasg6ur AB, French Morocco on 10 July for approximately 60 days. This was the first time in the history of the 7th that the entire wing deployed overseas.

While in Morocco the wing flew 20 B-36s (7-9BS, 7-436BS, and 6-492BS) on 20 July, to test and evaluate various tactics of Strategic Air Operations against targets in the northwestern and eastern United States. All aircraft finally redeployed to Carswell on 26 September 1955.

During November, the 436th crews took part in a series of bomber stream missions.

1956

Once again the 436th deployed to Morocco, this time from 14 to 29 February 1956 to participate in operation "STYLESBOW".

Following this the 436th helped the wing place first among other SAC units in the SAC evaluation mission "SNOWBANK". This was a unit simulated combat mission like "STYLESBOW" in February. It was conducted on 1 April.

On 26 June the 436th flew in "BROADJUMP", another unit simulated combat mission. All wing B-36s recovered at Carswell on 27 June. In August, the wing tested its emergency war plan procedures from 6 to 8 August, which were rated successful.

Then in October the wing deployed 32 percent of the wing's assigned strength to French Morocco for unit simulated combat missions. Ten B-36s (3-9BS, 3-436BS, and 4-492BS) deployed on 12 October and returned on 5 November 1956.

On 13 December 1956, the 436th participated in "HAPPY BIRTHDAY, an exercise to test the wing's ability to launch bombers under the free flow plan.

1957

The year 1957 began with thirty wing B-36S (10-9BS, 10-436BS) 10-492BS) participating in missions WEDDING ALPHA, BRAVO, and CHARLIE, on 10, 17 and 24 January, respectively. The missions were bomber stream requirements. On 5 March, 27 wing B-36s (9-9BS, 9-436BS, and 9-492BS) took part in a simulated combat mission called "LAST STAND".

The 436th flew in several special weapons mission in April and May which involved a new type mission under project "Long Range". Following this, crew S-25 of the 436th averted a disaster when their B-36 nose gear failed on takeoff. The mission, flown on 18 May 1957, was completed but the gear had to be manually extended and on touchdown at Carswell the brakes also failed along with two propellers failing to reverse. Five tires were blown but the aircraft was stopped near the end of the runway. The crew, commanded by Major Thad M. Neal, was presented the 19th Air Division Crew of the Month Award.

On 18 October 1957 preliminary planning for the conversion of the wing to the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress began at Carswell. Following this two wing crews (Schoeffler, 9BS and Berneburg, 436BS) took part in the 1957 SAC Bombing Competition. The B-36 and B-52 aircraft staged out of Carswell. Overall, the wing placed ninth.

During December the wing began retraining B-36 crews at Castle AFB, California in preparation for the B-52.

1958

January 1958 began with the first wing B-36s sent to storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. Also, the 436th was involved in its completion stage of its reorganization from a B-36 unit to a B-52 unit. On 1 February, the wing and 436th Bomb Squadron officially became a B-52 organization with the adoption of manning documents and equipment authorizations. By 30 May 1958 the last wing B-36J was retired, completing the B-36 phase out program at Carswell AFB.

On 19 June 1958 the first wing B-52F arrived and was assigned, followed by a second B-52F on 24 June. Limited operations began for the 436th in June and July. Then on 1 August 1958, the 436th was reassigned to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, under the "Satellite" concept of SAC. At Barksdale, the 436th came under control of the 4238th Strategic Wing. While at Barksdale, the 436th trained and flew in the B-52 until the unit inactivated on 1 April 1963.

Almost 15 years later, on 14 February 1986, the 436th was redesignated the 436th Strategic Training Squadron at Carswell AFB and assigned directly to SAC. Operations involved preparing and initiating aircrew training programs throughout the command. No aircraft were assigned. The unit was activated at Carswell on 1 July 1986.

 

 

APPENDIX  I

LINEAGE

 

Organized: 88th Aero Squadron 18 August 1917

Redesignated: 88th Squadron 14 March 1921

88th Observation Squadron 25 January 1923

Inactivated: 1 August 1.927

Activated: 1 June 1928

Redesignated: 88th Observation Squadron (Long-range, Amphibian) 1 March 1935

88th Reconnaissance Squadron 1 September 1936

88th Reconnaissance Squadron (Long Range) 6 December 1939

88th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) 20 November 1940

436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) 22 April 1942

Inactivated: 6 January 1946

Redesignated: 436th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) 1 October 1946

Activated: 1 October 1946

Redesignated: 436th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) 20 Jul 1948

Discontinued

Inactivated: 1 April 1963

Redesignated: 436th Strategic Training Squadron 12 February 1986

Activated: 1 July 1986

 

 

APPENDIX  II

ASSIGNMENTS

 

Unknown 18 August 1917 - 1 May 1918

I Corps Observation Group 1 May 1918 - 1 August 1918

III Corps Observation Group 1 August 1918 - 1 November 1918
(attached to V Corps Observation Group, 12-17 September 1918)

Unknown 1 November 1918 - 1 September 1919

2d Wing 1 September 1919 - 23 March 1920
(Attached to 1st Army Observation Group, October 1919)

lst Army Observation Group 24 March 1920 - 9 February 1921
(later, 7th Bomb Group)

Air Service Field Officer's 10 February 1921 - 14 October 1921
(School attached to lst Provisional Air Brigade for operations, 6 May 3 Oct 1921)

Fifth Corps Area 15 October 1921 - 30 April 1927

Air Corps Training Center 1 May 1927 - 1 August 1927

Eighth Corps Area 1 June 1928 - 29 June 1931
(Attached to Field Artillery School November 1931)

12th Observation Group 30 June 1931 - 31 August 1936

7th Bombardment Group 1 September 1936 - 24 February 1942

(attached) (Air echelon attached to 31st Bombardment Squadron, 10 December
1941 - 8 February 1942, and to US Navy, 8 February 1942- 14 March 1942)

7th Bombardment Wing 25 February 1942 - 6 January 1946 (assigned)

7th Bombardment Group 1 October 1946 - 15 June 1952

7th Bombardment Wing 16 June 1952 - 31 July 1958

4238th Strategic 1 August 1958 - 1 April 1963

Strategic Air Command 1 July 1986 - Present

 

 

APPENDIX  III

AWARDS

 

Distinguished Unit Citation: Thailand, 19 March 1945

Service Streamers: None

Campaigns:

World War I Lorraine

Ile-de-France

Champagne-Marne

Aisne-Marne

Champagne

Oise-Aisne

St Mihiel

Meuse-Argonne

World War II, Central Pacific

East Indies

Burma

India-Burma

China Defensive

Central Burma

China Offensive

Air Combat, Asiatic-Pacific Theater

 

APPENDIX  IV

STATION LIST

 

Kelly Field Texas 18 August 1917 - 10 October 1917

Garden City., New York 11 October 1917 - 27 October 1917

Colombey-les-Belles, France 16 November 1917 - 31 January 1918

Amanty, France 1 February 1918 - 27 May 1918

Ourches, France 18 May 1918 - 6 July 1918

Vrancheville, France 7 July 1918 - 3 August 1918

Ferme-de-Greves, France 4 August 1918 - 3 September 1918

Goussancourt, France 4 September 1918 - 8 September 1918

Fermes-de-Greves, France 9 September 1918 - 11 September 1918

Souilly, France 12 September 1918 - 13 September 1918

Argonne, France 14 September 1918 - 19 September 1918

Souilly, France 20 September 1918 - 3 November 1918

Bethelainville Prance 4 November 1918 - 28 November 1918

Villers-la-Chevre, France 29 November 1918 - 5 December 1918

Trier, Germany 6 December 1918 - 31 May 1919

Le Mans, France 1 June 1919 - 10 June 1919

Mitchell Field, New York 27 June 1919 - 10 July 1919

Scott Field, Illinois 11 July 1919 - 4 September 1919

Langley Field, Virginia 5 September 1919 - 14 October 1921
(Operated from Charleston, West Virginia, 3-8 September

1921; Detachment at Charleston until October 1921)

Godman Field, Kentucky 15 October 1921 - 10 October 1922

Wilbur Wright Field, Ohio 11 October 1922 - 6 May 1927

Brooks Field, Texas 7 May 1927 - 1 August 1927

Post Field, Oklahoma 1 June 1928 - 4 November 1931

Brooks Field, Texas 5 November 1931 - 27 September 1935

Hamilton Field, California 28 September 1935 - 6 September 1540

Ft Douglas, Utah 7 September 1940 - 14 January 1941

Salt Lake City, Utah 15 January i941 - 11 November 1941

Brisbane, Australia 22 December 1941 - 4 February 1942
(Operated from Hickam Field, Hawaii,

7 December 1941 - 10 February 1942;

Nandi Airport, Fiji Islands, 12-17

February 1942; Townsville, Australia,

20 February 1942 - 14 March 1942)

Karachi, India 12 March 1942 - 31 May 1942

Alahabad, India 1 June 1942 - 13 November 1942

Gaya, India 14 November 1542 - 24 February 1943

Bishnupur, India 25 February 1943 - 24 September 1943

Panagarb, India 25 September 1943 - 12 December 1943

Madhaiganj, India 13 December 1943 - 13 June 1944

Tezgaon, India 14 June 1944 - 5 October 1944

Madhaiganj, India 6 October 1944 - 31 May 1945
(Detachment based at Luliang, China, ferrying gasoline to
Suichwan, China, December 1944 - January 1945)

Texput, India 1 June 1945 - 7 December 1945

Camp Kilmer, New Jersey 5 January 1946 - 6 January 1946

Ft Worth AAF, Texas 1 October 1946 - 31 July 1958
(Later Carswell AFB)

Barksdale AFB, Louisiana 1 August 1958 - 1 April 1963

Carswell AFB, Texas 1 July 1986 - Present

 

 

APPENDIX  V

COMMANDING OFFICERS

Cadet Leo C. Kull (Acting) 18 August 1917 - unknown

1st Lt. C. G. Bassett 1917

1st Lt. H. F. FleitmAnn 1917

1st Lt. H. W. White 1917

Maj E. L. Hoffman 1917 - 24 September 1917

1st Lt. C. W. Connell 25 September 1917 - 6 October 1917

1st Lt. L. D. Mahan 7 October 1917 - 31 January 1918

Maj H. B. Anderson 1 February l9l8 - 3 July 1918

Maj K. P. Littauer 4 July 1918 - 18 September 1918

1st Lt. (ater, Capt) Floyd E. Evans 19 September 1918 - unknown

1st Lt. Thomas L. Gilbert 1 June 1928 - 14 June 1928

Maj Lewis H. Brereton 15 June 1928 30 June 1931

Capt Frank H. Prichard 1 July 1931 3 November 1931

Capt Winfield S. Hamlin 4 November 1931 - 16 March 1932

Capt (later, Maj) C. E. Giffin 17 March 1932 - unknown

Capt C. P. Talbot unknown - 3 January 1937

Capt N. Longfellow 4 January 1937 - unknown

Unknown 1941

Maj Richard H. Carmichael (probable) 1 December 1941 - 1 March 1942

Capt (later, Maj) William E. Bayse 16 March 1942 -27 May 1942

2nd Lt Paul W. Johnston, Jr. 28 May 1942 - 31 May 1942

Maj Gordon C. Leland 1 June 1942 - 2 June 1942

Capt Frank D. Sharp 2 June 1942 - 4 June 1942

2nd Lt Paul W. Johnston 5 June 1942 - 6 June 1942

1st Lt Allen P. Forsyth 7 June 1942 - 8 June 1942

Maj William E. Bayse 8 June 1942 - 14 June 1942

Capt John M. Toomy 15 June 1942 - 27 June 1942

1st Lt Daniel E. Braswell 28 June 1942 - 25 July 1942

Maj William E. Bayse 26 July 1942 - 27 July 1942

1st Lt Daniel E. Braswell 28 July 1942 - 22 August 1942

Capt Earl R. Tash 23 August 1942 - 6 October 1942

Capt H. L. Fletcher 7 October 1942 - 8 October 1942

Capt Earl R. Tash 9 October 1942 - 10 October 1942

1st Lt. J. Roydon Stork 10 October 1942 - 11 October 1942

Capt Earl R. Tash 11 October 1942 - 12 October 194 2

1st Lt. Wilbur H. Whittliff 13 October 1942 - 15 October 1942

Capt Earl R. Tash 16 October 1942 - 17 October 1942

1st Lt Terrell D. Shores 18 October 1942 - 25 October 1942

Maj Earl R. Tash 26 October 1942 - 13 November 1942

Capt H. L. Fletcher 14 November 1942 -19 November 1942

Maj Earl R. Tash 20 November 1942 -26 November 1942

Capt Joseph S. Pirruccello 27 November 1942 -3 December 19 2

Maj Earl R. Tash 4 December 1942 - February 1943

Maj Harvey J. Watkins 4 February 1943 - 2 August 1943

Lt Col Clyde Box 13 August 1943 - 6 October 1943

Capt Richard T. Henning 7 October 1943 - 7 January 1944

Capt James C. Griffith, Jr. 8 January 1944 - I April 1944

Lt Col John T. Fitzwater 2 April 1944 - 31 October 1944

Capt David Brown 1 November 1944 - 30 November 1944

Mai Raymound E. Halsey 30 November 1944 - 14 January 1945

Capt James J.Nemecek, Jr. 15 January 1945 - 31 January 1945

Mai (later, Lt Col) Harry S. Alexande4 1 February 1945 - 30 June 1945

Mai Walter S. Rector 1 July 1945 - unknown

Unknown 1 October 1945 - 6 January 1946

Lt Cal Richard T. Hernlund 1 October 1946 - 29 November 1946

Lt Col Joseph D. White 30 November 1946 - unknown

Lt Col Harry E. Goldsworthy 1 November 1947 - 13 July 1948

Lt Col Ellery D. Preston, Jr. 14 July 1948 - 10 Jul 1949

Mai (Later, Lt Col) John D.Bartlett 11 July i949 - 15 July 1950

Mai Kent J. Richens 16 July 1950 - 11 September r 1950

Lt Col Calvin W. Fite, Jr. 12 September 1950 - 31 January 1951

Mai (later, Lt Col) Kent J. Richen 1 February 1951 - 28 February 1951

Lt Col Michael J. Galer 1 March 1951 - 5 August 1951

Maj (later, Lt Col) Roy C. Crompton 6 August 1951 - 15 June 1952

Lt Col Melvin R. Schultz 16 June 1952 - 30 January 1955

Lt Col Norman W. Ray 31 January 1955 - 28 April 1958

Capt William E. Yingling 29 April 1958 - 14 August 1958

Lt Col Franklyn W. Raines 15 August 1958 - 30 December 1958

Lt Col Donald P. Kasseleman 31 December 1958 - 12 May 1960

Lt Col Paul N. Becalis 13 May 1960 - 28 July 1960

Lt Col Thomas F. Sharpless 29 July 1960 – 1 January 1962

Lt Col Mark P. Holland 2 January 1962 - 14 January 1963

Lt Col Frederick C. Keish 15 January 1963 - 1 April 1963

Lt Col Robert A. Hagemann 1 July 1986 - Present

 


  7th Bombardment Group/Wing, 1919-1948

  Foreword to 7th Bombardment Wing Operations

7th Bombardment Wing Operations at Carswell AFB, 1946-1948
7th Bombardment Wing Operations at Carswell AFB, 1949-1951
7th Bombardment Wing Operations at Carswell AFB, 1952-1954
7th Bombardment Wing Operations at Carswell AFB, 1955-1958

 

Squadron Histories:

    9th Bombardment Squadron
  492nd Bombardment Squadron


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