7th Bombardment Wing Operations,
Carswell AFB, 1955-1958
HISTORY OF THE B-36 PEACEMAKER
"NEVER A SHOT IN ANGER"
SELECT A YEAR:
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The year 1955 opened with the 9th Bomb Squadron taking Squadron of the Month Award at Carswell on 22 February.
Next, the wing conducted a unit simulated combat mission from 1-15 March. On 3 March, eight wing B-36s deployed out of Carswell and bombed Bedford, Indiana, under Operation "BAGDAD BILLY". Following the simulated attack the bombers recovered at Loring AFB, Maine. The next day, seven of the eight bombers returned to Carswell. The lone bomber at Loring returned a few days later after maintenance repaired an engine. March closed with the 9th Bomb Squadron winning Squadron of the Month for the second time in a row at Carswell.
On 1 April, the Office of the Director of Safety was established at Carswell and assigned under the wing. Also, on 30 April, the 9th Bomb Squadron was selected as the Carswell Squadron of the Month for April, thus taking the honor for the third consecutive month.
Then on 29 May, a new T2A navigation bombing trainer arrived at Carswell to aid crew training. It would provide realistic ground training in observer phases, beginning in June.
As the month closed, the 9th Bomb Squadron was selected, for the fourth time in a row, as the Carswell Squadron of the Month.
WING REASSIGNED TO SECOND AIR FORCE On 13 June 1955, the Strategic Air Command realigned its three numbered air forces resulting in Eighth Air Force moving from Carswell to Westover AFB, Massachusetts. With that move, Carswell was reassigned under Second Air Force, headquartered at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana.
B-36 DEPLOYMENT TO FRENCH MOROCCO A major change to the wing command occurred on 1 July when Colonel Raymond S. Sleeper assumed command of the 7th Bomb Wing as Colonel Neely was reassigned. The next day, 2 July, Colonel Sleeper and the entire wing began deploying to Nouasseur AB, French Morocco, for a 60-day TDY. Ten B-36s deployed on 2 July, ten more between 2 and 3 July, and the remaining 7 B-36s in the wing, on 3 and 4 July. All total, 27 B-36s assigned to the wing deployed to Nouasseur by 5 July. On 20 July, 20 B-36s flew out of Nouasseur and conducted a test and evaluation mission for the Strategic Air Command against targets in the northeast and eastern United States. Code named operation "DEEP ROCK", the bombers flew simulated bombing missions on major eastern United States cities, then recovered the same day at Nouasseur.
The rest of July, the wing flew training missions in the Mediterranean and into Saudi Arabia on round robin sorties, usually simulating bombing against Daharan Airfield in Saudi Arabia.
B-36 DEPLOYMENT TO THE UNITED KINGDOM Training continued into August. Then on 5 August, the wing sent one B-36 to RAF Sculthorpe, United Kingdom, for 10 days to participate in a bomb loading exercise. The crew returned to Nouasseur on 26 August.
1955 SAC BOMBING AND NAVIGATION COMPETITION Two days prior, 24 August, the wing deployed two B-36 crews (S-38, Captain Jones , 9th Bomb Squadron and S-41, Major Whitney, 492nd Bomb Squadron) to Fairchild AFB, Washington. Both crews represented the wing at the annual SAC Bombing and Navigation Competition. With the B-50 phase-out almost completed, there were only two types of aircraft, B-47s and B-36s, entered in this seventh bombing competition, held from 24 through 30 August. March AFB, California, was the staging base for the 23 B-47 wings entered. The ten B/RB-36 wings (RB-36s were no longer classified as reconnaissance aircraft) staged out of Fairchild AFB, Washington. Overall, the 7th Bomb Wing crews placed 4th. Also, for the first time, a B-47 unit, 320th Bomb Wing, Mather AFB, California, assigned to Fifteenth Air Force, won the top honor receiving the Fairchild Trophy. Finally, the wing received orders to re-deploy to Carswell in September from North Africa.
On 13 and 14 September, the wing flew out of Nouasseur AB, French Morocco, under operation "PEPPER POT II". Enroute to Carswell the wing conducted a unit simulated combat mission. All aircraft recovered at Carswell by 15 September. During the TDY in Morocco, the wing was operationally attached to 5th Air Division, Sidi Sliame AB, French Morocco.
From 6 to 7 October, the wing took part in an evacuation mission, operation "POST HOLE" involving 24 B-36s. A few days later, 11 October, one wing B-36 flew to Eglin AFB, Florida, to take part in a firepower demonstration. The aircraft returned on 15 October. October closed with the wing flying a unit simulated combat mission from 26-28 October.
During November, wing bombers took part in bomber stream missions. The first, involving 16 B-36s occurred on 9 November. Next, twelve B-36s flew on 15 November, followed by 15 on 23 November and 16 on 29 November. All aircraft taking part flew radar bomb scoring (RBS) bombing runs on Amarillo, Texas, Denver, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah, Kansas City, Missouri, and San Antonio, Texas, before landing at Carswell.
This was followed by the completion of the giant B-36 hanger, building 1050, on 12 December. It contained four stories, and could accommodate four B-36s at a time. All periodic hour inspections required, plus minor/major maintenance were performed by the 7th Periodic Maintenance Squadron, using three inspection docks in the hanger.
As 1955 closed out, 35 B-36s were assigned to the wing.
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BOMBER STREAM MISSIONS START The year 1956 started off with wing bombers flying bomber stream missions out of Carswell. Purpose of the missions were to fulfill training requirements directed by Strategic Air Command. The first of three such missions took place on 4 January, as eleven B-36s took part. The second bomber stream was flown on 12 January, with eleven B-36s. A third bomber stream, scheduled for 18 January, was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions experienced around Fort Worth. On 26 January, the third bomber stream occurred with 13 B-36s. Overall, flights averaged 13 hours on the first stream, 12 hours on the second stream, and three to seven hours on the last.
As the month closed, 46 B-36s were assigned in the wing.
B-36 DEPLOYMENT TO FRENCH MOROCCO From 14 to 28 February, 25 B-36s of the wing deployed to Nouasseur AB, French Morocco, to take part in the 19th Air Division operation "STYLE SHOW". First, the bombers deployed to Loring AFB, Maine, for a special weapons loading exercise on 14 and 15 February. After that, 21 of the bombers flew to Nouasseur on 17 February. The four remaining bombers returned to Carswell. The bombers recovered the same day at Nouasseur. One unit simulated combat mission was flown out of Nouasseur on 18 February.
Following this the wing bombers prepared to return to Texas. On 27 February, all 21 B-36s redeployed to Carswell. Enroute they conducted a unit simulated combat mission landing at Carswell on 29 February.
On 15 March 1956, a bomber stream mission "HORNET GULF" was flown by thirteen wing B-36s. The aircraft conducted simulated bomb runs on San Antonio and Houston, Texas, and Little Rock, Arkansas. All the aircraft landed on 16 March at Carswell.
A second bomber stream mission "HORNET HOTEL", occurred on 21 March, with eight B-36s taking part. Targets included San Antonio, Texas, Springfield, Missouri, Denver, Colorado, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Phoenix, Arizona. Following that, the bombers returned to Carswell. During both missions in March, Lockheed F-80 and North American F-86 fighter interceptors from Hensley AFB, Dallas, Texas, flew fighter intercepts on the bombers.
March closed with 35 B-36s assigned. The next two months the wing continued routine training in the B-36 flying local missions.
Then from 6 to 8 June, the wing conducted operation "HORNET JULIET", a unit simulated combat mission. It involved eleven B-36s flying simulating attacks in Canada, and eastern and southern United States.
A few days later, on 18 June, all military and civilian personnel together with military dependent families evacuated Carswell as part of the base evacuation alert test. It lasted almost three hours and was considered a success.
A second unit simulated combat mission, "BROAD JUMP", involving 24 B-36s, was flown out of Carswell on 26 and 27 June. Five more wing B-36s flew, on 26 June, and nineteen bombers launched on 27 June. Completing the mission, all 24 bombers participating recovered at Carswell on 27 June.
On 19 July 1956, eight wing B-36s launched out of Carswell for bomber stream mission "HORNET KILO". Targets attacked included St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, Omaha, Nebraska, Amarillo, Texas, and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Completing the mission, all the bombers landed at Carswell the next day. A total of 35 B-36s were assigned during July.
1956 SAC BOMBING AND RECONNAISSANCE COMPETITION From 24 to 30 August, the wing sent three crews and aircraft to the eighth annual SAC Bombing and Reconnaissance Competition. The competition grew along with SAC, and was the largest one to date with 42 wings participating in a combined bombing, navigation, and reconnaissance meet. Also, the competition witnessed the participation of the eight-engine Boeing B-52 Stratofortress for the first time. All B-47 and RB-47 wings flew out of Lockbourne AFB (later Rickenbacker AFB), Ohio. The B/RB-36 and B-52 wings operated out of Loring AFB, Maine. Each participant competed against bombers in bombing and navigation and, at the same time, against each other in the reconnaissance competition, the fifth in this series of meets. The B-36s of Second Air Force's 11th Bomb Wing at Carswell AFB, won first place and the Fairchild Trophy by beating out the B-47s which had won it in 1955. Out of the 43 wings entered the 7th placed tenth.
Again, for the next couple of months maintenance repaired assigned bombers while the aircrews conducted local training in preparation for an anticipated higher headquarters inspection. That inspection, at the hands of a Second Air Force inspection team, began on 5 November and ended 21 November. During that time, the entire wing's ability to perform its mission under the emergency war plan was tested.
28 October 1956 over the Atlantic
Photo by Frank Kleinwechter
Following the successful test, seven wing bombers took part in bomber stream mission "HORNET MIKE", on 27 November. The bombers flew simulated bombing strikes on targets in the central United States then recovered back at Carswell the same day. The wing maintained 33 B-36s in November.
The wing participated in the 19th Air Division practice alert "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" on 13 December. The exercise tested the wing's capability to successfully launch aircraft under simulated wartime conditions. Nine B-36s took part out of the 33 assigned to the wing in December.
Also, the number of accident free months flying the B-36 in the wing was extended to 36. Thus, the 7th preserved its perfect flying safety record for another year. Once again the degree of professionalism attained by the 7th combat crews was demonstrated.
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January 1957 opened with the wing participating in three bomber stream missions. The first involved 30 B-36s on 10 January, code named "WEDDING ALPHA". On 17 January, a second mission "WEDDING BRAVO" occurred with 30 B-36s. During the mission a jet engine explosion resulted in one B-36 landing at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, on fire. There was no further damage to the aircraft and no injuries to the crew, commanded by Captain Robert L. Lewis.
The last bomber stream mission, "WEDDING CHARLIE", took place on 24 January, with 30 wing B-36s. Brigadier General Nils 0. Ohman, 19th Air Division commander, presented the 19th Air Division Squadron of the Month trophy to Colonel Paul Beard, 9th Bomb Squadron commander, on 28 January. The squadron had won the trophy five months during 1956 and thus retained permanent possession.
NEW SAC COMMAND POST OPENED During the month, Headquarters, Strategic Air Command completed its move into the newly built control center. This nine million dollar facility actually consisted of two interconnected structures: an administration building, consisting of three stories above ground and a basement, and an underground three-story command post. Access from one facility to the other was provided by a tunnel. The underground facility, which was designed to be safe from anything but a direct hit by a high yield nuclear weapon, housed the control room and related communications equipment and computers, designed to maintain close contact with SAC forces throughout the world. Giant panels of maps and status boards were used to depict the exact disposition and operational status of the entire force. Prior to the move, which commenced in December 1956, Headquarters SAC operated out of several buildings that had housed the Glenn L. Martin bomber plant at Offutt AFB during World War II.
On 6 February 1957, the wing flew 30 B-36 missions in operation "FIRST TEAM", a simulated combat mission exercise. Twenty-seven aircraft took part in the March simulated combat mission exercise, operation "LAST STAND", on 5 March.
PROJECT LONG RANGE BEGINS Project "LONG RANGE", the check out of the wing's crew force in a new type mission was started on 1 April and would run until 1 July 1957.
On 5 April, six wing crews, two from each squadron (9th, 436th and 492nd) took part in a special weapons exercise "BRIAR RABBIT".
The wing participated in operation "SHOWDOWN", on 20 April as part of a SAC Inspector General inspection conducted from 19 to 26 April at Carswell. On 20 April, the wing launched 16 B-36s, followed by 10 more on 22 April.
Returning from the mission on 22 April, a 9th Bomb Squadron B-36 veered from the runway and became mired in mud, with three blown tires and minor damage to three propellers resulting.
Following this, on 25 April, a 436th Bomb Squadron B-36 suffered structural damage when it was caught in a thunderstorm over Texas during a routine training flight flown out of Carswell.
For the superb effort in the April SAC IG inspection the wing was congratulated by the Commander-In-Chief, Strategic Air Command, and commended by the 19th Air Division commander in for its performance in the exercise.
On 21 May 1957, project "LONG RANGE", started on 1 April, was completed, with all of the wing's crews checked out in the new mission.
A wing B-36 was flown to Eglin AFB, Florida, on 24 May for static display.
Then on 27 May, crew S-25, 436th Bomb Squadron, averted disaster when the aircraft nose landing gear failed on take-off. The mission was completed but the gear had to be manually extended and on touchdown the brakes failed, with two propellers failing to reverse. Five tires were blown in the process, before the aircraft stopped near the end of the runway. The crew, commanded by Major Thad M. Neal, received the 19th Air Division Crew of the Month award, and was nominated for the SAC award.
On 28 June, the wing participated in a practice alert, "OVER EASY", for the purpose of familiarization with new plans which were to become effective on 1 July 1957.
The wing opened July flying two bomber stream missions involving 13 B-36s each. "LOGBOOK ECHO" occurred on 1 July followed by "LOGBOOK DELTA" on 18 July.
Prior to the second mission, Colonel John A. Roberts assumed command of the wing on 16 July, relieving Colonel Raymound S. Sleeper, who departed for duty with Headquarters, Pacific Air Forces. Colonel Roberts had commanded the wing twice previous and recently graduated from the National War College, Washington, D.C.
During the July Flying Safety Meeting on 12 July, the 7th Bomb Wing captured all the awards presented by 19th Air Division. Captain Otha D. Lane of crew L-23 took the Crew of the Month award, the 9th Bomb Squadron was named Squadron of the Month, and Technical Sergeant Harry M. Root, won the Maintenance Man of the Month honors, for alertness in preventing a possible accident.
On 9 August, the wing received two of three Flying Safety Awards given by 19th Air Division. The 492nd Bomb Squadron won Squadron of the Month, and Crew of the Month for S-15.
On 12 September 1957, operation "TREASURE CHEST", a unit simulated combat mission involving 25 wing B-36s, was flown out of Carswell. One aircraft completed the mission with a landing gear door missing after losing it on take-off.
Following this, operation "RED BALL" began at Carswell, involving the assignment of a certain number of crews to remain available in base quarters at all times in case of national emergency.
SAC PREPARES FOR GROUND ALERT CONCEPT For some time SAC had been planning for the day when its aircraft would have only fifteen minutes in which to become airborne after detecting an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) attack. In order to provide an effective and immediate retaliation strike force, SAC devised the Ground Alert Concept whereby it would maintain approximately one-third of its aircraft on ground alert, with weapons loaded and crews standing by for immediate take-off. Strategic Air Command's combat wings were neither manned nor organized to support this new concept. In order to determine what was needed to develop and maintain a one-third alert force, SAC conducted three extensive tests in 1956 and 1957. Convinced that the concept would work, although there still remained many organizational and operational details to be worked out, General Thomas S. Powers, CINCSAC, directed that ground alert operations commence at several stateside and overseas bases on 1 October 1957. Carswell was selected as one of those bases.
CARSWELL BEGINS GROUND ALERT OPERATIONS Following the early alert conducted at Carswell since July, the base began officially to support the SAC ground alert commitment on 1 October 1957. From 5 to 10 October, one wing B-36 participated in a firepower demonstration at Eglin AFB, Florida.
WING BEGINS PLANNING FOR BOEING B-52 STRATOFORTRESS CONVERSION Also, the preliminary planning for the projected conversion of the wing to the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress all jet bomber began at Carswell on 18 October.
1957 SAC BOMBING AND RECONNAISSANCE COMPETITION Once again, the SAC Bombing and Reconnaissance Competitions were combined and held from 30 October through 6 November 1957. Pinecastle AFB (later McCoy AFB), Orlando, Florida, was the staging base for 28 B-47 and five RB-47 wings, while Carswell AFB, Texas, provided the same services for five B-36 and five B-52 wings. After an absence of several years, the Royal Air Force entered the competition with two Vulcan and two Valiant bombers and crews. With the exception of the crew and wing navigation awards, which were won by a B-36 wing, B-47 units won all the major awards in which they were pitted against B-36 units. The Fairchild Trophy was won by the 321st Bomb Wing, Pinecastle AFB, Florida. They also won the McCoy Trophy, a one-time award for the Best B-47 Wing. The two wing crews sent to the competition were crew S-03, Lieutenant Colonel Clifford M. Schoeffler, 9th Bomb Squadron and crew S-07, Major Lavern L. Berneburg, 436th Bomb Squadron, placed in the top twenty.
On 6 November, the wing conducted its second Conversion Planning Meeting for the B-52 Program.
From 18 to 25 November, the wing was inspected by the Second Air Force Inspector General. Operations and administration were rated outstanding with supply also good. Overall, the wing was rated ready to perform its mission when tasked.
WING ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE CHANGES On 1 December 1957, several changes to the wing organizational structure occurred. First, the 7th Tactical Hospital was attached to the 4023rd USAF Hospital at Carswell for administrative and logistical support, but remained assigned to the wing. Next, the 7th Bomb Wing Personnel Section was reassigned to the newly activated 7th Air Base Group. Thus, consolidating all personnel activities at Carswell into one unit. Finally, the 98th Bomb Squadron, of the 11th Bomb Wing at Carswell, was attached to the 7th Bomb Wing for administration on 1 December.
FIRST WING CREW SENT TDY FOR B-52 TRAINING The next day, 2 December, two of the wing's B-36 crews were disbanded due to loss of crew members who reported to Castle AFB, California, for B-52 transition training at the hands of the 4017th Combat Crew Training Squadron.
4123RD STRATEGIC WING ACTIVATED AT CARSWELL Then on 10 December, the 98th Bomb Squadron was detached from the wing and assigned to the newly activated 4123rd Strategic Wing at Carswell. This would become the first B-52 unit at Carswell.
7TH BOMB WING REORGANIZED The reorganization of tactical wings and newly activated air base groups to support the one-third ground alert concept was completed at Carswell by 31 December. The new organizational structure evolved out of the extensive service tests conducted in 1956 and 1957. It differed appreciably from the old structure that had been in effect since 1951. Since ground alert emphasized combat-ready aircraft and combat-ready crews, a deputy commander for maintenance and a deputy commander for operations were authorized to assist the wing commander, replacing the directorate system that had been in operation since 1951. Within each B-47 wing, a fourth bomb squadron was activated since alert operations logically fell into a four-cycle arrangement: ground alert duty, flight planning, flying, and a day off. This did not occur in a B-52 or B-36 wing. In order to bring similar functions under single control, organizational maintenance squadrons were organized to replace periodic maintenance squadrons and to absorb all maintenance functions previously performed by the tactical squadrons. Air base groups were redesignated combat support groups in an attempt to move closely related support functions to the ground alert requirements. Tactical hospitals were inactivated and USAF Hospitals were discontinued. Medical functions were consolidated into medical groups which were assigned directly to the wing commanders on single wing bases and to air division headquarters on double wing bases.
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SAC BEGINS B-52 IMPLEMENTS DISPERSAL PROGRAM While the ground alert force in SAC was rapidly approaching its one-third objective, SAC was taking other actions to insure a survivable and responsive bomber force. During the tremendous expansion of the early and mid-fifties, bases had become overcrowded, with some supporting large numbers of aircraft. The first B-52 wings were also extremely large--composed of 45 bombers and 15 or 20 KC-135 tankers, all situated at one base. As the Soviet missile threat became more pronounced and warning time became less, SAC bases presented increasingly attractive targets. It was necessary to break up these large concentrations of aircraft and scatter them throughout more bases. With the B-52 force, which was still growing, dispersal became an active program in 1958. Basically, the B-52 Dispersal Program called for the larger B-52 wings already in existence to be broken up into three equal-sized wings of 15 aircraft each, with two of them being relocated, normally to bases of other commands. In essence, each dispersed B-52 squadron became a strategic wing. This principle would also be followed in organizing and equipping the remainder of the B-52 force. The entire force was established at 42 squadrons by Headquarters USAF in 1958. Ideally, each B-52 wing would have an air refueling squadron of 10 to 15 aircraft.
B-36H 5737 in MASDC at Davis-Monthan AFB, Tucson, Arizona, 9 Jan, 1958.
Photo by Frank Kleinwechter
Crew of B-36H #5737 after delivering aircraft to Tucson for materials reclamation. Standing L/R: A1C Charles Spurlock, M/Sgt Erskiner Bower, M/Sgt Cliff Conklin, T/Sgt Charles Anderson, 1Lt James Metcalf. Kneeling: M/Sgt Malcolm Whitley, Lt/Col Frank Kleinwechter, Maj Truman Simpson. Not shown: A/C Joseph Andrecheck (took picture).
WING BEGINS B-36 TRANSFER During January 1958, the wing began transferring its B-36 bombers to various SAC wings.
Also, operation "NOAH'S ARK", a test of certain emergency war order facilities was conducted from 12 to 18 January.
On 20 January, the wing transferred all B-52 equipment and property on hand to the 4123rd Strategic Wing in order to facilitate that organization's conversion, which was scheduled several months ahead of the 7th Bomb Wing at Carswell.
WING REORGANIZES INTO B-52 UNIT The 7th Bomb Wing officially became a B-52 organization with the adoption of manning documents and equipping authorizations on 1 February 1958.
Following that, the wing participated in the SAC alert "TEAM PLAY", on 12 February, which was a ground type alert, ending prior to the launching of the wing aircraft.
A few days later, operation "SWORDFISH" and "RABBIT TRACKS", were run by the wing. Both were in coordination with the Air Defense Command.
4123RD STRATEGIC WING RECEIVES FIRST BOEING B-52 STRATOFORTRESS On 19 February the 4123rd Strategic Wing took possession of the first Boeing B-52 Stratofortress on Carswell. At the arrival ceremony on base the bomber was named "The City of Fort Worth". It was subsequently assigned to the 98th Bomb Squadron in the wing.
SAC GROUND ALERT DISDANDED FOR 7TH BOMB WING On 28 February, the "RED BALL" alert force of the wing was disbanded, relieving the wing of its requirements for the maintenance of an alert force until combat readiness status was reached in the B-52.
4123RD STRATEGIC WING REASSIGNED Shortly following the arrival of B-52 bombers to the 4123rd Strategic Wing, the unit was moved to new facilities at Clinton-Sherman AFB, Oklahoma.
7TH AIR REFUELING SQUADRON ACTIVATED With the acquisition of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, all new B-52 wings would operate with an air refueling squadron to support those bombers. As a result, SAC activated the 7th Air Refueling Squadron at Carswell on 1 April 1958, and assigned it to the wing. The squadron would be equipped with the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker later in the year.
LAST WING CONVAIR B-36H PEACEMAKER RETIRED (Operation Milestone) On 30 May, Memorial Day, the last of the B-36's in the wing were retired with appropriate ceremonies and "Open House". Air Force and civilian personnel of the base, and civilians from surrounding communities were on hand to bid the "Peacemaker" a fond farewell. This last flight of a B-36 from Carswell AFB phased out completely the B-36 program in the wing.
With George Burch flying the B-36, escorted by a B-52 and a B-58
flown by B.A. Erickson, the B-36 era ended at Carswell.
FIRST BOEING B-52 STRATOFORTRESS ARRIVES Then, on 19 June 1958, the wing received its first Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, followed by a second bomber on 24 June. Both were assigned to the 9th Bomb Squadron. With those arrivals, limited operations began for the wing.
From 15 to 22 July, a SAC alert was conducted at Carswell with the 7th Bomb Wing assisting the 4123rd Strategic Wing. Though the 7th was not combat capable, it had sufficient potential to aid its sister wing. The exercise was of value in training the 7th, and was of great assistance to the 4123rd.
FIRST BOEING KC-135 STRATOTANKER RECEIVED On 24 July, the wing received its first Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker. Appropriate ceremonies were conducted in which the people of Carswell and surrounding communities attended the welcome for the tanker.
436TH BOMB SQUADRON REASSIGNED The 436th Bomb Squadron in the wing was reassigned to Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, under the SAC "Satellite" concept. At Barksdale, it was assigned to the 4238th Strategic Wing. That move left the 9th and 492nd Bomb Squadrons the only two bomb squadrons assigned to the wing, along with the 7th Air Refueling Squadron.
1958 SAC BOMBING COMPETITION The tenth annual SAC Bombing Competition was held from 13 to 18 October 1958, with RB/B-47s and the Royal Air Force's Valiant bombers staging out of March AFB, California. All the B-52 and B-36 bombers staged out of Castle AFB, California. SAC participation included four crews from each of the 38 bomb wings and one RB-47 strategic reconnaissance wing. The Royal Air Force sent eight crews. Once again the competition was dominated by B-47 wings which won the first three places in combined bombing and navigation. Additionally, this was the final appearance of the last two B-36 units in SAC. The 7th Bomb Wing, flying their newly acquired B-52s, placed 12th out of 41 crews in the competition. The achievement of the wing's crews was notable due to the fact they were the youngest B-52 crews in the competition.
On 21 October, a wing B-52 assigned to the 9th Bomb Squadron was damaged severely when it encountered an unexpected hail storm. Through the professionalism of the crew, the aircraft safely landed with no crew loss.
During December, the wing bombers and tankers took part in operations "FLEA STEP ALPHA" and "FLEA STEP BRAVO", two exercises conducted primarily for the purpose of practicing unit simulated combat missions, and the writing of operations orders.
Following this the wing received its last KC-135 tanker on 12 December 1958, thus completing the requirements for tankers assigned in the wing.
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7th Bomb Group 1 April 1931 - 6 January 1946
(later, 7th Bomb Group (Heavy) attached to US Army Middle
East Air Force for operations, 28 June - 4 October 1942)
7th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy 1 October 1946 - 15 June 1952
7th Bombardment Wing, Heavy 16 June 1952 - 25 June 1968
(attached to 3rd Air Division, 1 May - 20 November 1965)
340th Bombardment Group, 2 July 1968 - 30 December 1971
7th Bombardment Wing, Heavy 31 December 1971 - Present
Distinguished Unit Citations:
Netherland Indies 14 Jan-1 Mar 1942
Thailand 19 March 1945
Burma, India, China Defensive, Central Burma, and Chinese Offensive from 7 Dec 41 to 5 May 45
World War I Lorraine
World War II Central Pacific
Air Combat, Asiatic-Pacific Theater
First Army Observation Group
Maj John N Reynolds 8 Sep 1918 - Unknown
Capt Harry T Wood Unknown - April 1919
Unknown 1 Oct 1919 - Mar 1921
7th Group (Observation)
Unknown Mar 1921 - 30 Aug 1921
7th Bombardment Group
Capt Frank H Pritchard 1928 - Unknown
Maj Carl A Spatz 1 May 1929 - 29 Oct 1931
Maj Joseph T McNarney 30 Nov 1931 - Jun 1933
Maj Charles P Phillips Jun 1933 - 1 Nov 1934
Maj Clarence L Tinker 1 Nov 1934 - 24 Aug 1936
Lt Col Davenport Johnson 24 Aug 36 - Unknown
Lt Col George E Stratemeyer Unknown - Unknown
Maj Gale V Gaffney Unknown - 11 Aug 1938
Lt Col Joseph T McNarney 12 Aug 1938 - 5 Mar 1939
Maj Earl H DeFord 6 Mar 1939 - 25 Aug 1941
Lt Col Ralph Royce 26 Aug 1941 - 7 May 1941
Maj Earl H DeFord 8 May 1941 - 5 Oct 1941
Maj Stanley K Robinson 6 Oct 1941 - 29 Jan 1942
Maj Austin A Straubel (KIA) 30 Jan 1942 - 3 Feb 1942
Maj Kenneth B Hobson 4 Feb 1942 - 20 Mar 1942
Maj Cecil E Combs 21 Mar 1942 - 30 Jun 1942
Lt Col Conrad F Necrason 1 Jul 1942 - 8 Feb 1944
Maj William A Delahay 8 Feb 1944 - 26 Mar 1944
Col Aubrey K Dodson 27 Mar 1944 - 5 Nov 1944
Col Harvey T Alness 6 Nov 1944 - 24 Jun 1945
Col Howard F Bronson 25 Jun 1945 - Unknown
Col John G Erickson 1 Oct 1946 - 16 Dec 1946
Col Hewitt T Wheeless 16 Dec - 26 Jun 1947
Col Alan D Clark 27 Jun 1947 - 6 Feb 1949
Col Charles D Farr 7 Feb 1949 - 16 Aug 1949
Col John A Roberts 17 Aug 1949 - 24 Oct 1950
Lt Col Richard T Black 24 Oct 1950 - 15 Feb 1951
Col George T Chadwell 16 Feb 1951 - May 1951
Col John A Roberts May 1951 - 16 June 1952
7th Bombardment Wing
Col Alan D Clark 17 Nov 1947 - 11 May 1949
Col William P Fisher 11 May 1949 - 3 Jan 1950
BGen Clarence S Irvine 3 Jan 1950 - 16 Feb 1951
Col John A Roberts 16 Feb 1951 - 29 Oct 1951
Col George T Chadwell 29 Oct 1951 - 14 Apr 1952
Col John A Roberts 14 Apr 1952 - 2 Jan 1953
Col George T Chadwell 2 Jan 1953 - 1 May 1954
Col Clarence A Neely 1 May 1954 - 1 Jul 1955
Col Raymond S Sleeper 1 Jul 1955 - 3 Jul 1957
Col Frederick D Berry Jr 3 Jul 1957 - 16 Jul 1957
Col John A Roberts 16 Jul 1957 - 5 Jan 1959
Col James Y Parker 5 Jan 1959 - 6 Jul 1961
Col George J Eades 6 Jul 1961 - 17 Jun 1963
Col Don W Bailey 17 Jun 1963 - 28 Apr 1965
Col Vincent M Crane ca 28 Apr 1965 - ca 12 Jun 1965
(Wing Hdq depleted) ca 1 Aug 1965 - 30 Nov 1965
Col Don W Bailey ca 1 Dec 1965 - 12 Aug 1966
Col Ralph T Holland 12 Aug 1966 - 23 Jun 1967
Col Carlton L Lee 23 Jun 1967 - 28 Jul 1968
Col Winston E Moore 28 Jul 1968 - 30 Apr 1969
Col Samuel E Dyke 30 Apr 1969 - 11 Sep 1969
Col Edward R.Van Sandt 11 Sep 1969 - 16 Sep 1969
Lt Col Paul A Warner 16 Sep 1969 - ca 31 Mar 1970
Col Samuel E Dyke ca 31 Mar 1970 - 27 Apr 1970
Col Donald D Adams 27 Apr 1970 - 2 Jun 1971
Col Robert L Holladay Jr 2 Jun 1971 - 26 May 1972
Col Walter C Schrupp 26 May 1972 - 31 May 1973
Col John D Beeson 31 May 1973 - 1 Nov 1973
Col Walter C Schrupp 1 Nov 1973 - 9 Aug 1974
Col David E Blais 9 Aug 1974 - 31 Jan 1977
Col Edward L Todd 31 Jan 1977 - 2 Apr 1979
Col Francis L Asbury 2 Apr 1979 - 19 Feb 1981
Col Robert L Kirtley 19 Feb 1981 - 20 Apr 1982
Col Martin J Ryan Jr 20 Apr 1982 - 25 Oct 1983
(Subsequent Commanders not listed)
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|
9th Bombardment Squadron
436th Bombardment Squadron
492nd Bombardment Squadron
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