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321st Air Refueling Squadron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

321st Refueling Squadron
Shield Strategic Air Command.png
Boeing KC-135 J57 takeoff.JPEG
KC-135A taking off
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleAir Refueling
Part ofStrategic Air Command
321st Refueling Squadron emblem
321st Air Refueling Squadron - SAC - Patch.png

The 321st Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 301st Bombardment Wing at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, where it was inactivated on 15 March 1965.

The squadron was first active during World War II as the 321st Transport Squadron, operating a courier service from the United Kingdom and France until it was disbanded in 1945.

The 321st Air Refueling Squadron was activated as a Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker squadron in 1953. In 1962, the unit converted to Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers, which it flew until it was inactivated in 1965 and replaced by the 32d Air Refueling Squadron.

The two squadrons were consolidated into a single unit in September 1985.


World War II

The 321st Transport Squadron was one of five squadrons activated in November 1943 and assigned to the 27th Air Transport Group.[1] It was located Northern Ireland and operated a courier service in the British Isles. In 1944 it moved to France and conducted the same duties on the European continent until it was disbanded in November 1945.

Cold War

Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter
Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter

Strategic Air Command (SAC) activated the 321st Air Refueling Squadron at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas in late 1953 as a Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker squadron.[2] At Sheppard, the squadron was a tenant of Air Training Command's 3750th Air Base Group, the host organization at Sheppard, but was attached to the 96th Bombardment Wing at Biggs Air Force Base after July 1954.[3][4] Four months later, it was assigned to the 321st Bombardment Wing at Pinecastle Air Force Base, Florida, but remained a tenant organization, moving to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama as a tenant of the 3800th Air Base Wing of Air University.[5] It was not until August 1956, when the squadron moved to Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, that it was stationed with its parent wing.

The squadron flew the KC-97 Stratotanker, providing air refueling to USAF units, from 1953 until 1963. The squadron converted to Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers that year and was inactivated in 1965 and its mission, personnel and equipment were transferred to the 32d Air Refueling Squadron.

The 321st Transport Squadron and the 321st Air Refueling Squadron were consolidated into a single unit on 19 September 1985[6]


321st Transport Squadron

  • Constituted as the 321st Transport Squadron (Cargo and Mail) c. 26 October 1943
Activated 1 November 1943
  • Disbanded 15 November 1945[6]
  • Reconstituted 19 September 1985 and consolidated with the 321st Air Refueling Squadron as the 321st Air Refueling Squadron[6]

321st Air Refueling Squadron

  • Constituted as the 321st Air Refueling Squadron, Medium on 17 September 1953
Activated on 8 December 1953[2]
  • Redesignated 321st Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 1 April 1963
  • Discontinued and inactivated on 15 March 1965
  • Consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 321st Transport Squadron[6]






  1. ^ a b Maguire, p. 30
  2. ^ a b See Mueller, p. 543
  3. ^ Mueller, p. 537
  4. ^ a b Ravenstein, p. 134
  5. ^ Mueller, pp. 383, 389
  6. ^ a b c d Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 September 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
  7. ^ Ravenstein, p. 172
  8. ^ Ravenstein, p. 48
  9. ^ Ravenstein, p. 144
  10. ^ a b c Station number in Anderson
  11. ^ Station numbers in Anderson, Johnson
  12. ^ Station number in Johnson
  13. ^ Mueller, p. 543
  14. ^ Mueller, p. 389


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • Anderson, Capt. Barry (1985). Army Air Forces Stations: A Guide to the Stations Where U.S. Army Air Forces Personnel Served in the United Kingdom During World War II (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
  • Johnson, 1st Lt. David C. (1988). U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO) D-Day to V-E Day (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2015.
  • Maguire, Jon A. (1998). Gooney Birds & Ferry Tales. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 0-7643-0592-1. LCCN 98085737.
  • Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947–1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
This page was last edited on 4 March 2020, at 03:37
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