|SAC Bases: Dow Air Force Base
| Bangor is a
small city located in central Maine. It was home of the 4083rd
Strategic Wing, which flew B-52Gs from the base from May of 1960 to February
of 1963. It was replaced by the 397th Bomb Wing that continued the
operations until 1968. SAC crews at Dow, Plattsburgh, and Mountain
Home often followed the national weather to determine which of the bases was
suffering the coldest weather.
If another base was colder than yours, it seemed to make things a little
more tolerable. Of course, Thule, Greenland beat everyone.
Bangor International Airport is located on the former
Dow Air Force Base. Bangor is the major transportation and distribution
center for the northern two-thirds of the state of Maine. At the Bangor
International Airport, several airlines provide regular passenger and cargo
flights to cities throughout the United States and Europe.
The 49th Pursuit Squadron was activated on Jan.
15, 1941. During this time, primary squadron aircraft consisted of P-40s,
P-43s and P-66s. In early 1942, the squadron was sent to Europe for
participation in World War II and given P-38s, flying the twin-engine
aircraft on bomber escort missions alongside B-17s and B-24s. Upon returning
stateside, the 49th was reformed as a National Guard unit and assigned to
Dow AFB, Maine, on Nov. 20, 1946. Dow Air Field, was closed. On Oct.
2, 1949, the squadron was deactivated with all of its assets being assigned
to the 2264th Standby Squadron Headquarters, 14th Fighter Group. In Nov.
1952, the 49th was reactivated as the 49th Interceptor Squadron and again
assigned to Dow AFB under the command of the 4711th Defense Wing. During
this time, the 49th formed its first alert detachment located at Limestone
AFB and Preque Isle AFB, Maine. While at Dow AFB, the squadron flew F-80Cs,
F-86D/Fs, T-33As, T-6Gs and one C-47 aircraft. In June 1968, the 49th
received the F-106 Delta Dart, which flew for the next 19 years, until it
inactivated in July 1987.
The 174th Fighter Squadron was called to
Active Duty on April 1, 1951 and assigned to the Strategic Air Command. The
unit was processed through mobility and transported to Dow AFB. While at
Dow, the unit experienced snowstorms that dumped more than 27-inches at a
time. Drifts of more than ten feet were not uncommon.