7th Bombardment Wing
|Based at: Carswell
AFB, Dyess AFB
Aircraft: B-29, B-36, B-52, B-1B
Squadrons 9 BS, 20 BS, 98 BS, 7 AR, 919 AR, 920 AR, 4018th
Links: 7th Bomb
The 7th Bombardment Group was activated at Fort Worth Army Air Field on October
1, 1946 and transferred into SAC as part of 2nd
Air Force. On
November 3, 1947, the Air Force abandoned the old Group organization of
World War II and introduced the Wing Organization. This resulted
in all bomb groups being redesignated as wings. Thus the 7th Bomb
Group became the 7th Bomb Wing, Very Heavy. The "very
heavy," indicating it flew B-29s and B-50s.
this time, it's home was renamed Carswell Air Force Base. The unit was equipped
with B-29s and was responsible for global bombardment training.
B-36 Peacemaker / 11th Bomb Group
The 7th was the first B-36 Bomb Wing. On June 26, 1948, the 7th received the first
new B-36A. It was a fairly easy transfer. Carswell was just
across the field from the Convair factory at Fort Worth. The plane
was simply towed across the field. Convair was slow to produce
them and the last of the nineteen B-36A was not received until February of
Remnants of the old organization were still in
place, so they were assigned to the 7th Bomb Group. It's planes
were flown by the
436th, and 492nd Bombardment Squadrons. In November
1948, it began receiving the new B-36B . By the
end of 1949, it had 35 B-36s in service.
The B-36 was a huge airplane, one that dwarfed earlier
bombers. This resulted in all B-29 and B-50 bomb wings being redesignated
"Medium." Only the B-36 wings carried the
"Heavy" designation. The 7th received it's heavy designation
on August 1, 1948.
On December 1, 1948, the 11th bomb group was
activated at Carswell. It received B36
aircraft and carried out a training program. On Feb. 16, 1951, the 11th
became an independent wing, obtaining it's resources from the
group. The group was inactivated on 16 June 16, 1952. The
7th and 11th Bomb Wings shared Carswell Air Force Base until the
11th retired its fleet of B-36 Peacekeepers in 1957 and moved to Altus AFB, Altus,
where it received B-52s.
7th Bomb Wing crews began flight testing the
XC-99, a cargo version of the B-36. They also evaluated the reconnaissance
version, the RB-36.
The B-36 was plagued with
problems and in a constant state of flux, either being reconfigured or awaiting
modification. In reality, full operational capability was not achieved until
11th Bomb Wing was deployed to Nouasseur Air Base in
French Morocco to evaluate facilities for use as a B-36 base from
May 4 to July 2 1955, It was followed by the 7th Bomb Wing which
was deployed there from July to September.
B-52 Stratofortress / KC-135 Tankers
9th Bombardment Squadron was attached to the during the first ten days
of December 1957 for the purpose of introducing flight crews to the
B-52. It was assigned to the wing in June 1958. During May
and June 1958, the 7th retired it's B-36s and converted to
B-52. The 7th Air Refueling Squadron was assigned to the
wing on April 1, 1958 to April 15, 1960 and again from March 1, 1964 to
Sept. 1, 1991.
In 1957 the 7th Bomb Wing went on nuclear alert. By 1958 it was operating B-52 and KC-135
aircraft with the new mission of global strategic bombardment and
air-refueling training and operations.
April 13, 1965, the wing deployed it's forces to the Pacific area to
support combat operations in Southeast Asia. All wing bombers and
tankers, along with aircrews and support personnel deployed in April and
May 1965. The program was known as Arc
In the United States, the wing gained the 20th Bombardment Squadron,
giving it two B-52 squadrons. All B-52 resources deployed to
Pacific area by August 1, 1965 along with most of the wing's remaining
support personnel, leaving the 7th Wing as a small non-flying cadre to
operate Carswell AFB, Texas. Wing headquarter remained
non-operation to c. Dec, 1964 when B-52 and KC-135 resources began
The wing continued to support SAC
operations in Southeast Asia through the remainder of the conflict and
into 1975, but on a reduced scale except for the period C Sept 1, 1969 -
c Mach 28, 1970 when most wing resources were required overseas and only
a small cadre remained at home.
4133rd Bomb Wing (Provisional), was established on February 1, 1966, at Andersen AFB,
Guam. It took over operational control of the B-52D assigned to
the war effort. From
September 1, 1969 to March 28
1970, all wing aircraft were again deployed to the Pacific and only a small cadre
remained at home. In addition to the major deployments, the wing supported
SAC operations in Southeast Asia
from 1965 and into 1975, but on a reduced scale. By mid-1973 most wing KC135 resources had redeployed, and most B52
resources returned by Jan 1974.The wing resumed nuclear alert status on January
had been lifted during the Southeast Asia deployments.
B-52G and B-52H aircraft had greater range than the older models.
Plus they carried Hound Dog missiles which considerably increased their
deterrent capabilities. These were not needed for the conventional
bombing of Vietnam and SAC saw no reason to risk the new aircraft when
the older ones could do the job just as well. Accordingly, B-52G
and H air crews were sent through an intensive two-week course on the B-52D, making them
eligible for duty in Southeast Asia.
From December 4, 1973 to May, 1975, the 7th Bomb
Wing conducted B52D replacement
training. In January 1974 it also began conducted B52D combat crew training, i.e.,
providing B52 flight training to novice crews. On
April 1, 1974, it gained the 4018 Combat Crew Training Squadron and in
began conducted B52 and KC135 Central Flight Instructor courses.
The 7th Bomb Wing was the primary B-52 training
Throughout the 1970's and 1980's, the 7th Bomb Wing participated in numerous USAF and NATO exercises worldwide.
It used B52s for
ocean surveillance and ship identification in joint naval operations. It's KC135's
supported tanker task forces worldwide. In October and November, 1983, the wing supported the invasion of Grenada with aerial refueling. Also in
1983, B52 crews began training with a new weapon system, the SRAM (Short
Range Attack Missile) and later, in 1985, the ALCM (Air Launched Cruise
The 7th Bomb Wing flew numerous atmospheric sampling missions, 19861987, in response
to the Chernobyl (Russia) nuclear reactor accident. Deployed air refueling
personnel and equipment to provisional wings in Southwest Asia, Aug 1990Feb
1992. The wing hosted the first Soviet START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)
exhibition inspection team in Sep 1991.
The Powers-to-be apparently couldn't figure out
what to do the trusty old 7th. It was redesignated the 7th Wing on Sept.
1, 1991, but acquired back it's old designation of 7th Bomb Wing on June
1, 1992. On October 1, 1993, it was again redesignated the 7th
Began preparations for base closure at
Carswell AFB in Jan 1992. Released of all operational
capabilities on 1 Jan
7 BG (later, 7th Operations): Assigned Nov 17, 1947
Jun 16, 1952; Sep 1, 1991 Jan 1, 1993;
1 Oct 1. 1993
11 BG: Attached 1 Dec 1, 1948 Feb 16, 1951.
9 BS: Attached Feb 16, 1951 Jun 15, 1952, Assigned Jun 16, 1952
25 Jun 25, 1968;
Assigned Dec 31, 1971 Sep 1, 1991.
Flew B-52F from June 1958 until inactivated on
June 25, 1958. Reactivated on Dec.
31, 1971 and given B-52D, which it flew until 1982, when it
converted to the B-52H. Passed
aircraft to2nd Wing prior to inactivating on August. 15, 1992.
20 BS: Assigned Jun 25, 1965 Sep 1, 1991. Flew B-52F when it was
transferred from the 2nd Bomb Wing
on June 25, 1965. Converted to
B-52 D in 1959, which it flew until 1983, when it received the
Unit identity transferred to 2nd Wing
at Barksdale on Dec. 17, 1992.
98 BS: Attached Dec 110, 1957. Was just being furnished with B-52E,
when reassigned to the
Wing located at Carswell AFB.
436 BS: Attached Feb 16, 1951 Jun 15, 1952, Assigned Jun 16, 1952
Aug 1, 1958.
Assigned to the 4238th
Strategic Wing. Aug 1, 1958.
492 BS: Attached Feb 16, 1951 Jun 15, 1952, Assigned Jun 16, 1952
Jun 15, 1959.
Flew B-52F from June 1958 until June
6, 1959. Reassigned to 4228th Strategic Wing
Moved to Columbus AB.
4018 Combat Crew Training Squadron: Established on Apr 1, 1974 as part of
expanded crew training
organization. Used B-52D until inactivated on
an unknown date.
|New Information, not yet incorporated into the above
Organized as the 1st Army Observation Group on Oct. 1, 1919, the beginning of
the 7th Bomb Wing included three highly decorated and honored squadrons from the
first World War. The 9th, 11th, and 31st squadrons lent their lineage to the
group's emblem as indicated by the three crosses on the shield. In March 1921,
the group was redesignated the 7th Group (Observation) and assigned to Langley
Field, Va., until inactivated on Aug. 30, 1921.The U.S. Army Air Service
redesignated the 7th Group as the 7th Bombardment Group in 1923, however the 7th
was not activated until June 1, 1928 at Rockwell Field, Calif. While the group
was assigned at Rockwell Field, the fledgling Air Force was testing new theories
In early 1931, the 7th began training aircrews in
radio-controlled interception.A bomber, acting as a target, reported by radio to
a ground station, giving location, altitude and course. Armed with this
information, ground controllers guided pursuit aircraft to the objective.The 7th
trained and participated in aerial reviews, dropped food and medical supplies to
persons marooned or lost, and took part in massive Army maneuvers during the
1930s.The group flew Martin B-12s, Douglas B-18s, and the new Boeing B-17 Flying
Fortress during this period. It was the B-17 that carried the men of the 7th to
war Dec. 7, 1941.The group was on its way to the Philippines when the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor.The ground echelon, on board ship, was diverted to
Australia and later sent to Java. Six of the group's B-17s, which left the
continental United States Dec. 6, reached Hawaii during the enemy attack and
were able to land safely. Later in December, the remainder of the air echelon
flew B-17s from the United States to Java. From Jan. 14 to March 1, 1942, during
the Japanese drive through the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies, the
group operated from Java, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation for its action
against enemy aircraft, ground installations, warships and transports. By the
end of March 1942, the 7th moved to India and was assigned to the 10th Air
Force. The group resumed combat operations from Karachi, India, flying B-17s and
Consolidated LB-30 bombers. By the end of 1942, the group had converted to the
Consolidated B-24 Liberator. Combat operations were directed primarily against
the Japanese in Burma, with attacks on airfields, fuel and supply dumps,
locomotive works, railways, bridges, docks, warehouses, shipping and other
targets. The 7th also bombed oil refineries and railways in Thailand, hit power
plants in China, attacked enemy shipping in the Andaman Sea and ferried gasoline
over the Hump into China. The 7th received its second Distinguished Unit
Citation for damaging the enemy's line of supply in Southeast Asia with an
attack against rail lines and bridges in Thailand March 19, 1945. After the war,
the group returned to the United States in December 1945 and was inactivated
Jan. 6, 1946. On Oct. 1, 1946, the 7th was reactivated as a bombardment group
(very heavy) and assigned to Strategic Air Command. The group flew the Boeing
B-29 Superfortress from Fort Worth Army Airfield, Texas. On Nov. 3, 1947, the
7th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy) was established and then activated Nov. 17,
1947. After a period of discontinuance and redesignation, the 7th Bombardment
Wing (Heavy) was activated at Carswell AFB Aug. 1, 1948. During 1948, the wing
began receiving the Consolidated B-36 Peacemaker intercontinental bombers.
Trained in global bombardment operations, the wing controlled two B-36 groups,
and three B-36 squadrons. The wing also flight tested the giant Consolidated
XC-99 transport, a derivative of the B-36 using the wings, tail structure and
other components of its bomber relative. The wing also evaluated the RB-36
The 7th began converting to the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress in
1957, along with the Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker. With these new aircraft, the
wing trained in global strategic bombardment and air refueling operations.
Beginning on April 13, 1965, the 7th deployed its forces to the Pacific area in
support of combat operations in Southeast Asia. All wing bombers and tankers,
along with aircrews and some support personnel, deployed by the end of May. A
B-52 squadron from a different wing was temporarily assigned to Carswell to
maintain a bomber capability. However, by August 1965, the remaining aircraft
and personnel were deployed to Southeast Asia, leaving only a support cadre to
operate Carswell AFB. The wing's headquarters was non-operational until the
bombers, aircrews and support personnel began returning in December. The 7th
continued to support combat operations in Southeast Asia during the remainder of
the conflict and into 1975, but on areduced scale, except for the period Sept.
1, 1969 to March 28, 1970 when most wing resources were required overseas and
only a small cadre remained at home. In 1972, the wing conducted B-52D
consolidated training for the Strategic Air Command as well as replacement
training, combat crew training and flight training to novice crews. Beginning in
June 1974, the wing also conducted B-52 and KC-135 Central Flight Instructor
Courses.During the Vietnam conflict, the wing was awarded two Air Force
Outstanding Unit Awards, an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor, and the
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.
On Oct. 1, 1982, the wing's new mission included strategic
deterrence and support of combat theater commanders with conventional bombing
capability and theater airlift support. On Oct. 1, 1993, the 7th Wing moved to
Dyess AFB, Texas, flying both the B-1B Lancer and the C-130 Hercules. This
unique structure of bombing and airlift under one wing remained intact until
April 1, 1997, when the Air Force transferred all C-130s to Air Mobility
Command. That same day, the 317th Airlift Group stood up at Dyess, encompassing
all Dyess C-130 assets and the 7th Wing became the 7th Bomb Wing. Dyess has the
only B-1B schoolhouse in the Air Force, in addition to operational
Although two commands are now found at Dyess, each brings a unique
and special contribution to the Air Force's mission of Global