28th Bombardment Wing
Motto: "Guardian of the North"


Based at: Ellsworth AFB,  Rapid City, South Dakota
Aircraft: B-29, B-36, B-52, B-1
Status: Active
Bomb Squadrons: 37th, 77th, 717th and 718th
Links: 28th Bomb Wing 

     The 28th was established as the 28th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, on 28 Jul 1947. .
It was assigned to the Rapid City Army Air Field, later changed to Rapid City AFB and Eventually to Ellsworth AFB.  The 28th Bomb Group flew B-29 from 1947–1950.  In 1947, the B-29 was the Air Force's heaviest Bomber, but as the B-36 came into service, that was no longer the case.  The unit was redesignated: the 28th Bombardment Wing, Medium, on 12 Jul 1948.  In 1950, the 22nd flew RB-29s.  It maintained proficiency in heavy bombardment, 1947–1948 and in global bombardment, deploying tactical components or segments thereof as needed, 1948–1950.
B-36 Peacemaker     
     The 28th operated B-36 bombers out of Ellsworth AFB, North Dakota from July 1949 to May 1957.  Aircraft were assigned to the 72nd, 717th and 718th Bombardment Squadrons.  The unit was renamed the 28th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 16 May 1949; the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 1 Apr 1950; and the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Heavy, on 16 Jul 1950.  From 1950 to 1957, it flew RB-36s.  Performed global strategic reconnaissance, 1950–1955, with bombardment as a secondary mission, 1954–1955. Trained primarily as a bombardment wing from 1955, but retained a reconnaissance capability to Sep 1956. Deployed at Andersen AFB, Guam, Apr–Jul 1955. 
B-52 Stratofortress
   The unit was renamed 28th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 1 Oct 1955 and began receiving B-52Ds in 1957.  They were assigned to the 37th, 77th, 717th, and 718th Bombardment Squadrons.   On September 26, 1958, two of it's B-52Ds established world speed records over two different routes. One B-52D flew at 560.705 mph for 10,000 kilometers in a closed circuit without payload; the other at 597.675 mph for 5000 kilometers, also in a closed circuit without payload. 
      In 1960, the 717th Bomb Squadron was assigned to the 4245th Strategic Wing at Sheppard AFB, Texas and the 718th Bomb Squadron was reassigned to the 4128 Strategic Wing at Amarillo AFB in Texas.  The 77th Bomb Squadron remained.  The 28th had, in effect, become a strategic wing, but was not redesignated as such.
     The 28th added aerial refueling to it's mission in 1959 when it's 928th Air Refueling Squadron began flying KC-135 tankers. On October 1, 1960, it was renamed the 28th Air Fueling Squadron. On July 1, 1962, it was joined by the 97th Air Refueling Squadron that flew KC-97s until March 15, 1964.  The 28th took over the few remaining KC-97s and operated them along with it's KC-135s.  
Titan Missiles
     The 28th Bomb Wing controlled a non-equipped Titan missile squadron, the 850th Strategic Missile Squadron, from  December 1, 1960 to January 1, 1962.   
Command and Control
     The 28th began operating post-attack command and control system for Fifteenth Air Force in Jan 1965, maintaining this capability through a rear echelon during the absences of the remainder of the wing.   From April 1, 1970 to Sept. 1, 1991, the 4th Airborne Command and Control squadron was attached to the wing.  Performed airborne launch control functions for the USAF Minuteman missile wings with EC–135 aircraft and provided logistic support to the 44th Missile Wing.
Lost airborne command post mission in Sep 1992.
      B-52Ds of the 28th and 484th Bomb Wings deployed to Guam in March and April of 1966, replacing the B-52Fs then flying combat missions over Vietnam.  The 28th Bomb Wing has overseen the operation of B-52C's, B-52D's, B-52G's, and B-52H's.   Except for a small rear echelon left at Ellsworth AFB, SD, the wing’s headquarters staff, tactical aircraft and crews, and most support personnel were integrated into ARC LIGHT forces for combat in Southeast Asia.   From April 1972 to Oct 1973 the wing had most of its tactical aircraft and crews on loan to SAC organizations involved in combat operations, and the wing continued supporting Pacific forces with planes and crews into 1975. 
Later Missions
    It converted from B–52G to B–52H models in 1977.  Expanded B–52H mission in 1984 to include sea reconnaissance, surveillance, and conventional operations from forward bases overseas.   The 28th replaced it's B–52H with B–1B bomber in 1987.  In 1989, won the Fairchild Trophy for excellence in bombing and navigation and the Omaha Trophy, presented to the outstanding wing in SAC. 
     The 28th upgraded it's tanker force to KC–135Rs in 1985–1986. The 28th provided tanker support for restoration of democracy in Panama Dec 1989–Jan 1990, and deployed tanker and airborne command post aircraft to Southwest Asia Aug 1990– Mar 1991.  
     It was deactivated on Sept. 2, 1991. Lost air refueling mission in Jun 1992. 
28th BG (later, 28th Strategic Reconnaissance; 28th Operations): 15 Aug 1947–16 Jun 1952 
    (detached 19 Jul–18 Oct 1948); 1 Sep 1991–.  
       Other than the 37 BS, the squadrons of the 28th Bomb Wing began with  B-29s and soon 
       converted to the B-36.  All later flew B-52s.
  37 BS: Assigned Jul 1, 1977 – Oct 1, 1982; Jan 1, 1987 – Sep 1, 1991. 
       Flew B-52H from activation in 1977 until inactivation in 1987.
  77 BS: Attached  Feb 10, 1951 – June15, 1952, Assigned Jun 16, 1952 – Sep 1, 1991
       (Detached c. Mar 9 – c. Sep 21, 966, c. Jan 15 – Jul 19, 1968,  c. Aug 19. 1969 – c. Mar 23, 1970)
       Flew B-52D from June 1957 until 1971.  Also flew B-52C (1967-71).  converted to B-52G
       in 1971.  Converted to B-1B in 1986.  
717 BS: Attached Feb 10, 1951 – June 15, 1952, Assigned Jun 16, 1952 –  Feb 1, 1960
        Flew B-52D from June 1957 until Feb. 20,1960, when reassigned to the 4245th Strategic Wing
        at Sheppard AFB, Texas.
718 BS: Attached Feb 10, 1951 – June 15, 1952, Assigned June 16, 1952 – Feb 20, 1960.
        Flew B-52D from June 957 until Feb. 20, 1960, when reassigned to the 4128th Strategic Wing
        at Amarillo AFB, Texas.
850 SM: Assigned Dec 1, 1960 – Jan 1, 1962.
  28 AR: Assigned Oct 1, 1960 – Sept 1, 1991 (Detached c. Mar 9 – c. Sep 21, 1966,
        c. Jan 15 – c. Jul 19, 1968, c. Aug 19, 1969 – c. Mar 23, 1970).
  97 AR: Assigned Jul 1, 1962 – Mar 15, 1964.
928 AR: Assigned Feb 1, 1959 – Oct 1, 1960.
    4 Airborne Command and Control: 1 Apr 1970–1 Sep 1991.