|42nd Bombardment Wing
42nd Air Base Wing
"The Skies For Us"
|Based at: Loring AFB, Maine
Aircraft: B-36, B-52
Status: Active as the 42nd Air Base Wing
Bomb Squadrons: 69 BS, 70 BS, 75 BS, 42 AR, 407 AR
42d Bombardment Wing (Heavy) was
established on 19 February 19, 1953 and activated the following week at Limestone
AFB (later, Loring AFB), Maine.
The wing's initial task was getting the
base operational. Squadrons were formed "from scratch"
and B-36 Peacemakers soon began to arrive. Training started in
April and all squadrons were flying within a few months. In
1954 and 1955, portions of the wing twice deployed at Upper Heyford and
Burtonwood, England. The entire wing deployed at Upper Heyford for a month
beginning October 18, 1955. The B-36s were flown by
the 69th, 70th and 75th Bomb Squadrons.
January 18,1955 saw the addition of the 42nd
Air Refueling Squadron and it's KC-97 tankers. Two years later,
SAC began replacing them with the new KC-135.
The first B-52C
flew on March 9, 1956. Between then and end of the year, the entire
production run was assigned to the 42nd Bombardment Wing and to the 99th Bombardment Wing at Westover AFB in Massachusetts.
The first B-52Ds went to the 42nd, replacing the Wing's initial B-52Cs
Between July 10 and October 5, 1959, extensive repairs were made to the
runways at Loring AFB. During this time the B-52s operated out of Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico
and the tankers out of Goose AB, Labrador. The B52s were flown by
the same three squadrons that had earlier flown the B-36. In
June of 1959, the 75th Bomb Squadron was reassigned to the 4039
Strategic Wing and began flying the new B-52G.
On July 2, 1968 the 407th
Refueling Squadron was attached to the wing.
the Vietnam War, the 42nd
supported SACs bombardment and air refueling operations in
Southeast Asia from the mid-1960s to mid-1975. It furnished aircraft and aircrews,
and at times, support personnel to other units.
1975, the 42nd participated in strategic and
tactical exercises worldwide with it's B52s and provided tankers to support USAF
needs for air refueling. It won the Omaha Trophy as "the
outstanding wing in SAC for 1977." On August 6, 1990, it deployed personnel, aircraft and
equipment to Southwest Asia; the deployment ended on April 12, 1992. A few
months later the wing began preparing to close Loring AFB in Oct 1991.
In June of 1992, the 42nd lost it's air refueling mission.
42nd was redesignated:
the 42d Wing on September 1, 1991 and the 42d Bomb Wing on June 1, 1992.
it was inactivated on September 30, 1994. It was redesignated the 42d Air Base Wing, and activated, on 1 Oct 1994.
42nd Operations: Assigned Sep 1, 1991 Jan 31, 1994.
The three bomb squadrons flew B-36s
from 1953 until they were replaced by B-52s in 1956.
69 BS: Assigned Feb 25, 1953
Sep 1, 1991. Equipped with B-52C in 1956, but disposed of them in
1957 and received the B-52D. Converted again in 1959 to the B-52G. Disposed
of the B-52G
during 1993-94 with the last aircraft departing on March 8,
1994. Since deactivated.
70 BS: Assigned Feb. 25, 1953 - June 26, 1966. Equipped with B-52C
in 1956, but replaced them
with the B-52D in 1957. Converted again
in 1959 to the B-52G.
75 BS: Assigned Feb. 25, 1953 Oct 15, 1959 Equipped with B-52C in
June 1956, but disposed of them
in June 1957, when it received the
B-52D. Flew them until October 15, 1959, when they were assigned
to the 4039 Strategic Wing at Griffiss AFB. NY.
407 AR: Assigned Jul 2, 1968 Oct 1, 1990.
42 AR: 18 Jan 18, 1955 Sep 1, 1991.