42nd Bomb Wing - SAC - Loring AFB - B-36, B-52

42nd Bombardment Wing
42nd Wing
42nd Air Base Wing

Motto: "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

     The 42d Bombardment Wing (Heavy) was established on 19 February 19, 1953 and activated the following week at Limestone AFB (later, Loring AFB), Maine. 
B-36 Peacemaker
     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.  
Air Refueling
     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.  
B-52 Stratofortress
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 Air Refueling Squadron was attached to the wing.
During the Vietnam War, the 42nd supported SAC’s 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.  
Later Missions
    After 1975, the 42nd  participated in strategic and tactical exercises worldwide with it's B–52s 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.
   The 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.