319th Bombardment Wing
319th Wing
319th Aerial Refueling Wing

Motto "Defenders of Freedom"


Based at: Grand Forks AFB, ND
Aircraft: B-52, KC-135, B-1
Status: Active as the 319th Aerial Refueling Wing
Squadrons: 46 BS, 905 BS

     Established as 319th Bombardment Wing, Light, on May 10, activated in the Reserve on June 27, at Reading Municipal Airport, Pennsylvania and inactivated on Sep 2, all in 1949.  
Early Missions
     Activated again in the Reserves on  Oct 10, 1949 at Birmingham Municipal Airport, Alabama, where it replaced the 514th Troop Carrier Wing.   Performed Reserve training until ordered to active service in Mar 1951, when wing personnel were used to fill other USAF units.  
It flew the T–6, T–7, T–11, and B–26.   Ordered to active service on March 10, 1951 (possibly Korea), but instead the wing was inactivated on March 28, 1951. 
      Redesignated the 319th Fighter-Bomber Wing on Apr 12, 1955 and activated in the Reserves on May 18, 1955 at Memphis Municipal Airport, Tennessee.  It replaced the 8710th Pilot Training Wing and performed reserve training.  From July 1956 through August, 1957, it maintained two F–84s on "runway alert," under operational control of 20th Air Division, Air Defense Command. Inactivated on Nov 16, 1957. and replaced by the 445th Troop Carrier Wing.
Assignment to SAC
     Redesignated the 319th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, and activated, on Nov 15, 1962. Organized Feb 1, 1963 at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota, where it replaced the 4133rd Strategic Wing.  It conducted global bombardment training and air refueling operations to meet SAC commitments. Presented the Omaha Trophy as the outstanding wing in SAC for 1978.  Participated in SAC program to test admission of females to in-flight refueling career field, January to Dec 1979. Converted from B–52 to B–1 bombers, 1986–1987. Flew training missions with conventional and nuclear configurations. Tanker crews assisted in air refueling efforts during the invasion of Panama, Dec 1989.
The 1990s
      Deployed tankers to Oman, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia to provide air refueling and cargo missions in Southwest Asia, Aug 1990–Apr 1991.  Redesignated: 319th Wing on 1 Sep 1, 1991, and the 319th Bomb Wing on Jun 1, 1992. It lost it's bombers and became the 319th Air Refueling Wing on Oct 1, 1993.  
     Active as the 319 Aerial Refueling Wing
319 BG (Later 319 Fighter-Bomber; 319th Operations): Assigned June 27 – Sep 2, 1949; Oct 10, 1949 –
        March 22, 1951; May 18, 1955 – Nov 16, 1957; Sep 1, 1991–.
   46 BS: Assigned Feb 1, 1963 - Sept 1, 1991.  Flew B-52F previously flown by the 30 BS, 
        4133rd Strategic Wing.  Converted to B-52G in 1968 and flew until 1989, before being
        inactivated on Sept. 30, 1989.  
905 AR: Feb 1, 1963 - Sept 1, 1991

Patrick Hudson  jnrode@spacestar.net  wrote "I was assigned to the 319th Avionics Maintenance Squadron within the 319th Bomb Wing from July '73 until April '74.  I worked in the ECM/EW shop.  We had B52-H models not B-52g's.  I was told that the aircraft were new when assigned to the 319th.  Most were produced in the later 60's.  From time to time we did have a couple of G models on the alert pad.  Memory tells me they were from Maine or Michigan.  It was some kind of satellite program either because of their home base security or when our H models were grounded due to problems with their tail structure after a major modification had been made.  [Note.  Info on aircraft written above came from Air Force Wing History book by Ravenstein.

Comments by Visitors
    On the 319 BW site, it says the B-52H left in 1968. I believe the correct date would be more like 1983.
On the Grand Forks AFB web page, I just wanted to comment that the 321st has left GFAFB as well as their missiles. The only outfit left is the 319th Air Refueling Wing./Group.
     I'm not sure of the exact dates. I just know I was stationed there from  Aug, 1966 to June 1970 and Aug 1972 to July 1984. In 1975, I was a crew chief of a B-52H pulling alert duty until tapped by ATC to be a Field
Training Instructor on the B-52H.
319 OMS Bomber Branch 1966 to 1969
319 BW Job Control 1969 to 1970
319 OMS  Bomber Branch Aug 1972 to 1975
FTD 421 OLA 1975 to FTD 419 to 1984
10024 was assigned to the 319th BW when I arrived in 1966. It was a "lead the fleet" aircraft accumulating flying hours at triple the rate of the other B-52s. I was assigned to the ground crew before becoming an
assistant crew chief on 61030 or 10030 as it would be known now.
Floyd W. Cox, MSgt, USAF, Ret