531st Bombardment Squadron
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|531st Bombardment Squadron, Medium|
Emblem of the 531st Bombardment Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||United States Air Force/Strategic Air Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Plattsburgh Air Force Base|
|Engagements||World War II|
World War IIEdit
Established in late 1942 as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron; trained under Second Air Force in Texas, and later in Colorado. Deployed to the Southwest Pacific Area (SPA) in April 1943, being assigned to Fifth Air Force in Australia.
From airfields in Australia, the squadron reached out to the Japanese installations in the Netherlands East Indies. Moved to the Philippines where the squadron operated in early 1945, then to Okinawa where combat operations ended after the Japanese Capitulation in August. After the war, squadron personnel were demobilized and returned to the United States, the B-24s sent to reclamation in the Philippines. Inactivated as a paper unit in early 1946.
In 1947, the squadron was reactivated as a reserve unit of the Strategic Air Command at MacDill Field, Florida. The squadron remained an inactive reserve unit until 1951 when the squadron was inactivated.
Activated as a B-29 Superfortress squadron in the reserves, 1947. Not manned or equipped, inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions.
Strategic Air CommandEdit
From 1958, the Boeing B-47 Stratojet wings of Strategic Air Command (SAC) began to assume an alert posture at their home bases, reducing the amount of time spent on alert at overseas bases. The SAC alert cycle divided itself into four parts: planning, flying, alert and rest to meet General Thomas S. Power’s initial goal of maintaining one third of SAC’s planes on fifteen minute ground alert, fully fueled and ready for combat to reduce vulnerability to a Soviet missile strike. To implement this new system B-47 wings reorganized from three to four squadrons. The 531st was activated at Plattsburgh Air Force Base as the fourth squadron of the 380th Bombardment Wing. The alert commitment was increased to half the squadron's aircraft in 1962 and the four squadron pattern no longer met the alert cycle commitment, so the squadron was inactivated on 1 January 1962.
- Constituted 531st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 October 1942
- Activated on 3 November 1942
- Inactivated on 20 February 1946
- Redesignated 531st Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 13 May 1947
- Activated in the reserve on 29 May 1947
- Redesignated 531st Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 26 June 1949
- Ordered to active service on 1 May 1951
- Inactivated on 16 May 1951
- Activated on 1 May 1959
- Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 January 1962.
- 380th Bombardment Group, 3 November 1942 – 20 February 1946
- Attached to: Royal Australian Air Force, 28 April 1943 - 1 March 1945
- Fourteenth Air Force, 29 May 1947
- 380th Bombardment Group, 16 June 1947 – 16 May 1951
- 380th Bombardment Wing, 1 May 1959 – 1 January 1962.
- Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, 3 November 1942
- Biggs Field, Texas, 2 December 1942
- Lowry Field, Colorado, 4 March-19 April 1943
- Manbulloo Airfield, Australia, c. 28 April 1943
- Long Airfield (Long Strip), Australia, c. 5 December 1943
- RAAF Base Darwin, Australia, 21 July 1944
- San Jose, Mindoro, c. 1 March 1945
- Motobu Airfield, Okinawa, c. 15 August 1945
- Fort William McKinley, Luzon, C. 28 November 1945 – 20 February 1946
- MacDill AFB, Florida, 29 May 1947 – 16 May 1951
- Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York, 1 May 1959 – 1 January 1962
Combat in Southwest and Western Pacific, c. 21 May 1943 – 24 July 1945. Reserve B-29 squadron, activated during Korean War. Aircraft and personnel reassigned to other active duty squadrons then squadron inactivated w/o/p/e. SAC Medium bomber (B-47) squadron (1959–1962).
- Schake, p. 220 (note 43)
- "Abstract (Unclassified), History of the Strategic Bomber since 1945 (Top Secret, downgraded to Secret)". Air Force History Index. 1 April 1975. Retrieved March 4, 2014.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- Schake, Col Kurt W. (1998). Strategic Frontier: American Bomber Bases Overseas, 1950-1960 (PDF). Trondheim, Norway: Norwegian University of Science and Technology. ISBN 978-8277650241. Retrieved July 27, 2015.