349 Flying Squadron Histories


70th Aerial Refueling Squadron

The squadron of KC-97s was activated on 1 August 1955. The 70th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing was to provide aerial refueling support to the RB-47 Stratojets.  The KC-97s were deployed to Earnest Harmon Air Force Base, Newfoundland in 1956-57. The 70th SRW, Sidi Silmane Air Base in Morocco completed the squadron in 1956.  In early 1961, the squadron was transferred to the 384th Bomber Wing to respond to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The 70th ARS was forward deployed back to Earnest Harmon AFB, Lajes Field, Azores, and Goose Bay Airport in Labrador.  The squadron deployed again on 29 October 1962 and returned to the United States on 15 November 1962.

As the squadron began transitioning to the KC-135 Stratotanker in 1967, when it was subsequently assigned to the 43rd Bombardment Wing, and this association lasted until 1 January 1970. The 70th ARS was then relocated to Grissom Air Force Base and joined with the newly designated 305th Aerial Refueling Group.  Strategic Air Command was formed as the 3rd Airborne Command and Control Squadron. The squadron flew the EC-135 aircraft as alternate command posts in the event of a nuclear war.  The 3rd ACCS was paired with the 70th ARS until 1975, when the 3rd ACCS was inactivated and the 70th ARS took over the Post Attack Command and Control System responsibilities.  It maintained the PACCS mission, along with its core aerial refueling responsibilities until 1993.

During the 1980’s, the 70th ARS provided refueling support for Operation URGENT FURY in support of the occupation of Grenada.  From December 1989 through January of 1990, the squadron provided aerial refueling support for units engaged in Operation JUST CAUSE, which was the overthrow of the Panamanian dictator, Manuel Noriega.  In August of 1990 the 70th ARS deployed in support of Operations DESERT STORM and DESERT STORM. Most elements of the 70th ARS returned to the United States in late 1991.

In 1992, Air Mobility Command took over the aerial refueling mission from SAC. As a result, the 70th SRW was inactivated on 1 April 1993 and reactivated on 1 September 1994 as part of the 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.  The squadron was flying the KC-10 Extender.  After the attacks on 11 September 2001, the 70th ARS supported Operation NOBLE EAGLE, ENDURING FREEDOM, and IRAQI FREEDOM.  Additionally, the squadron provided support for the recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

79th Aerial Refueling Squadron

The 79th Air Refueling Squadron was activated on 1 April 1943, as the 79th Troop Carrier Squadron when deployed to England in the following year.  On D-Day, the 79th ARS dropped paratroops from the 101st Airborne Division behind the landing beaches, and subsequently in the following days, carried out resupply missions in support of those paratroopers on the ground.  The heroism and skill of the pilots earned the squadron a distinguished unit citation.  On 17 July 1944, the squadron was transferred to Grosetto Air Base, Italy.  The 79th ARS supported the planning for operation DRAGOON, known as the invasion of southern France by the allies.  At the end of July 1944, the squadron moved into northern France, and flew supply missions for the rapidly advancing allied forces.  In September of 1944, the squadron dropped American paratroopers into the Netherlands in support of Operation MARKET-GARDEN.  Near the end of the war, the 79ARS squadron helped evacuate allied prisoners of war until August of 1945, when it returned to the United States on 15 November 1945, and was deactivated.

In 1948, the decision was made to reactivate the squadron as a C-47 reserve asset. The activation happened during the Korean War, but its Airmen and aircraft were parceled out to active duty units and inactivated a few days later.  The squadron flew missions supporting American operations in southeast Asia from 1966 through 1971. Near the end of the fifth year, the squadron received EC-121 Warning Star aircraft and was stationed at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. Airborne early warning and control missions from 1971 through 1978 were flown as a regular operation. In 1982, it was redesignated the 79th Air Refueling Squadron.

On 1 April 1994, the 79th ARS was transferred from the 452nd Operations Group to the 349th Operations Group, Travis AFB, Calif.

301st Airlift Squadron

The 301st Troop Carrier Squadron was activated on 1 August 1943, at Sedalia Army Airfield, Missouri. Its mission was flying the C-47 airframe.  Six months later, the 301st TCS arrived in England. It was tasked with airdropping elements of the 101st Airborne Division on 6 June 1944.  The purpose of the taskings was to support American paratroopers. The Squadron received a distinguished unit citation.  It also dropped American paratroopers during Operation MARKET-GARDEN.  In addition to these major operations, the 301st TCS flew supplies forward to help keep the ground forces advancing against Germany and flew casualties back to hospitals.  On 4 July 1945, after the surrender of Nazi Germany, the 301st TCR occupied the Tempelhof Aerodrome in Berlin, becoming the first American unit to occupy the site.  In March of 1946, the squadron returned to the United States and was deactivated. 

Occurring in 1949, the squadron was reactivated in the reserve force, flying the C-46 Commando plane.  The squadron was called to active duty during the Korean War, but like so many other reserve units, its Airmen and aircraft were sent to flush out active-duty units, and the 301st TCS was again deactivated.  The squadron was reactivated in 1969 and received the C-141 Starlifter for its fleet. The squadron converted to the C-5 Galaxy, and in year 2006 it converted again back to the C-17 Globemaster III.  From late 1989 to early 1990, the 301st Airlift Squadron was created and it supported Operation JUST CAUSE.

312th Airlift Squadron

The 312th Troop Carrier Squadron was activated on 23 October 1943.  For most of 1944, the squadron remained in the United States primarily flying the C-47 and C-53.  In March of 1945, it was equipped with the C-46 Commando and transferred to Barkston, England. Shortly afterward, the squadron was moved to Roye Airfield in France, where it remained until September 1945. The 312th TCS was transferred back to the United States where it was positioned at Bergstrom Field in Texas.  It was deactivated on 7 September 1946, then reactivated as a reserve unit on 10 May 1949 at Hamilton Airfield in California.

On 2 April 1951, the squadron was reactivated as the 312th Bomber Squadron in June 1952.  It had been flying the F-51 Mustang, which was a P-51 Mustang’s redesignation.  The 312th TCS flew the F-51 until 1 September 1957 when it was redesignated and flew the C-119 Flying Boxcar.  As a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Squadron was called to active duty during October and November of 1962.  On 1 July 1966, it was redesignated as the 312th Military Airlift Squadron, which would command the C-121 Globemaster II.  In January of 1969, the United States faced crises in both Vietnam and on the Korean peninsula. The 312th MAS was called to active duty.  It was relieved of active duty on 2 June 1969, and moved from Hamilton Field to Travis Air Force Base, where the Squadron transitioned to the C-141 Starlifter. On 1 October 1994, the 312th Airlift Squadron transitioned to the C-5 Galaxy.