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132d Air Refueling Squadron
132d Air Refueling Squadron - Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker 63-8872.jpg
132d Air Refueling Squadron – Boeing KC-135A-BN Stratotanker 63-8872
Active 2 March 1942 – present
Country  United States
Allegiance  Maine
Branch US-AirNationalGuard-2007Emblem.svg  Air National Guard
Type Squadron
Role Air Refueling
Part of Maine Air National Guard
Garrison/HQ Bangor Air National Guard Base, Bangor, Maine
Nickname(s) "MAINEiacs"
Tail Code A white tailband with black text 'Maine' included.
132d Air Refueling Squadron emblem 132nd Air Refueling Squadron emblem.jpg

The 132d Air Refueling Squadron (132 ARS) is a unit of the Maine Air National Guard 101st Air Refueling Wing located at Bangor Air National Guard Base, Bangor, Maine. The 132d is equipped with the KC-135R Stratotanker.


World War II

Trained with V-72 Vengeance aircraft. Moved to India, via Australia, July–September 1943. Assigned to Tenth Air Force. Operating from India and using A-36A Apaches. The 528th Fighter Squadron having its markings as black reverse diagonal bands painted on a yellow tail. The red nose was also a squadron marking. Many planes of the squadron had a girl's name on the nose but very few had any artwork.

The squadron supported Allied ground forces in northern Burma; covered bombers that attacked Rangoon, Insein, and other targets; bombed enemy airfields at Myitkyina and Bhamo; and conducted patrol and reconnaissance missions to help protect transport planes that flew The Hump route between India and China.

Converted to P-51C Mustangs in May 1944. Moved to Burma in July and continued to support ground forces, including Merrill's Marauders; also flew numerous sweeps over enemy airfields in central and southern Burma.

Moved to China in August 1944 and assigned to Fourteenth Air Force. Escorted bombers, flew interception missions, struck the enemy's communications, and supported ground operations, serving in combat until the end of the war. Ferried P-51's from India for Chinese Air Force in November 1945. Returned to the US in December 1945.

Inactivated in early 1946.

Maine Air National Guard

The wartime 528th Fighter Squadron was re-designated as the 132d Fighter Squadron, and was allotted to the Maine Air National Guard, on 24 May 1946. It was organized at Dow Army Airfield, Bangor, Maine, and was extended federal recognition on 4 February 1947 by the National Guard Bureau. The 132d was equipped with F-47D Thunderbolts and was initially assigned to the Massachusetts ANG 67th Fighter Wing. It was later assigned to the Maine ANG 101st Fighter Group on 4 April 1947 after the Maine ANG group was recognized and activated.

The postwar era was a time of organization and expansion of the Air National Guard. The units had to be organized, federally recognized, equipped and stationed. The first several years were difficult as units had to contend with worn-out World War II aircraft while the Air Force converted to modern jet fighters. Air Guard units were under-funded and largely left to themselves to conduct training with little assistance and supervision by the Air Force.

However, as a result of using wartime aircraft, parts were no problem and many of the maintenance personnel were World War II veterans, so readiness was quite high and the planes were often much better maintained than their USAF counterparts. In some ways, the postwar Air National Guard was almost like a flying country club and a pilot could often show up at the field, check out an aircraft and go flying. However, the unit also had regular military exercises that kept up proficiency, and in gunnery and bombing contests they would often score at least as well or better than active-duty USAF units, given the fact that most ANG pilots were World War II combat veterans.

Air defense mission

132d Fighter Squadron – Lockheed F-80C Shooting Star 48–891, 1950

On 1 December 1947, under the command of First Air Force and Air Defense Command of the U.S. Army Air Force, the entire 101st Fighter Group was transferred to the Continental Air Command (CONAC) shortly after the U.S. Air Force was established on 18 September 1947 as a separate branch of the Armed Forces.

The 132d replaced their F-47 Thunderbolts with jet F-80C Shooting Stars in the summer of 1948, and were re-designated with the "Jet Propelled" suffix on 1 August. With the surprise invasion of South Korea on 25 June 1950, and the regular military's complete lack of readiness, most of the Air National Guard was federalized placed on active duty. The 132d was federalized on 10 February 1951 along with its parent 101st Fighter-Interceptor Group, later expanded to Wing status by Air Defense Command. On 6 February 1952, the 132d was transferred to the 4711th Defense Wing, Presque Isle AFB, with no change of station or mission. With the pending end of its federalization period, the squadrons F-80C jets were transferred to the active-duty 49th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, their replacement unit at Dow. It was released from active duty and returned to the control of the State of Maine on 1 November 1952.

North American F-51H Mustang 44-64368, 1953

F-101B Voodo 58-0293, 1974

Upon its return to Maine control, the 132d was re-equipped with F-51H Mustang prop-interceptors, however in 1954 the squadron would return to jet interceptors, the F-94A Starfire. The air defense mission for the Maine Air National Guard continued for the next twenty years, the squadron upgrading its aircraft every few years as more modern interceptors were passed down from Air Defense Command as they were replaced by new active-duty aircraft. The ADC radar detection stations at Brunswick, Bucks Harbor, Caswell, Charleston and Topsham were ready to make detection and calls for a scramble. Within three minutes the 13sd could be airborne and heading for a prospective rendezvous point. After identifying any intruders, the interceptor aircraft were supposed to radio back to the Ground Control Interceptor (GCI) station for further instructions. Beginning in 1955, the squadron stood 24/7/365 runway alert at Dow AFB ready to respond to aircraft not readily identifiable by radar or pre-filed flight plans.

In 1968 Dow Air Force Base was closed as a result of Air Force-wide downsizing directed by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The closure was in part directed due to the desire by McNamara to reduce the size of the Air Force B-52 Stratofortress fleet, the increasing cost of the Vietnam War and the change to Intercontinental Ballistic Missilee (ICBMs) as the primary strategic deterrence force. With the inactivation of Dow AFB in 1968, most of the base was purchased by the city of Bangor and reopened the following year as Bangor International Airport. That portion of Dow AFB not turned over to the city became the basis for the current Air National Guard Base and the Maine Army National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility.

In November, 1969, the 132d FIS became one of the first Air National Guard squadrons to operate the F-101B Voodoo.[1]

Air refueling

On 1 July 1976, the 101st was relieved from Aerospace Defense Command and transferred to Strategic Air Command (SAC), becoming a KC-135A Stratotanker unit. This was part of the downsizing of ADCOM, with the probability of an air attack by Soviet bombers and fighters being remote in the age of the ICBM. The 101st was re-designated as an Air Refueling Wing, the 132d an Air Refueling Squadron.

132d AREFS KC-135A 57-1491 about 1980 in SAC markings

In 1977, the 132d deployed to RAF Mildenhall, England, as part of the European Tanker Task Force. In 1978, it began to stand alert with the SAC active force. In October 1978 The 101st AFREW along with all other Air Guard Units, underwent reorganization into the Dual Deputy organization structure; the 101st Air Refueling Group being inactivated on 30 September. In August 1979, the 101st became the first Air National Guard unit to host a tanker task force, and during the fall, the 101st joined forces with 16 KC-135A's providing air refueling support for "Crested Cap". This airpower exercise tested the deployment capability of Air Force fighter aircraft moving from the U.S. to Europe in support of NATO war efforts there. During the 1980s, the 101st continued to participate in Strategic Air Command exercises like Global Shield and Giant Voice. In 1984, the 101st converted from its aging KC-135A fleet with new fuel efficient KC-135Es and the receipt of its first Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. The wing engaged in routine worldwide deployments with its KC-135s.

1990/1991 Gulf Crisis

Early on the morning of 7 August 1990, Operation Desert Shield, a build-up of friendly forces designed to contain the spread of Iraqi aggression, began. A telephone alert asked every crew member of the 132d Air Refueling Squadron to provide maximum availability so that an immediate response capability could be developed. All 125 Operations crew members stepped forward in voluntary support.

The unit began functioning on a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week basis. Numerous Desert Shield missions would be flown in the month of August as the 132d helped refuel transport aircraft and fighters heading to United States Air Forces Central (CENTAF) bases in the Middle East. Volunteers were placed on full active duty status for as long as needed. Close to 100 guard members reported during the next few days as additional KC-135s arrived TDY from other ANG units, together with the 132d's own KC-135E aircraft forming an Air National Guard tanker task force. By 1 October, the 101st's heavy support of MAC flights in transit from the West Coast to bases in Saudi Arabia began to slow. The 101st ARW became one of 12 National Guard units tasked with providing refueling support to Air Force units deployed to Saudi Arabia.

On 12 October the 101st began deployment of its assets to Saudi Arabia to form the 1709th Air Refueling Wing (Provisional) at King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Jeddah. Personnel and aircraft, however, were dispersed at several locations in the Middle East, including Al Banteen Air Base, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Morón Air Base, Spain; Cairo West Airport, Egypt; and other locations. By January 1991, the build-up of men and material in-theater was complete. Operation Desert Storm, the attack phase of the Allied plan to liberate Kuwait and destroy Iraq's army, was ready to begin. With its strategic location on the Atlantic shore, the 101st mission reverted to an "Air-Bridge" mode, refueling transiting aircraft heading across the Atlantic or inbound from RAF Mildenhall, England, which served on the other end of the transatlantic route to the Middle East. After a short 100 hours of ground combat, Iraq's elite Republican Guard quickly collapsed and Kuwait was easily recaptured by Coalition ground forces. Emotional returns, punctuated by parades, bands, speeches, tears, and bear-hugs were commonplace in New Hampshire as they were throughout the country. Many deployed units returning from CENTAF bases stopped at Bangor AGB on their way to their home bases. The 101st, its aircraft festooned with yellow ribbons painted above the boom, remained in "air-bridge" mode, supporting the returning traffic. By late April almost everyone had come home safely. There had been no casualties.

Modern era

101st ARW KC-135Es at Pisa Airport, Italy, 1996

In March 1992, with the end of the Cold War, the 101st adopted the Air Force Objective Organization plan. The Tri-Deputy organizational structure was revised with the 101st Operations Group, 101st Maintenance Group, 101st Mission Support Group and the 101st Medical Group being formed and the 132d Air Refueling Squadron being assigned to the 101st Operations Group. On 30 June, Strategic Air Command was inactivated as part of the Air Force reorganization after the end of the Cold War. It was replaced by Air Combat Command (ACC). In 1993, ACC transferred its KC-135 tanker force to the new Air Mobility Command (AMC).

The unit engaged in routine deployments and training until 1994 when the 101st began operating in the Northeast Tanker Task Force together with the New Hampshire Air National Guard. The situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and "Operation Deny Flight" continued to involve 101st aircraft, crews, and support personnel.

In 2001, with the advent of the Global War on Terrorism, Maine ANG KC-135s were used for air refueling aircraft flying Combat Air Patrols over major United States Cities as part of Operation Noble Eagle (ONE). 132d ARS aircraft were deployed to Air Forces Central (AFCENT) in the middle east as Air Expeditionary Units, providing refueling for combat aircraft during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in Afghanistan.

In 2007, the 132d's KC-135E-model aircraft were replaced throughout the summer with quieter, more efficient R-models. With their new CFM-56 engines, a 50 percent decrease in noise resulted, and emissions were reduced 90 percent, while range, fuel off-load capability, and reliability were all increased.


132d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron patch

Legacy 132d Air Refueling Squadron patch

  • Constituted 382d Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 28 Jan 1942.
Activated on 2 Mar 1942
Re-designated: 382d Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on 27 Ju1 1942
Re-designated: 528th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 30 Sep 1943
Re-designated: 528th Fighter Squadron on 30 May 1944
Inactivated on 6 Jan 1946
  • Re-designated: 132d Fighter Squadron, and allotted to Maine ANG, on 24 May 1946.
Received federal recognition and activated, 4 February 1947
Re-designated: 132d Fighter Squadron (Jet), 1 July 1948
Federalized and ordered to active service on: 10 February 1951
Released from active duty and returned to Maine state control, 1 November 1952
Re-designated: 132d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 1 November 1952
Re-designated: 132d Air Refueling Squadron, 1 July 1976
Federalized and ordered to active service on: 12 October 1990
Released from active duty and returned to Maine state control, 31 March 1991
Components designated as: 132d Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron when deployed as part of an Air and Space Expeditionary unit after June 1996.



Detachments operated from Hanchung, China, and Liangshan, China, Sep iw4 – Jan 1945
Detachments operated from Hsian, China, beginning 15 Feb 1945

Designated: Bangor Air National Guard Base, 1991 – present



 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft: Since 1920, 1990, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, Rene J Francillion, p 155

External links

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