|15th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)|
Emblem of the 15th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy)
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 15th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 445th Bombardment Group, based at Hill Field, Utah. It was inactivated on 27 June 1949.
Activated 1 April 1944 at Dalhart Army Airfield, Texas. Initially equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses for training, due to shortage of B-29 Superfortresses. Moved to Fairmont Army Airfield, Nebraska, in August 1944 and equipped with B-29B limited production aircraft. After completion of training deployed to Central Pacific Area (CPA), assigned to XXI Bomber Command, Northwest Field (Guam) for operational missions. B-29Bs were standard production aircraft stripped of most defensive guns to increase speed and bomb load, The tail gun was aimed and fired automatically by the new AN/APG-15B radar fire control system that detected the approaching enemy plane and made all the necessary calculations. Mission of the squadron was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands. Dntered combat on 16 June 1945 with a bombing raid against an airfield on Moen. Flew first mission against the Japanese home islands on 26 June 1945 and afterwards operated principally against the enemy's petroleum industry. Flew primarily low-level, fast attacks at night using a mixture of high-explosive and incendary bombs to attack targets.
Flew last combat mission on 15 August 1945, later flew in "Show of Force" mission on 2 September 1945 over Tokyo Bay during formal Japanese Surrender. Inactivated on Guam 15 April 1946, personnel returned to the United States and aircraft sent to storage in Southwest United States.
Reactivated in Air Force Reserve 1947. Equipped with B-29s and provided reserve training until 1949 when inactivated due to budget reductions.
Operations and Decorations
- Combat Operations: Combat in Western Pacific, 16 Jun-14 Aug 1945
- Campaigns: Air Offensive; Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific.
- Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citation, Japan 6-13 Jul 1945
- Constituted 15th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 28 Mar 1944
- Activated on 1 Apr 1944
- Inactivated on 15 Apr 1946
- Activated in the reserve on 1 Aug 1947
- Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949.
- Dalhart AAF, Texas, 1 April 1944
- Fairmont AAF, Nebraska, 15 August 1944 – 7 March 1945
- Northwest Field, Guam, Mariana Islands, 14 April 1945 – 15 April 1946
- Hill Field, Utah, 1 Aug 1947-27 Jun 1949
- Maurer, Maurer, ed (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_sq_of_the_af_wwii.pdf.
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