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349th Air Refueling Squadron
349th Air Refueling Squadron.jpg
349th Air Refueling Squadron Patch
Active 1 June 1942 - 1 December 1945
29 May 1947 - 27 June 1949
1 January 1956 - 1 June 1992
1 January 1994 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Aerial refueling
Part of Air Mobility Command
18th Air Force
22d Air Refueling Wing
22d Operations Group
Garrison/HQ McConnell Air Force Base
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DCU
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/ V Device
Ruban de la croix de guerre 1939-1945.PNG FCdG w/ Palm

SAC 349th Bombardment Squadron emblem

World War II 349th Bomb Squadron emblem

The 349th Air Refueling Squadron (349 ARS) is part of the 22d Air Refueling Wing at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. It operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting aerial refueling missions.


Established as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron in mid-1942; trained initially under Third Air Force in the southeast, then transferring to Second Air Force in the Pacific Northwest. Operated as an Operational Training Unit (OTU) in the Midwest until being deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO), being assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England in June 1949.

Engaged in strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Germany, sustaining very heavy losses of personnel and aircraft while conducting many unescorted missions over enemy territory attacking airfields, industries, naval facilities and transportation hubs. During the summer of 1944, aircrews bombed enemy positions at Saint-Lô, followed by similar campaigns at Brest in August and September. In October 1944, the squadron attacked enemy and ground defenses in the allied drive on the Siegfried Line, then bombed marshaling yards, German occupied villages, and communication targets in the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945. Attacked enemy targets in Germany during the spring of 1945, ending combat operations with the German Capitulation in May 1945.

Remained in Europe as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe occupation forces, dropping food to the people in the west of the Netherlands, and in June transported French Allied former prisoners of war from Austria to France. Demobilizing in England, in December 1945 the squadron inactivated as a paper unit.

Activated in the Reserves in 1947 at Miami Airport, Florida. Unclear whether or not the unit was manned or equipped; inactivated in 1949 due to budget restrictions. Reactivated under Strategic Air Command received new, swept wing B-47 Stratojets in 1956 which were designed to carry nuclear weapons and to penetrate Soviet air defenses with its high operational ceiling and near supersonic speed. The squadron flew the B-47 for about a decade when by the mid-1960s it had become obsolescent and vulnerable to new Soviet air defenses. The squadron began to send its stratojets to AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB for retirement in 1965, the last being retired in 1966, one of the last B-47 Squadrons. Redesignated as a strategic reconnaissance from, 1966–1976. The squadron flew air refueling in support of the SR-71 Blackbird from, 1976–1990 and provided cargo and air refueling support to combat units in Southwest Asia from, August 1990–March 1991.[1]


  • Constituted 349 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
Activated on 1 Jun 1942
Redesignated 349 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 20 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 1 Dec 1945
  • Redesignated 349 Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 13 May 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 29 May 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Redesignated 349 Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 1 Aug 1955
Activated on 1 Jan 1956
Redesignated: 349 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron on 25 Jun 1966
Redesignated: 349 Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, on 30 Sep 1976
Redesignated: 349 Air Refueling Squadron on 1 Sep 1991
Inactivated on 1 Jun 1992
  • Activated on 1 Jan 1994.


Bases stationed[1]

  • Orlando AB, Florida 1 June 1942
  • Barksdale Field, Louisiana, c. 18 June 1942
  • Pendleton Field, Oregon c. 26 June 1942
  • Gowen Field, Idaho, 28 August 1942
  • Walla Walla, Washington, c. 1 November 1942
  • Wendover Field, Utah, c. 30 November 1942
  • Sioux City AAB, Iowa, c. 28 December 1942
  • Kearney AAFld, Nebraska, c. 30 January – May 1943
  • RAF Thorpe Abbotts (USAAF Station 139), England, 9 June 1943 – December 1945
  • Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, c. 20–21 December 1945

  • Miami Army Air Field, Florida (1947–1949)
Not equipped or manned

Aircraft Operated[1]



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

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, AL: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

See also

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