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351st Air Refueling Squadron
351st Air Refueling Squadron.jpg
351st Air Refueling Squadron Patch
Active 1 June 1942 - 15 December 1945
17 July 1947 - 27 June 1949
1 January 1956 - 25 June 1966
31 March 1992 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Aerial refueling
Part of United States Air Forces in Europe
3rd Air Force
100th Air Refueling Wing
100th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ RAF Mildenhall
Motto(s) Pax Opus Nostrum
Peace is our Profession
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DCU
Ruban de la croix de guerre 1939-1945.PNG FCdG w/ Palm

SAC 351st Bombardment Squadron emblem

World War II 351st Bomb Squadron emblem

The 351st Air Refueling Squadron (351 ARS) is part of the 100th Air Refueling Wing at RAF Mildenhall, England. 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 obsolete and vulnerable to new Soviet air defenses. The squadron began to send its stratojets to AMARC at Davis-Monthan AFB for retirement in 1965, and the unit inactivated in 1966, one of the last B-47 Squadrons. Reactivated in England in 1992 as an aerial refueling squadron.[1]


  • Constituted 351st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
Activated on 1 Jun 1942
Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 20 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 15 Dec 1945
  • Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 3 Jul 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 17 Jul 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Redesignated 351st Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 1 Aug 1955
Activated on 1 Jan 1956
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1966
  • Redesignated 351st Air Refueling Squadron on 26 Mar 1992
Activated on 31 Mar 1992.
Designated as 351st Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron when squadron components deployed to support Air Expeditionary operations after 1 October 1994.


Bases stationed

  • 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

Aircraft operated



 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.
  1. AFHRA 351 ARS Page
  2. This story was written by Senior Airman Rachel Waller. "RAF Mildenhall continues support for NATO Libyan operations". Retrieved 2012-11-06. 

See also

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