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46th Air Refueling Squadron
46th Air Refueling Squadron - SAC - Emblem.png
Emblem of the 46th Air Refueling Squadron
Active 1942-1996
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Air Refueling

The 46th Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 410th Operations Group, stationed at K. I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan. It was inactivated on 8 October 1993.


The 46th Ferrying Squadron, Air Transport Command, was activated on December 2, 1942 at Wadi Seidna Airport, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. The 46th was assigned to the 13th Ferrying Group who assigned area took in the territory from El Geneine, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, to Karachi, India (now Pakistan), and from Cairo, Egypt, to Tehran, Iran. The 46th was responsible for the aerial transportation of personnel, supplies and mail throughout this area. The squadron was redesignated the 46th Transport Squadron on March 24, 1943. With the reorganization of the Africa Middle East Wing (AMEW), the 46th was disbanded on September 30, 1943 when the group and squadron organizations of the Central African Sector (CAS) were disbanded and replaced by stations. The 13th Transport Group, its assigned squadrons, and all personnel and equipment were absorbed by the newly created ATC Station #20, AMEW-ATC, Khartoum.

Reconstituted and redesignated the 46th Air Transport Squadron, Medium, Military Air Transport Service. The 46th began operations at Kelly AFB, Texas, in July 1954. The 46th operated primarily as a training squadron until April 1955, at which time it became a full strength squadron. The primary mission of the 46th was to provide air movement of personnel and supplies over almost two-thirds of the globe as designated by higher headquarters. The secondary mission was to train new Military Air Transport Service (MATS) personnel and to make them an integral part of the squadron. The 46th Air Transport Squadron inactivated on April 8, 1956.

When the 923rd Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, was discontinued and inactivated on April 1, 1961, the 46th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, was organized and gained the mission, personnel, and equipment of the 923rd. Stationed at K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan the 46th flew regular, reflex, alert, and training refueling missions; its tankers refueled TAC fighters being deployed or rotated overseas, and those returning to the United States. Aircrews of the 46th were deployed to assist in refueling operations during the Cuban Missile Crisis; it also sent aircraft and crews to Southeast Asia to support combat missions of SAC bombers and TAC fighters. The 46th deployed aircraft and crews for tanker task forces operating out of Alaska, Spain, Labrador, and in the Great Lakes region. The squadron maintained operational readiness to conduct air refueling operations with the KC-135A Stratotanker as specified by higher headquarters until its inactivation. The squadron commanders of the 46th Air Refueling Squadron from activation to inactivation were: Winfred H. Meibohm, C. Hunter Smith **, Laurence Maher, Jr **, Ronald L. Brumbaugh **, Wilson W. Howard **, Samuel E. Dyke **, Bertram G. Brunner **, Edward G. Palm **, Martin D. Klena, Frank Elliott **, Alvin W. Langford, Donald D. Luenenberg **, Richard E. Ring, Donald S. Croston, Richard L. Trail, Robert L. Hohman, Ronald B. Childers, Dale R. Liesch, William G. Manire, Richard W. Salsbury, William E. Rutter, Brian W. Horst, Russell Deming, James Nakauchi

                                                     ** Indicates this individual was Deceased as of Sep 2013.[1]

Inactivated in 1993 as part of the post Cold War drawdown of the USAF and inactivation of the parent 410th Bombardment Wing and closure of K. I. Sawyer AFB, MI.


  • Established as: 46th Ferrying Squadron on 1 Dec 1942
Activated in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, 2 Dec 1942
Redesignated as: 46th Transport Squadron on 24 Mar 1943
Disbanded on 30 Sep 1943
  • Reactivated as: 46th Air Transport Squadron, Medium, on 1 Jul 1954
Inactivated on: 8 Apr 1956
  • Reactivated as: 46th Air Refueling Squadron on 1 Apr 1961
Organized on 1 Apr 1961, absorbing the personnel/aircraft/equipment of the 923d Air Refueling Squadron (activated on 1 May 1960)
Inactivated on 8 Oct 1993


Attached to: 305th Operations Group, 1 Jun 1992-8 Oct 1993


Detached to: Grissom AFB, Indiana, 1 Jun 1992-8 Oct 1993



  1. "46th Air Refueling Squadron History". Retrieved 2013-10-01. 

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

  • Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0-89201-097-5

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Air Force website

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