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68th Air Refueling Squadron
KC-135A 28BW taking off Ellsworth AFB 1984.JPEG
Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker in Strategic Air Command markings
Active 1942–1944; 1952; 1953–1965
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Air Refueling
Motto(s) Around the World Around the Clock
68th Air Refueling Squadron Patch 68th Air Refueling Squadorn - SAC - Emblem.png

The 68th Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its was last assigned to the 305th Bombardment Wing at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Indiana, where it was inactivated on 25 March 1965.

The earliest predecessor of the squadron was the 468th Bombardment Squadron, which served as a heavy bombardment training unit until it was disbanded in a reorganization of United States Army Air Forces units in the United States designed to conserve manpower needed in the overseas theaters.

The 68th Air Refueling Squadron served with Strategic Air Command to extend the range of bombers assigned to the command as needed to perform their worldwide mission. It was discontinued in 1965 and its mission, personnel and equipment were transferred to the 305th Air Refueling Squadron. In 1985 the two squadrons were consolidated into a single unit, but have not been active since then.


World War II

Convair B-24 Liberator

The 468th Bombardment Squadron was activated as a Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment squadron in July 1942.[1] The squadron was part of Second Air Force and served as an operational training unit (OTU). The OTU program involved the use of an oversized parent unit to provide cadres to “satellite groups”.[2] However, the United States Army Air Forces found that standard military units, based on relatively inflexible tables of organization were proving less well adapted to the mission. Accordingly a more functional system was adopted in which each base was organized into a separate numbered unit.[3] The squadron and its parent group were inactivated in 1944 and replaced by the 232d Army Air Forces Base Unit (Development, Heavy) as Dalhart Army Air Field prepared to transition to Boeing B-29 Superfortress training.[4]

Strategic Air Command

KC-97 refueling a B-47 bomber

The 68th Air Refueling Squadron was activated briefly in 1952 as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) air refueling squadron, but was apparently not manned before being inactivated seven weeks later.[5] It was reactivated toward the end of 1953 and equipped with Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker aircraft to support the Boeing B-47 Stratojet medium bombers of the 68th Bombardment Wing. In September 1957, the squadron moved to Bunker Hill Air Force Base when SAC assumed responsibility for the base from Tactical Air Command. It was the first operational SAC unit at Bunker Hill.[6] In 1959 the squadron upgraded to the jet Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker in anticipation of the arrival of the 305th Bombardment Wing at Bunker Hill and the wing's conversion from B-47s to the Convair B-58 Hustler.[7] The squadron was inactivated in 1965 and replaced by the 305th Air Refueling Squadron, which assumed its mission, personnel, and equipment.[8]

On 19 September 1985 the 68th Air Refueling Squadron was consolidated with the 468th Bombardment Squadron. The consolidated unit retains the designation of 68th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy.[9]


468th Bombardment Squadron

  • Constituted as 468th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 9 July 1942
Activated on 15 July 1942
Inactivated on 1 April 1944[1]
  • Consolidated with 68th Air Refueling Squadron on 19 September 1985 as the 68th Air Refueling Squadron[9] (remained inactive)

68th Air Refueling Squadron

  • Constituted as 68th Air Refueling Squadron, Medium on 7 April 1952
Activated on 8 April 1952 (not operational)
Inactivated on 28 May 1952
  • Activated 25 November 1953
Redesignated 68th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 1 June 1959
Inactivated on 25 March 1965
  • Consolidated with 468th Bombardment Squadron on 19 September 1985[9] (remained inactive)






  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Maurer, Maurer, ed (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 574. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 
  2. Craven, Wesley F & Cate, James L, ed (1955). "Introduction". The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. p. xxxvi. LCCN 48-3657. 
  3. Goss, William A, The Organization and its Responsibilities, Chapter 2 The AAF p. 75 (in Craven & Cate)
  4. Abstract, History of Dalhart AAF, Vol. I April 1944 (retrieved June 25, 2013)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947–1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 108. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 211–214. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ravenstein, p. 150
  8. See Mueller
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 Sep 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons


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

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