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77th Air Refueling Squadron
77 ARS.jpg
Active 25 February 1943 - 10 June 1946
15 July 1947 - 8 July 1972
1 October 1985 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Aerial refueling
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
4th Air Force
916th Air Refueling Wing
916th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
Engagements Operation Overlord
Operation Market Garden
Operation Varsity
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg RVGC w/ Palm

The 77th Air Refueling Squadron (77 ARS) is a United States Air Force Reserve squadron, assigned to the 916th Operations Group, stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.


The squadron operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting aerial refueling missions.


77th ARS KC-135R tanker taxis for take off from RAF Fairford

Established in early 1943 as a C-47 Skytrain transport squadron under First Air Force, later trained under I Troop Carrier Command in the eastern United States. Deployed to England in late 1943, being assigned to Ninth Air Force in England, IX Troop Carrier Command to participate in the buildup of forces prior to the Allied landings in France during D-Day in June 1944. Began training for participation in the airborne operation over Normandy. Entered combat on D-Day 1944 by dropping paratroops of the 101st Airborne Division near Cherbourg; towed Waco and Horsa gliders carrying reinforcements to that area on the afternoon of D-Day and on the following morning; received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its part in the Normandy invasion.

Began transport services following the landings in France and intermittently engaged in missions of this type until V-E Day; hauled supplies such as serum, blood plasma, radar sets, clothing, rations, and ammunition, and evacuated wounded personnel to Allied hospitals.

Interrupted supply and evacuation missions to train for and participate in three major airborne assaults. A detachment that was sent to Italy in July 1944 for the invasion of Southern France dropped paratroops over the assault area on 15 August and released gliders carrying troops and equipment such as jeeps, guns, and ammunition; flew a resupply mission over France on 16 August; and then transported supplies to bases in Italy before returning to England at the end of the month.

In September 1944 the group participated in the air attack on Holland, dropping paratroops of 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions and releasing gliders carrying reinforcements.

Moved to France in February 1945 for the airborne assault across the Rhine; each aircraft towed two gliders in transporting troops and equipment to the east bank of the Rhine on 24 March; then the group flew resupply missions to Germany in support of ground forces. Transported supplies to occupation forces in Germany and evacuated Allied prisoners of war after V-E Day. Returned to the US in August Inactivated on 15 November 1945.

The squadron trained for and flew airlift missions in the reserve for most of the period of 1947-1972, including airlift to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. Since October 1985 it has flown air refueling and air transport missions as needed worldwide, taking part in many contingency and humanitarian operations, including air refueling support during the U.S. invasion of Panama, December 1989-January 1990 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991.[1]

Operations and Decorations

  • Combat Operations. Participated in airborne assaults on Normandy, Holland, and Germany; transported personnel and cargo, and evacuated casualties in ETO during World War II. Supported occupation forces and evacuated Allied troops who had been prisoners of war. Airlift to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam conflict. Air refueling support during the U.S. incursion into Panama, Dec 1989-Jan 1990 and the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
  • Campaigns. World War II: Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Operation Just Cause; Operation Desert Storm; Operation Joint Forge; Operation Enduring Freedom; Operation Iraqi Freedom; Operation Odyssey Dawn


Emblem of the World War II 77th Troop Carrier Squadron

  • Constituted 77th Troop Carrier Squadron on 30 Jan 1943
Activated on 25 Feb 1943
Inactivated on 10 Jun 1946
  • Activated in the Reserve on 15 Jul 1947
Re-designated: 77th Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium on 26 Jul 1949
Ordered to Active Service on 1 Mar 1951
Inactivated on 1 Dec 1952
  • Activated in the Reserve on 1 Dec 1952
Re-designated: 77th Troop Carrier Squadron, Heavy on 8 May 1961
Ordered to Active Service on 1 Oct 1961
Relieved from active duty on 27 Aug 1962
  • Re-designated: 77th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy on 1 Dec 1965
Re-designated: 77th Military Airlift Squadron on 1 Jan 1966
Inactivated on 8 Jul 1972
  • Re-designated: 77th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy (Associate) on 14 Aug 1985
Activated in the Reserve on 1 Oct 1985
Re-designated: 77th Air Refueling Squadron (Associate) on 1 Feb 1992
Re-designated: 77th Air Refueling Squadron on 1 Oct 1994.



  • Kellogg Field, Michigan, 23 Aug 1945
  • Pope Field, North Carolina, 29 Oct 1945-10 Jun 1946
  • Miami International Airport, Florida, 15 Jul 1947-1 Dec 1952; 1 Dec 1952
  • Pinellas County International Airport, Florida, 18 Aug 1956
  • Alvin Callender Field, Louisiana, 16 Nov 1957
  • Donaldson AFB, South Carolina, 25 Mar 1958
  • Carswell AFB, Texas, 1 Apr 1963-8 Jul 1972
  • Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, 1 Oct 1985–Present



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

External links

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