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91st Air Refueling Squadron
91st Air Refueling Squadron.jpg
91st Air Refueling Squadron Patch
Active 15 January 1941 - 28 August 1945
16 April 1950 - 1 October 1987
5 January 1988 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Aerial refueling
Part of Air Mobility Command
18th Air Force
6th Air Mobility Wing
6th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ MacDill Air Force Base
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA

Emblem of the World War II 391st Bombardment Squadron

KB-29 era (1950-53) 91st ARS patch

The 91st Air Refueling Squadron (91 ARS) is part of the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. It operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting aerial refueling missions.


Established in 1940 as a long-range reconnaissance squadron, equipped with a mixture of B-17C/D Flying Fortresses and B-18 Bolos. Assigned to the GHQAF Northeast Air District at Langley Field, Virginia Reassigned to Westover Field, Massachusetts in the spring of 1941. Flew antisubmarine patrols over the Northeast coastline after the Pearl Harbor attack; reassigned to II Bomber Command and became a B-17 Operational Training Unit (OTU) at Geiger Field, Washington in January 1942, and was redesignated as a heavy bombardment squadron in April. Reassigned to Davis-Monthan Field in May 1942 and continued its mission as an OTU in May 1942, continuing this assignment, later being assigned to the Desert Training Center in Southern California in late 1942, remaining as a training squadron at the DTC until April 1944 with the closure of the facility.

Deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) in late April 1944, being assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England. Engaged in long-ranger strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany, attacking enemy military and industrial targets as part of the United States' air offensive against Nazi Germany. Returned to the United States after the German Capitulation in May 1945, being programmed as a B-29 Superfortress squadron for deployment to the Pacific Theater. Inactivated in late August 1945 after the Japanese Capitulation and the end of World War II.

Reactivated as a Strategic Air Command B-29 Air Refueling squadron in April 1950. Over the past 60 years, the 91st has flown worldwide air refueling operations. Crews and aircraft from the 91st deployed to Southeast Asia to refuel tactical aircraft and B-52 Stratofortresses involved in combat in Vietnam from, January 1965-December 1975. It refueled aircraft participating in the Grenada rescue mission between October and November 1983. The squadron also supported U.S. operations during the 1991 Gulf War. It performed aerial refuelings for bombers, airlift, and fighter aircraft as part of Tanker Task Force (TTF) around the world from, 1992-1995. On 1 October 1996 the 91st relocated with aerial refueling aircraft from Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana to MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. Since 2002 the squadron has refueled fighter aircraft providing security for the southeastern United States.[1]


  • Constituted 1st Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on 20 Nov 1940
Activated on 15 Jan 1941
Redesignated: 391st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 22 Apr 1942
Redesignated: 391st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 20 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945
  • Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, Medium, which was constituted on 1 Mar 1950
Activated on 16 Apr 1950
Redesignated 91st Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, on 1 Jan 1963
Inactivated on 1 Oct 1987
  • Activated on 5 Jan 1988
Redesignated 91st Air Refueling Squadron on 1 Sep 1991.


Associated with: 1st Photographic Group, 15 Jan 1941-22 Apr 1942 (training)
Attached to 34th Bombardment Group, 15 Jan 1941-
Remained attached to 34th Bombardment Group
Attached to 34th Bombardment Group through 24 Feb 1942
Attached to 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 10 Feb 1951-27 May 1952
Attached to 5th Air Division, 12 Jan-26 Feb 1954
Attached to Northeast Air Command, 6 Oct-12 Nov 1954 and 10 Jul-Oct 1955

Attached to 301st Air Refueling Wing, 4 May-14 Jun 1964

Bases stationed[1]

Deployed at Salinas Army Air Base, California, 29 May-13 Jul 1943

Deployed at Nouasseur AB, French Morocco, 12 Jan-26 Feb 1954
Deployed at Goose AB, Labrador, 6 Oct-12 Nov 1954
Deployed at Ernest Harmon AFB, Newfoundland, 10 Jul-Oct 1955

Aircraft Operated[1]

91st Air Refueling Squadron KB-29P Superfortress formation 1951



 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

See also

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