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93d Air Refueling Squadron
93d Air Refueling Squadron.jpg
93d Air Refueling Squadron Patch
Active 25 October 1942 - 6 January 1946
1 March 1949 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Aerial refueling
Part of Air Mobility Command
18th Air Force
92d Air Refueling Wing
92d Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Fairchild Air Force Base
Motto(s) Domini Artis
Masters of the Art
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DCU
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/V Device
Aircraft flown
Tanker KC-135 Stratotanker

1950s SAC 93d Air Refueling Squadron emblem

World War II 493d Bombardment Squadron emblem

The 93d Air Refueling Squadron (93 ARS) is part of the 92d Air Refueling Wing at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. It operates the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft conducting aerial refueling missions.


World War II

Activated in nonoperational status at New Delhi or Karachi (sources differ), India, on 25 Oct 1942. Moved to Pandaveswar Airfield on 7 Jan 1943 and became operational with B-24 Liberators. Commenced combat operations on 26 Jan 1943. Engaged in very long range strategic bombardment operations, attacking communications targets (roads, railroads, etc.) in central and southern Burma, all without fighter escort due to the long distances involved. Primary targets were oil refineries, docks, depots, enemy airfields, marshalling yards, bridges, locomotive repair sheds, naval vessels, and troop concentrations. Moved to Tezgaon Airfield, India, on 17 Jun 1944, and assumed a new mission: transporting high-octane gasoline over Himalayan Mountains “The Hump” to bases in China. This mission lasted until 5 October, at which time the squadron moved back to Pandaveswar to resume bombing missions in Burma and Thailand. A detachment of the 493rd Squadron operated from Luliang Airfield, China, 17 Dec 1944-26 Jan 1945, hauling gasoline to Suichwan Airfield, China. The squadron proper began practice with Azon MCLOS-guidance bombs, as the only known USAAF unit to use them outside of the European Theater of World War II[1] and which also which proved very effective against bridges and rail lines. In early 1945 the squadron concentrated on attacks against the Burma-Thailand railroad, the most important line left to the enemy in Burma. The squadron also dropped propaganda leaflets, from June–September 1945 and the end of the war. After fighting ended in Burma the 493rd Bomb Squadron was ordered to practice Azon bombing in China, but soon “alerted” for inactivation. With its parent (7th Bomb Group) the 493rd staged through Dudhkundi, Kanchrapara, and Camp Angus (near Calcutta), departing Calcutta aboard the USS General Black on 7 Dec 1945. The vessel reached the U.S. on 5 Jan 1946 and the squadron inactivated at Camp Kilmer, NJ, the following day

Strategic Air Command

Activated on 1 Mar 1949 as the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Medium, but was not manned until September 1950. Received KB-29P Superfortress tankers, October 1950-Jun 1951. Became combat ready in October 1951. The 93rd ARS deployed to RAF Upper Heyford, England, 6 Dec 1951-6 Mar 1952, while the parent wing was at nearby RAF Mildenhall. The squadron supported Operation FOX PETER II, the movement of the 31st Fighter-Escort Wing from the U.S. to Japan, in July 1952 using 11 KB-20Ps at Guam and Kwajalein to refuel some 58 F-84G fighters on their way to the Korean War. The squadron converted from KB-29s to KC-97G Stratotankers in November and December 1953. It undertook several oversea deployments, to Newfoundland, Greenland, French Morocco, and Alaska, in 1954-1956.

The 93rd ARS began training its aircrews to operate KC-135 Stratotankers in May 1957. Began receiving KC-135s on 28 Jun 1957, three days after converting to KC-135 aircrew training as primary mission. Possessed 19 tankers in December 1957 and 39 by May 1958. Effective 1 Jul 1959, the resources of the 93rd ARS were divided with the 924th ARS, which unit assumed the SAC KC-135 aircrew training mission with 15 aircraft. The 93rd ARS, at the same time, resumed full-time air refueling with 20 KC-135s. This status lasted until 21 Aug 1963, when the 93rd ARS ceased standing alert and prepared to resume full-time KC-135 aircrew training. On the 26th of August the 93rd once again began KC-135 aircrew training as its primary mission. It retained Emergency War Order (EWO) commitments along with its training mission, but did not stand alert.

Modern era

The squadron’s mission remained basically the same until 31 Mar 1995. Thousands of Strategic Air Command and some Air Mobility Command KC-135 aircrews received flight training from the 93 ARS. Each crew (pilot, copilot, navigator, and boom operator), after academic training with the 4017th Training Squadron at Castle AFB, received 45 days of flight training from the 93rd ARS. The squadron also provided specialized training of shorter duration to senior officers (such as wing commanders). For a period the 93rd ARS also sent instructor teams to locations where Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units were converting to KC-135 tanker operations to help in-house training programs. On rare occasions the 93rd had deployed some of its aircraft and crews to meet its own EWO commitments or to meet needs exceeding the capability of the 924th ARS. A few such deployments occurred in 1980.[2] With the BRAC-directed closure of Castle AFB, On 31 Mar 1995, the 93 ARS relocated to Fairchild AFB, Washington, and became a deployable air refueling squadron under the 92d Air Refueling Wing (92 ARW).


  • Constituted as 493 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 Sep 1942
Activated on 25 Oct 1942
Redesignated as 493 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 6 Mar 1944
Inactivated on 6 Jan 1946
  • Consolidated (19 Sept 1985) with 93 Air Refueling Squadron, Medium
Constituted on 2 Feb 1949
Activated on 1 Mar 1949
Redesignated as: 93 Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, on 1 Feb 1955
Redesignated as: 93 Air Refueling Squadron on 1 Sept 1991
Inactivated on 31 Mar 1995
  • Activated on 31 Mar 1995.


Attached to 93d Bombardment Wing, 15 Jul 1950-30 Jan 1951 and 10 Feb 1951-15 Jun 1952


  • Karachi, India (1942–1943)
  • Pandaveswar, India (1943–1944)
  • Tezgaon, India (1944)
  • Pandaveswar, India (1944–1945)
    • Detachment: Lüliang, China (17 December 1944 - 26 January 1945)
  • Dudhkundi, India (1945)
  • Kanchrapara, India (1945)
  • Camp Angus, India (1945)
  • Camp Kilmer, New Jersey (1946)




 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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