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98th Air Refueling Squadron
200px Emblem of the 98th Air Refueling Squadron
Emblem of the 398th Bombardment Squadron
Active 1942-1946; 1954-1998
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Bombardment; Air Refueling

The 98th Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 92d Operations Group, based at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington. It was inactivated on 1 July 1998.


Established in January 1942 as B-25 Mitchell medium bomber Operational Training Unit for Third Air Force. Became B-26 Marauder OTU in June 1942, also flew antisubmarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico.

B-29 Superfortress operations against Japan

Re-Activated in March 1944 as a B-29 Superfortress Very Heavy bombardment squadron. When training was completed moved to North Field Tinian in the Mariana Islands of the Central Pacific Area in January 1945 and assigned to XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force. It's mission was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands and the destruction of its war-making capability. Flew "shakedown" missions against Japanese targets on Moen Island, Truk, and other points in the Carolines and Marianas. The squadron began combat missions over Japan on 25 February 1945 with a firebombing mission over Northeast Tokyo. The squadron continued to participate in wide area firebombing attack, but the first ten day blitz resulting in the Army Air Forces running out of incendiary bombs. Until then the squadron flew conventional strategic bombing missions using high explosive bombs.

The squadron continued attacking urban areas with incendiary raids until the end of the war in August 1945, attacking major Japanese cities, causing massive destruction of urbanized areas. Also conducted raids against strategic objectives, bombing aircraft factories, chemical plants, oil refineries, and other targets in Japan. The squadron flew its last combat missions on 14 August when hostilities ended. Afterwards, its B 29s carried relief supplies to Allied prisoner of war camps in Japan and Manchuria.

Squadron was largely de-mobilized on Tinian during the fall of 1945. Remained in Western Pacific, assigned to Twentieth Air Force. Moved to Clark Field to the Philippines in March 1946. Inactivated at Clark Field on Luzon on June 15, 1946; its low-hour aircraft flown to storage depots in the United States.

United States Air Force

On 16 August 1950 the unit was reactivated as the 98th Air Refueling Squadron at Spokane Air Force Base, Washington and assigned to the 98th Bombardment Group, Medium, while flying the KB-29. It was inactivated again on 8 April 1952. From 1952 to 1963, the squadron was activated and inactivated several times and moved from base to base.

The 98th Air Refueling Squadron (SAC) was formed at Lincoln AFB, Nebraska in 1954. Made up of former members of the 55th ARS from Forbes AFB, Kansas. Inactivated in 1963 when SAC's heavy strategic bomber forces began to be drawn down in favor of ICBMs. In 1985, after 22 years of inactivation, the 98th ARS was reactivated and consolidated with the 398th Bombardment Squadron. It was re-designated the 98th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 19 September 1986 and then renamed the 98th Air Refueling Squadron on 1 April 1994 at Fairchild AFB, Washington, flying KC-135T Stratotanker aircraft. The 98th ARS was again inactivated in 1998 as the Air Force drew down after the end of the Cold War.

Operations and decorations

  • Combat Operations: Antisubmarine patrols in the Gulf of Mexico, 8 Jun 1942 and 31 Jul-8 Aug 1942. Combat in Western Pacific, 16 Jun-14 Aug 1945.
  • Campaigns: World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific.
  • Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citations: Yokahoma, Japan, 28 May 1945; Japan and Korea, 27 Jul-14 Aug 1945.


  • Constituted 8th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) on 13 January 1942
Activated on 1 February 1942
Redesignated 398th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 22 April 1942
Disbanded on 10 October 1943.
  • Constituted 398th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 28 February 1944
Activated on 11 March 1944
Inactivated on 15 June 1946
  • Consolidated on 1 June 1985 with the 98th Air Refueling Squadron which was activated on 16 August 1950.
Inactivated on 7 January 1963
  • Redesignated 98th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy on 19 September 1986
Activated on 19 September 1986
Redesignated 98th Air Refueling Squadron on 1 April 1994
Inactivated on 30 September 1998.


Redesignated: 92d Wing, 19 September 1991
Redesignated: 92d Bomb Wing, 1 June 1992
Redesignated: 92d Air Refueling Wing, 19 July 1994-30 September 1998




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

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