301st Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 Model
Fly with the 301st Air Refueling Squadron in this hand crafted KC-135 Model. Each piece is carved from wood and hand painted to provide a piece you’ll love.
World War II
C-47 in Air Transport Command markings
The first of the two World War II squadrons that were later to be consolidated with the 301st Air Refueling Squadron was the 301st Transport Squadron, which was activated in the summer of 1943 at Sookerating Airfield, India as one of the three squadrons of the 29th Transport Group when the India-China Wing, Air Transport Command expanded by adding three groups, the 28th, 29th, and 30th Transport Groups. The squadron drew its cadre from the 13th Air Corps Ferry Squadron , which had been stationed at Sookerating since 1942. For the next five months the squadron flew personnel, equipment and supplies from its base in India over the Hump to advanced bases in China.
On 1 December 1943, the India-China Wing, Air Transport Command reorganized, disbanding its table of organization groups and squadrons and replacing them with “Stations” manned under exact manning tables. The squadron, along with the remainder of the 29th group, was replaced by Station 7, India-China Wing, Air Transport Command.
The 322d Transport Squadron was assigned to the 31st Transport Group shortly after the 301st squadron was disbanded. The 31st group was located at RAF Grove and had been activated to transport high priority passengers and cargo for IX Air Force Service Command to support Ninth Air Force and Eighth Air Force in the United Kingdom and France. The 322d squadron was disbanded only a few months after it was activated.
Air refueling operations
The 301st Air Refueling Squadron was activated in March 1949 at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana The squadron was one of the first Strategic Air Command (SAC) air refueling squadrons established. The squadron performed air refueling in support of USAF operations on a worldwide basis as part of the 301st Bombardment Wing. The squadron performed one of its first deployments to RAF Lakenheath, England, supporting the 32d Bombardment Squadron from May to November 1950.
In the spring of 1951, SAC ordered the 301st Bombardment Wing to provide the cadre for the formation of the 376th Bombardment Wing at Barksdale, with the 301st providing the nucleus for the 376th Air Refueling Squadron. The 301st replaced its initial contingent of Boeing KB-29 Superfortresses with Boeing KC-97 Stratotankers in 1953. After 1955, the squadron was frequently detached from its parent wing as it deployed to forward locations.
In the spring of 1958, SAC phased out Boeing B-47 Stratojet operations at Barksdale, and the 301st Bombardment Wing transferred to Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio. The squadron did not move, but was assigned to the 4238th Strategic Wing, which was activated in anticipation of the assignment of Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses to Barksdale.
The 301st Deployed to Lajes Air Base in the Azores Islands in 1960, returning to Barksdale in mid-October. The squadron was programmed for inactivation in 1961 with the phaseout of the propeller-driven KC-97 from SAC, however instead it was reduced to half strength in the summer of 1961 and its inactivation was delayed until 1962 . During the period it operated at reduced strength the squadron continued to deploy to Goose Air Base, Canada as late as April 1962. As the 301st reduced in size, its companion refueling squadron in the 4238th Strategic Wing, the 913th Air Refueling Squadron, which flew more modern Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers, doubled its strength.
The 301st was reactivated in 1973 at Lockbourne as a KC-135A squadron. In 1975, the 301st wing transferred eight KC-135s to the 160th Air Refueling Group of the Ohio Air National Guard, which became the first SAC gained Air National Guard unit under the “Total Force” concept. The squadron was inactivated at the end of 1975.