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34th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135A


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34th Air Refueling Squadron KC-135A

Fly with the 34th Air Refueling Squadron in this hand crafted KC-135 model. Each piece is carefully carved from wood to provide a piece you’ll love. 18 inches

World War II
The first predecessor of the squadron was activated at Ibura Airport, near Recife, Brazil in July 1942 as the 34th Ferrying Squadron, serving with the 9th Ferrying Group on the South Atlantic ferrying route. In March 1943, the group and squadron replaced their “ferrying” designation to “transport.” In October 1943, Air Transport Command reorganized its overseas units and the 34th Squadron was disbanded and its personnel and equipment were transferred to Station 10, South Atlantic Wing, Air Transport Command.

Military Air Transport Service
In 1952, Military Air Transport Service replaced most of its Major Command controlled airlift squadrons with Air Force controlled units. As part of this action, the 34th Air Transport Squadron, equipped with Douglas C-124 Globemaster IIs,[3] was activated at McChord Air Force Base and assigned to the 1705th Air Transport Group.[4] The squadron performed airlift missions in the western United States and Pacific area until inactivating in 1955.[5]

Strategic Air Command[edit] Operations in the United States[edit] The 34th Air Refueling Squadron was initially activated at Offutt Air Force Base,[6] Nebraska and assigned to the 340th Bombardment Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. It was equipped with Boeing KC-97 aircraft to provide air refueling to Strategic Air Command (SAC) and other tactical aircraft.

In 1961 SAC looked for a practical airborne counterpart to its underground command post starting in the summer of 1960. Modified Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker aircraft were assigned to the 34th for this mission and the first Operation Looking Glass mission flown by the squadron took off on 3 February 1961. In March 1963, the squadron was equipped eight specially-configured KC-135As SAC’s command and control mission. These planes were replaced the following August by KC-135B aircraft with turbofan engines and advanced electronics equipment. These aircraft could remain aloft for longer periods because they added receiver capabilities for air refueling operations, retaining their tanker configuration as well. These new aircraft were soon redesignated as Boeing EC-135Cs. In July 1965, these aircraft and their mission were transferred to the 38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron.[7]

The squadron moved to Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire on 25 June 1966[8] and flew KC-135 Stratotankers on a worldwide scale and was assigned to the 509th Bombardment Wing until inactivated on 31 March 1976.

European operations[edit] On 1 August 1978, it was redesignated as the 34th Strategic Squadron and activated at Zaragoza Air Base, Spain supporting the European Tanker Task Force under the 7th Air Division at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

On 19 September 1985 the 34th Strategic Squadron was consolidated with the 34th Air Transport Squadron, Heavy, a unit that was last active 1 July 1955.[9]

The consolidated squadron was inactivated in preparation for the inactivation of SAC and the assumption of its European activities by elements of Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and United States Air Forces Europe.