43rd Bombardment Wing B-58 Hustler Model
Fly the legendary B-58 Hustler in this handcrafted wooden model. Each piece is carved from wood and hand painted to provide a piece you’ll love.
43rd Bomb Wing
The 43rd Bomb Wing was SAC’s first supersonic bombardment wing. Equipped first with B-29s, then with B-50s, and later to B-47 bombers, and from B-29 to KB-29 to KC-97 to KC-135 tankers, the wing trained, conducted long-range test missions and set new flight records.
The wing traces its roots back to the 43rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), which was constituted Nov. 20, 1940, and activated Jan. 15, 1941, at Langley Field, Va., a little more than a month after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The wing first began training and flying some antisubmarine patrols along the New England coast with B-17, B-18, A-29 and LB-30 aircraft.In February 1942, it moved to the southwest Pacific and was assigned to Fifth Air Force, where it would operate from August 1942 to Nov. 1944. First equipped with B-17s and later converting to the B-24 in mid-1943, the 43rd operated from bases in Australia, New Guinea and Owi Island, making numerous attacks on Japanese shipping in the Netherlands East Indies and the Bismarck Archipelago. The group also experimented with skip bombing during this time and used this method for some shipping strikes, including attacks on Japanese vessels during the Battle of the Bismarck Sea March 2-4, 1943, in which repeated air attacks destroyed a large enemy convoy carrying reinforcements to New Guinea.
First organized as the 43rd Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, on 17 November 1947, the new unit trained in strategic bombing with B-29 bombers at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. From November 1947 through December 1948, the unit served as a double-sized wing controlling the tactical and support components from another SAC wing. In July 1948, the unit was redesignated as the 43rd Bombardment Wing (Medium).
Under the leadership of Colonel James C. Selser, Jr., the wing received the first B-50 aircraft in the USAF inventory in 1948. A year later, the unit expanded its mission to include air refueling and added KB-29s to its roster. Aircrews from the 43rd set records with all three aircraft.
On 22 July 1948, three B-29s set out from Davis-Monthan AFB on a planned 14-day trip around the world. The crash of one B-29 delayed the trip one day, but the remaining aircraft completed the trip in a record 15 days. The 20,000-mile flight required eight stops along the way and took 103 hours, 50 minutes of flying time to complete. Though impressive for the day, the 43rd accomplished a greater feat the next year.
On 2 March 1949, the Lucky Lady II, a B-50A (serial number 46-010) of the 43rd Bombardment Group, completed the first nonstop round-the-world flight, having covered 23,452 miles in 94 hours and 1 minute — starting on 26 February 1949. Lucky Lady II was refueled four times in the air by KB-29 tankers of the 43rd Air Refueling Squadron, demonstrating the effectiveness of air refueling to the world. For this outstanding flight, the Lucky Lady II crew received the Mackay Trophy, given annually by the National Aeronautic Association for the outstanding flight of the year, and the Air Age Trophy, an Air Force Association award, given each year in recognition of significant contributions to the public understanding of the air age.
The wing continued its strategic bombing and air refueling missions into the 1950s. 43rd crews in two KB-29s earned the first combat sortie credits for tankers when they refueled an RF-80 over Korea on 28 September 1951. Two years later the wing replaced the KB-29s with KC-97s.