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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


72nd Bomb Squadron

Eleven active-duty Air Force bases were affected by force structure, realignment and management actions during this calendar year, the Air Force announced 30 June 1995. These changes were required to execute the fiscal 1996-97 president budget, achieve efficiencies or make organizational changes. The 5th Bomb Wing inactivated the 72nd Bomb Squadron and began losing 14 B-52H aircraft, resulting in a decrease of 476 full-time military manpower authorizations.

The first landings of B-1 and B-52 bombers occurred in Iceland on 17 July 1995 in support of the biennial exercise Northern Viking '95, sponsored by the commander in chief, US Atlantic Command. The two B-1s that arrived July 17 were with the 28th Bomb Squadron from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. Both B-52s were attached to the 72nd Bomb Squadron at Minot AFB, N.D.

The 72d Bomb Squadron was organized as 72d Aero Squadron on 18 Feb 1918, and demobilized on 11 Jul 1919. It was reconstituted, and consolidated (1924) with the 72d Bombardment Squadron, which was constituted on 6 Feb 1923. The unit bombed lava flowing from Mauna Loa, thus diverting it from the city of Hilo, 27 Dec 1935. It was redesignated the 72d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 6 Dec 1939; 72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 20 Nov 1940; 72d Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 6 Mar 1944; and the 72d Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 30 Apr 1946. The Sqaudron conducted patrols over the Pacific, 7 Dec 1941-Sep 1942 and 8 Aug-2 Oct 1943. It saw combat in South and Southwest Pacific, 26 Sep 1942-6 Aug 1943; 4 Oct-15 Nov 1943; 24 Dec 1943-2 Apr 1944; and in Southwest and Western Pacific, 18 Apr 1944-12 Aug 1945.

Inactivated on 10 Mar 1947, it was redesignated 72d Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Long Range, Photographic, on 16 Sep 1947 and activated on 13 Oct 1947. The unit was redesignated the 72d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Photographic, on 23 Feb 1949 and the 72d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Heavy, on 14 Nov 1950.

The 72d Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, was activated on 1 Oct 1955, and inactivated, on 1 Feb 1963. Redesignated the 72d Bomb Squadron on 30 Nov 1994, the unit was activated on 1 Dec 1994. The unit was stationed at Mountain Home AFB, ID, 28 Jun 1949; Fairfield-Suisun (later, Travis) AFB, CA, 9 Nov 1949 (deployed at Andersen AFB, Guam, 14 Jan-12 Apr 1955); Mather AFB, CA, 1 Jul 1958-1 Feb 1963. Minot AFB, ND, 1 Dec 1994-. It flew various aircraft, including B-29, 1947-1951; F-13, 1947-1948; RB-36, 1951-1955; B/RB-36, 1955-1958; B-52, 1958-1963.




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