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91st Air Refueling Squadron [91st ARS]

The 91st Air Refueling Squadron was constituted as the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on 20 November 1940. Activated on 15 January 1941 at Langley Field, VA, the squadron was assigned on that date to General Headquarters Air Force (later, Air Force Combat Command), though attached to the 34th Bombardment Group. It became assigned to the 1st Bomber Command, on 5 September 1941, while remaining attached to the 34th Bombardment Group; and to the II Bomber Command, c. 25 January 1942,relocating in the process to Pendleton, OR, while again remaining attached to 34th Bombardment Group through 24 February 1942. It became attached to the 34th Bombardment Group, on 25 Febraury 1942.

The squadron was redesignated as the 391st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 22 April 1942 and on 20 August 1943 as the 391st Bombardment Squadron, Heavy. During the course of World War II, the squadron was tasked with conducting antisubmarine patrols, from December 1941-October 1942, while stationned at Ephrata AAB, WA (1 December 1942); Blythe AAB, CA (11 December 1942-3 April 1944) and also deployed at Salinas AAB, CA (29 May-13 July 1943). The squadron deployed to Mendelsham, England, from 23 April 1944-24 July 1945 and saw combat in ETO, from 24 May 1944-20 April 1945. Aircraft flown by the squadron were the PT-17(1941); the B-17(1941-1943, 1944-1945); the B-18 (1941-1942); and the B-24 (1942-1943, 1944). Upon its return to the United States, at Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, on 13 August 1945, the squadron was inactivated on 28 August 1945.

The squadron was consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 91st Air Refueling Squadron, Medium, which was itself constituted on 1 March 1950 and activated on 16 April 1950 at Barksdale AFB, LA. Assigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Group, the squadron was tasked with conducting Worldwide air refueling operations. The 91st was attached to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing from 10 February 1951-27 May 1952. The squadron relocated to Lockbourne AFB, OH, on 11 September 1951. Thereafter, it deployed at French Morocco (12 January-26 February 1954); Goose AB, Labrador (6 October-12 November 1954); and Ernest Harmon AFB, Newfoundland (10 July-October 1955). The 91st was reassigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, on 28 May 1952, but was attached to 5th Air Division (12 January-26 February 1954) and to Northeast Air Command (6 October-12 November 1954 and 10 July-October 1955).

The squadron was reassigned to the 801st Air Division, on 8 November 1957; to the 376th Bombardment Wing, on 1 December 1957 (but attached to 301st Air Refueling Wing, from 4 May-14 June 1964). The squadron was redesignated 91st Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, on 1 January 1963. 1963 also saw the squadron transition to the KC-135 aircraft. The squadron had previously flown the KB-29 (1950-1953) and the KC-97(1953-1963). The following year, the 91st became assigned to the 301st Air Refueling Wing, on 15 June.

Crews and aircraft from the 91st deployed to Southeast Asia to refuel tactical aircraft and B-52s involved in combat in Vietnam, from January 1965-December 1975.

The squadron relocated to McConnell AFB, KS, on 30 June 1971. From 1971-1972, the squadron added the UH-1 to its aircraft inventory. A string of reassignments for the 91st followed: to the 47th Air Division (1 July 1971); to 14th Air Division (1 April 1972); to the 12th Strategic Missile Division (1 August 1972); to the 384th Air Refueling (later 384th Bombardment) Wing (1 December 1972). The squadron inactivated on 1 October 1987.

The 91st refueled aircraft participating in the Grenada rescue mission, from October-November 1983.

The 91st reactivated on 5 January 1988 at Malmstrom AFB, MT, flying the KC-135, and as part of the 301st Air Refueling Wing. It was redesignated as the 91st Air Refueling Squadron on 1 September 1991 when it became reassigned to the 301st Operations Group. The squadron subsequently became reassigned to the 43d Operations Group, on 1 June 1992 and to the 43d Air Refueling Group, on 1 July 1994.

The 91st Air Refueling Squadron (91st ARS) operates the KC-135R Stratotanker. The KC-135R is a long-range tanker aircraft capable of refueling a variety of other aircraft in mid-air, anywhere in the world and under any weather condition. MacDill KC-135's have supported US military operations all over the world including refueling coalition aircraft during the war in Bosnia.

The 91st ARS is tasked with conducting global engagement through air refueling and airlift support of US national interests and resident Commanders in Chief.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:15:48 ZULU