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96th Air Refueling Squadron [96th ARS]

The 96th Air Refueling Squadron was constituted as the 6th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) on 20 November 1940 and activated on 15 January 1941 at March Field, CA. Originally attached to the 41st Bombardment Group, it became assigned to it on 25 February 1942. IT was redesignated as the 396th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 22 April 1942 and as the 396th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, c. 9 May 1943.

During World War II, the squadron deployed to Hickam Field, TH (20 October 1943); Tarawa (24 December 1943); Makin (20 April 1944); Wheeler Field, TH (14 October 1944-20 May 1945); Okinawa (7 June 1945); and Manila, Luzon (December 1945-27 January 1946). The squadron was tasked with conducting antisubmarine patrols, from December 1941-August 1942 and from December 1942-February 1943. It saw combat in the Central Pacific, from 19 January-23 September 1944, and the Western Pacific, from 9 July-12 August 1945. The squadron inactivated on 27 January 1946.

The squadron was consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 96th Air Refueling Squadron, Medium, which was constituted on 6 November 1953 and activated on 18 November 1953 as part of the 96th Bombardment Wing, 18 November 1953 (though it was attached to Northeast Air Command, 5 October-20 November 1954, 1 August-14 September 1955, 18-31 January 1956; Alaskan Air Command and 303rd Bomb Wing [split deployment], 25 June-9 October 1956; 98th Air Base Group, 10 January-7 April 1957). The 96th ARS was based at Altus AFB, OK, 18 November 1953-1 October 1960 (though it deployed at Ernest Harmon AFB, Newfoundland, 5 October-20 November 1954; Thule AFB, Greenland, 1 August-14 September 1955 and 18-31 January 1956; Elmendorf AFB, AK, and Andersen AFB, Guam [split deployment], 25 June-9 October 1956). During that period, the squadron the squadron flew the KC-97.

The squadron was reassigned to the 11th Bombardment Wing, on 3 December 1957. Redesignated as the 96th Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, on 8 March 1958, the squadron converted that same year to the KC-135. The 96th ARS was discontinued on 1 October 1960.

Organized on 15 December 1960, and assigned to 11th Bombardment (later, 11th Strategic Aerospace) Wing, at Altus AFB, OK, with the KC-135 as its aircraft, it was discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 June 1965.

The squadron was tasked with conducting air refueling to meet global commitments, from July 1954-October 1960 and from December 1960-June 1965.

Redesignated as the 96th Air Refueling Squadron, it reactivated, on 1 April 1994 and assigned to the 453rd Operations Group.

It was reassigned to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing's Operations Group at Fairchild AFB, WA, on 1 July 1994.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:16:02 ZULU