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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

310th Bomb Wing

The 310th Bomb Wing (Light) was organized as an Air Corps Reserve unit on Feb. 19, 1947 at Tinker AFB. The 310th Bombardment Wing was officially activated on July 10, 1947 in accordance with 10th Air Force General Order (10 AF GO) #41, June 26, 1947. The 323d Bombardment Group and 456th Bombardment Squadron at Tinker Field, the 340 Bombardment Group, 487th and 488th Bombardment Squadrons at Tulsa, and the 489th Bombardment Squadron at Davis Field were activated between Sep. 9 and Nov. 12, 1947, with requests for activation of up to five more bombardment squadrons pending as of early 1948.

Even before the bomb wing's activation, it was decided that it should be equipped with the respected Douglas A-26 "Invader" light bombardment aircraft. The bomb wing's reservists were indeed fortunate to receive several of these light bombers by mid-1948, with the promise of more. Plans were underway soon afterwards to activate the 323d Bombardment Group, and the 455th and 456th Bombardment Squadrons, all subordinate units of the 310th Bombardment Wing.

By April 1948 the 310th Bombardment Wing had grown so large that it was redesignated the 310th Air Division with (by then) Brigadier General Lewis remaining in command. The 323d Bombardment Group became the 323d Bombardment Wing (Light) on the same date, with Lieutenant Colonel R. Ahern commanding. From that point, the 323d Bombardment Wing became the focal point for Air Force Reserve activities in Oklahoma. The 310th Air Division seemed to have become largely an administrative headquarters, and it slipped into obscurity for the remainder of its existence at Tinker Air Force Base, eventually being inactivated on June 27, 1949. During periods of reorganization or force reduction, it has long been a U.S. Air Force policy to retain in active service those units having the most illustrious service records. While the 310th BW had a fine World War II heritage, the service record of the 323d BG during the same conflict was even more impressive.

The Strategic Air Command's 310th Bombardment Wing was based at Smoky Hill Air Force Base (redesignated Schilling Air Force Base), Kan. The 310th Bombardment Wing (later redesignated 310th Strategic Aerospace Wing) operated B-47 aircraft from 1956 to 1963.

In 1965, SAC began a nine-year effort in Southeast Asia, with a variety of Air Force aircraft operating from Thailand, including B-52s from the 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell AFB and the 320th BW, Mather AFB, Calif. The B-52s worked out of U-Tapao in their attacks against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese. The 4258th Strategic Wing (SAC) was activated in June 1966 at U-Tapao under 3rd Air Division, Anderson AFB, Guam. Equipped with B-52D aircraft, the wing was charged with the responsibility of supporting refueling requirements of USAF fighter aircraft in Southeast Asia, plus conducting bombing missions on a daily basis. On 1 April 1970, in conjunction with the redesignation of the 3rd Air Division, Anderson AFB, Guam, as the Eighth Air Force, the 4258th SW was redesignated as the 307th SW. On 1 June 1972 the 307th SW was reorganized into the 17th Air Division (Provisional), the 310th SW (Provisional) and the 307th SW. U-Tapao Stratofortress force is under the control of the 307th wing, while the, KC-135 tanker force was under the 310th wing.

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