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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

320th Bomb Wing

The 394th Bombardment Group (Medium) was activated on 5 March 1943. Trained with B-26's, the unit moved to England, Feb-Mar 1944, and was assigned to Ninth AF. It entered combat in Mar 1944 and helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by hitting V-weapon sites, marshalling yards, bridges, air-dromes, and gun emplacements.

In preparing for the re-establishment of a post-war National Guard air arm, the Army Air Corps decided to assign flying Groups with outstanding combat records to the National Guard rather than disbanding them. Subsequently, the 394th Bombardment Group (Light) was transferred to the New York National Guard on 24 May 1946. It was, however, renumbered the 106th Bombardment Group. This due to the same policy that established the original National Guard squadrons. Assigned to the 106th were the 102nd Bombardment Squadron (Light) and the 114th BS(L). Shortly after the Air Force was formed in November of 1947, the New York National Guard 106th Bombardment Group and its units were relocated to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. Peacetime operations continued from Brooklyn until 1 March 1951 when another call to active duty came. Assigned to Strategic Air Command, the squadron relocated to March AFB, California, and was subsequently redesignated the 106th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 1 May 1951. Conversion to the new Boeing B-29A Superfortress began, and 16 June 1951 saw the 106th BG(L) redesignated the 106th Bomb Wing (Medium) under the Strategic Air Command (SAC). The 106th continued operations under SAC until it was redesignated the 320th Bomb Wing (BW) Medium (M) on 16 June 1952.

Between 1952 and 1960 the 320th Bombardment Wing, a B-47-equipped unit, was stationed at March Air Force Base, CA. In 1952-53 the 320th Wing deployed for 90 days temporary duty in England, at Brize Norton Air Station.

Between 1966 and 1977 the 320th Bombardment Wing was based at Mather Air Force Base, CA, equipped with B-52G aircraft. Bomber crews from Mather participated in Arc Light operations in Southeast Asia from 1969 to 1970. Between 1976 and 1986 the wing flew KC-135A tankers from Mather AFB. From August 1979 to February 1981 General Charles C. McDonald was commander of the 320th Bombardment Wing at Mather AFB. Under his command the wing won the Fairchild Trophy, awarded to the top bomber wing in the Strategic Air Command for combined bombing and navigational excellence.

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