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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

325th Bomb Squadron

The 325th Bomb Squadron activated and joined the 509th Bomb Wing on 08 January 1998. As with the 394th, the 325th hadn't previously been associated with the 509th yet it had its own long and impressive history. Originally constituted on Jan. 28, 1942, the squadron activated on March 1, 1942, at Barksdale Field, La., as a member of the B-17-equipped 92nd Bombardment Group. In March 1942, the unit transferred to MacDill Field and then to Sarasota, Fla. During its stay, the squadron participated in anti-submarine patrols while undergoing training.

During July and August 1942, the squadron moved to RAF Bovington, England. Still a part of the 92nd, the squadron initially trained replacement crews for combat in the European Theater. When its training mission ended, the squadron moved to RAF Alconbury in January 1943 where it flew its first combat mission on May 15, 1943. Another transfer occurred when the 325th relocated to RAF Poddington, its home for the remainder of the war. As a part of the 92nd, the 325th flew its last combat mission April 25, 1945, when the group had the distinction of leading the 8th Air Force's final sortie of the conflict. Throughout its World War II era, the 325th flew 308 combat missions. Its mission complete, the 325th inactivated on Feb. 26, 1946.

Less than six months later, the 325th came back to life when, on July 15, 1946, it rejoined the 92nd at Fort Worth Army Air Field, Texas, complete with B-29s. After a brief stint at Smoky Hill AAFld, Kan., the squadron again moved - this time to Spokane AAFld (later, Fairchild AFB), Wash. The squadron once again went to war as on June 25, 1950, North Korean armies swept into South Korea. The squadron rushed to Yokota AB, Japan, and, on July 13, 1950, flew the first of many combat missions in the Korean War. The squadron returned to Spokane AAFld in late October 1950.

In 1951, the 325th received a new aircraft - the mammoth B-36; however, the propeller-/jet-driven B-36 aged rather quickly as the evolution of all-jet bombers made the lumbering bombers obsolete. Thus, in 1957, the squadron traded its B-36s for the legendary B-52D. Throughout the remainder of the 1950s and early part of the 1960s, the 325th honed its skills with the seemingly ageless bomber. However, war erupted once more and the 325th deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, twice - once in 1968 and again in 1969 - to participate in the Vietnam War. During the latter deployment, 325th personnel earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with the Combat "V" device and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm.

The squadron remained with the B-52D until 1971 when the D models were replaced with the B-52Gs. However, activities in SEA beckoned the squadron once again in 1972 and 1973 when the squadron deployed for Bullet Shot operations in the waning days of the Vietnam Conflict. Afterwards, the 325th quietly carried out its mission with the B-52Gs - but changes were on the horizon in the 1990s. On Sept. 1, 1991, the unit officially became the 325th Bomb Squadron as the 92nd Bomb Wing transformed to the objective wing structure. The end of the Cold War hastened more changes for the squadron as the Air Force decided to retire its B-52Gs, which, in turn, sounded the death knell for the 325th.

The official inactivation occurred on July 1, 1994, yet it was not the end of the 325th. The Air Force decided the 325th would be called to duty in the very near future with a new unit and a new aircraft. Thus, in January 1998, the 325th activated at Whiteman as part of the 509th.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 03:40:26 ZULU