93rd Bomb Wing
In July 1953, William E. Eubank was appointed commander, 93rd Bomb Wing, Castle Chatham Air Force Base, Calif. In June 1954, the 93rd Bomb Wing, commanded by General Eubank, began conversion to B-47 medium bombers. This conversion was effected in record time and won for the wing the personal commendation of General Curtis E. LeMay, then commander-in-chief of the Strategic Air Command. In 1957 the 93rd Bomb Wing started exchanging its B-47s for B-52s.
In June 1955, still under the command of General Eubank, the 93rd Bomb Wing was the first SAC installation to receive the B-52 "Stratofortess" heavy bomber. The B-52 became the backbone of US nuclear deterrence when Castle AFB's first B-52B was delivered on June 29, 1955. The first flight of a -B model was on 25 January 1955 and initial delivery to the 93rd Bomb Wing (H) at Castle AFB, CA occurred in the summer of 1955. Although the 93rd BW was considered an operational unit, its primary mission was transition training for new B-52 crews. Eventually, the -B models (RB-52Bs included) were used by the 95th, 99th and 22nd Bomb Wings in addition to the 93rd Strategic Wing.
The 93rd, while under General Eubank's command, participated in "Operation Jet Stream" in 1957, the first around-the-world jet flight. Operation Power Flite was a nonstop 24,235-mile trip by two B-52B's from the 93rd Bombardment Wing, Castle Air Force Base, Calif., around the world from Jan. 16-18, 1957. More importantly, it fired a clear warning shot as the Soviet Union threatened Western Europe and eyed an unstable Middle East and Southeast Asia. With typical Strategic Air Command candor, Eubank, 93rd BW commander from 1953-1958, said the 45-hour flight was "to show the world we could take the jet and hit any target in the world at any time." This flight resulted in the 93rd receiving the MacKay Trophy, the coveted Air Force award presented annually to the individual organization that makes the "most meritorious flight of the year. In April 1958, the general commanded a 93rd KC-135 flight that established two new world records -- a non-stop speed record from Tokyo to Washington, in 13 hours and 47 minutes, and an unrefueled jet distance record of 10,288 miles from Tokyo to the Azores.
93rd Bomb Wing was stationed at Andersen AFB, Guam between 1988 and 1992.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|