328th Weapons Squadron

Summary

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328th Weapons Squadron
328th Weapons Squadron emblem.png
Squadron emblem
Active1942–1994; 2003–present
Country United States
Branch United States Space Force
TypeSquadron
RoleAdvanced Space Superiority Warfare Operations Training
Part ofSpace Delta 1
HeadquartersNellis Air Force Base, Nevada, U.S.
EngagementsWorld War II
  • WW II American Campaign (Antisubmarine) Streamer.jpg
    American Antisubmarine Theater
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer.jpg
    EAME Theater
Southwest Asia Service Streamer.png
1991 Gulf War (Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation of Kuwait)[1]
DecorationsStreamer PUC Army.PNG
Distinguished Unit Citation (2x)
US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (9x)[1]
Commanders
CommanderLt Col Shaun Phipps

The 328th Weapons Squadron (328 WPS) is the United States Space Force's weapons school training unit located at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

The squadron's origins trace back to the 328th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) activated on 28 January 1942. The 328th Bombardment Squadron received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its gallantry during the raid on the Ploiești, Romania oil refineries during August 1943. The 328th flew the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, Boeing B-47 Stratojet, Boeing B-50 Superfortress, and Boeing B-52 Stratofortress during the Cold War.

Mission

The 328 WPS is one of the twenty-one squadrons at the United States Air Force Weapons School. The 328 WPS is one of the largest squadrons within the USAF Weapons School and manages two separate syllabi: the Space Superiority Weapons Instructor Course (WIC) and the Space Warfighter Advanced Instructor Course (AIC). The squadron transferred to the United States Space Force in 2020.

History

World War II

328th Bombardment Squadron emblem (c. 1943)[2]
328th Bomb Squadron Consolidated B-24D-1-CO Liberator Serial 41-23711 "'Jerks Natural". This aircraft was lost over Austria on 1 October 1943. MACR 3301
328th Bomb Sq B-24 Liberator[note 1]

Established in early 1942 initially as a Consolidated B-24 Liberator reconnaissance squadron, flying antisubmarine patrols. Later trained under Third Air Force in Florida. Completed training in late 1942; deployed to the European theater of operations as one of the initial heavy bomber squadrons assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England, September 1942.

Engaged in long-range strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe. Deployed to IX Bomber Command in Egypt in December 1942; operating from airfields in Libya and Tunisia. Raided enemy military and industrial targets in Italy and in the southern Balkans, including the Nazi-controlled oilfields at Ploiești, Romania, receiving a Distinguished Unit Citation for its gallantry in that raid. Also flew tactical bombing raids against Afrika Korps defensive positions in Tunisia; supporting British Eighth Army forces in their advance to Tunis, in September and October 1943.

Returned to England with the disestablishment of IX Bomber Command in North Africa. From England, resumed long-range strategic bombardment raids on Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany, attacking enemy military and industrial targets as part of the United States' air offensive. The squadron was one of the most highly decorated units in the Eighth Air Force, continuing offensive attacks until the German capitulation in May 1945.

Returned to the United States in June 1945; being remanned and re-equipped with Boeing B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers. Trained for deployment to the Central Pacific area to carry out very long-range strategic bombing raids over Japan. Japanese capitulation in August canceled plans for deployment, instead became Continental Air Forces (later Strategic Air Command) B-29 squadron.

Cold War

During the Cold War, the squadron was equipped with new weapons systems as they became available, performing strategic bombardment training with the Boeing B-50 Superfortress, an advanced version of the B-29 in 1950. The B-50 gave the unit the capability to carry heavy loads of conventional weapons faster and farther as well as being designed for atomic bomb missions if necessary.

By 1951, the emergence of the Soviet MiG-15 interceptor in the skies over North Korea signaled the end of the propeller-driven B-50 as a first-line strategic bomber.[citation needed] The squadron received Boeing B-47 Stratojet jet bombers in 1954. In 1955 it began receiving an early model of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and upgraded to various models over the next 40 years. Taken off nuclear alert after the end of the Cold War, the squadron was inactivated in 1994 with the inactivation of its parent unit and the close of Castle Air Force Base.

The squadron deployed aircraft and personnel to the 1708th Provisional Bombardment Wing at Prince Abdullah Air Base, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from August 1990 and to the 4300th Provisional Bombardment Wing at Diego Garcia Air Base, British Indian Ocean Territories from January 1991 for Operation Desert Storm. Both deployments terminated in March 1991.

Modern era

328th Weapons Squadron.jpg emblem (in use until transfer to the Space Force)

The Air Force Weapons School's Space Division was activated in July 1996 and the Space Division was replaced by the 328th Weapons Squadron on 3 February 2003. The unit has graduated over 350 weapons officers.

Lineage

  • Constituted as the 328th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Activated on 1 March 1942
Redesignated 328th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 20 August 1943
Redesignated 328th Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 23 May 1945
Redesignated 328th Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 28 May 1948
Redesignated 328th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 1 February 1955
Redesignated 328th Bomb Squadron on 1 September 1991
Inactivated on 15 June 1994
  • Redesignated 328th Weapons Squadron on 24 January 2003
Activated on 3 February 2003[1]

Assignments

Stations

Aircraft operated

  • Consolidated B-24 Liberator (1942–1945)
  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress (1945–1949)
  • Boeing B-50 Superfortress (1949–1954)
  • Boeing B-47 Stratojet (1954–1955)
  • Boeing B-52B Stratofortress (1955–1965)
  • Boeing B-52D Stratofortress (1956–1958)
  • Boeing B-52E Stratofortress (1957–1958; 1967–1970)
  • Boeing B-52F Stratofortress (1958–1974)
  • Boeing B-52G Stratofortress (1966–1967; 1974–1994)
  • Boeing B-52H Stratofortress (1974–1993)

List of commanders

  • Lt Col Bob Reeves, ~2013
  • Lt Col Richard L. Bourquin, 18 June 2013 – July 2015[4][5]
  • Lt Col Joel Bieberle, ~2017
  • Lt Col Kelly Anderson, 29 June 2017[6]
  • Lt Col Jessica Raper[7]
  • Lt Col Shaun Phipps, June 2021[7]

References

Notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is Consolidated B-24J-55-CO Liberator serial 42-99949 on a mission to Friedrichshafen Germany on 14 August 1944. This plane was lost on 21 September 1944 in a mid-air collision with B-24H serial 42-94969) from the 330th Bombardment Squadron. Both planes crashed near Ingelmunster, Belgium.
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e Bailey, Carl E. (10 December 2007). "Factsheet 328 Weapons Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  2. ^ Watkins, p. 48
  3. ^ a b Station number in Anderson.
  4. ^ https://www.nellis.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/284235/weapons-squadron-welcomes-new-commander/
  5. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20210710044153/https://www.buckley.spaceforce.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/1882030/colonel-richard-l-bourquin/
  6. ^ https://www.facebook.com/usafweaponsschool/posts/starting-today-lt-col-kelly-anderson-will-be-leading-our-space-and-cyber-experts/1640442506000679/
  7. ^ a b "Log into Facebook". Facebook. Cite uses generic title (help)

Bibliography

Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947–1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Watkins, Robert (2008). Battle Colors: Insignia and Markings of the Eighth Air Force in World War II. Vol I (VIII) Bomber Command. Atglen, PA: Shiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7643-1987-7. |volume= has extra text (help)

External links

  • The 93rd Bombardment Group Museum, Station 104, Hardwick. A small museum on the actual airfield site in Nissen (Quonset) and brick built huts.