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Globemaster tails
97th Air mobility Wing (Aetc)  /  58th Airlift sqdn (AetC)
altus afb, ok.

               Photo by Diane L. Cutright                       Diane L. Cutright - airliners.net

The firery spear from the 97th AMW's unit emblem is a major component of the Altus tail band. 
 97th air mobility Wing


Established as 97th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, on 11 Sep 1947. Organized on 1 Dec 1947. Redesignated: 97th Bombardment Wing, Medium, on 12 Jul 1948; 97th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 1 Oct 1959; 97th Wing on 1 Sep 1991. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1992. Redesignated 97th Air Mobility Wing on 21 Aug 1992. Activated on 1 Oct 1992.


Fifteenth Air Force, 1 Dec 1947 (attached to Yukon Sector, Alaskan Air Command, 1 Dec 1947–12 Mar 1948; 301st Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, 17 Mar–16 May 1948); Eighth Air Force, 16 May 1948 (attached to 7th Air Division, 15 Mar–11 Jun 1952); 810th Air Division, 16 Jun 1952 (attached to 7th Air Division, 5 May–4 Jul 1956); 4th Air Division, 1 Jul 1959; 42d Air Division, 1 Jul 1963; 19th Air Division, 2 Jul 1969; 42d Air Division, 1 Jan 1970; 19th Air Division, 30 Jun 1971; 42d Air Division, 1 Jul 1973; Eighth Air Force, 16 Jun 1988–1 Apr 1992. Twenty-Second Air Force, 1 Oct 1992; Nineteenth Air Force, 1 Jul 1993–.


Groups. 97th Bombardment (later, 97th Operations): 1 Dec 1947–16 Jun 1952 (detached 4 Nov 1948–15 Feb 1949 and c. 26 Jul 1950–9 Feb 1951); 1 Sep 1991–1 Apr 1992; 1 Oct 1992–. 398th Operations: 1 Oct 1992–31 Mar 1995. 401st: attached 10 Feb–25 Jun 1951.

Squadrons. 97th Air Refueling: attached 12 Jul 1950–15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952–1 Sep 1957 (detached c. 21 Nov–c. 20 Dec 1954, c. 31 May– 10 Jul 1955, 1 May–9 Jul 1957, and 25 Aug–1 Sep 1957); assigned 23 Oct 1964–1 Sep 1991. 340th: attached 10 Feb 1951–15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952–1 Sep 1991 (detached 16 Dec 1953–c.15 Mar 1954 and 24 Sep– 2 Nov 1957). 341st: attached 10 Feb 1951–15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952–15 Feb 1960 (detached c. 15 Mar–c. 12 Jul 1954 and 12 Aug–24 Sep 1957). 342d: attached 10 Feb 1951–15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952– 1 May 1960 (detached 10 Dec 1952–19 Mar 1953 and 1 Jul–12 Aug 1957). 914th Air Refueling: 1 Oct 1961–23 Oct 1964. 4024th: attached 1 Apr 1955– 1 May 1956.


Mile 26 Air Field (later, Eielson AFB), AK, 1 Dec 1947–12 Mar 1948; Smoky Hill AFB, KS, 16 Mar 1948; Biggs AFB, TX, 22 May 1948; Blytheville (later, Eaker) AFB, AR, 1 Jul 1959–1 Apr 1992. Altus AFB, OK, 1 Oct 1992–.


B–29, 1947–1950; B–50, 1950–1955; KB–29, 1950–1956; ERB–29, 1954– 1956; RB–50, 1954–1956; KC–97, 1954–1957; B–47, 1955–1959; B–52, 1960–1972, 1973–1991; KC–135, 1962–1972, 1973–1992. C–5, 1992–; KC–135, 1992–; C–141, 1992– C-17 1992 - .


Organized in Dec 1947 in Alaska from components deployed there from Kansas. Flew training missions over the Arctic Ocean. Moved to Kansas in Mar 1948 and attached to another bomb wing for further training. Reorganized from very heavy to medium bomb wing in Jul 1948, after moving to Biggs AFB, TX. Added a refueling mission in early 1950. Sent tactical units to England, Nov 1948–Feb 1949 and Jul 1950–Feb 1951. Entire wing deployed in England, 15 Mar–11 Jun 1952, and squadrons operated from Guam, Dec 1952–Mar 1953 and Dec 1953–Jul 1954. Added electronic reconnaissance to bombardment and refueling missions in Apr 1954, using ERB–29A and RB–5OG/E aircraft, with reconnaissance missions conducted from England and Japan. Relinquished the reconnaissance mission in May 1956 but continued bombardment and air refueling training to meet SAC’s global commitments, using B–47E and KC–97G aircraft. Deployed to RAF Upper Heyford, England, May–Jul 1956. This was the last full-strength wing deployment, but wing components went overseas thereafter as needed. Phased down for inactivation at Biggs AFB, TX, in Dec 1958 and became non-operational 15 Jan 1959, but moved to Blytheville (later, Eaker) AFB, AR, in Jul 1959 and was remanned and reequipped with B–52Gs in 1960. Gained KC–135As in 1961. Earned an AFOUA for activities during the Cuban missile crisis in Oct 1962. Supported SAC’s combat operations in Southeast Asia in the mid- and late-1960s and early 1970s, furnishing aircraft and crews to other organizations. By mid-1972, all of the 97th’s aircraft and more than one-fourth of its people had been loaned to USAF organizations in the Far East, Southeast Asia, and other overseas locations. A few of the wing’s KC–135s began returning in Apr 1973, but its B–52s remained on loan until Oct 1973. Thereafter, the wing resumed strategic bombardment training and worldwide air refueling operations as required by SAC. Provided air refueling for USAF units supporting the rescue of American citizens in Grenada, Oct–Nov 1983. Upgraded its B–52G force to carry the AGM–86B air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) in 1984 and won SAC’s Fairchild Trophy for excellence in bombing and navigation in 1985. In 1987, the 97th expanded its mission to include conventional bombing, sea search/ surveillance, and aerial mining; and in 1988 earned the Omaha Trophy as SAC’s outstanding wing. After the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in Aug 1990, the 97th deployed KC–135 aircraft and maintenance personnel overseas to support forces in transit to Southwest Asia, and in Jan–Feb 1991, its B–52s flew from overseas bases to drop conventional ordnance on Iraqi forces in the Kuwaiti theater of operations. In preparation for inactivation on 1 Apr 1992, the wing relinquished its ALCMs in Mar–Apr 1991, flew its last B–52 sortie in Nov 1991, and its last tanker mission in Mar 1992. Redesignated an air mobility wing and activated at Altus AFB, OK, on 1 Oct 1992. Trained aircrews and support personnel in aerial refueling using KC–135 tankers, and in strategic airlift using C–5, C–141 (until 2002) and C-17 transports.


Service Streamers. None.

Campaign Streamers. Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. Grenada, 1983.

Decorations. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 2 Jul–3 Nov 1957; 23 Oct–22 Nov 1962; 1 Jul 1975–30 Jun 1977; 1 Jul 1977–30 Jun 1978; 1 Jul 1978–30 Jun 1980; 1 Jul 1986–30 Jun 1988; 1 Oct 1992–30 Jun 1993.

Bestowed Honors. Authorized to display honors earned by the 97th Operations Group prior to 1 Dec 1947.

Service Streamers. None.

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Egypt-Libya; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley; Air Combat, EAME Theater.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Steyr, Austria, 24 Feb 1944; Ploesti, Rumania, 18 Aug 1944.


Azure, a spear, flammant proper palewise point to base Or, garnished Tenne’ (Golden Orange), highlighted Argent shaded Azure; spear tip embrued Gules, all within a diminished bordure Or. Motto: VENIT HORA—The hour has come. Approved for 97th Group on 5 Mar 1943 and, in modified form, for 97th Wing on 2 May 1957 (K 7777).

58th Airlift squadron history
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