644th Bomb Squadron

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644th Bomb Squadron
644th Bombardment Squadron - SAC - Emblem.png
Emblem of the 644th Bomb Squadron
Active 1943-1945; 1958–1959; 1962–1994
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Bombardment
Emblem of the World War II Squadron

The 644th Bomb Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 410th Bombardment Wing. It was last stationed at K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan, and was inactivated on 21 November 1994.

History[edit]

Established as a Third Air Force A-20 Havoc light bomber Operational Training Unit in mid-1943; Deployed to European Theater of Operations (ETO) in mid-1944; assigned to Ninth Air Force in England.

Entered combat in May 1944 and helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by assaulting coastal defenses, airfields, and V-weapon sites in France, and marshalling yards in France and Belgium. Supported the invasion in June by bombing gun positions and railway choke points. Assisted ground forces at Caen and St Lo in July and at Brest in August and September by attacking bridges, vehicles, fuel and ammunition dumps, and rail lines.

Moved to France in September, and through mid-December struck defended villages, railroad bridges and overpasses, marshalling yards, military camps, and communications centers to support the Allied assault on the Siegfried Line. Participated in the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945, by pounding marshalling yards, railheads, bridges, and vehicles in the battle area. Continued to fly support and interdictory missions, aiding the drive across the Rhine and into Germany, February–April 1945, continuing attacks on enemy forces until the German Capitulation in May 1945.

Most of the squadron was demobilized during the summer of 1945; squadron returned to the United States and was assigned to Seymour Johnson Field, then Myrtle Beach Army Airfield, however was minimally manned and equipped. Inactivated in November 1945.

Reactivated by Strategic Air Command in 1958 as Missile Training squadron at Cooke (later Vandenberg) AFB. Provided training for Royal Air Force personnel in the operation and launching of the PGM-17 Thor Intermediate-Range Missie. Also provided training to SAC personnel on SM-65 Atlas and HGM-25A Titan I Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. Inactivated July 1, 1959.

Reactivated again as a B-52H Stratofortress strategic bombardment squadron in 1963, replacing a provisional squadron at K. I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan. The squadron conducted strategic bombardment training and air refueling operations on a global scale to meet SAC commitments. From 1964 to 1975, the squadron supported combat operations over Indochina by rotating B-52 and KC-135 flight crews to Guam and Okinawa, participating in Operation Arc Light, Linebacker I and Linebacker II. In 1980, two 644th Bomb Squadron crews (S-21 and S-31) received the Mackay Trophy for "executing a nonstop, around-the-world mission with the immediate objective of locating and photographing elements of the Soviet Navy operating in the Persian Gulf.[1] Remained on nuclear alert until the end of the Cold War, being inactivated in 1994 with the inactivation of the parent 410th Bomb Wing and the closure of K. I. Sawyer AFB, MI.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted 644th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 16 Jun 1943
Activated on 1 Jul 1943
Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945
  • Redesignated 644th Strategic Missile Squadron on 1 Dec 1958
Activated on 15 Jan 1959
Inactivated on 1 Nov 1959
  • Redesignated 644th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), and activated, on 15 Nov 1962
Organized on 1 Feb 1963; receiving personnel/aircraft/equipment from 526th Bombardment Squadron (Inactivated)
  • Redesignated 644th Bomb Squadron on 1 Jun 1992
Inactivated on 21 Nov 1994

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft and missiles[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2013-09-30. 

External links[edit]