|710th Airlift Squadron
A Lockheed C-141A Starlifter flown by the 710th Military Airlift Squadron over the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Reserve Command|
|Engagements||European Theater of Operations|
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award|
|Patch showing 710th Airlift Squadron emblem|
|710th Bombardment Squadron emblem (approved 6 September 1943)|
|ETO Fuselage Code and Squadron Color||IF|
|447th Bombardment Group tail marking||Square K|
The 710th Airlift Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last active as a reserve unit. It was an associate airlift squadron of the 60th Air Mobility Wing, assigned to the 349th Operations Group at Travis Air Force Base, California, where it was inactivated on 1 January 1998.
The squadron was established as the 710th Bombardment Squadron, a heavy bomber squadron. After training in the United States, it deployed to the European Theatre of Operations, where it participated in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. It returned to the United States and was inactivated in November 1945.
World War II
Training in the United States
The original mission of the squadron was to be an Operational Training Unit. However, by the time the 447th Group reached full strength in October it had been identified for overseas deployment and its key personnel were sent to the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida for advanced tactical training. The cadre trained at Brooksville Army Air Field with the 1st Bombardment Squadron, engaging in simulated attacks against Mobile, Alabama, Charleston, South Carolina and New Orleans. The squadron then trained at Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota with the 17th Bombardment Training Wing. In June 1943 the unit moved to Harvard Army Air Field, Nebraska for Phase I training. The unit sailed on the RMS Queen Elizabeth on 23 November 1943 and arrived at the Firth of Clyde on 29 November 1943. The squadron's B-17s began to move from the United States to the European theater of operations in November 1943.
Combat in the European Theater
The squadron was stationed at RAF Rattlesden, England, from December 1943 to August 1945. It flew its first combat mission on 24 December 1943 against a V-1 flying bomb launch site near Saint-Omer in Northern France.
From December 1943 to May 1944, the squadron helped prepare for the invasion of the European continent by attacking submarine pens, naval installations, and cities in Germany; missile sites and ports in France; and airfields and marshaling yards in France, Belgium and Germany. The squadron conducted heavy bombardment missions against German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20 to 25 February 1944.
The squadron aided in Operation Cobra, the breakthrough at St. Lo, France, and the effort to take Brest, France, from July to September 1944. It bombed strategic targets from October to December 1944, concentrating on sources of oil production. It assaulted marshalling yards, railroad bridges and communication centers during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 to January 1945. In March 1945 the group bombed an airfield in support of airborne assault across the Rhine. The unit flew its last combat mission on 21 April 1945 against a marshalling yard at Ingolstadt, Germany.
The 710th redeployed to the United States during the summer 1945. The air echelon ferried their aircraft and personnel back to the United States, leaving on 29 and 30 June 1945. The squadron ground echelon, along with the group headquarters and 708th squadron sailed on the SS Joseph T. Robinson on 1 August 1945, from Liverpool. Most personnel were discharged at Camp Myles Standish after arrival at the port of Boston. A small cadre proceeded to Drew Field, Florida and the squadron inactivated on 7 November 1945.
Reserve airlift operations
By 1968, Air Force Reserve formed associate units. In this program, reserve units flew and maintained aircraft owned by an associated regular unit. The squadron was redesignated the 710th Military Airlift Squadron and activated under the 349th Military Airlift Wing as an associate of Military Airlift Command's 60th Military Airlift Wing at Travis Air Force Base, California in the spring of 1973. The squadron flew the 60th Wing's Lockheed C-141 Starlifters on worldwide transport mission. The squadron provided support to the State of California during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The squadron was inactivated in 1998 as part of phaseout of C-141s.
- Constituted as the 710th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 6 April 1943
- Activated on 1 May 1943
- Redesignated 710th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 20 August 1943
- Inactivated on 7 November 1945
- Redesignated 710th Military Airlift Squadron (Associate) on 19 June 1973
- Activated in the reserve on 1 July 1973
- Redesignated 710th Airlift Squadron (Associate) on 1 February 1992
- Redesignated 710th Airlift Squadron on 1 October 1994
- Inactivated on 1 January 1998
- 447th Bombardment Group, 1 May 1943 – 7 November 1945
- 349th Military Airlift Wing (later 349th Airlift Wing), 1 July 1973
- 349th Operations Group, 1 August 1992 – 1 January 1998
- Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, 1943–1945
- Lockheed C-141 Starlifter, 1973–1997
Awards and Campaigns
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 1974-30 June 1975||710th Military Airlift Squadron|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 1975-30 June 1977||710th Military Airlift Squadron|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 1992-30 June 1994||710th Airlift Squadron|
|Air Force Outstanding Unit Award||1 July 1994-15 August 1996||710th Airlift Squadron|
|American Theater||1 May 1943 – 11 November 1943||710th Bombardment Squadron|
|Air Offensive, Europe||29 November 1943 – 5 June 1944||710th Bombardment Squadron|
|Normandy||6 June 1944 – 24 July 1944||710th Bombardment Squadron|
|Northern France||25 July 1944 – 14 September 1944||710th Bombardment Squadron|
|Rhineland||15 September 1944 – 21 March 1945||710th Bombardment Squadron|
|Ardennes-Alsace||16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945||710th Bombardment Squadron|
|Central Europe||22 March 1944 – 21 May 1945||710th Bombardment Squadron|
- Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 712
- Watkins, pp. 92-93
- Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 321–322
- Surridge & Dooley, p. 18
- Surridge & Dooley, pp. 19–21
- Freeman, p. 257
- "Abstract, History 447 Bombardment Group May 1943 – April 1944". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- "447th Air Expeditionary Group". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- "Abstract, History 447 Bombardment Group Mar–Jun 1944". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- "Abstract, History 447 Bombardment Group Apr 1945". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Surridge & Dooley, pp. 214–215
- Cantwell, p. 210
- "Abstract, Vol. 1 History 349 Airlift Wing 1993". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- Lineage information, including assignments, stations and aircraft during World War II in Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 712
- See "Abstract, Vol. 1 History 349 Airlift Wing 1993". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- Station number in Anderson.
- AF Pamphlet 900-2, Vol II, p. 88
- "Air Force Recognition Programs". Air Force Personnel Center. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
- Anderson, Capt. Barry (1985). Army Air Forces Stations: A Guide to the Stations Where U.S. Army Air Forces Personnel Served in the United Kingdom During World War II (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2012.
- Cantwell, Gerald T. (1997). Citizen Airmen: a History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946-1994. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program. ISBN 0-16049-269-6. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Freeman, Roger A. (1970). The Mighty Eighth: Units, Men and Machines (A History of the US 8th Army Air Force). London, England: Macdonald and Company. ISBN 978-0-87938-638-2.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . 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.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . 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.
- Surridge; Dooley, Edward C., eds. (1946). Pictorial History of the 447th Bombardment Group (H). World War II Regimental Histories No. 107. Tampa, FL. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
- 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 0-7643-1987-6.
- AF Pamphlet 900-2, Unit Decorations, Awards and Campaign Participation Credits, Vol II Department of the Air Force, Washington, DC, 30 September 1976
- Cantwell, Gerald T. (1997). Citizen Airmen: a History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946–1994. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program. ISBN 0-16049-269-6.