About Tac Tankers - Patches

See Full Chronology and History
Note: This is an extension and correction to the original chronology, provided to me by Lt Col Clarence G “Rocky” Weishar, USAF (Ret) in 1993. Certified as true (as possible)

John F Bessette, Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
429th AREFS 1960-63
Historian, Tactical Tanker Association
20 April 2007
Activated Deactivated
421st AREFS July 6, 1953 February 18, 1965
420th AREFS March 18, 1954 March 25, 1964
429th AREFS July 19, 1954 October 8, 1963
622nd AREFS July 18, 1955 April 1, 1964
427th AREFS September 7, 1956 April 1, 1963
431st AREFS January 8, 1957 March 8, 1965
4505th ARW July 1, 1958 October 8, 1963
4505th CAMS July 1, 1958 October 8, 1963
“115/145 Avgas…” “JP-4 Jet Fuel…”
airforce memorial logo

This is an update to the original chronology, compiled at the Air Force Archives at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, in February 1972. It is based on extensive research in the now more accessible archives, presently under the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell. Since 1972 much more of our history has been declassified and a more complete chronology can be presented. Although the 420th and 421st AREFS were never part of the 4505th AREFW, they are included to complete the list of tactical KB-29/KB-50 aerial refueling units. The veterans and families of all of these included units are a part of the Tactical Tanker Association, and all are invited to become formal members and share in the intense camaraderie which we all deserve and enjoy.

The Air Force of today, with its “Global Reach, Global Power,” began with us. We were the pioneers.

Wings & Squadron Patches

Note: This is a copy of the original chronology, provided to me by
Lt Col Clarence G Weishar, USAF (Ret) in 1993. Certified true and correct.
420th arefs elephant logo
420th Air Refueling Squadron
KB-50J England AFB
Louisiana 1954-55
RAF Sculthorpe, UK
18 Mar 54: Activation at Alexandria AFB, La., under command of LTC F. R. Bates. First unit in TAC of its type.
20 Jun 54: First flight in KB-29 from Alexandria.
1 Sep 54: Maj J. F. Groom assumed command.
18 May 55: Maj J. B. Young in command.
4 Oct 55: Unit PCS to Sculthorpe RAF Station, Norfolk, England. Attached to 47th Bomb Wing, 49th Air Division. KB-50s assigned.
22 Jul 55: LTC J. R. Sheffield assumed command.
1 Aug 55 - 1 Jan 60: History not available.
1 Jun 60: LTC T. J. Tanner assumed command.
16 Jun 61: LTC L. J. Spears in command.
1 Oct 62: Unit assigned to 7375th Combat Support Group.
1 Sep 63: Unit assigned to 3rd Air Force.
14 Aug 63: LTC J. F. Mc Allister assumed command.
25 Mar 64: Deactivation, Sculthorpe RAF Station, England.
421st rainbow logo
421st Air Refueling Squadron
KB-50J Yokota AB
Japan (PACAF) 1953-1965
6 Jul 53: Formed as Detachment 2, 98th Bomb Wing, Japan, with KB-29s
15 Jan 54: Assigned to 49th Fighter Bomber Group, Japan.
1 Jul 57: Became part of 67th Tactical Recon Wing, Yokota AB, Japan. LTC M. J. O'Neale, Jr., Commander.
1 Mar 58: Conversion to KB-50s.
1 Jul 59: LTC Ross Davidson assigned as Commander.
1 Jul 60: Placed under 3rd Bomb Wing.
20 Nov 60: Unit became part of 41st Air Division, Yokota AB, Japan.
Nov 60-1 Jul 62: Histories not available.
1 Jul 62: LTC K. L. Warren assumed command.
1 Feb 63: Received AF Outstanding Unit Award (AFOUA)
28 May 64: LTC F. H. Pool in command.
2 Nov 64: KB-50s relieved of refueling duties to PACAF.
15 Dec 64: Second award of AFOUA.
15 Jan 65: Deactivates, Yokota AB, Japan.
427th dog logo
427th Air Refueling Squadron
KB-50J/K Robbins AFB,
GA 1956-1958
Langley AFB, VA 1958-1963
7 Sep 56: Activated at Robins AFB, Ga., with KB-29s; Maj J. F. Yelton in command.
1 Oct 57: Unit control transferred from 9th AF to 18th AF.
Dec 57 - Jul 58: History not available.
1 Jul 58: 4505th ARW activated and assumed control of unit.
As of 1 Jul 58: LTC A. W. Santos in command.
1 Jan 59: Unit PCS to Langley AFB, Va.
1 Apr 60: LTC S. C. Burgess assumed command.
25 Jul 60: LTC T. J. Price in command.
10 Apr 62: LTC R. W. Harris assumed command.
12 Oct 62: LTC G. C. Welch in command.
9 Jan 63: Unit reduced to one officer and one airman pending deactivation.
1 Apr 63: Official deactivation, Langley AFB, Va.
622nd bird logo
622nd Air Refueling Squadron
KB-50J England AFB, Louisiana 1955-64 Tactical Air Command
18 Jul 55: Activation at England AFB, La., with KB-29s. Maj C. J. Cordill in command.
10 Sep 55: LTC D. A. Shaver assumed command.
12 Jun 56: Maj L. F. White in command.
10 Dec 56: Maj E. R. Saunders assumed command.
5 Apr 57: Received first KB-50.
1 Jul 58: Unit assigned to 4505th ARW.
Jul 58 - Jan 59: History not available.
As of 1 Jan 59: LTC T. J. Tiernan in command. (Exact date of assumption not available)
1 Jul 62: Maj W. A. Williams assumed command.
12 Oct 62: LTC R. W. Harris in command.
8 Oct 63: 4505th ARW deactivated. 622nd placed under 4440th Air Delivery Group pending deactivation. No further information available except...
1 Apr 64: Deactivation, England AFB, La.
622nd stork logo
4505th Air Refueling Wing, Tactical
1 Jul 58: The only air refueling wing in the TAC structure activated at Langley AFB, Va.; under command of COL C. W. Howe. Units included:
Headquarters Squadron, Langley AFB, Va.
427th AREFS, Robins AFB, Ga.
429th AREFS, Langley AFB, Va.
431st AREFS, Turner AFB, Ga.
622nd AREFS, England AFB, La.
4505th CAMS, Langley AFB, Va.
31 Dec 58: Crews per flying squadron increased from 20 to 25. KB-50J possessed by all squadrons.
1 Jul 60: COL L. F. Tanberg, Wing Commander.
13 Aug 62: COL G. H. Kneen assumed command.
8 Oct 63: Deactivation, Langley AFB, Va.
429th arefs cloud wings logo
429th Air Refueling Squadron
KB-50J/K Langley AFB, VA 1954-1963
Tactical Air Command
19 Jul 54: Activated with KB-29s under the 405th Fighter Bomber Wing at Langley AFB, Va. Capt M. F. Stowe in command.
10 Jan 55: Maj G. H. Mullins assumed command.
1 Jul 55: Preparation for changeover from KB-29s to KB-50s.
1 Jul - 31 Dec 56: KB-50s in the inventory.
Jan 57: Conducted series of classes for 427th AREFS, Warner AFB, Ga., on KB-50 and its refueling systems.
17 Jan 58: Received first KB-50J from Hayes Aircraft Corporation.
1 Jul 58: Assigned to new 4505th Air Refueling Wing, Langley AFB, Va. Growth and operations of 427th, 431st, and 622nd reflected techniques developed by 429th personnel.
6 Jun 58: Maj C. J. English assumed command.
1 Jan 60: Maj K. R. Wheeler assumed temporary command.
26 Jan 60: LTC H. P. Schmoldt in command.
13 Aug 60: LTC T. C. Hofmann assumed command.
8 Oct 63: Deactivation, Langley AFB, Va.