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499th Air Refueling Wing: Wikis


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499th Air Refueling Wing
499th Air Refueling Wing emblem
Active 19 Nov 1943 - 16 Feb 1946
15 November 1962-25 June 1966
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
Type Combat Operations
Role Strategic Bombardment
Air Refueling
Garrison/HQ Westover Air Force Base
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg
  • World War II
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign

The United States Air Force's 499th Air Refueling Wing was an aerial refueling unit located at Westover AFB, Massachusetts. It was inactivated in 1966.

The unit's origins begin with its predecessor unit, the United States Army Air Force 499th Bombardment Group (499th BG) was part of Twentieth Air Force during World War II. The 499th BG engaged in very heavy (B-29 Superfortress) bombardment operations against Japan. It's aircraft were identified by a "V" and a square painted on the tail.





  • Constituted as 499th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on 19 Nov 1943
Activated on 20 Nov 1943
Inactivated on 16 Feb 1946
  • Established as 499th Air Refueling Wing on 15 Nov 1962
Activated on 15 Nov 1962 Replacing the 4050th Air Refueling Wing
Organized on 1 Jan 1963 Retaining at Manpower & Equipment from the 4050th Air Refueling Wing
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1966


Attached to 17th Bombardment Operational Training Wing (Very Heavy), 1 Dec 1943-22 Jul 1944


  • 11th Air Refueling Squadron (1 January 1963-1 July 1964)
  • 19th Air Refueling Squadron (15 June 1963-1 July 1964)
  • 99th Air Refueling Squadron (1 January 1963-1 January 1966)
  • 303d Air Refueling Squadron (1 January 1963-15 June 1963)
  • 305th Air Refueling Squadron (1 January 1963-1 July 1964)
  • 384th Air Refueling Squadron (1 January 1963-25 June 1966)
  • 877th Bombardment Squadron, 20 Nov 1943-16 Feb 1946
  • 878th Bombardment Squadron, 20 Nov 1943-16 Feb 1946
  • 879th Bombardment Squadron, 20 Nov 1943-16 Feb 1946
  • 880th Bombardment Squadron, 20 Nov 1943-16 Feb 1946


Aircraft flown

Operational history

World War II

The 499th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) was consitituted at Davis Monthan Field Arizona on 19 Nov 1943 and activated on 20 Nov. At Davis-Monthan, the group was organized and was reassigned to Smokey Hill AAF Kansas on 1 December for training on the B-29.

The 499th was assigned to the 73d Bombardment Wing and it deployed to the Pacific Theater, arriving at Saipan on 18 September 1944. It was assigned to the XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force.

The group began operations with attacks in the Truk Islands and on Iwo Jima. Took part in the first attack (24 November 1944) on Japan by AAF planes based in the Marianas. Flew numerous missions in daylight, operating from high altitude to bomb strategic targets in Japan.

Received a Distinguished Unit Citation for striking the Mitsubishi aircraft engine plant at Nagoya on 23 Jan 1945. In March 1945 the group began to conduct night attacks, flying at low altitude to drop incendiaries on area targets in Japan. Completed a series of attacks against enemy airfields on Kyūshū to aid the Allied assault on Okinawa in April 1945 and received another DUC for this action.

Also dropped propaganda leaflets on Japan, and after the war dropped food and supplies to Allied prisoners of war.

Strategic Air Command

The group returned to the United States in November, 1945, being assigned to March Field, California. It was assigned to the Fourth Air Force of Continental Air Forces. Demobilization, however, was in full swing and the group turned in its aircraft and was inactivated on 16 February 1946.

Cold War

The 499th Air Refueling Wing was established on 15 Nov 1962 at Westover AFB, Massachusetts. The wing replaced the 4050th Air Refueling Wing on 1 January 1963, assigned to the Eighth Air Force's 57th Air Division, and continued to support SAC bombardment and TAC fighter aircraft with air-to-air refueling. It was equipped with KC-97s, KC-135s. The 499th also flew the EC-135 'Looking Glass' missions in support of the Post-Attack Command & Control System (PACCS) for Eighth Air Force. From Nov. 1965 until inactivated wing components operated under a bomb wing at Westover AFB, Mass. The 499th Air Refueling Wing was inactivated on 25 June 1966.

Supported SAC bombardment and TAC fighter aircraft with air-to-air refueling and occasionally deployed segments of its tanker force overseas to support unit movement and special operations. Also flew EC-135s on a post attack command control system (PACCS) airborne command post mission in support of Eighth Air Force.


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.

External links


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