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72d Air Base Wing: Wikis


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72d Air Base Wing
72d Air Base Wing.png
Official emblem
Active 21 August 1941–1 November 1943
13 May 1947–27 June 1949
16 June 1952–30 June 1971
1 October 1994–
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Part of Air Force Material Command
Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center
Garrison/HQ Tinker Air Force Base
Equipment see "Aerospace vehicles" section below
Decorations see "Lineage and honors" section below
Colonel Allen J. Jamerson
Lucius D. Clay, Jr.

The 72d Air Base Wing (72 ABW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Force Materiel Command Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC). It is stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The wing is also the host unit at Tinker.

The diverse, multi-unit, multi-mission wing includes base services and support for the OC-ALC and associate organizations as well as dependents and retirees.

The wing has a long and distinguished history. Established in 1941, the 72d is a successor unit to the World War II 72d Reconnaissance Group (Special) combat organization that had earned Antisubmarine and American Theater campaign streamers. The the 72nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy was a component wing of Strategic Air Command's heavy bomber deterrent force throughout the Cold War. The wing earned two Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, flying RB-36, B-52 and KC-135 aircraft, before its inactivation on 30 June 1971 in Puerto Rico.

The 72d Air Base Wing is commanded by Colonel Allen J. Jamerson. Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Eric A. Harmon.



Units of the 72d ABW are:

  • 72nd Medical Group (MDG)
  • 72nd Mission Support Group (MSG)
  • 72nd Operations Support Squadron


Emblem: : Quarterly; first Azure a seme' of seven mullets Argent, second and third Or eleven lines radiant from honor point throughout Azure, fourth Azure two mullets in bend sinister Argent, overall a globe gridlines, surmounted by a stylized compass star Celeste outlined and detailed Blue; all within a diminished bordure Or. Approved on 29 June 1954; modified on 13 October 1995.



  • Established as 72d Observation Group on 21 Aug 1941
Activated on 26 Sep 1941
Redesignated 72d Reconnaissance Group (Special) on 25 Jun 1943
Disestablished on 1 Nov 1943
  • Reestablished as 72d Reconnaissance Group on 13 May 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 12 Jun 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Consolidated (31 Jan 1984) with the 72d Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Heavy, which was established on 4 Jun 1952.
Activated on 16 Jun 1952
Redesignated 72d Bombardment Wing, Heavy, on 1 Oct 1955
Inactivated on 30 Jun 1971
  • Redesignated 72d Air Base Wing on 16 Sep 1994
Activated on 1 Oct 1994




  • 1st Observation (later, 1st Reconnaissance): 26 Sep 1941-1 Nov 1943
Detached 10 Apr-c. 20 Jun 1942
Detached 29 Mar 1942-1 Jun 1943
  • 39th Observation: 7 Mar 1942-1 Jun 1943
Detached 6 Aug 1942-1 Jun 1943
  • 60th Reconnaissance (later, 60th Strategic Reconnaissance, 60th Bombardment): 12 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949; 16 Jun 1952-30 Jun 1971
  • 73d Fighter (later, 73d Strategic Reconnaissance, 73d Bombardment): 1 Aug 1947-27 Jun 1949; 16 Jun 1952- 5 Jan 1959
  • 108th Observation (later, 108th Reconnaissance): 26 Sep 1941-1 Nov 1943
  • 124th Observation: 26 Sep 1941-12 Mar 1942
  • 301st Strategic Reconnaissance (later, 301 Bombardment): 16 Jun 1952-17 Jun 1959
  • 915th Air Refueling: 1 Sep 1958- 30 Jun 1971




Activated during the summer-fall 1941 maneuvers in Louisiana. Manned from its component Observation Squadrons: 1st, 108th, and 124th. In the Panama Canal Zone, the group flew antisubmarine patrol missions, carried mail, searched for missing aircraft, provided reconnaissance support to ground forces, and occasionally did photographic mapping work until late 1943. Activated again as part of the reserve forces of Fourth Air Force, the organization participated in routine reserve training. Activated on paper in 1952, but not operational until it absorbed residual resources of 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing in Oct 1952. Conducted global strategic reconnaissance 1953-1955, gradually shifting to a bombardment training mission beginning in 1954. Activated as a bombardment wing on 1 October 1955 at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, and assigned to Second Air Force. Equipment was RB-36s, RBG-36s, and KC-97s. Added air refueling to its global mission in 1958.

  • Changed equipment in: 1959 to B-52s, KC-135s.
  • Reassigned to: Eighth Air Force on 1 January 1959.
  • Reassigned to: Eighth Air Force, 823d Air Division on 1 October 1962.
  • Reassigned to: Second Air Force, 823d Air Division on 31 March 1970.

The 72d Bombardment Wing was inactivated on 30 June 1971. Provided services and support for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center and its tenant organizations, 1 October 1994-.


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

  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-91279-912-9.
  • Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, UK: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
  • Air Force Historical Research Agency: 72d Air Base Wing

External links


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