USAF Patch Bomb Vietnam 43 Strategic Wing B 52D Arc Light
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USAF Patch Bomb Vietnam 43 Strategic Wing B 52D Arc Light

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USAF Patch SAC 43 Strategic Wing Arc Light Patch B 52D Anderson AFB Vietnam Missions 1970 B 52 Buffs Japanese Made embroidered on twill cut edge 102mm by 90mm four inches by three and one half inches.

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43 Bomb Wing Very Heavy was activated on 17 November 1947 at Davis-Monthan Field Arizona as part of 8 Air Force with B-29 Superfortress, conducting strategic bombardment training. The Wing received B-50 Superfortresses and was redesignated 43 Bombardment Wing Medium on 1 August 1948. The Wing was reassigned to 17 Air Force in 1950 and to 36th Air Division on 4 September 1951. KC-97 Stratotanker were added in 1953 to provide air refueling capability to meet Strategic Air Commands global commitments and the B-29s and B-50s were replaced with B-47 Stratojet in 1954 designed to penetrate deep into Soviet airspace. The Wing continued with training missions SAC exercises and deployments around the world.

The wing converted to B-58 Hustler the worlds first supersonic bomber operating a combat crew training school for B-58 aircrews in 1960 and established a number of world speed records by 1962. The Wing received KC-135 Stratotanker tankers in 1964. Phaseout of the B-58 fleet was ordered in December 1965 as it was felt that the high-altitude performance of the B-58 could no longer guarantee success against increasingly sophisticated Soviet air defenses and retirement was completed and the Wing inactivated on 16 January 1970.

43 BW was immediately reactivated at Andersen AFB on Guam with the assets and renaming of 3960 Strategic Wing and was redesignated 43 Strategic Wing on 4 February 1970.  In July 1970 43 SW took over the resources and mission of 4133 Bombardment Wing Provisional which had operational control over Guam based rotational TDY SAC Arc Light B-52 bombers and air refueling aircraft striking targets in Vietnam from 1 July to mid-August 1970 and again from February 1972 to August 1973.

Following the end of combat operations the Wing provided routing training and ground alert with B-52 and KC-135 tanker aircraft, the latter provided by other SAC units on loan. During 1975 the wing provided logistical and medical support to thousands of Vietnamese refugees evacuated from their homeland and located temporarily at Guam awaiting resettlement in the United States. In 1976 the Wing conducted low
level show-of-force missions over the Republic of Korea after North Korea murdered two US Army officers in Panmunjon.

In 1977 43 added another mission to its strategic operations with sea surveillance aerial mine laying and anti-ship warfare. In 1983 the Wing replaced its B-52Ds with B-52Gs and was able to operate with Harpoon anti-ship missiles. In July 1986 the wing activated 65 Strategic
Squadron to control the temporary duty KC-10 Extender air refuelling forces and 43 SW was re-designated the to 43 Bombardment Wing. The Wing relinquished its nuclear alert mission to become SAC's lead contingency wing in October 1988 and in 1989 the bomb Wing began redeploying to US bases and Andersen AB was assigned from SAC to Pacific Air Forces. The Wing was inactivated in September 1990. The Wing was reactivated as 43 Air Refuelling Wing at Malmstrom AFB on 01 June 1992 with KC-135 Stratotankers. On 1 July 1994 the Wing was re-designated 43 Air Refueling Group

With its KC-135Rs 43 Group provided air refuelling support to US and allied forces around the world including Operations Southern Watch Saudi Arabia Provide Comfort Turkey Deny Flight Boznia-Herzegovnia Uphold Democracy Haiti and Support Hope Rwanda. In October 1996 the Group was inactivated when its tanker aircraft were moved to MacDill AFB Florida.

The Wing reactivated as 43 Airlift Wing on 31 March 1997 with C-130 Hercules and re-designated 43 Airlift Group on 1 March 2011. 


This patch dates from 1970.








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