393rd Bomb Squadron

Tiger Unit Data

393rd Bomb Squadron
Whiteman AFB, United Stated of America
Honorary Member
Member since 1978
B-2A Spirit

No squadron played a more dynamic role in achieving a decisive victory in
World War II and in the maintenance of a lasting peace than the 393d Bomb
Squadron (BS).
The proud history of this unit began with its constitution as the 393d
Bombardment Squadron (BMS) on February 28, 1944 by the Army Air Forces
(AAF). The AAF then activated the 393 BMS on March 11, 1944 and assigned it
to the 504th Bombardment Group at Dalhart Army Air Field (AAFld), Texas, with
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Classen as the first commander.
Originally, the 393 BMS was equipped with B-17s, however, fate intervened
when Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., selected the newly formed unit to
participate in a very special mission. On September 14, 1944, the squadron
moved to Wendover Field, Utah, and began training on the massive B-29.
Colonel Tibbets took formal command of the 393d on October 8, 1944,
and on December 17, 1944, following creation of the 509th Composite Group
(CG) by the Army Air Forces, became overall commander. The 393d was
assigned to the 509th with Colonel Classen as commander.
Training on the B-29s continued and on April 26, 1945 the squadron
moved to its overseas home on North Field, Tinian, the Marianas. Soon after officially
arriving at the field on May 30, 1945, the 393 BMS began flying a series of
missions consisting of two or three B-29s each carrying one large, orange colored
bomb they dropped on targets throughout Japan. These projectiles added
realism to the missions as they emulated the flight characteristics of an atomic
bomb.
By early August 1945, the 509 CG and 393 BMS were ready to complete
their secret mission. In the early morning hours of August 6, 1945, Colonel
Tibbets took off from North Field flying the B-29 the Enola Gay. The aircraft flew
over Hiroshima, Japan, and released the first atomic bomb. Within seconds, a
huge mushroom cloud engulfed the city.
Even after this startling show of power, the Japanese Empire still refused
to surrender. Hence, three days later, another 393 BMS B-29 took off loaded with
a second atomic bomb. Major Charles W. Sweeney, 393 BMS Commander, flew
the B-29 Bock's Car, over Nagasaki to deliver another devastating blow. A few
days later, the Japanese sued for peace.
The squadron remained at North Field until October 17, 1945 when the
509th returned to the United States and proceeded to their new home, Roswell
AAFld (later Walker AFB), New Mexico. Because of its expertise with the atomic
bombs, the unit became the core organization of the newly created Strategic Air
Command (SAC), on March 21, 1946. The squadron remained at Roswell until
the 509th CG was directed to Kwajalein, Marshall Islands in 1946, for Operation
Crossroads, an atomic explosion test. Although the squadron did not drop the
bomb, it waited in reserve as a back-up to its sister squadron, the 715 BMS.
After the squadron returned to Walker AFB, it continued to fly and train in
B-29s until 1952 when the 393d welcomed a new aircraft, the B-50 and was
reassigned directly to the 509th Bombardment Wing. In 1955, the unit pioneered
a new chapter when it began receiving SAC's first all-jet bomber, the B-47.
In 1958, the 393 BMS, along with the 509th Bombardment Wing, moved
with personnel and equipment to Pease AFB, New Hampshire. Seven years
later, in 1965, SAC announced the squadron would be inactivated following
phase-out of the B-47s from the Air Force. However, fate intervened when SAC
decided to keep both the 393d and the 509th active and replace the aging B-47s
with B-52s. The squadron officially received its first B-52 on March 23, 1966.
In November 1966, several crews and aircraft from the 393d deployed to
Andersen AFB, Guam. While there, the squadron's representatives participated
in Vietnam ARC LIGHT operations. An urgent need for the bombers in the war
prompted SAC to deploy all 393 BMS crews and aircraft to Andersen again in
April 1968. During the six-month stay, the squadron participated in many
bombing missions. A year later, SAC issued another call and once more the
393d aircraft and personnel went to Southeast Asia.
No squadron played a more dynamic role in achieving a decisive victory in
World War II and in the maintenance of a lasting peace than the 393d Bomb
Squadron (BS).
The proud history of this unit began with its constitution as the 393d
Bombardment Squadron (BMS) on February 28, 1944 by the Army Air Forces
(AAF). The AAF then activated the 393 BMS on March 11, 1944 and assigned it
to the 504th Bombardment Group at Dalhart Army Air Field (AAFld), Texas, with
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas J. Classen as the first commander.
Originally, the 393 BMS was equipped with B-17s, however, fate intervened
when Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., selected the newly formed unit to
participate in a very special mission. On September 14, 1944, the squadron
moved to Wendover Field, Utah, and began training on the massive B-29.
Colonel Tibbets took formal command of the 393d on October 8, 1944,
and on December 17, 1944, following creation of the 509th Composite Group
(CG) by the Army Air Forces, became overall commander. The 393d was
assigned to the 509th with Colonel Classen as commander.
Training on the B-29s continued and on April 26, 1945 the squadron
moved to its overseas home on North Field, Tinian, the Marianas. Soon after officially
arriving at the field on May 30, 1945, the 393 BMS began flying a series of
missions consisting of two or three B-29s each carrying one large, orange colored
bomb they dropped on targets throughout Japan. These projectiles added
realism to the missions as they emulated the flight characteristics of an atomic
bomb.
By early August 1945, the 509 CG and 393 BMS were ready to complete
their secret mission. In the early morning hours of August 6, 1945, Colonel
Tibbets took off from North Field flying the B-29 the Enola Gay. The aircraft flew
over Hiroshima, Japan, and released the first atomic bomb. Within seconds, a
huge mushroom cloud engulfed the city.
Even after this startling show of power, the Japanese Empire still refused
to surrender. Hence, three days later, another 393 BMS B-29 took off loaded with
a second atomic bomb. Major Charles W. Sweeney, 393 BMS Commander, flew
the B-29 Bock's Car, over Nagasaki to deliver another devastating blow. A few
days later, the Japanese sued for peace.
The squadron remained at North Field until October 17, 1945 when the
509th returned to the United States and proceeded to their new home, Roswell
AAFld (later Walker AFB), New Mexico. Because of its expertise with the atomic
bombs, the unit became the core organization of the newly created Strategic Air
Command (SAC), on March 21, 1946. The squadron remained at Roswell until
the 509th CG was directed to Kwajalein, Marshall Islands in 1946, for Operation
Crossroads, an atomic explosion test. Although the squadron did not drop the
bomb, it waited in reserve as a back-up to its sister squadron, the 715 BMS.
After the squadron returned to Walker AFB, it continued to fly and train in
B-29s until 1952 when the 393d welcomed a new aircraft, the B-50 and was
reassigned directly to the 509th Bombardment Wing. In 1955, the unit pioneered
a new chapter when it began receiving SAC's first all-jet bomber, the B-47.
In 1958, the 393 BMS, along with the 509th Bombardment Wing, moved
with personnel and equipment to Pease AFB, New Hampshire. Seven years
later, in 1965, SAC announced the squadron would be inactivated following
phase-out of the B-47s from the Air Force. However, fate intervened when SAC
decided to keep both the 393d and the 509th active and replace the aging B-47s
with B-52s. The squadron officially received its first B-52 on March 23, 1966.
In November 1966, several crews and aircraft from the 393d deployed to
Andersen AFB, Guam. While there, the squadron's representatives participated
in Vietnam ARC LIGHT operations. An urgent need for the bombers in the war
prompted SAC to deploy all 393 BMS crews and aircraft to Andersen again in
April 1968. During the six-month stay, the squadron participated in many
bombing missions. A year later, SAC issued another call and once more the
393d aircraft and personnel went to Southeast Asia.