93rd Air Refueling Squadron [93rd ARS]

The 93rd Air Refueling Squadron was constituted as the 493rd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 September 1942. It was activated on 25 October 1942 and assigned to the 7th Bombardment Group. The squadron, starting in 1943, until 1946 flew the B–24. It was redesignated as the 493rd Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 6 March 1944.

The squadron was deployed during the course of World War II to various stations in India, with a detachment at Luliang, China, from 17 December 1944–26 January 1945, until January 1946 when it returned to the United States and was inactivated at Camp Kilmer, NJ, on 6 January 1946. The squadron saw combat in CBI, from 26 January 1943–10 June 1944 and 19 October 1944–3 July 1945; transported gasoline to forward bases in China, from 20 June–30 September 1944, and dropped propaganda leaflets in Thailand, from June–September 1945.

The squadron was consolidated on 19 September 1948 with the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Medium, which was constituted on 2 February 1949 and activated on 1 March 1949 at Castle AFB, CA, as part of the 93rd Bombardment Group. That squadron flew the KB-29 starting in 1950 and converted to the KC-97 in 1953. The squadron was attached twice to the 93rd Bombardment Wing, from 15 July 1950–30 January 1951 and from 10 February 1951–15 June 1952 until being formally reassigned to it on 16 Jun 1952.

The squadron was first tasked with air refueling in October 1951.

The squadron was redesignated as the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy, on 1 February 1955.

From 1951 to 1956, the unit was frequently stationned at different bases, both at home and overseas, operating from Upper Heyford RAF, England(9 December 1951–6 March 1952); Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ(1 April–15 May 1954); Ernest Harmon AFB, Newfoundland (29 June–14 August 1954); Thule AB, Greenland (19 January–c. 15 March 1955); Elmendorf AFB, AK (2 November 1955–5 January 1956 and 27 September–c. 24 December 1956).

In August 1956, Boeing rolled out the KC-135 Tanker. The first delivery was to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Castle AFB California on June 28 1957.

In 1957, the 93rd ARS was flying the propeller-driven Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter, a tanker that could no longer keep up with the new jet bombers coming off the assembly line. The Air Force made the decision the squadron would receive the world's first jet tanker, and equally significant, the 93rd ARS would be responsible for training all Strategic Air Command tanker crew members in the new aircraft.

As the tanker "schoolhouse" squadron for Strategic Air Command, the 93rd trained thousands of Cold War KC-135 aircrew members - pilots, navigators and boom operators - before the signed in at their home bases spread all over the country. In addition, those same crewmembers would return to Castle for upgrade, instructor and re-qualification training as they progressed in their aviation careers, with all flight training and evaluations conducted by the 93rd ARS.

From 1957 until Castle AFB closed on March 31, 1995 and the 93rd ARS was inactivated, KC-135 training was transferred to Altus AFB Oklahoma, the 93rd ARS was activated at Fairchild AFB, assuming the aircraft and personnel of the 43rd ARS, which was then inactivated. SAC made certain the best flight instructors were assigned to the 93rd.

Clearly, the 93rd ARS members lived up to their motto: Domini Artis - "Masters of the Art". 

Portions of the squadron deployed in support of operations in Southwest Asia, from 2 September 1990–10 March 1991.

The consolidated squadron was redesignated as the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron on 1 September 1991 and assigned to the 93rd Operations Group. It was reassigned to the 398th Operations Group, on 1 June 1992.

It was inactivated on 31 March 1995. Reactivated on the same day at Fairchild AFB, WA, the 93rd was assigned to the 92nd Air Refueling Wing's Operations Group replacing the 43rd ARS which was inactivated.