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Air Weather Reconnaissance Association


AWRA Organizational History


55 Weather Reconnaissance Squadron

LINEAGE. Constituted 655th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 11 Aug 1944. Activated on 21 Aug 1944. Redesignated: 55th Reconnaissance Squadron, Long Range, Weather, on 16 Jun 1945; 55th Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Long Range, Weather, on 27 Nov 1945. Inactivated on 15 Oct 1947. Redesignated 55th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Medium, Weather, on 22 Jan 1951. Activated on 21 Feb 1951. Redesignated 55th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron on 15 Feb 1954. Discontinued, and inactivated, on 8 Jul 1961. Activated on 12 Oct 1961. Organized on 8 Jan 1962. Inactivated on 1 Oct 1993. Redesignated 55th Space Weather Squadron on 1 Mar 1997. Activated on 17 Mar 1997. Inactivated 16 Jul 02.

ASSIGNMENTS. Third Air Force, 21 Aug 1944; III Tactical Air Command, 1 Oct 1944; III Tactical Air Division, (by Nov) 1944; Twentieth Air Force, 11 Apr 1945 (attached to XXI Bomber Command, c. 11 Apr-c. 26 Nov 1945); 311th Reconnaissance Wing, 27 Nov 1945 (attached to U.S. Army Strategic Air Forces, 27 Nov 1945-c. 19 Mar 1946); Air Transport Command, 13 Mar 1946; Air Weather Service, 20 Mar 1946-15 Oct 1947. Air Weather Service, 21 Feb 1951; 9th Weather Group, 20 Apr 1953-8 Jul 1961. Military Air Transport Service, 12 Oct 1961; 9th Weather Reconnaissance Group, 8 Jan 1962; 9th Weather Reconnaissance Wing, 8 Jul 1965; 41st Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance Wing, 1 Sep 1975; Air Rescue Service, 1 Aug 1989; 60th Operations Group, 1 Feb-1 Oct 1993. 50th Operations Group, 17 Mar 1997-16 Jul 02.

Components. Detachment 1, Ladd AFB, AK, 1 Jul 58-8 Jul 61; Detachment 2, Hickam AFB, HI, 1 Jul 58-8 Jul 61; Detachment 3, McChord AFB, WA, 1 Jul 58-8 Jul 61.

STATIONS. Will Rogers Field, OK, 21 Aug 1944-5 Mar 1945; Depot (later, Harmon) Field, Guam, 11 Apr 1945-28 Feb 1946; Buckley Field, CO, 20 Mar 1946; Langley Field, VA, 9 May 1946; Morrison Field, FL, Jul 1946; Fairfield-Suisun AAFld, CA, 1 Jun-15 Oct 1947. McClellan AFB, CA, 21 Feb 1951-8 Jul 1961. McClellan AFB, CA, 8 Jan 1962-1 Oct 1993. Falcon (later, Schriever) AFB, CO, 17 Mar 1997-16 Jul 02.

COMMANDERS. Capt Raymond A. Walker, 21 Aug 1944; Lt Col Nicholas H. Chauvasse, 3 Sep 1944; Capt Fred M. Barricklow, 1 Apr 1946; 2d Lt Eugene R. Cummings, 11 Jul 1946; Capt Y. Mitchell, 13 Jul 1946; Maj Charles F. Adams, 10 Sep 1946; Maj Paul V. Fackler, 16 Sep 1946; Maj Kenneth A. Linder, 24 May 1947; Maj Robert L. Foley, 16 Jun-15 Oct 1947. Lt Col Aubrey D. Taylor, 21 Feb 1951; Lt Col Richard D. Stowell, 7 Jan 1952; Lt Col Kenneth A. Linder, 13 Feb 1952; Lt Col Russell W. Neely, 12 Oct 1953; Lt Col Roger A. Stevenson, 13 Sep 1954; Lt Col Dale D. Desper, 22 Sep 1956; Maj Robert E. Kerr, 3 Mar 1958; Col Harvey P. Hall, 15 Jun 1958-8 Jul 1961. Lt Col Robert V. McKibban, 8 Jan 1962; Lt Col John D. Horn, 29 May 1962; Lt Col Robert V. McKibban, (by Dec) 1962; Lt Col Earl W. Peters, (by Dec) 1963; Lt Col Clyde C. Angley, 8 Jun 1965; Col Leon M. Grisham, 26 Jun 1965; Col Hiram P. Bilyeu, 15 Jul 1967; Col Leslie E. Gamble, 20 Nov 1969; Lt Col Carlton F. Garlock, 10 Nov 1970; Col Wilson V. Palmore, 15 Apr 1971; Col Foster A. Post, 26 May 1973; Col Orville J. Beranek, 1 Aug 1973; Col Charles M. Teed, 3 Sep 1975; Lt Col Forrest N. Dye, 1 Mar 1977; Lt Col John P. Joyce, 1 Jun 1979; Lt Col James D. Johnson, 28 Oct 1980; Lt Col George B. Stokes, 30 Oct 1981; Lt Col Daniel B. Ahern, 16 Sep 1983; Lt Col Gary B. Koch, 3 Jun 1985; Lt Col Milton O. Payne, Jr., 22 Dec 1986; Lt Col William H. Richard, 6 Jul 1989; Lt Col Brian R. Voorhees, 25 Jul 1991-1 Oct 1993.

AIRCRAFT. A-20, 1944; B-24, 1944-1945; B-29, 1946-1947; C-47, 1946-1947. WB/TB-29, 1951-1955; WB-50, 1954-1961; WB-47, 1957-1961; C-54, 1958-1961; TB-50, 1958-1960; JB-57, 1960-1961. WB-50, 1962-1963; WB-47, 1962-1969; JB-57, 1962-1963; C/WC-130, 1962-1965; RB-57, 1963-1964; C-135, 1965; WC-135, 1965-1993; WC-130, 1970-1975; HC-130, 1975.

OPERATIONS. Provided weather reconnaissance for Twentieth Air Force B-29 raids on Japan in the Western Pacific theater in 1945. Returned to the United States in 1946, where it trained and conducted weather reconnaissance. Between July and Oct 1947, when it inactivated, the squadron flew daily missions over the eastern Pacific Ocean. After activation in California in 1951, the squadron flew weather reconnaissance missions over the northern Pacific. Tested WB-50 aircraft and trained crews for other weather squadrons. During the 1950s, supported atomic tests by monitoring radioactive clouds and taking atmospheric samples. Provided weather reconnaissance data for northeast Pacific Ocean, parts of Arctic Ocean, and northwestern Atlantic Ocean in late 1950s. Tracked Hurricanes Dot and Donna in 1959 and 1960. Provided weather data for transoceanic fighter deployments, photographic reconnaissance for testing satellite imagery, and surveillance for space flight recoveries until inactivation in 1961. After organization in 1962, flew weather reconnaissance and atmospheric sampling missions over the Pacific and Arctic. Between 1965 and 1993, used jet aircraft to test air for radiation from possible nuclear tests to verify treaty limitations, flying missions worldwide. In 1986, monitored atmospheric radiation in Europe after Chernobyl nuclear accident in the Soviet Union. In 1988 and 1989, tested special photographic equipment for Strategic Defense Initiative research.

SERVICE STREAMERS. None.

CAMPAIGN STREAMERS. World War II: Western Pacific.

ARMED FORCES EXPEDITIONARY STREAMERS. None.

DECORATIONS. Army Meritorious Unit Commendation: 15 May 1945-1 Jan 1946. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Mar 1960-28 Feb 1961; 1 Jul 1967-30 Jun 1968; 1 Jan-31 Dec 1971; 1 Sep 1975-1 May 1977; 16 Jul 1977-16 Jul 1979; 17 Jul 1979-15 Jun 1981; 1 Apr 1984-31 Mar 1986; 1 Apr 1986-31 Mar 1988; 1 Aug 1989-30 Jun 1991.

EMBLEM. Approved on 3 Jul 1967.

DATE PREPARED. 15 Jul 1998..

PREPARED BY Daniel L. Haulman, AFHRA/RSO

APPROVED BY Judy G. Endicott, AFHRA/RSO

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Acronyms and Abbreviations

AWRA Organizational History

OPR: AWRA
Joseph Tabaco
 
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