97th Air Mobility Wing|
The 97th Air Mobility Wing traces its lineage to the 97th Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy, organized on December 1, 1947 at Mile 26 Air Field, later named Eielson Air Force Base (AFB), Alaska. The wing reported to Fifteenth Air Force, Strategic Air Command (SAC), although the Yukon Sector of the Alaskan Air Command controlled its operations. The 97th was originally a temporary organization, comprised of components of the 97th Bombardment Group and the 519th Air Service Group, deployed from Smoky Hill Air Force Base, Kansas. The Air Force was conducting a service test of a combat wing structure that elevated the wing headquarters to the highest echelon of command on the base. This gave the wing commander the authority to direct activities rather than merely request that his flying mission receive support.
The wing consisted of a combat group, an airdrome group, a maintenance and supply group, and a medical group. The unit's March 1948 history stated: "The mission of the 97th Bombardment Wing (VHB) is to man, train and maintain a self-sustaining strategic bombardment group capable of operations in any theater." While in Alaska the 97th flew B-29 Superfortress training missions over the Arctic Ocean, testing the aircraft and maintenance crews in the harsh climate. At the end of the Alaskan deployment the wing moved to Smoky Hill AFB, near Salina, Kansas, in March 1948.
Base history ....
A brief look at the Mighty 97th
Chronology of Altus Air Force Base
Commanders of Altus Air Force Base