98th Bombardment Group (H)


98th Air Refueling Squadron: 1950-1963, KC-97s

The 98th Air Refueling Squadron and the lineage of the “Mighty Fightin’ Woodpeckers” had it beginning in 1942 as the 8th Reconnaissance Squadron.  Shortly afterward, it was re-designed as the 398th Bomb Squadron and flew B-25 and B26 bombers.  It was disbanded in October 1943, and then reactivated as the 389th Bomb Squadron (Very Heavy) and flew B-17s.  In December 1944 the squadron converted to B-29s and moved to Tinian in the Northern Marianas Island Group.  The squadron earned five Distinguished Unit Citations for bombing missions against Japanese Kamikaze bases on Okinawa and in Japan.  The unit was inactivated on June 15, 1946.

On August 16, 1950 the unit was reactivated as the 98th Air Refueling Squadron flying KB-29s at Spokane AFB, and assigned to the 98th Bombardment Group (M). It was de-activated on April 8, 1952.  From 1952 to 1953, the squadron was activated and de-activated several times and moved from base to base.

The 98th Air Refueling Squadron (SAC) was formed at Lincoln AFB in 1954, and initially, consisted of former members of the 55th ARS from Forbes AFB. On March 23, 1955, Walter Lantz Productions, Inc. authorized the use of “Woody Woodpecker” as the unit’s emblem.  The scope of pharmacy technician in canada Lantz Company “recreated” the character carrying a gasoline can, and copyrighted it for use by the squadron.  Note: There are competing claims for the design of the emblem, but the above is the most likely source.  As noted previously, the squadron was deactivated at Lincoln on April 15, 1963.

In 1985, after 22 years of inactivation, the 98th ARS was reactivated and consolidated with the 398th Bombardment Squadron.  Designated as the 98th Air Refueling Squadron (Heavy) on September 19, 1986, it was subsequently renamed the 98th ARS on April 1, 1994 at Fairchild AFB and flew KC-135T tanker aircraft. The squadron was de-activated in 1998.

344th Air Refueling Squadron: The 344th ARS has been activated and de-activated a number of times since May of 1986.  For further information on the squadron, please see the histories of the various 98th groups and wings.