Just curious as to when the Strategic Air Command of the USAF was formed, and which heavy bombers have served over the years since it creation. I think we can honestly say the B-29 was the first bomber to serve since it was the aircraft to dropped the first & only nuclear bombs. So if we could make a list here, we have...
Yes, the B-50 was operational with the 43rd BW, Davis-Monthan AFB from February 22 1948 and was phased out in 1954.
Another lesser known SAC bomber was the FB-111A, which was operational in September 1971 with the 509th BW, Pease AFB, N.H. and the 380th BW, Plattsburgh AFB, N.Y.
You have asked for heavy bombers, which would rule out the B-36, (Very heavy bomber) B-47 and B-58 (medium bombers) and I think SAC stretched the definition a bit and included the FB-111A in the medium bomber category. When the B-36 entered service, I believe the B-29s were classified downward as medium bombers.
How would SAC have classified the B-70 Valkyrie if it had entered service? Heavy and HOT! The YB-60 would have been a heavy, I suppose. Digressing a bit, but SAC operated many VB-25s. I remember seeing them all shined up, curtains in the waist gunner windows and general's stars on them.
All the resources that I came up with show that the B-50 was still called the Superfortress, even though only 25% of the parts were interchangable between it and the B-29. Just in case you were wondering.
I might just suggest a book somewhat along the line of the topic. It is titled "Point of no return". Sorry but I do not remember the author and am just not inclined to search through all my books just now, (I really need to update my database), it deals indirectly with the formation of SAC.
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None of the fighters you listed served with SAC, as they were all interceptors assigned to ADC.
SAC spent about 10 years looking for an escort fighter. The F-82 Twin Mustang was perhaps the best of their prop-driven fighters, though they had many F-51D/H Mustangs. The straight and swept wing versions of the F-84 served with SAC. Finally, with the advent of the McDonnel F-101A, they had a fighter with the legs necessary for the escort job. But, just as they were about to equip with the type, the SAC fighter program ended. I believe it was felt that ECM, decoys, and the Hound Dog missile would suppress enemy interception better than the fighters.
Thanks for all the replys. I should clarify that I'm looking for any & all bombers that served with SAC since 1946, not just 'heavy bombers' as I quoted before. I just assumed that only 'heavy bombers' would served with SAC. Again, many thanks. Regards.
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Yes, ADC (Air Defence Command) was on the org chart at the same level as SAC/TAC. I believe if we looked at ADC manpower/aircraft figures, we would see that it peaked in the late 1950s, and declined until some point in the 1980s when the last active duty interceptor squadron inactivated. At that point, 100% of the interceptor forces were ANG.
I should point out that an earlier statement of mine needs clarifying. The F-104A served with ADC, while the F-104C served with TAC.