LORING HISTORY

A MUSEUM DEDICATED TO LORING AFB.

LORING MILITARY HERITAGE CENTER

​​LORING A.F.B. MAINE 1953-1994​  

LORING BOMB WING COMMANDERS​​​​
Dates Assigned Commander
26 Feb 1953 Col Frederick R. Ramputi
4 Apr 1953 Col Bertram C. Harrison
28 Feb 1954 Col William B. Campbell
Mar 1954 Brig Gen Bertram C. Harrison
8 Oct 1954 Col Jerome Tarter
4 May 1956 Col Don W. Bailey
14 May 1956 Col Woodrow P. Swancutt
1 Jun 1956 Col Donald E. Hillman
18 Jan 1958 Brig Gen William K. Martin
11 Jun 1958 Col Don W. Bailey
23 Jun 1958 Col Selmon W. Wells (SUNDOWN WELLS)
24 Nov 1958 Col John W. Gaff Jr.
25 May 1960 Col Walter V. Gresham Jr.
31 May 1960 Col William H. Reddell
25 Jul 1963 Col Robert J. Nolan
10 Jul 1964 Col Clifton Pyle
11 Jul 1966 Col William M. Shy
13 Jul 1968 Col Eugene L. Hudson
17 Apr 1970 Col James E. Maxwell
12 Jan 1971 Col John R. Kelly Jr.
13 Feb 1972 Col Robert J. Bogan
23 Mar 1972 Col James H. McGrath
9 Jun 1972 Col Ruger W. Winchester
8 Dec 1972 Col James H. McGrath
13 Oct 1973 Col Grady L. Friday
12 Sep 1974 Col Robert E. Chapman
15 Nov 1975 Col Larry S. DeVall
11 Apr 1978 (temporary) Col Marion F. Tidwell
19 May 1978 Col Larry S. DeVall
25 Aug 1978 Col Marion F. Tidwell
6 Jun 1979 Col Robert B. Strain
22 Jul 1980 Col Ellie G. Shuler Jr.
3 Sep 1981 Col Donald L. Marks
19 Aug 1982 Col Orthus K. Lewis Jr.
12 Oct 1983 Col Stanley O. Smith
4 Mar 1985 Col John T. Shepard
21 Apr 1986 Col Thomas C. O'Malley
9 Jun 1988 Col Larry C. Hammack
18 Sep 1989 Col Terry A. Burke
20 May 1991 Col Gary N. Schneider
7 Sep 1993-30 Sep 1994. Col Robert J. Pavelko

LORING DATES OF SIGNFICANCE.

Loring Air Force Base CDP was located at 

46°56′59″N 67°53′20″W.[1]

 21 March 1946 SAC Activated

 1947 Aroostook County Maine is chosen as the location of one of the new SAC bases due to its proximity to Europe

 15 April 1947 Designation of Limestone Army Air Field  Limestone AAF

 15 April 1947 Designation of SAC

 23 May 1947 Contracts given to The New England Division of USACE and multi-million dollar contracts to Lane Construction Corporation of Meriden Connecticut and T.W. Cunningham In. of Bangor Maine

 April 1947 Construction was authorized in Limestone Maine on a new SAC Base

 September 1947 the USAF is its own division

 13 January 1948 base is officially Limestone AAF

 16 June 1948 First concrete pouring takes place of Arch Hanger. Takes 27 hours, 36 minutes

 September 1948 first aircraft lands on the newly completed runway. A contractors twin engine cessna

 15 June 1950 date set for minimal operations to start at Limestone AAF

 10 June 1950 7 SAC Officers and 78 Airman arrived as a base detachment

 12 June 1950 the first aircraft landed at Limestone, a cargo plane

 16 June 1950 the first B36 arrived at Limestone and took back off.

 1 July 1950 the 4215 Base Services Squadron was given its name, from the first detachment that came to Limestone.

 August 13, 1950 First assigned Aircraft arrives at loring C-47 Transport

August 1950 the base saw more transient aircraft coming to the base due to the escalation of the Korean Conflict

 1951 DOD allotted additional funds for WSA at Limestone

 4 August 1951 WSA construction begins

1951 Caribou Air Force Station, also known as North River Depot and East Loring, is a defunct Air Force Station that operated until it was acquired by LAFB in 1962. The base was an Operational Storage Site for Air Material Command, Operational Storage Site. AMC-OSS   

 1 November 1951 WSA partially occupied and activated and still under construction

 15 December 1951 the 3080th Aviation Depot Group is activated and assumes control of the WSA

 10 April 1952 the WSA is completed, Code name “Easy” prior to construction. Also known as the North River Depot became the stie of the first operational nuclear storage site in the Air Force

 1952 North River Depot receives its first armament. The Mark-VI nuclear bomb, the first nuclear weapon since the Fat Man Bomb of WWII

 22 November 1952 Major Charles J. Loring was killed when he flew his aircraft into a battery of anti-aircraft batteries.

 8 February 1953 General Curtis E. LeMay makes a site visit to Loring to check on progress of the base

 25 February 1953 42nd Bombardment Wing was activated at Limestone AAF

 25 February 1953 the base became operational

 March 1953 and April 1953 Aircraft maintenance crews began setting up full scale B36 operations.

 1 April 1953 10 B36’s arrive at Limestone, giving the 69th Bombardment Squadron a full complement of aircraft.

 2 August 1953 First base open house draws 75,000 people

 31 August the wing had 27 B36 bombers, 322 officers, 313 Airman, and 350 civilians

 28 September 1953 First day of school on Loring

 25 December 1953 First Television broadcast by experimental Armed Forces TV occurs at Loring. (later this would be the AFRTS-Armed Forces Radio and Television Services)

 7 January 1954 the 42nd BW was operational and capable of implementing emergency War Plan

 16 March 1954 First classes offered to Loring NCE Preparatory Academy begins

 5 May 1954 Charles Lorings widow was given his Medal of Honor from President Dwight  Eisenhower, and the base official was to bear his name.

 1 October 1954 the base official bore the name Loring AFB in honor of Major Charles Loring

 8 October 1954 the 45th Air Division was activated as the primary base unit

 1954 end Loring had 63 assigned aircraft

 18 January 1955 KC 97 Stratofreighter tankers arrive at Loring AFB and the 42nd Air Refueling Squadron (AREFS) arrives

 15 February 1955 First taker hits Loring KC-97G

 8 March 1955 Loring AFB first in-flight refueling mission is completed

 1955 Loring AFB is composed of four bombardment squadrons, the 42nd, 69th, 70th and 75th, Field Maintenance Squadron, Periodica Maintenance Squadron, Armament and Electronics Maintenance Squadron, a Tactical Hospital, a USAF Hospital, Air Base Group, Operations Squadron, Supply Squadron, Motor Vehicle Squadron, Air Police Squadron, Food Services Squadron, Installation Squadron, and Air force Band

 1955 The (DC) Double Cantilever Hanger was constructed

 9 Jan 1956 The first B52 Lands at Loring AFB

 16 June 1956 the first permanent B-52 arrives at Loring AFB, it was christened “THE STATE OF MAINE” with a bottle of containing waters from both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as a symbol of the crafts ability to fly from ocean to ocean without refueling

 10 November 1956 Soviet Union threatens to oust British and French troops from the Middle East

 15 November 1956 President Eisenhower and UN counter and SAC is alerted to take action as needed to support US commitment

 24-25 November 1956 Operation Quick Kick is put in place by SAC. Its mission was to fly around the perimeter of North America. Loring was one of those that took part in this mission.

 1956 18 additional nose dock hangers had been constructed

 January 1957 the wing converted to B-52D

 March 1957 ARS to receive Lorings first KC-135

 16 October 1957 the first KC 135 Stratotanker christened “THE AROOSTOOK QUEEN” arrives at Loring AFB

 6 December 1957 all KC-97’s leave Loring

 9 December 1957 first Presidential visit by Dwight D. Eisenhower enroute to NATO Meeting in Paris

 April 1958 20 KC-135 arrive at Loring and the 42nd ARS attains combat ready status

 October 1957 an Alert Force was established at Loring AFB

 January 1958 6 B-52’s began support of the Alert Force

 July 1958 the Alert Force was expanded to include the entire bombardment wing due to the conflict in Lebanon

 21 May 1959 First B-52G Model arrives at Loring (Aircraft #56, 500)

 29 October 1959 First fighter aircraft arrives Four F-106 Delta Darts of the 27th Fighter interceptor Squadron

 August and December 1961 the wing was on alert in support of Hard Head VI airborne alert operation

 June 1962 , the United States Atomic Energy Commission released its custody and ownership of the weapons to the Air Force, and the personnel and property were absorbed into the adjacent Loring Air Force Base.

 14 December 1968 first day opening for the Loring Ski Chalet

 July 1968 the 407th ARS arrived from Homestead AFB Florida, doubling the wings refueling capability

 23 June 1969 first two female air traffic controllers in the history of SAC Conducted work at Loring

 8 October 1970 first Union on base Local 2943 of AFL-CIO

 4 August 1972 Loring became the first SRAM equipped operational B-52 unit in SAC

 1 Jan 1975 First testing of ala Carte dining concept in SAC

 2 March 1978 the Wing won the SAC Omaha Trophy for 1977

 27 October 1975, Loring AFB was the location of a unidentified flying object sighting. UFO

 31 October to 1 November 1975 an unidentified sighting at low level over Loring

 1 March 1976 HQ SAC announced the 42nd BW would inactivate

 1979 decision to reverse the 42nd BW inactivation occurred

 1980s Loring became a non-nuclear base, and carry conventional bombs

 1981 Loring was placed on alert after Soviet submarines were spotted off the east coast

 7 January 1982 the base is hit with an two earthquakes one damaged the hospital and the other caused cracks to appear on the walls of the control tower

5 September 1983 KC-135 from Loring, saves an F-4 aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean, their actions would win them the Mackay Award 

 15 September 1983 the wing received its first HARPOON modified aircraft

 1983 Loring gets a mention in the movie War Games

 1984 the wing became the Air Forces only primary conventional bomber force

 October 1988 the wing after 30 years ended its B-52 24 hour nuclear alert

 25 May 1989 The first “R” Model KC-135 arrived at Loring

 18 September 1989 Loring bombers first to ever fly into Royal Air Force Base St. Mawgan UK

 1989 Loring is listed on the EPA National Priorities List due to the high waste of oil, fuels, solvents and pesticides in the soil

 2 August 1990 and May 10, 1991 More than 1,700 aircraft in transit to or from Desert Shield/Desert Storm made technical or refueling stops at Loring AFB. These included C-131, C-5, C-130, C-21, A-4, A-10, Boeing 707, F-16, F/A-18, F111, P-3, TR-1, U-2, B-52, KC-10, KC-135, E-3A, EA-6B, and E-8A aircraft.

 August 7, 1990 the wing began to deploy aircraft, personnel and equipment to Southwest Asia in support of Desert Shield

 March 1991 the deployed started to return back to Loring from the Gulf

 1 October 1991 the 407 ARS was inactivated on Loring

 3 October 1991 President Bush ordered alert forces and Loring KC-135 to stand down ending their first 24 hour alert

 1991 Loring is identified as one of six SAC bases recommended for closure

 1 June 1992 SAC is inactivated and the new Air Combat Command is established

 1 November 1993 the final Airman steps off the pane in PI Maine assigned to Loring AIC Hattie Douglas was greeted by a blizzard and 27 degrees

 16 November 1993 the last B-52G leaves Loring AFB after 40 years

 February 1994 ceremonies were held to celebrate the end of the flying mission

 2 March 1994 the final KC-135R departed Loring after 41 years on the base

 30 September 1994 at 430pm Loring AFB is closed and ceases to exist


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1940'S

The 42nd Bomb Wing began its history as the 42nd Bombardment Group (Medium) at Fort Douglas, Utah, on January 15, 1942. The group was transferred to Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, in June of the same year with B-18 and B-26 bombers assigned. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, one tactical squadron moved to Alaska for coastal patrol while the rest of the group moved to McChord Field, Washington, in preparations for overseas duty. Following final training at Hammar Field, California, in February of 1943, the group moved to the Fiji Islands in the South Pacific. In June of ’43, with the newly added 69 th and 70 th Bomb Squadrons strengthening the group, the 42nd attacked Japanese targets in the central Solomon Islands. From January through July of 1944 42nd aircraft bombed enemy harbors and airfields on New Britain and attacked shipping around the Morthern Solomons and Bismarck Island. In March 1945, the Group moved to the Philippines and supported ground operations on Mindanao. The 42nd earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for support of an Australian invasion of a Japanses oil refinery at Balikpapen, Borneo, June 23-30, 1945. Following a transfer to Japan as part of U.S. occupation forces in January 1946, the 42nd Bombardment Group(Medium) was inactivated on May 10 of the same year. 

The designation of Loring AFB, Limestone Army Air Field 15 April 1947-5 June 1950​

15 April 1947 Designation of Strategic Air Command 

1950's

On February 25, 1953, the 42nd Bombardment Wing (Heavy) was reactivated at Limestone(later Loring) Air Force Base, Maine with B-36 Peacemaker bombers assigned. The 42nd Air Refueling Squadron joined the wing in early 1955 with propeller-driven KC-97 tankers. On June 16, 1956, the first B-52 C assigned to the 42nd arrived at Loring. The aircraft is christened “The State Of Maine.” The final B-36 bomber left Loring in September 1956. In November of 1956, three Loring B-52Cs made a record non-stop flight over the North Pole and around the perimeter of the North American continent. In January 1957, the wing converted to the B-52D and in March, the 42nd ARS received Loring’s first KC-135 Stratotanker. Wing aircrews and aircraft were placed on alert in July of 1958 due to tensions in Lebanon. The more versatile B-52Gs replaced the “D” models and increased the range and payload capabilities of the wing in May of 1959.  Limestone Air Force Base 5 June 1950- 1 October 1954

1960's

The wing was on alert in August and December of 1961 and supported Hard Head VI airborne alert operations in the spring of 1964. Also in 1964, the 42nd ARS received the General Saunders Trophy as the best tanker squadron in SAC. In 1965, the 42nd ARS began support for Young Tiger operations in Southeast. In July of 1968, the 407 th ARS arrived from Homestead AFB, Florida, doubling the wing’s refueling capability.

1970's

The 1970s began with Loring becoming the first SRAM equipped operational B-52 unit in SAC on August 4, 1972. Many Loring crews participated in the December 1972 Linebacker II bombing campaign in Southeast Asia. One Loring crew’s aircraft was hit by a SAM over North Vietnam. All crew members were safely recovered following bailout over Thailand. On March 2, 1978, the wing learned it had won the SAC “ Omaha” Trophy for 1977.

1980's

The wing received its first HARPOON modified aircraft on September 15, 1983. In 1984, the wing became the Air Force’s only primary conventional bomber force. IN October 1988, after 30 years, the wing ended its B-52 24-hour nuclear alert. The first “R” model KC-135 arrived at Loring in May of 1989.  In 1981, Loring's bombers were placed on alert after Soviet submarines were spotted off the coast of the region. The base was part of a movie, War Games, listed as the 43rd Bomb Wing, it was still in the movie. 1982 the base was hit by an earthquake that caused damaged to one wing of the "Green Monster" or hospital. It caused crackes to appear on the walls of the control tower as well.   

1990's

On August 7, 1990, the wing began deploying aircraft, personnel, and equipment to Southwest Asia in support of Operation DESERT SHIELD. During DESERT SHIELD/STORM wing bombers deployed to Diego Garcia flew 960 missions (465 combat ) in 44 days, dropping 12,588,766 pounds of bombs. Loring and other tankers deployed to the same locations off-loaded 31,802,500 pounds of fuel to 648 receivers. In March 1991, resources deployed to the Gulf began their return to Loring. Organizational changes to the wing in 1991 resulted in renaming three existing organizations and activating two new groups and two support squadrons. The wing designation changed to the 42nd Wind under this SAC plan. In 1991, Loring was designated for closure. On October 1, 1991 the 407 ARS was inactivated and on October 3, of the same year, President Bush ordered alert crews to stand down for the first time in Loring’s history. December 1991 saw SAC and Loring stand down all Alert forces and Loring KC-135s ended theier 24-hour alert. One year later, the Air Force redesignated the wing as the 42nd Bomb Wing. In 1993, the wing began to draw down the base in anticipation of it’s scheduled closure in September, 1994. On November 16, 1993, the final B-52G assigned to Loring made its final flight from the base, ending a 40 year bombing mission for the wing. On March 2, 1994, the final KC-135R departed Loring. 


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THE ARCH HANGER

Towering above the runway is one of the most prominent structures on base and for miles around – the Arch Hangar. This huge structure of reinforced concrete was designed by Roberts and Schaefer Company of Chicago as a maintenance facility capable of holding two B-36 bombers. This type of concrete facility was new to the New England states although a second, identical structure was being built at the same time in Rapid City, South Dakota, at Ellsworth Air Force Base. At the time of completion these two hangars were the largest monolithic arch roof structures ever erected in the country. 

The design of the Arch Hangar met the military’s requirements for an unobstructed space of 340 by 300 feet and provided maximum fire resistance and minimum cost. Using reinforced concrete in the construction of this structure was the most economical method because the formwork could be effectively reused in pouring the arches. Designers also hoped that the same equipment could be used in building other arch hangars on base. For these reasons, the design was approved despite what was then considered minor penalties in increased costs for heating and lighting; now the hangar’s main disadvantage. 

ACTIVATION OF THE 42ND BOMB WING

On February 25, 1958, SAC Headquarters activated the 42nd Bombardment Wing, Heavy, located at Limestone AFB, Maine, and assigned the wing to 8 th AF Headquarters. Colonel Ramputi assumed command of the 42's Bomb Wing, becoming its first wing commander. Lt Colonel William W. Pannis became the 42nd Air Base Group Commander. Interestingly, this important change in status at Limestone went almost unnoticed by its assigned personnel for two reasons. First, the change has little immediate effect on their daily routines. Second, the unit had its hands full with the largest B-36 maneuver ever conducted at Limestone up to that time. On February 18, a task force of 26 B-36's had arrived from Carswell AFB, Texas. Assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing, the bombers flew several training missions during their 10 day stay. It seems most appropriate that such a large contingency of B-36's was present during the activation of a new B-36 wing.

LAST AIRMAN ON LORING A.F.B.

Loring’s last Airman was AIC Hattie Douglas. She stepped off the plane in Presque Isle Maine on November 1, 1993, at 11pm. Upon arrival to Presque Isle, A1C Douglas was greeted with the first northern Maine blizzard of the year and 27 degrees. Douglas was a relocation technician with the personnel flight. She had assisted in closing down Bergstrom AFB in Texas. She was the final participant of the Right Start Program on Loring. This program acclimated Loring people to the base and the surrounding area.

LAST SQUADRON DEACTIVATED

The Loring Fire Department was the last department deactivated. As it swung into civilian life it maintained the name Loring Fire Department. In 2016 the Loring Military Heritage Center held a deactivation ceremony to honor the closing of the department. It was closed the work load shifted to the Limestone FD. The flag was removed from the wall of the Center, marched to the front of it by members of the former department and chiefs. It was given to the Center and now proudly hangs there. 


DEACTIVATION CEREMONY VIEW ON YOUTUBE. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSsk06LUYNQ&t=1300s

HISTORY OF LORING

Loring AFB was a USAF installation in the Northeastern portion of Northern Maine. The base was located in proximity to Limestone and Caribou in Aroostook County. Cut out of the Maine woods, on 14,300 acres (58km) of land, Loring became the largest base in the Strategic Air Command and the largest for weapons storage. The United States had multiple bases that were SAC or Strategic Air Command. Loring AFB was one of the biggest in the arsenal for the United States Air Force. Loring had two separate commands, it started out as Strategic Air Command then transferred to Air Combat Command (ACC) in 1992.

Aroostook County was chosen due to its close proximity to Europe. In 1947 an order was given by the New England Division of the United States Army Corp of Engineers. The chosen site was in the Limestone Township, and Caswell Plantation. The airfield would be built on what was once dense forest, shallow marshes, wild blueberry bogs, and some potato fields.  

The weapons storage was the highest of all SAC bases in (Net Explosive Weight) and was the first of SAC in fuel storage capacity holding up to (9,193,374 gallons). Fuel delivery to the base was via a 200-mile pipeline from Searsport Maine to Loring.

The base was originally Limestone Army Air Field but was renamed Limestone Air Force Base following the 1947 establishment of the Air Force. In 1954 the name change was made in honor of Major Charles J. Loring Jr. Loring a USAF Medal of Honor recipient during the Korean War, was from Portland Maine. Loring served from 1951-1962 Loring was located next to Caribou Air Force Station.

The ramp space of Loring exceeded 1.1 million square yards, making it second of all SAC bases and first in terms of excess ramp space. Loring was also one of two facilities fully capable of conventional weapons storage facilities in CONUS maintained by SAC.

The runway was a major construction feat. The airfield of Loring was subject to freeze and thaw cycles, and the bogs and various groundcover had to be removed. Overall 2.1 million cubic yards of material were removed and the foundation laid. The foundation was constructed at a depth of 70 inches (1.78m) of flexible bituminous-concrete pavement. The length of the runway was 10,000 feet (3,050 m) and 300 feet (90 m) wide.

Loring AFB served many military members, and also employed a large number of civilian population. The base had many amenities for both the military member and the family members. The base had a hospital, school, ski slope, gym, pool, arts and craft center, bowling alley and clubs for both the NCO and the officers.

In 1991 the Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended Loring AFB to be closed and the aircraft and mission be distributed to other bases across the US. The base closed on September 30, 1994 at the end of the duty day, after 40 years of service. After the closure the Loring Development Authority (LDA) took over the day to day operations of the former base. It was redeveloped and named the Loring Commerce Centre, becoming an industrial and aviation park.

Site Content

base overview

Loring was a busy base that included a heavy bomber, aerial refueling and interception facility for military aircraft, equipment, supplies and more. SAC was part of Loring from 1947-1992, than the transition to ACC took place in 1992 till the closure in September of 1994.

Loring’s original plan was for 100 B-36 Peacemaker strategic bombers to be assigned to the base, but due to an overwhelming budget. The plan was partially completed but overtime Loring became one of the largest SAC bases. When the B-36 was phased out the B-52 Stratofortress D Model, was welcomed to Loring, then later the B-52G. In addition to that the Boeing KC-97 Stratofighter was based at Loring for a number of years till the replacement by the better-known KC-135A Stratotanker.

Caribou Air Force Station was the home for the weapons storage area that operated separately from Loring until it was absorbed in 1961. Caswell Air force Station to the east of Loring, operated in close proximity before Loring became operational. The facilities for the military that operated included the Alert Area, that was a separate facility within Loring. This was due in part to the constant state of alert of the crews and aircraft.

Loring also housed one of the largest hangers in the east coast, the Arch Hanger a Double Cantilever Hanger, with the capacity to hold six parked B52’s or five B-36’s. The Arch Hanger is one of the most prominent structures on the base. Designed by Roberts and Schaefer Company of Chicago, was one of two identical structures, the other housed in Rapid City South Dakota at Ellsworth Air Force Base. Both have the largest monolithic arch roofs in the county at the time they were built. The military requirement for an unobstructed space of 340 by 300 feet as well as providing maximum fire resistance and minimum cost.

Loring’s secondary mission was serving as the 45th Air Force Division. The division served from 8 Oct 1954-18 January 1958. The host wing at Loring was the 42nd Bombardment Wing, but was not the original host of Loring. Lornig was home to active duty units, until the 1980’s when it also served as the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 101st Fighter Squadron. Due to the close proximity to Europe Loring became a stopping point for those traveling overseas.

In 1991 the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC Commission) recommended the closure of Loring AFB. After 41 years of service to our nation, Loring closed on September 30, 1994. The justification of the closure of Loring was the USAF had six more strategic bases than were needed to support the number of bomber and tanker aircraft in the structure plan of the Department of Defense. Even with the condition of the base, with a new hospital and new runway that was to be installed, as well as community support, it ranked low in criteria when compared to twenty other bases in the strategic category.

The one thing that hurt Loring was the distance from bombing ranges and the value of peacetime tanker base. The BRAC noted that Loring facilities were well above average and cost associated with closure would be low, and that helped contribute to the closure in savings.

The future of the community would be in jeopardy with the departure of 22,000 people with 9,900 direct or indirectly affected in jobs. The loss of revenue to the local area of Aroostook would be in excess of $92 million. The next savings of the base closure was approximately $182 million by the end of 1997. The contrast to the closure was the regions 49,100 people and available jobs of 33,320. And annaula income of the region at $755 million.

The cold war ended on 1 June 1992 with the mission of SAC ending. The Last B-52 departed Loring in November 1993 and ceremonies followed in February 1994 to celebrate the end of the flying mission at Loring. After 41 years of flying over Aroostook, the last KC-135 departed, officially closing Loring AFB on September 30, 1994.

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LORING A.F.B.

Major Units or Loring A.F.B.

Loring played host to multiple squadrons. As the Host the 42nd Bomb Wing operated from 1953-1994. The objective was to support the national security objective with mission-ready B-52G Stratofortresses, and the KC-135 Stratotank aircraft. The wing had the ability to deploy at any time day or night, and support both SAC and the ACC missions.

The national security objective set forth by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the 42nd Operations Group (OG) utilized the B-52 and the KC-135. All B-52’s assigned to Loring carried the LZ Tailcode.

THE SQUADRONS OF LORING

69th Bombardment Squadron (1952-1991  B-52)

70th Bombardment Squadron (1953-1966 B-52

75th Bombardment Squadron (1953-1956) B-52

42nd Air Refueling Squadron (1955-1994) KC-135

407th Air Refueling Squadron (1968-1990) KC-135


THE COMPONENTS OF THE 42ND BOMB WING. 

42nd Organizational Maintenance Squadron

42nd Field Maintenance Squadron

42nd Avionics Squadron

42nd Munitions Maintenance Squadron

42nd Combat Support Squadron

42nd Supply Squadron

42nd Transportation Squadron

42nd Consolidated Headquarters Squadron

42nd Civil Engineering Squadron

42nd Security Police Squadron

42nd Airborne Missile Maintenance Squadron (1964-1974) Lifted the missiles onto the B-52

2192nd Communication Squadron, Air Force Communications Command absorbed by 42nd Bomb Wing in 1990

42nd Strategic Hospital


OTHER COMPONENTS AT LORING

27th Fighter Squadron (1959-19971)

101st Fighter Squadron (1986-1993)

45th Air Division (8 Oct 1954-18 Jan 1958)

766th Aircraft Control Warning Squadron

5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

179th Fighter interceptor Squadron

1000th Satellite Operations Squadron (Det 2 1983-1992)

71st Flying Training Wing (ACE Detachment)

26th Weather Squadron (Det 4)

Loring AFB announced closure in 1991 and would subsequently close in 1994. The 42nd would than move to Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery Alabama, where it was named the 42nd Air Base Wing. All remaining squadrons of Loring were inactivated and remain to this day inactive, minus the 69th Bomb Squadron. The 69th was reactivated in 2009 at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.


AIRCRAFT OF LORING AFB LIMESTONE

C-47 Skytrain was the first aircraft assigned to Loring. In August 1950

B-36 Peacemaker, 1 April 1953-6 Sept 1956

KC-97G Stratotanker, 15 Feb 1955-16 Dec 1957

B52C Stratofortress, 16June 1956-Jan 1957

IKC-135A Stratotanker, 16 Oct 1957-7 May 1990

B-52G Stratofortress,  Jan 1957-16 Nov 1993

KC-135R, 1990-March 1994

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