47th Bombardment Wing
Biggs AFB, Texas
47th BW emblem
October, 1946 - November, 1948

    The 47th Bomb Wing's stay at Biggs AFB was just a little over two years.  The unit moved to Biggs from Lake Charles, Louisiana in October, 1946 and moved to Barksdale AFB, LA in November of 1948.  During the time at Biggs the 47th operated A-26B and A-26C Invaders.  It had been planned to re-equip with B-45 Tornados, but due to the anemic performance of early jet engines it was decided that at 3,946, density altitude would pose a real problem in summer months and a base closer to sea level was chosen.   Rather oddly, the 1st TTS operated B-45 target tugs for many years from Biggs.

    After leaving Biggs for Barksdale the 47th traded in their A-26s for B-45s, only to be deactivated in 1949.  In March, 1951 the unit was reactivated at Langely AFB, VA.  In May, 1952 the unit was tranferred to Sculthorpe, England, and becoming part of USAFE.  In 1958 B-66 Destroyers replaced the B-45s.  In 1962 the 47th Bombardment Wing was deactivated, only to be reactivated as the 47th Flying Training Wing in 1972, a mission that continues to this day.

    A-26B 44-34653 provides a back drop for some unit function in this photo.  The control tower in the background was demolished when the B-36 hangar at the West end of the field was built in the 1950s.  This photo and the following ones are from a 1948 yearbook for Biggs AFB.

    An A-26B being armed for a training gunnery mission.  The A-26s seem to have all been painted black during the 47th's years at Biggs.  That must have been fun during the summer months.  The fire truck in the background is a Sterling DDS-235 chassis, it is a World War 2 vintage vehicle, but would still be seen in service for many years to come.

    44-35947 on the taxiway at Biggs.  The cockpit canopies are open for ventilation.  The West Texas sun can be hot, even during the cool months.  The Franklin Mountains in the background positively identify the location as Biggs, AFB.

    A line up of A-26Cs.  This photo was not taken at Biggs (Too many trees!), but possibly could be at Lake Charles.  Another possibility is Seymour Johnson Field, NC, where the 47th was located prior to moving to Lake Charles.  In any case, the lack of a red bar in the national insignia places the time somewhere before October, 1947.  The red serial number is very difficult to read on any of the aircraft pictured, but the second in line appears to be 44-35967.

    A group of A-26s on the ramp at Biggs. 

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Clifford Bossie

Page created: 04-18-07

Updated:  04-18-07