6th Bomb Wing emblem6th Bomb Wing as carried on nose

6th Bomb Wing
Walker AFB, New Mexico

   The 6th Bombardment Wing (Medium) was activated Walker Air Force Base, New Mexico on January 2, 1951.  The unit consisted of the 24th, 39th and 40th Bomb Squadrons and was equipped with B-29 Superfortress aircraft.  The 307th AREFS was also attached until 1952 and operated KB-29s. This unit insignia approved for this unit was the same as the 6th BG from WWII.  The 6th BG had also flown B-29s.  (The two unit insignia at the top of this page are the 6th ARW patch and the unofficial 6th BW patch applied to aircraft and worn on uniforms.  The 6th ARW patch will be replaced when I have time to draw the correct patch.)  In 1952 the unit was redesigned as a heavy bomb wing and re-equipped with B-36s.  During this time the "Pirate Head" emblem was applied to the right side of the aircraft with the SAC "Milky Way".  Each squadron painted the tip of the vertical stab, the lip of the jet intakes and the "nose cone" of the jet itself in squadron colors:  Yellow for the 24th, red for the 39th and blue for the 40th.

   In 1957 the B-36s were replaced with B-52E Stratofortress aircraft.  The unit lost the 24th BS, but gained the 4129th Combat Crew Training Squadron and the 6th AREFS along with KC-135A Stratotankers.  From 1961 until 1965 the 579th Strategic Missile Squadron and its Atlas missiles were part of the wing.  The 39th and the 4129th both left in 1963.  In 1967 Walker was closed and the 6th BW became the 6th Strategic Wing and relocated to Eielson AFB, Alaska.  In 1991 the 6th became the 6th Aerial Refueling Wing at MacDill AFB, Florida.

Special thanks to Senior Master Sergeant Gary Lisenbee (Ret) and  Harold Simon.

6th BW B-36J in flight 6th BW B-36J nose
6th BW B-52E landing
1                                  2                                 3

(1)  49-2683 and another B-36F in flight over what looks like West Texas or Southern New Mexico.  The "Pirate Head" is carried on the fuselage, but the squadron color is not applied to the fin cap.  The nose area of the jet appears to be either red or blue.  My guess is red, which would mean these aircraft belong to the 39th BS.  (USAF)
(3)  An unidentified  B-36J showing the Pirate Head carried on the right side of the nose.  Note the Santa Claus inside the nose greenhouse.

(3)  B-52E 56-0640 on landing at Walker AFB sometime in the 1960s.  The markings are rather plain and from this photo it is not evident whether or not the "Pirate Head" is carried.  (USAF)

   This page is a "work in progress".  I hope to add to it as time goes by, but for some reason the units at Walker AFB and Biggs AFB are not well recorded.

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Page created 1-19-02
Corrected 11-12-04