11th Bomb Squadron

The 11th Bomb Squadron (11th BS) began life as the 11th Aero Squadron at Camp Kelly, TX, on June 26, 1917. After a series of deactivations, activations, re-locations, and two world wars, the 11th finally settled down as the 11th Bomb Squadron at Barksdale AFB, LA, on July 1st, 1994. The squadron flies the B-52 Stratofortress.

Unlike many other aircraft manufactured in the US, the Boeing B-52 is only flown by the US Air Force. It is not built for other countries.

First flown in 1954, it is expected that the B-52 will remain active until 2040. B-52 crew members affectionately call this aircraft the ’BUFF’, which stands for Big Ugly Fat F-----. We will let the reader fill in the last word. If you prefer not to use profanity, simply use the word, Fellow.

With only the B-52H model left, it falls upon the 11th Bomb Squadron of the 2nd Bomb Wing to train active personnel for this amazing aircraft. The 11th Bomb Squadron, ‘Mister Jiggs’, houses the Air Force’s B-52 Formal Training Unit, and is responsible for training and equipping all B-52 pilots, navigators, and electronic warfare officers. It is the largest bomb squadron in the Air Force. In 2005 it trained 315 students.

Although the 11th BS is formally based at Barksdale AFB, LA, there are times when advanced pilot training and weapons systems training prompts an aircraft and personnel move to Nellis AFB. For the instructors, it’s a different matter, like our two friends pictured above, Major John Bleil (JB) and Major Pete Terrebonne (T-bone).

They are assigned to the 340th Weapons Squadron at Barksdale, but are stationed at Nellis. They are pictured in front of their B-52H (60-0011). See photo of the entire plane below as well as their Mister Jiggs nose art from the port (left) side of the aircraft.

Barksdale is one of two US air bases that fly the B-52 with the other being Minot AFB, SD. There are three active B-52 squadrons based there as well as one reserve squadron and one training squadron. Only the three active squadrons are part of the 2nd Bomb Wing.

Since its inception, the 11th has flown 18 other aircraft besides the B-52 Stratofortress. This includes the famous B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell, and the A-26 Invader.

There were also two periods, from 1954-1958 and 1982-1991, when the 11th flew only missiles. With the B-52 continuing long into the future, the BUFF is sure to be a permanent fixture of the Mister Jiggs squadron for decades to come.

In 2006 a special Heritage Flight was planned to honor 70 years of Boeing bombers. The plan included the World War II vintage aircraft, the B-17 and B-29, and a modern day B-52.

The B-29 Superfortress had engine problems so it never participated in the flight, but the B-17G Flying Fortress 'Thunderbird' (44-85718 marked as 42-38050, N900RW) and B-52H Stratofortress (60-0054) from the 11th BS participated as shown above.

If you wish to purchase a photo of this historic event, see our eBay page


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