WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo --
Members of the 509th Bomb Wing attended a heritage event at Wendover Army Air Field, to honor the service, sacrifice and valor of the Airmen of the original 509th Composite Group.
The 509th CG was stood up in 1944, at Wendover Airfield, as the weapons delivery section under the Manhattan project. Led by U.S. Army Col Paul W. Tibbets Jr., the group trained to fly the specifically modified B-29 Superfotress, designed to deliver first-of-their-kind bombs.
Within the 509th CG was the 393rd Group, existing today as the 393rd Bomb Squadron, the only active-duty unit that flies the dual capable B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.
The legacy of combat airpower left behind by the members of the original 509th CG was commemorated at the event with both a B-29 flight and B-2 Spirit flyover. Attendees also recognized two original members of the unit, Norris Jernigan and Kermit Halden.
“We are the world's greatest Air Force because of those who have come before us, particularly those with the courage to break barriers and make history,” said Lt Col Christopher Conant, 393rd Bomb Squadron commander. “As the current squadron commander, it is my honor to attend this reunion and I’m humbled to represent the men and women who carry on the legacy of lethal combat airpower laid out by the 509th Composite Group."
By paving the way, the work of the 509th CG led to the strategic employment of the dual-capable B-2 Spirit to be used every single day as a credible, effective deterrent weapon that shapes the decisions of America’s adversaries.
Today, the 509th Bomb Wing maintains our nations’ competitive advantage against adversaries well into the future.