History of the 190th

The 440th Bombardment Squadron (Light), a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania unit, flew the B-26 aircraft in Africa, Sicily, Italy, and France during World War II. Based in Okinawa at the end of the war, it was reorganized as the 117th Bombardment Squadron (Light) and stationed at the Philadelphia Municipal Airport. The unit was ordered to active federal service at Langley AFB during the Korean Conflict, returning to Pennsylvania afterward.

Reactivated as the 117th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Kansas Air National Guard in 1957, the unit flew the F-80 from Hutchinson Naval Air Station. The 117th was re-equipped with the RB-57 in 1958 and, in 1962, was re-designated as the 190th Tactical Reconnaissance Group.

The group was transferred to Forbes AFB near Topeka in 1967 and, in 1972, was the only military unit in the world equipped with the day/night-capable B-57G bomber. In April 1974, the unit converted to EB-57B aircraft and became the 190th Defense Systems Evaluation Group. The aircraft was equipped with electronic countermeasures equipment and the mission was penetration and evaluation of US air and ground defense capabilities.

The arrival of the first KC-135 Stratotanker in 1978 heralded the still-current air refueling mission. In 1990, the 190th was the first unit to arrive at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for service during operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. During 1990s the 190th deployed to dozens of countries world-wide in support of various operations including: Joint Forge, Deliberate Guard, Northern Watch, Desert Fox, and Allied Force. Since Sept 11, 2001, the unit has participated heavily in Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

the YB-49 Crew


Maj Forbes and the YB-49 Crew
These five crew members perished in the crash of the YB-49 "Flying Wing" on 05 June, 1948. 

Maj. Daniel H Forbes, Jr. Pilot / Test Pilot 
Capt. Glen W Edwards Co-pilot / Test Pilot & Aeronautical Engineer 
1Lt. Edward L Swindell Flight Engineer 
Mr. Charles H LaFountain Civilian Aeronautical Engineer 
Mr. Clare C Leser Civilian Aeronautical Engineer

View the video tribute
Returning the Stone story

117th...The Early Years


Once it had been decided to open a new Air Guard unit in Kansas, aircraft had to be decided upon. The 117th, having descended from a fighter interceptor squadron based in Pennsylvania, would remain a fighter squadron. Read more.

117th...1st Unit Patch

In Apr 1958, the first of the new aircraft arrived. It was a B model, released by the Air Force's 38th Bomb Squadron in Lyon , France . Ultimately, the 117th was scheduled to receive 12 B Models and 1 C Model. The B's were designed for one pilot and a navigator, and the C was a dual-control pilot training mode.Read more.

National Guard Basic Facts

The National Guard originated on 7 October 1636 with the formation of the Old North and East Regiments of the Massachusetts Colonial Militia. The 1st Regiment of Middlesex is now the 1st Battalion, 182nd Infantry and the Militia Regiment of Essex County is now the 101st Engineer Battalion, Massachusetts Army National Guard. It is the oldest military force in the nation and has participated in all major U.S. conflicts from the Revolutionary War to Vietnam. Read more.