The B-52 Stratofortress at Hill Air Force Base
In 1971, Hill Air Force Base became one of six bases hosting new satellite alert facilities for the B-52 bomber force. Four B-52s were assigned to the 456th Bombardment Wing (Heavy). The first of the four B-52 Stratofortress bombers assigned to the detachment arrived at the base in December 1973 and continued to function until July 1975. Today, Hill Air Force Base maintains and manages the B-52H’s landing gear, wheels, tires and brakes.
Nicknamed “Bearing Arms,” the B-52G located at Hill Aerospace Museum was manufactured by Boeing in Wichita, Kansas, and delivered to the USAF in October 1959. It was first assigned to the 72nd Bombardment Wing (Heavy) at Ramsey Air Force Base in May 1962, but later returned to the Boeing factory for wing modification and strengthening to counteract the fatigue cracks occurring in the B-52 fleet.
After modifications, the aircraft was stationed at Beale Air Force Base with the 456th Bombardment Wing (Heavy). The 456th completed deployments to Anderson Air Base, Guam, with this aircraft. After seven transfers to different units, spanning more than 20 years, it moved to its final duty station with the 93rd Bombardment Wing (Heavy) at Castle Air Force Base in December 1988.
Finally, in 1991, the USAF dropped the “Bearing Arms” from its inventory and made it available to the United States Air Force Museum Program. In that same year, the B-52G’s final flight was from Castle Air Force Base to Hill Air Force Base to be placed on display at Hill Aerospace Museum.