Published October 19, 2010
On July 8, 1953 the 28th Troop Carrier Squadron, an organization which had flown the Douglas C-47 Skytrain during World War II and had been deactivated by the U.S. Army Air Force at the end of the war, was reactivated by the United States Air Force and redesignated as the 28th Logistic Support Squadron. It was assigned to the Ogden Air Materiel Area at Hill AFB, attached to the 2849th Air Base Wing, and would operate the huge Douglas C-124C Globemaster II cargo aircraft.
The primary mission of the 28th LSS was to provide world-wide airlift of nuclear weapons and related equipment, with a secondary mission to airlift other Department of Defense cargo as required when space was available. In February 1962 the 28th LSS was transferred to the Military Air Transport Service and renamed the 28th Air Transport Squadron (Heavy), but it remained in its existing facilities at Hill.
The official patch of the 28th LSS was approved by the Air Force on January 6, 1961 and is symbolic of the unit and its mission. Since the unit was stationed in the State of Utah ("The Beehive State"), a caricature of a honey bee is depicted holding up a wooden log to symbolize the 28th "Log Support" Squadron, as the organization was frequently called. The bee carries a suitcase to represent the many days of temporary duty spent by crew members and their constant preparedness to depart at any time on extended airlift missions. The bee also represents the industrious nature of 28th maintenance and flying personnel.
Over the years, the 28th flew missions primarily in the Pacific region (Hawaii, the Philippines, Okinawa, and Japan), but also made regular flights within the United States and occasionally flew to Europe and Australia. The unit provided airlift support to USAF elements involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis in the fall of 1962 and flew missions to South Vietnam beginning in January 1965. Between 1965 and 1969, most of its missions were flown to Southeast Asia, but the 28th also supported other U.S. operations around the world, such as in the Dominican Republic in 1965.
In January 1966 when the Military Air Transport Service was renamed the Military Airlift Command, the 28th ATS became the 28th Military Airlift Squadron. The unit was deactivated at Hill AFB on April 8, 1969. The Department of Defense redesignated the inactive unit as the 18th Airborne Command and Control Squadron (Inactive) on September 19, 1985, but it has never been reactivated.
Decorations received by the 28th Logistics Support Squadron included the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm (for operations April 1, 1966 through April 8, 1969) and three Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards (for operations in 1962, 1965-66, and 1966-67).
Retired members of the 28th LSS annually donate hundreds of hours of volunteer time toward the maintenance of Hill Aerospace Museum's Douglas C-124C, S/N 53-0050.