33rd SCS History


The 33rd Station Complement Squadron was activated with a cadre of six enlisted men from the 30th Base Headquarters & Air Base Squadron, Army Air Base, Charlotte, North Carolina. This cadre reported to Kellogg Field, Battle Creek, Michigan on 30 May 1943 and found Captain Bales detailed as commanding officer, with 2nd Lieutenants Arrington and Zettleman and 45 EM assigned. Major Otis K. Wright assumed command 9 June 1943 and was relieved 18 July 1943 by Captain Henry F. Beach. The unit was then assigned to Camp Shanks, New York. Boarding HMT (RMS) Aquitania 3 August 1943, the unit set sail overseas, arriving Greenock, Scotland, on 11 August 1943. The next day the complement arrived at AAF Station 106, Grafton Underwood, with a strength of nine officers and 109 enlisted men. Captain Roland H. Bonnette became its commanding officer on 19 September 1944. The squadron was inactivated on 15 April 1945, per General Order 52, Section I, HQ 8th AF, dated 12 April 1945.

Role, Function and Unit Composition

A Station Complement Squadron is typically considered the station housekeeping unit. Station complement squadrons consisted of personnel with a variety of skills to maintain the station and run many of the essential services. The squadron’s peak strength was approximately 228 personnel, including up to 18 officers and up to 213 enlisted men.

Daily Duties

The typical station complement squadron consisted of catering staff, flying control personnel, carpenters, electricians, transport drivers and signal specialists. The catering staff operated all mess halls on base: mess halls required cooks, dishwashers and cleaning personnel. Those personnel assigned to the flying control staff operated the control tower and the ground control caravan which controlled airfield traffic near the active runway. Squadron electricians and carpenters performed the same tasks as in any town. There were over 500 listed structures on base which required constant maintenance and repairs. Transport drivers primarily drove flight crews to and from the dispersal areas, moved supplies throughout the base and operated the non-specialized equipment used by the other support units. The signals personnel operated and maintained the base telephone system.

Information provided by the 384th Bomb Group Historian, John Edwards; additional information adapted from As Briefed (pp. 208-209).