320th Missile Squadron

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320th Missile Squadron
LGM-30G Minuteman III test launch.jpg
LGM-30G Minuteman III test launch at Vandenburg AFB, California
Active 15 April 1942 - 27 January 1946
1 July 1947 – 6 September 1948
2 January 1951 – 20 June 1960
30 July 1963 – present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Intercontinental ballistic missile
Part of 90th Operations Group
Air Force Global Strike Command
Garrison/HQ F. E. Warren Air Force Base
Engagements Streamer APC.PNG
World War II (Asia-Pacific Theater)
Decorations Streamer PUC Army.PNG
Distinguished Unit Citation (3x)
US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (12x)
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Streamer.png
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt Col Robert Ewers
Notable
commanders

Lincoln D. Faurer

Jeffrey J. Smith
Insignia
320th Missile Squadron emblem 320th Missile Squadron.jpg

The 320th Missile Squadron (320 MS) is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 90th Operations Group, stationed at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. The 320 MS is equipped with the LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), with a mission of nuclear deterrence.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

The unit was activated in spring 1942 as a B-26 Marauder medium bomber squadron. It was trained under the Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. Later, the squadron was reassigned to Michigan where the squadron received Very Long Range (VLR) B-24D Liberator heavy bombers manufactured by Ford specifically for extended length missions over the Pacific.

The squadron was first deployed to Hawaii and trained on the heavy bombers for combat and long over ocean navigation and bombardment missions under Seventh Air Force.[clarification needed] Squadron deployed to Fifth Air Force in Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA), assembling in northern Queensland, Australia then moving to an operational base in Papua New Guinea. From airfields in New Guinea, the squadron carried out long-range strategic bombardment of enemy targets in New Guinea, Dutch East Indies, Philippine Islands and other areas from bases as ground forces sized them during MacArthur's island hopping campaign. It bombarded enemy targets on Okinawa; Iwo Jima; Formosa and eastern China, eventually being stationed on Ie Shima preparing for VLR bombardment operations over the Japanese Home Islands when the Japanese Capitulation occurred in August 1945. During the autumn of 1945, squadron personnel demobilized in Okinawa and Philippines, and aircraft were sent to reclamation.[clarification needed] Inactivated as a paper unit[clarification needed] in Early 1946.

Strategic Air Command[edit]

The squadron was active but unmanned from, 1 July 1947 – 1 September 1948. Brought to operational status under Strategic Air Command in 1951, being equipped with RB-29 Superfortresses at Fairchild AFB, Washington. Moved to Forbes AFB, Kansas shortly afterward and conducted operational training from, 1 June 1951 – September 1952, replacement training from, 1 June 1951 – 1 September 1953, and. SHORAN training from, 10 November 1952-30 Novovember 1953 Replaced the propeller-driven RB-29s with new RB-47E Stratojet swept-wing reconnaissance bombers in 1954, capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and primarily designed for penetrating the airspace of the Soviet Union. Flew many long-range clandestine missions with the RB-47, flying many ferret missions around the periphery of Soviet territory, and sometimes inside on penetration flights to map planned routes for B-52s if combat missions over the Soviet Union ever became necessary. Began performing RB-47 crew training from, c. 1 January 1959 – 20 June 1960. Began phasing down RB-47 missions in 1959 when the vulnerability of the aircraft to Soviet air defenses became evident, was inactivated on 20 June 1960.

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Squadron[edit]

Reactivated on 8 January 1964 as an ICBM squadron assigned to the 90th Missile Wing at Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. The squadron was initially equipped with 50 LGM-30B Minuteman Is in early 1964. In 1973/1974 the squadron upgraded to LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBMs which are still on alert as of today.

Lineage[edit]

Emblem of the SAC 320th Strategic Recon Squadron
Emblem of the World War II 320th Bombardment Squadron
  • Constituted as 320 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942
Activated on 15 Apr 1942
Re-designated as 320 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 6 March 1944
Inactivated on 27 Jan 1946
  • Re-designated as 320 Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 11 Jun 1947
Activated on 1 Jul 1947
Inactivated on 6 Sep 1948
  • Re-designated as 320 Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 20 Dec 1950
Activated on 2 Jan 1951
Re-designated as 320 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Medium, on 16 Jun 1952
Discontinued on 20 Jun 1960
  • Re-designated as 320 Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM-Minuteman) on 24 May 1963
Organized on 8 Jan 1964
Re-designated as 320 Missile Squadron on 1 Sep 1991.

Assignments[edit]

Attached to 90th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 16 Feb 1951-15 Jun 1952

Stations[edit]

Aircraft and missiles[edit]

LGM-30 Minuteman Missile Alert and Launch Facilities
320th Missile Squadron Launch Facilities
Missile Alert Facilities (F-J flights, each controlling 10 missiles) are located as follows:
F-01 8.9 mi N of Dix NE, 41°21′49″N 103°29′20″W / 41.36361°N 103.48889°W / 41.36361; -103.48889 (F-01)
G-01 7.7 mi NW of Sidney NE, 41°12′31″N 103°05′48″W / 41.20861°N 103.09667°W / 41.20861; -103.09667 (G-01)
H-01 7.3 mi E of Gurley NE, 41°19′30″N 102°49′46″W / 41.32500°N 102.82944°W / 41.32500; -102.82944 (H-01)
I-01 8.9 mi SE of Sidney NE, 41°02′44″N 102°51′57″W / 41.04556°N 102.86583°W / 41.04556; -102.86583 (I-01)
J-01 4.6 mi W of Peetz CO, 40°57′38″N 103°11′56″W / 40.96056°N 103.19889°W / 40.96056; -103.19889 (J-01)

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 41°07′59″N 104°52′01″W / 41.13306°N 104.86694°W / 41.13306; -104.86694 (Francis E. Warren AFB)

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]