3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Group
The 3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Group was a military evaluation unit under direct command of Strategic Air Command (SAC) headquarters for scoring simulated bomb runs using automatic tracking radar stations. Initially an Army Air Forces Base Unit (AAFBU) and then a squadron, the 3903rd RBS Group was personnel, assets, and detachments were redesignated the 1st Radar Bomb Scoring Group and then the 1CEVG Radar Bomb Scoring Division when the RBS Group merged with the 3908th Strategic Standardization Group in 1961, the year RBS Express trains began to be used for low-altitude Boeing B-52 Stratofortress operations..
Automatic tracking radars were used for World War II ground-directed bombing, and at the end of the war SCR-584 tracking radars with OA-294 plotting equipment which recorded the aircraft path during a bomb run, allowing the bomb release point and velocity to be assessed for Radar Bomb Scoring. In 1945, an RBS site was in New Orleans on Marconi Dr, and the 206th Army Air Force Base Unit (RBS) was organized on 6 June 1945 at "Colorado Springs" (tent camp) and controlled RBS detachments at Kansas City[where?] and Dallas Love Field, Texas. "On 24 July 1945, the 206th was redesignated the 63rd AAFBU (RBS) and three weeks later was moved to Mitchel Field, New York, and placed under the command of the Continental Air Force." "On 5 March 1946, the organization moved back to Colorado Springs[dubious ] and on 8 March of the same year was redesignated the 263rd AAFBU."
On 17 March 1946 the "263 AAF BU" was assigned to the Continental Air Forces' Andrews Field, and after Fifteenth Air Force transferred to SAC on 31 March 1946, the 263rd subsequently transferred from 15AF to directly under Strategic Air Command. RBS[which?] scored 888 simulated bomb runs against San Diego in 1946 and in 1947, the USAF was established and MacDill Field, Florida, had an RBS detachment (the 263rd was renamed the 263rd Air Force Base Unit.) The 263 AF BU scored 2,499 runs in 1947 and its last day at Andrews Air Force Base was 23 February 1948.
The 3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron was designated from the 263rd AAFBU on 24 February 1948, the first day the unit was at Carswell AFB (which acquired "Midland Bombing Rg #14" and ...#21 on 1 Mar.) In 1948, Detachment B was operating an RBS site at Treasure Island, California, and SAC scored 12,084 bomb runs in 1948. By 14 September 1949, the 3903rd RBSS controlled the "Denver Bomb Plot" RBS detachment. (Detachment A)
Three of the squadron's detachments (C, K, & N) arrived at Pusan, South Korea, in September 1950 for close air support (Det N, code named HILLBILLY, bombed itself because by mistakenly using a new system with procedures for a preceding system.) During the war the 3903rd's detachments were redesignated from letters to numbers, e.g., 3903rd Detachment B became Detachment 13, Det D in 1950 at Fort George Wright, Washington, became Det 12 (near McClellan AFB by the end of 1951), and Det N deployed in Korea became Detachment 22. The 3 ground-directed bombing detachments in Korea were "out 2 October 1951" when their mobile radar stations transferred to the 502nd Tactical Control Group.
- 1951 RBS squadrons
- On 16 Oct 1951, the west coast's 3933rd Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron (3933rd RBSS) was activated at Mather Air Force Base, the 3922nd Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron was activated at Carswell AFB, and the 3944th Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron was activated at Turner AFB, Georgia.
3903rd RBS Group
The 3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Group was established by 12 August 1952 using the number of the 3903rd RBS Squadron at Carswell AFB, but with the headquarters of the 3933rd RBSS at March Air Force Base "sent to Carswell to Headquarter 3903rd RBS Group". Circa 1952 at Carswell, the 3903rd conducted SAC's 2 week course "for those going out to detachments" after they had completed the longer initial radar course at Keesler AFB. 3903rd group commanders included Major Templeton and in 1953, Detachment 6 was at Dallas. The group had transferred to Texas (Carsewell) by 10 Aug 1954 when "Inactivated & Discontinued.
When the 3903rd RBS Group personnel and stations were redesignated the 1st Radar Bomb Scoring Group on 10 August 1954, the RBS squadrons were renamed, e.g., the detachment near McClellan AFB became Det 4 of the 11th Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron activated at March Air Force Base on 10 August 1954 (the 10th RBSS activated at Carswell AFB on 10 August 1954.):65
|Strategic Air Command RBS detachments/stations
|Det||bomb plot||#||1951 (Sept grp)||Sq:#||1954 (Aug sqs)|
|A||CO: Denver||1||CO: Denver||11th:1
|H||8||CA: Los Angeles||11th:2||CA: Los Angeles|
|B||CA: Treasure Island
(FL: Eglin AFB-TDY)
|13||CA: Treasure Island
NC: Charlotte (2nd site)*
|D||WA: Spokane (1st site)*
⤷NC: Charlotte (1st site)*
KY: Lexington 
|L||AZ: Phoenix||AZ: Phoenix||11th:3||AZ: Phoenix|
|N||Korea (Hillbilly)**||22||Korean War|
|*After Charlotte and Spokane dets moved, other dets opened later sites for those cities.
**Det N formed at Carswell AFB to establish RBS in Puerto Rico but instead deployed
to Pusan, South Korea, after "final preparations" at Camp Stoneman, California.
- "3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Group" (KoreanWar Bulletin Board). KoreanWar.org. various dates for the postings. Retrieved 2012-05-20. "Major Bennett was my uncle and responsible for my having spent 30 great years in the USAF. He was stationed at Mac Dill AFB, Florida with an RBS unit in 1947… 52…until…53 … On the MSQ-1, we operated in the same manner, but later learned [for the MSQ-2] that we should have entered the target coordinates into the new digital/analog computer, AND THEN 'ZEROED' THEM OUT AGAIN. The computer would remember the offset and track accordingly. Unfortunately, we did not know that without the TO's. By leaving them in, like the 584, we effectively located the target's position over the top of ourselves. … Det. 12…McClellan AFB, Sacramento, Calif. This was previously Det. D and moved here from Spokane, Wash. It was located at a radio site about 4 miles S.E. of the base near Fair Oaks, in farms and orchards. I was stationed here about 1951 to 1952. Some personnel there were Capt. Wallace Fry, C.O., WOJG William Johnson, 1st Sgt. Sadler, Nelson Vaughn, William Morris, Horvath, Burdick, Wallace and Fox. It was from here that several detachments were marshalled that went to Korea. … was discharged in 1956 at Manhattan Beach Air Force Station on Long Island. … 1 May 70 - 1 May 74…Jim Cooper…statesboro, matagorda, cedar key,udorn, linebacker, quinter, park, presque isle, ashland, wellington, altus, hollis"
- author tbd (9 November 1983) (MobileRadar.org transcription). Historical Summary: Radar Bomb Scoring, 1945–1983 (Report). Office of History, 1st Combat Evaluation Group. http://www.mobileradar.org/Documents/hist_sum_rad_bom_scrg.pdf. Retrieved 2013-08-31. "On 24 July 1945, the 206th was redesignated the 63rd AAFBU (RBS) and three weeks later was moved to Mitchell Field, New York, and placed under the command of the Continental Air Force. On 5 March 1946, the organization moved back to Colorado Springs [sic] and on 8 March of the same year was redesignated the 263rd AAFBU. With the activation of the 8th Air Force the demand for radar bomb scoring training increased greatly. The 263rd was relieved from assignment to 15th Air Force and assigned directly to Headquarters Strategic Air Command."
- Mueller, Robert (1989) (Google books (also available as an AFHSO pdf.). Air Force Bases (Report). Volume I: Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. http://books.google.com/books?id=ARohGwYMZDwC&pg=PA372&lpg=PA372&dq=3933+%22Radar+Bomb+Scoring%22&source=bl&ots=xkgqDlVsel&sig=F4wahtdbtYtZll3b0qkmUq9ac_E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JA0LUdqpOMLbyQHQhoGADg&ved=0CEsQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=3933%20%22Radar%20Bomb%20Scoring%22&f=false. Retrieved 2013-08-15. NOTE: Mueller's p. 8 claim that the "263 AAF BU" was at Andrews Field "17 Mar 46-23 Feb 48" and was the Peterson Field "Base Operating Unit…8 Mar 1945-17 Dec 1946" has overlap from 17 Mar until 17 Dec 1946--implying the 263rd was the Peterson operating unit during a period when the 263rd was stationed at Andrews (e.g., while the USAAF facility next to the Colorado Springs Municipal Airport was being shut down.)
- Herring, G. B. (Jr.) (19 May 1966). "TBD". Laurel Leader Call (Laurel, Mississippi). Retrieved 2012-07-11. "Radar bomb scoring began [sic] in 1946 with 888 bomb releases for the year against a site in the[verification needed] San Diego"
- memorandum transcription (memorandum), BlueBookArchive.org, retrieved 2013-09-29
- Schlupp, Capt John A. (25 Aug 49), [memorandum] for Project Blue Book, "Two (2) cys Itr, Det A 39030[sic] Radar Bomb Scoring Sq, Lowry AF Base, 25 Aug 49"
- Wikler, Norman (April 8, 2004). "My Memories of the Unit" (KoreanWar Bulletin Board posting 42199). KoreanWar.org. Retrieved 2012-05-20. "April 1949…I…was assigned to [go to] Detachment 'B' [while] at Carswell. … Det. N was organized in June/July 1950 to establish an RBS site in Puerto Rico. … I…re-enlisted in the morning of July 15 in order to [have] three years of service time remaining for the Puerto Rico assignment. … on the 18th (?) we were told to prepare to go to McClellan AFB at Sacramento, Ca. We flew to McClellan that night in the squadron's B-26 with Major Templeton as the pilot. … During the six weeks or so…at McClellan, the detachment was fully manned [and] Our equipment,SCR-584, RC-294, radio truck, generators, supply van and all of the miscellaneous were checked out. We moved to Camp Stoneman at Pittsburg, CA and did all the final preparations for departure to Korea. We left Camp Stoneman early September via a ferry boat to the Oakland army base where we boarded the USS General W.A.Mann. In addtiion to the three RBS detachments, there were over 2000 thousand troops from the 3rd Armored Division(?). … The three detachments in essence regrouped. Det N which became Det 22(Hillbilly) was assigned to the Army I Corp on the western front; Det(?)was central and Det 5 was last. Actual operations for Hillbilly began in Jan 1951… I think we moved across the Imjin River in the July 1951 time-frame and established our site. … I was assigned to the RBS detachment at the Charlotte, N.C. airport until my discharge in July, 1953."
- "3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron" (list webpage). MobileRadar.org. Retrieved 2013-08-00. "Redesignated: 3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron SAC) from 263rd AAFB Unit (RBS) on 21 Jul 1948 Effective Date: 01 Aug 1948 Redesignated: 3903rd Radar Bomb Scoring Group (SAC) on 19 Jan 1951 … 12 Detachments" NOTE: This webpage claims the 3903rd RBSS was discontinued in 1954 and had "MSQ-77" radars, but that system was not developed until the Vietnam War. Also, it claims Det D "relocated" from Ft George Wright to Mather AFB, but differing reliable sources identify that detachment actually moved to near McClellan AFB (in a rural farm/orchard area) for scoring bombers based at Mather AFB.
- title tbd (Report). AFHSO.af.mil. http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100526-045.pdf. "To help meet the threat of the Soviet-built MiG–15 fighter in Korea, the USAF diverted Strategic Air Command’s 27th FEW with its F–84 Thunderjets to the Far East instead of sending it as planned to England. In early December 1950 the wing established a rear echelon at Itazuke, Japan, and took its F–84s to Taegu AB, South Korea. Less than two months later, fearful that Chinese ground forces would overrun UN jet bases in South Korea, Fifth Air Force withdrew the 27th to Japan. The wing continued combat from Japan until the 136th FBW replaced it in late June 1951."
- B-130417, MARCH 26, 1957, 36 COMP. GEN. 670 (USAF policy), March 26, 1957, retrieved 2013-09-30, "
…DETACHMENTS 6 AND 16 OF THE 3903RD RADAR BOMB SCORING GROUP LOCATED AT HOUSTON, TEXAS AND CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA RESPECTIVELY. … SPECIAL ORDERS, NO. 35, AUGUST 28, 1952, HEADQUARTERS, 3944TH RADAR BOMB SCORING SQUADRON, TURNER AIR FORCE BASE, ALBANY, GEORGIA" (Capitalized text available at http://www.gao.gov/products/B-130417)
- johnd584 (January 22, 2002). "Re: CEVG History". "Initially we had SCR-584 Radar and the RC-294 Plotting Equip. In 1951 we started receiving the MPS-9 Radar (mod. 584) and the brand new MSQ-2 Plotting equip … I would imediately (sic) begin working the bomb problem using an E6B computer and bombing tables. … In '51, Reeves Instr Corp started delivering the MPS-9 (amodified 584) and the MSQ-2 Plotting van. … at Det. 6, Dallas in '53 '54. …" (Google webcache of Message 3205 retrieved 2013-09-29)
- userid: ec121h (Jan 24, 2002). "Subject: Re: Det 4, 11th RBS" (Yahoo newsgroup posting #3218). "Det 4, 11th RBS was at Sacramento, just outside McClellan AFB. It was located in a residential neighborhood (Whitney & Eastern Aves). Closed own [sic] in Jan of 1962."
- "Radar Bomb Scoring Site at Army Depot to Close". Lexington Herald-Leader. 29 May 1993. Retrieved 2012-07-09.