400th Missile Squadron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
400th Missile Squadron
LGM-118A Peacekeeper Test Launch.jpg
LGM-118A Peacekeeper Test Launch at Vandenburg AFB, California
Active 1942-2005
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Intercontinental ballistic missile
Garrison/HQ F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming
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
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Streamer.png
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Insignia
400th Missile Squadron emblem 400thmissielsquadron.jpg

The 400th Strategic Missile Squadron (400 SMS) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 90th Operations Group, stationed at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.

The 400 SMS was equipped with the LGM-118A Peacekeeper Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), with a mission of nuclear deterrence. It was the only operational USAF Peacekeeper ICBM squadron. The squadron was inactivated as part of the phaseout of the Peacekeeper ICBM on 19 September 2005.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

The 400th was activated in spring 1942 as a B-26 Marauder medium bomber squadron, training under the Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. They were reassigned to Michigan, receiving Very Long Range (VLR) B-24D Liberator heavy bombers manufactured by Ford for extended length missions over the Pacific.

The squadron was deployed first to Hawaii and trained on the heavy bombers for combat and long over ocean navigation and bombardment missions under Seventh Air Force, then deployed to the Fifth Air Force in the 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.

The squadron 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. Squadron personnel were demobilized in Okinawa and Philippines, and the aircraft sent to reclamation during the fall of 1945. Inactivation followed in early 1946.

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Squadron[edit]

The squadron was reactivated on 1 July 1964 as an ICBM squadron assigned to the 90th Missile Wing at Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyoming, and equipped with 50 LGM-30B Minuteman Is in early 1964, then upgraded to LGM-30G Minuteman III in 1973/1974. It received 50 LGM-118A Peacekeeper ICBMs in 1986, the only USAF missile squadron to put them on operational alert. Inactivation of Peacekeepers began in 2001, and the last missile was inactivated in 2005. Squadron inactivation followed on 19 September 2005.

Lineage[edit]

World War II 400th Bombardment Squadron emblem
Uniform showing an alternative "skull and missiles" shoulder patch.
  • Constituted 10th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Activated on 15 April 1942
Re-designated: 400th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 22 April 1942
Re-designated: 400th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 6 March 1944
Inactivated on 27 January 1946
Re-designated 400th Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM-Minuteman), and activated, on 10 December 1963
Organized on 1 July 1964
Re-designated 400th Missile Squadron on 1 September 1991
Inactivated 19 September 2005

Assignments[edit]

Re-designated: 90th Missile Wing, 1 September 1991
Re-designated: 90th Space Wing, 1 October 1997- 19 September 2005

Stations[edit]

Aircraft and Missiles[edit]

LGM-30 Minuteman/LGM-118A Peacekeeper Missile Alert and Launch Facilities
With the deployment of the LGM-118A, 50 former Minuteman III silos were converted. Flights P through T were reassigned to the Peacekeeper for operational duty.
400th Missile Squadron Launch Facilities
Launch Control Facilities (each controlling 10 missiles) were located as follows:
* P-01, 19.6 mi WxNW of Albin WY, 41°28′20″N 104°28′04″W / 41.47222°N 104.46778°W / 41.47222; -104.46778 (P-01)
* Q-01, 15.4 mi SxSW of Chugwater WY 41°32′35″N 104°54′10″W / 41.54306°N 104.90278°W / 41.54306; -104.90278 (Q-01)
* R-01, 16.4 mi NW of Meriden WY, 41°44′17″N 104°30′00″W / 41.73806°N 104.50000°W / 41.73806; -104.50000 (R-01)
* S-01, 4.8 mi SE of Yoder WY, 41°52′23″N 104°13′20″W / 41.87306°N 104.22222°W / 41.87306; -104.22222 (S-01)
* T-01, 9.1 mi ExSE of Wheatland WY, 41°59′51″N 104°47′30″W / 41.99750°N 104.79167°W / 41.99750; -104.79167 (T-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]