6th Tactical Missile Squadron
|6th Tactical Missile Squadron|
Patch of the 6th Air Defense Missile Squadron
|Active||1941-1943, 1944-1946, 1959-1964|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||antisubmarine, airlift, air defense|
|Part of||Aerospace Defense Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Suffolk County AFB|
The 6th Tactical Missile Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the New York Air Defense Sector of Aerospace Defense Command, stationed near Suffolk County AFB, New York. It was inactivated on 15 December 1964.
World War II Antisubmarine Operations
What is now the 6th Tactical Missile Squadron was originally activated as the 3d Reconnaissance Squadron in early 1941, equipped with B-25 Mitchells as part of First Air Force. After the United States entered World War II the squadron was ordered to search for German U-Boats and to fly aerial coverage of friendly convoys initially off the southeast coast. It then moved to Mitchel Field, New York to patrol the sea approaches to New York City. In April 1942, the squadron was redesignated as the 393d Bombardment Squadron (Medium).
Later in 1942, the squadron was redesignated as 6th Antisubmarine Squadron, and reassigned to 25th Antisubmarine Wing of Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (AAFAC). After joining AAFAC, it moved to Westover Field, Massachusetts to patrol the sea approaches to Boston, then to Gander, Newfoundland to fly antisubmarine patrols over North Atlantic convoy routes. The squadron was reassigned to 479th Antisubmarine Group in Southwest England in August 1943 and flew killer hunts against German U-Boats in the Bay of Biscay off the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border. Along this part of the occupied French coast were major Kriegsmarine U-Boat bases at Brest, Lorient, Saint-Nazaire, La Rochelle (La Pallice) and Bordeaux. Its ground echelon was ordered back to the United States in September 1943 just prior to inactivation of AAFAC, while the air echelon was disbanded in England in late October 1943 with squadron aircraft reassigned to the United States Navy. Squadron personnel remaining in England were reassigned to Eighth Air Force units as replacement personnel.
World War II Pacific Theater and Occupation of Japan
The second birth of the squadron was in 1944, when it was activated as the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron at Syracuse Army Air Base, New York as part of the 2d Combat Cargo Group. After training in New York and moving briefly to Baer Field, Indiana for overseas processing, the squadron moved to the Pacific. Operating from Biak Island, it flew passengers and cargo to American bases in Australia, New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and the Philippines. The squadron also dropped supplies to American and Philippine resistance forces. It transported personnel and supplies to the Ryukus and evacuated casualties on the return flights until moving to Okinawa. It then transported personnel and equipment to Japan and ferried liberated prisoners of war to the Philippines. It moved to Japan, where it served as part of the Occupation Forces, until it was inactivated in 1946. The squadron was disbanded in 1948.
The third activation of the squadron was as the 6th Air Defense Missile Squadron on 1 February 1959. It stood alert during the Cold War, equipped with IM-99 (later CIM-10) BOMARC surface to air antiaircraft missiles. The squadron was tied into a Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) direction center which could use analog computers to process information from ground radars, picket ships and airborne aircraft to accelerate the display of tracking data at the direction center to quickly direct the missile site to engage hostile aircraft. It was inactivated on 15 December 1964. The BOMARC missile site was located 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of Suffolk County AFB at . Although geographically separated from the base, it was an off base facility of Suffolk County and the squadron received administrative and logistical support from Suffolk County.
In 1985, the squadron was consolidated with the 6th Antisubmarine Squadron and the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron, but has never been active with this designation.
6th Antisubmarine Squadron
- Constituted as the 3d Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) on 20 November 1940
- Activated on 15 January 1941
- Redesignated as the 393d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 22 April 1942
- Redesignated as the 6th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy) on 29 November 1942
- Disbanded on 11 November 1943
- Reconstituted on 19 September 1985 and consolidated with the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron and the 6th Air Defense Missile Squadron as the 6th Tactical Missile Squadron
6th Combat Cargo Squadron
- Constituted as the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron on 25 April 1944
- Reconstituted on 19 September 1985 and consolidated with the 6th Antisubmarine Squadron and the 6th Air Defense Missile Squadron as the 6th Tactical Missile Squadron
6th Air Defense Missile Squadron
- Constituted as the 6th Air Defense Missile Squadron on 12 January 1959
- Activated on 1 February 1959
- Inactivated on 15 February 1964
- Consolidated with the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron and the 6th Antisubmarine Squadron as the 6th Tactical Missile Squadron
- 2d Bombardment Wing, 15 January 1941 (attached to the 13th Bombardment Group)
- III Bomber Command, 5 June 1941 (remained attached to the 13th Bombardment Group)
- 13th Bombardment Group, 25 February 1942
- 25th Antisubmarine Wing, 30 November 1942
- Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command, 8 June 1943
- 479th Antisubmarine Group, 14 August-11 November 1943
- 2d Combat Cargo Group, 1 May 1944 - 15 January 1946
- New York Air Defense Sector, 1 February 1959 - 15 December 1964
- Langley Field, Virginia, 15 January 1941
- Orlando Army Air Base, Florida, 7 June 1941
- Mitchel Field, New York, 22 January 1942
- Westover Field, Massachusetts, 3 August 1942 – 1 April 1943
- Gander Airport, Newfoundland, c. 12 April 1943
- RAF Dunkeswell, England, 21 August 1943
- The ground echelon moved in September to Salt Lake City Army Air Base, Utah, where it was inactivated on 30 October 1943
- RAF Podington, England, November-11 November 1943
- Syracuse Army Air Base, New York, 1 May 1944
- Baer Field, Indiana, 8 October 1944 - 27 October 1944
- Biak Island, Papua New Guinea, November 1944
- Dulag, Leyte, Philippines, 26 March 1945
- Bolo Airfield, Okinawa, Ryuku Islands, Japan, 16 August 1945
- Yokota Airfield, Japan, September 1945 - 15 January 1946
- Suffolk County AFB, New York, 1 February 1959 - 15 December 1964
- Campaign: Antisubmarine
- Campaign: Air Offensive, Europe
Aircraft and Missiles
- Douglas B-18 Bolo, 1941–1943
- North American B-25 Mitchell, 1941–1943
- A-29 Hudson, 1942
- B-24 Liberator, 1943
- Douglas C-47 Skytrain, 1944, 1945
- Curtiss C-46 Commando, 1944-1945
- Boeing IM-99 (later CIM-10) BOMARC, 1959-1964
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 37–38. ISBN 0-405-12194-6.
- Under this designation, the unit should not be confused with the 392d Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy that dropped both atomic bombs in 1945. While flying B-47 aircraft in the 1950s, that unit was also designated as the 393d Bombardment Squadron, Medium.
- Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 39
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 28. ISBN 0-912799-02-1.
- Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946–1980. Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. 149.
- Winkler, David F.; Webster, Julie L (1997). Searching the skies: The legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program. Champaign, IL: US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. p. 39. LCCN 97020912.
- Winkler & Webster, p. 3
- Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 Sep 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
- The inscription on the streamer awarded to the squadron would read "Japan", not Europe as shown in the image.