1st Tactical Missile Squadron

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1st Tactical Missile Squadron
1st Tactical Missile Squadron Martin MGM-1 Matador.jpg
Martin TM-61 Matador missile of the 1st Tactical Missile Squadron
Active 1946-1950; 1951-1958
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Nickname(s) Pioneers
Patch with 1st Tactical Missile Squadron Emblem 1st Tactical Missile Squadron - Emblem.png

The 1st Tactical Missile Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 585th Tactical Missile Group at Bitburg Air Base, West Germany, where it was inactivated on 18 June 1958.


The squadron was first established as the 1st Experimental Guided Missiles Squadron, one of the original Army Air Forces missile test squadrons, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. It tested air-to-surface missiles from 1946 until inactivated in 1950.

Reactivated at Patrick AFB, Florida in 1951 as the 1st Bombardment Squadron, Missile (Light), but soon redesignated 1st Pilotless Bomber Squadron. Experimented with tactical cruise missiles, including the Republic-Ford JB-2 and B-61 Matador. The squadron developed procedures and methods for deployment of tactical nuclear missiles.

The 1st deployed to the United States Air Forces in Europe, being attached to the 36th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Bitburg AB, West Germany in March 1954, making it the first operational United States missile unit. At Bitburg ths squadron was equipped with the B-61A Matador. The 1st was redesignated as the 1st Tactical Missile Squadron at that time. The B-61A Matador was renumbered as the TM-61A Matador, reflecting that it was a Tactical Missile, not a Bomber.

The 1st Tactical Missile Squadron was detached from the 36th Fighter-Day Wing with no change of station, and attached to the newly formed 7382d Guided Missile Group (Tactical) headquartered at Hahn Air Base, on 1 February 1956.[1]

The 7382d Tactical Missile Group was inactivated on 15 Sept 1956, and the 1st Tactical Missile Squadron was reassigned to the newly formed 585th Tactical Missile Group at Bitburg Air Base, as part of the newly formed 701st Tactical Missile Wing, headquartered at Hahn AB. The unit converted from the TM-61A to the TM-61C during that time.

The 1st TMS was inactivated and replaced by the 71st Tactical Missile Squadron 18 Jun 1958.[2]

In 1985 the World War II 881st Bombardment Squadron was consolidated with the squadron, but it was not activated.[3][4]


  • Constituted as the 1st Experimental Guided Missiles Squadron
Activated on 6 February 1946
Redesignated 1st Guided Missiles Squadron (Air to Surface Missile) on 22 July 1949
Inactivated on 30 December 1950
  • Redesignated 1st Bombardment Squadron, Missile (Light) on 13 September 1951
Redesignated 1st Pilotless Bomber Squadron and activated on 1 October 1951
Redesignated 1st Tactical Missile Squadron on 14 March 1955
Inactivated 18 June 1958



Dispersed Matador missile locations

Underground concrete launch facility, closed 1969. The site is abandoned and largely overgrown.
Underground concrete launch facility. After closure the site was transferred to the German Army[clarification needed] and converted into a Patriot air defense missile site. It closed in 2001 and is now abandoned and overgrown with vegetation.


See also[edit]



  1. ^ Fletcher, Harry R (1993). Air Force Bases , Vol. II, Air Bases Outside the United States of America (PDF). Washington, DC: Center for Air Force History. p. 36. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. 
  2. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 261. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 
  3. ^ a b Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 September 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
  4. ^ The United States Air Force planned to reactivate the squadron as a BGM-109G GLCM squadron under the 550th Tactical Missile wing at RAF Molesworth, but elected to activate a World War II bombardment squadron instead.
  5. ^ Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 284–285. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. 
  6. ^ Ravenstein, p. 63
  7. ^ Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 138–139. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. 
  8. ^ a b Mueller, p. 465
  9. ^ Fletcher, p. 17


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

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