3225th Drone Squadron

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3225th Drone Squadron
QB-17 Drone Holloman AFB 1959.jpg
Unidentified QB-17L Flying Fortress, 3225th Drone Squadron, Holloman AFB, New Mexico, 1959
Active 1953-1963
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Drone operations

The 3225th Drone Squadron is an discontinued United States Air Force unit. It was last active with the Air Force Missile Development Center, based at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. It was discontinued on 25 October 1963.


Organized as "Detachment 1", 3201st Air Base Support Squadron, on 26 April 1950, taking over mission of 2d Guided Missiles Squadron (GMS), 550th Guided Missiles Wing. Operated QB/DB-17 Flying Fortress drone/director aircraft drones as flying targets for the early Army Nike Ajax surface-to-air missile or for the Hughes Falcon air-to-air missiles being tested at White Sands Missile Range. Also supplied aerial targets as needed by the Air Force Missile Development Center.

Upgraded to squadron level in 1953. Began operating BQM-34A Firebee Drones in 1957 to provide remote-controlled target aircraft for Center. The squadron would also support test projects and provide land recovery for target drones. A notable moment in the squadron's history is that a Douglas/Long Beach DB-17P (Formerly B-17G-90-DL) 44-83684 flew the last operational mission by a USAF Flying Fortress on 6 August 1959.

Began operating Ryan Q2-C, the improved version of the first Firebee in 1960. It had more powerful engines, could climb faster and higher. Formally transferred to the Missile Development Center in 1961, operated Firebee drones and assisted in its development. Inactivated 1963 when program consolidated with Air Defense Command at Tyndall AFB, Florida.


  • Organized as 3225th Drone Squadron on 1 January 1953
Discontinued on 25 October 1963





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

  • E-mail communication, AFHRA, Lineage and Honors History, 3225th Drone Squadron, 10 August 2012

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