448th Missile Squadron

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448th Missile Squadron
LGM-30G Minuteman III test launch.jpg
LGM-30G Minuteman III test launch at Vandenburg AFB, California
Active 26 June 1942 - 12 September 1945
15 March 1947 - 27 June 1949
1 February 1959 - 25 October 1961
2 August 1965 - 30 September 1998[1]
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Intercontinental ballistic missile
Garrison/HQ Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.
Motto(s) In Aquilae Cura
Under the Care of the Eagle
Engagements European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer.jpg
World War II (EAME Theater)
Decorations Streamer PUC Army.PNG
Distinguished Unit Citation (2x)
US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
448th Missile Squadron emblem 448th Missile Squadron.jpg

The 448th Missile Squadron (448 MS) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 321st Missile Group, stationed at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota

The 448 MS was equipped with the LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), with a mission of nuclear deterrence. With the end of the Cold War, the 448th was inactivated on 30 September 1998.


World War II[edit]

Activated in mid-1942 as a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber squadron, trained by Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. Deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), being assigned to Twelfth Air Force in Algeria in early 1943. In North Africa, the squadron engaged primarily in support and interdictory operations, bombing marshalling yards, rail lines, highways, bridges, viaducts, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, shipping, harbors, and other objectives in North Africa.

The squadron also engaged in psychological warfare missions, dropping propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines. Took part in the Allied operations against Axis forces in North Africa during March–May 1943, the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusain islands during June, the invasion of Sicily in July, the landing at Salerno in September, the Allied advance toward Rome during January–June 1944, the invasion of Southern France in August 1944, and the Allied operations in northern Italy from September 1944 to April 1945. Inactivated in Italy after the German Capitulation in September 1945.

Reactivated as part of the Air Force Reserve in 1947 and equipped with A-26/B-26 Invader medium bombers, then inactivated in 1949 due to budget cuts.

Strategic Air Command[edit]

Was reactivated in 1953 as a Strategic Air Command B-47 Stratojet squadron . Trained in air refueling and strategic bombardment operations with the B-47. in 1961, the squadron began transferring its B-47s to other SAC wings and became non-operational as part of the phaseout of the B-47.

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Squadron[edit]

On 1 November 1963 the 446th Strategic Missile Squadron was organized as a SAC LGM-30F Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile wing. Activated on 1 Sep 1965, being made operational on 7 December 1966, with a complement of 50 missiles. Participated in “Project Long Life II,” a unique reliability test in which modified Minuteman missiles were fueled to travel a few hundred yards. The first launch from a silo occurred on 19 October 1966 and was declared unsuccessful. Nine days later, a second attempt also failed. A third attempt under “Project Giant Boost” occurred in August 1968 and again proved unsuccessful.

From December 1971 to March 1973, converted to LGM-30G Minuteman III missiles. These missiles represented a significant technological advancement, having multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs). Coordinating the missile changeover required complex planning and execution.

With the restructuring of the Air Force and the disestablishment of Strategic Air Command (SAC) in the early 1990s was reassigned to Air Combat Command (ACC) in 1992 and then under Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) in 1993.

In March 1995, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission selected the 321st Strategic Missile Wing for inactivation. Squadron was ordered to securely transfer its alert responsibilities to the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana. Maintained nuclear alert until inactivated in 1998, nearly 40 years after it went on alert.[1]


Emblem of the SAC 448th Bombardment Squadron
World War II Bombardment Squadron Emblem
  • Constituted 448th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 19 Jun 1942
Activated on 26 Jun 1942
Inactivated on 12 Sep 1945
  • Re-designated 448th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 26 May 1947
Activated in the reserve on 29 Jun 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Re-designated 448th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 25 Nov 1953
Activated on 15 Dec 1953
Discontinued, and inactivated on 25 Oct 1961
  • Re-designated 448th Strategic Missile Squadron on 1 Nov 1963
Organized on 1 Sep 1965
Re-designated 448th Missile Squadron on 1 Sep 1991
Inactivated on 30 Sep 1998[1]



Aircraft and missiles[edit]

LGM-30 Minuteman Missile Alert and Launch Facilities

448th Missile Squadron Launch Facilities

Missile Alert Facilities (K-O flights, each controlling 10 missiles) are located as follows:
K-00 9.6 mi NE of Finley ND, 47°37′01″N 097°42′14″W / 47.61694°N 97.70389°W / 47.61694; -97.70389 (K-00)
L-00 10.5 mi W of Hope ND, 47°20′03″N 097°56′24″W / 47.33417°N 97.94000°W / 47.33417; -97.94000 (L-00)
M-00 3.8 mi SxSE of Hope ND, 47°16′17″N 097°41′19″W / 47.27139°N 97.68861°W / 47.27139; -97.68861 (M-00)
N-00 6.1 mi S of Hannaford ND, 47°13′24″N 098°11′30″W / 47.22333°N 98.19167°W / 47.22333; -98.19167 (N-00)
O-00 3.6 mi N of Cooperstown ND, 47°29′51″N 098°07′37″W / 47.49750°N 98.12694°W / 47.49750; -98.12694 (O-00)

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 47°57′40″N 097°24′04″W / 47.96111°N 97.40111°W / 47.96111; -97.40111 (Grand Forks AFB)


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

External links[edit]