508th Missile Squadron
|508th Missile Squadron|
LGM-30F Minuteman II test launch at Vandenburg AFB, California
|Active||1942–1945; 1947–1949; 1962–1995|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Intercontinental ballistic missile|
|Garrison/HQ||Whiteman AFB, Missouri|
World War II (EAME Theater)
Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (6x)
|508th Strategic Missile Squadron emblem|
The 508 MS was equipped with the LGM-30F Minuteman II Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), with a mission of nuclear deterrence. With the end of the Cold War, the 508th was inactivated on 28 July 1995.
World War II
Activated in late 1942 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomb squadron, trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to England in the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during April 1943, assigned to VIII Bomber Command as a strategic bombardment squadron. Participated in the air offensive over Nazi Germany and Occupied Europe until German capitulation in May 1945. Personnel demobilized in England and returned to the United States; squadron reassigned to Second Air Force and was programmed to be re-equipped with B-29 Superfortresses for deployment to Pacific Theater. Japanese capitulation led to units inactivation in September 1945, being neither manned or equipped.
Activated in the postwar reserve as a B-29 squadron. Inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions.
Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Squadron
On 9 August 1962 the 508th Strategic Missile Squadron was activated as a SAC LGM-30B Minuteman I intercontinental ballistic missile wing. Activated on 1 May 1963, being made operational on 14 January 1964, with a complement of 50 missiles. Declared combat ready on 5 June 1964. From May 1966 to October 1967, converted to LGM-30F Minuteman II missiles.
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.
Remained on Cold War nuclear alert until in response to President Bush's directive to stand down the Minuteman II. Dissipated launch codes and pin safety control switches at 15 launch control facilities. Deactivation of the entire missile complex ended in the spring of 1995; squadron inactivated on 28 July.
- Constituted 508th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 25 September 1942
- Activated on 1 October 1942
- Inactivated on 28 August 1945
- Re-designated 508th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 23 September 1947
- Activated in the reserve on 15 October 1947
- Inactivated on 27 June 1949
- Re-designated as: 508th Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM-Minuteman) on 9 August 1962
- Organized on 1 May 1963
- Re-designated as: 508th Missile Squadron on 1 September 1991
- Inactivated on 28 July 1995
- 351st Bombardment Group, 1 October 1942 – 28 August 1945; 15 October 1947 – 27 June 1949
- ETO Fuselage Code: YB
Aircraft and missiles
- B-17 Flying Fortress, 1942–1945
- B-29 Superfortress, 1947–1949
- LGM-30B Minuteman I, 1963–1967
- LGM-30F Minuteman II, 1966–1995
- Missile Alert Facilities (A-E flights, each controlling 10 missiles) are located as follows:
- A-01 3.5 mi SE of Blackburn MO,
- B-01 38.1 mi ExNE of Houstonia MO,
- C-01 5.6 mi SxSW of Pilot Grove MO,
- D-01 6.1 mi SE of Syracuse MO,
- E-01 7.3 mi WxSW of Florence MO,
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- Whiteman AFB Minuteman Missile Site Coordinates