71st Tactical Missile Squadron

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71st Tactical Missile Squadron
71st Bombardment Squadron - Emblem.png
Emblem of the 71st Tactical Bombardment Squadron
Active1940–1975; 1984-1989
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
World War II 71st Bombardment Squadron emblem
71st Tactical Missile Squadron - TM-76 Mace Missile
Martin B-57B-MA Serial 52-1560 of the 71st Light Bomber Squadron - 1957. This aircraft was also one of the "Black Knights" aerial acrobatic team.

The 71st Tactical Missile Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 485th Tactical Missile Wing, based at Florennes Air Base, Belgium. It was inactivated on 30 September 1989.


It was activated in early 1941 by the Army Air Corps as a medium bomber squadron during the pre-war mobilization by the United States. Performed coastal patrols as part of First Air Force with B-18 Bolos and early-model B-26 Marauders.

Deployed to Australia in early 1942 to reinforce Fifth Air Force after its withdrawal to Australia. Re-equipped with B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and flew missions from Northern Queensland over New Guinea. Moved to forward airfields in New Guinea and followed MacArthur's advance along the northern coast of the island into the Netherlands East Indies flying tactical bombardment missions against Japanese strong points and airfields. Moved to Luzon, Philippines, as part of the United States liberation forces in 1945, then moved to Okinawa during the summer in preparation for the Invasion of Japan. Moved to Japan and became part of the Occupation Forces. Inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions.

Reactivated in France in 1953 as a NATO B-57 light bombardment squadron, equipped for night bombardment with nuclear weapons.

Moved to West Germany in 1958 as a TM-76B Mace tactical missile squadron when the unit was ordered out of France. Remained as a tactical missile unit until 1969 when the Mace missile was retired, the last Mace unit on active duty.

Reactivated in 1972 as an Undergraduate Pilot Training Squadron (UPT) at Laredo AFB. Moved to Moody in 1973 when Laredo closed. Inactivated in 1975 when Moody became a Tactical Fighter base after the Vietnam War ended.

Reactivated as a BGM-109G Gryphon Cruise Missile squadron in August 1984. Maintained 80 operational missiles in a combat-ready state. Inactivated in April 1989 as a result of the INF treaty and the elimination of the BGM-109G missile from service.


  • Constituted 71st Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Redesignated 71st Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 6 May 1946
Inactivated on 1 April 1949
  • Activated on 1 January 1953
Redesignated: 71st Bombardment Squadron (Tactical) on 1 October 1955
Redesignated: 71st Tactical Missile Squadron on 18 June 1958
Inactivated on 30 April 1969
  • Redesignated 71st Flying Training Squadron and activated 1 August 1972
Inactivated 30 September 1973
Reactivated 1 December 1973
Inactivated 1 December 1975
  • Redesignated 71st Tactical Missile Squadron and activated on 1 August 1984
Inactivated 30 April 1989



Dispersed Matador/Mace missile locations

Underground concrete launch facility, closed 1969. largely overgrown abandoned condition.
Underground concrete launch facility. After closure the site was transferred to the Bundesheer and converted into a Patriot AD missile site; closed 2001 now abandoned and overgrown with vegetation.

Aircraft and missiles[edit]

See also[edit]


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

  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. 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.
  • Mindling, George; Bolton, Robert (2008). U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles, 1949-1969: The Pioneers. Lulu.com. ISBN 978-0-557-00029-6.

External links[edit]