Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

1st Tactical Missile Squadron

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Active  1946-1950; 1951-1958
Nickname(s)  Pioneers
Country  United States
1st Tactical Missile Squadron
Branch  United States Air Force

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.

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.

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


  • 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
  • Consolidated with 881st Bombardment Squadron on 19 September 1985 (remained inactive)
  • Assignments

  • 1st Experimental Guided Missiles Group: 6 February 1946
  • Air Proving Ground: 20 July 1949 (attached to 550th Guided Missiles Group)
  • 550th Guided Missiles Wing: 1 August 1950 - 30 December 1950
  • 6555th Guided Missile Wing (later 6555th Guided Missile Group): 1 October 1951
  • Tactical Air Command: 1 January 1954
  • Twelfth Air Force: 31 March 1954 (attached to 36th Fighter-Bomber Wing(later 36th Fighter-Day Wing) 31 March 1954, 7382d Guided Missile Group 15 April 1956 – 15 September 1956)
  • 585th Tactical Missile Group, 15 September 1956 – 18 June 1958
  • Stations

  • Eglin Air Force Base, Florida 6 February 1946
  • Patrick AFB, Florida, 11 December 1950 - 30 December 1950
  • Patrick AFB, Florida, 1 October 1951
  • Bitburg AB, West Germany, 31 March 1954 - 18 June 1958
  • Dispersed Matador missile locations

  • Site VII "B" Pad - 3.5 miles (5.6 km) NW of Bitburg AB 49°59′05″N 006°28′50″E
  • Underground concrete launch facility, closed 1969. The site is abandoned and largely overgrown.
  • Site VIII "C" Pad - 4.5 miles (7.2 km) SSW of Bitburg AB 49°53′21″N 006°33′30″E
  • Underground concrete launch facility. After closure the site was transferred to the German Army and converted into a Patriot air defense missile site. It closed in 2001 and is now abandoned and overgrown with vegetation.


  • Republic-Ford JB-2, 1951
  • Martin B-61 (later TM-61) Matador, 1954-1962
  • References

    1st Tactical Missile Squadron Wikipedia

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