|Country United States||Size squadron|
|Active 1941-1943, 1944-1946, 1959-1964|
Branch United States Air Force
Role antisubmarine, airlift, air defense
Part of Aerospace Defense Command
The 6th Tactical Missile Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the New York Air Defense Sector of Aerospace Defense Command, stationed near Suffolk County AFB, New York. It was inactivated on 15 December 1964.
World War II Antisubmarine Operations
What is now the 6th Tactical Missile Squadron was originally activated as the 3d Reconnaissance Squadron in early 1941, equipped with B-25 Mitchells as part of First Air Force. After the United States entered World War II the squadron was ordered to search for German U-Boats and to fly aerial coverage of friendly convoys initially off the southeast coast. It then moved to Mitchel Field, New York to patrol the sea approaches to New York City. In April 1942, the squadron was redesignated as the 393d Bombardment Squadron (Medium).
Later in 1942, the squadron was redesignated as 6th Antisubmarine Squadron, and reassigned to 25th Antisubmarine Wing of Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command (AAFAC). After joining AAFAC, it moved to Westover Field, Massachusetts to patrol the sea approaches to Boston, then to Gander, Newfoundland to fly antisubmarine patrols over North Atlantic convoy routes. The squadron was reassigned to 479th Antisubmarine Group in Southwest England in August 1943 and flew killer hunts against German U-Boats in the Bay of Biscay off the western coast of France from Brest south to the Spanish border. Along this part of the occupied French coast were major Kriegsmarine U-Boat bases at Brest, Lorient, Saint-Nazaire, La Rochelle (La Pallice) and Bordeaux. Its ground echelon was ordered back to the United States in September 1943 just prior to inactivation of AAFAC, while the air echelon was disbanded in England in late October 1943 with squadron aircraft reassigned to the United States Navy. Squadron personnel remaining in England were reassigned to Eighth Air Force units as replacement personnel.
World War II Pacific Theater and Occupation of Japan
The second birth of the squadron was in 1944, when it was activated as the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron at Syracuse Army Air Base, New York as part of the 2d Combat Cargo Group. After training in New York and moving briefly to Baer Field, Indiana for overseas processing, the squadron moved to the Pacific. Operating from Biak Island, it flew passengers and cargo to American bases in Australia, New Guinea, the Admiralty Islands, and the Philippines. The squadron also dropped supplies to American and Philippine resistance forces. It transported personnel and supplies to the Ryukus and evacuated casualties on the return flights until moving to Okinawa. It then transported personnel and equipment to Japan and ferried liberated prisoners of war to the Philippines. It moved to Japan, where it served as part of the Occupation Forces, until it was inactivated in 1946. The squadron was disbanded in 1948.
The third activation of the squadron was as the 6th Air Defense Missile Squadron on 1 February 1959. It stood alert during the Cold War, equipped with IM-99 (later CIM-10) BOMARC surface to air antiaircraft missiles. The squadron was tied into a Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) direction center which could use analog computers to process information from ground radars, picket ships and airborne aircraft to accelerate the display of tracking data at the direction center to quickly direct the missile site to engage hostile aircraft. It was inactivated on 15 December 1964. The BOMARC missile site was located 3 miles (4.8 km) southwest of Suffolk County AFB at 40°50′00″N 072°40′51″W. Although geographically separated from the base, the annex it was an off base facility of Suffolk County and the squadron received administrative and logistical support from Suffolk County.
In 1985, the squadron was consolidated with the 6th Antisubmarine Squadron and the 6th Combat Cargo Squadron, but has never been active with this designation.
6th Antisubmarine Squadron
6th Combat Cargo Squadron
6th Air Defense Missile Squadron