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Malmstrom Museum

Contact Information 

Telephone 
Commercial: 406-731-2705 
DSN: 632-2705 
Fax: 406-731-2769 
Email: museum@us.af.mil

Museum Address 
Malmstrom AFB Museum 
341 Missile Wing/MU 
21 77th St. North, Suite 144 
Malmstrom AFB, MT 59402 

Hours 
Free and open to the public 
Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Closed on federal holidays

Visiting the Museum 
Please contact the museum at the above number for information/special tours. Any non-military member desiring to visit the museum should inquire at the Visitor Center located at the 2nd Avenue North gate. 

Links 

National Museum of the United States Air Force 

Museums of North America

Hill Aerospace Museum 

National Air and Space Museum

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17 July 1962: Third Street on Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, was renamed in honor of Dr Robert H. Goddard, pioneer, inventor, and developer of rockets and missiles. It was officially dedicated in a ceremony on July 23. #malmstromair 17 July 1989: The first Northrop B-2A Spirit, 82-1066, took off from Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, California, on its first flight. The crew was Northrop Chief Test Pilot Bruce J. Hinds and Colonel Richard Couch, U.S. Air Force. The top secret “stealth bomber” prototype landed at Edwards Air Force Base 1 hour, 52 minutes later. A prolonged landing approach due to ground effect was the only significant surprise of the flight. After completing the flight test program, 82-1066 was placed in storage until 1993, awaiting upgrade to the Block 10 operational configuration. In 2000 it was again upgraded to the Block 30 standard. It is now named Spirit of America and assigned to the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. The final B-2 arrived at Whiteman on July 15, 2000. (Photo: B-2A Spirit 82-1066 first stealth bomber test flight.) #airpower 17 July 2008: The 341 Services Squadron inactivated at Malmstrom AFB. The squadron first activated at Dyess AFB as the 341st Food Service Squadron on June 15, 1955, assigned to the 341st Air Base Group and after inactivation at Dyess activated again at Malmstrom on April 26, 1961. Although the unit initially stood up without personnel and equipment at Malmstrom, the 341 SVS along with the 341st Communications Squadron actually predated the arrival of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing at Malmstrom. #341mwhistory
16 July 1945: “Gadget,” the first atomic bomb, was detonated at the Trinity Site near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The 19 kiloton device was the prototype for the Nagasaki bomb. Trinity was the code name of the first detonation of a nuclear device, conducted by the United States Army on July 16, 1945 as a result of the Manhattan Project, in the Jornada del Muerto desert about 35 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, at the new White Sands Proving Ground, incorporating the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, now the White Sands Missile Range. Trinity used an implosion-design plutonium device, informally nicknamed "The Gadget". Using the same conceptual design, the Fat Man device (dropped by a 20 AF B-29) was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. The Trinity detonation produced the explosive power of about 20 kilotons of TNT. (Photo: Trinity explosion immediately after detonation.) 16 July 1971: Jeanne M. Holm became the first female General Officer in the Air Force. A veteran of World War II who commanded several women’s units, Holm was recalled to active duty during the 1948 Berlin crisis. She served in air depot operations in Germany and was the first woman to attend the Air Command and Staff College. Appointed director, Women in the Air Force (WAF) in 1965, Holm was extended in that position twice. During her tenure, WAF strength more than doubled, job and assignment opportunities were greatly expanded and uniforms were modernized. Under General Holm’s leadership, only four Air Force’s specialties remained closed to women: pilot, navigator, missile operations and security police. General Holm helped lead the Air Force to become the first service to open its Reserve Officer Training Corps to college women and the first service in which a woman commanded a mixed unit of men and women. 16 July 2013: The 341st Missile Wing finished installation of fiber optic cable to Alpha Flight marking the completion of the Remote Visual Assessment (RVA) system installation at the Malmstrom missile complex. The RVA program installed a series of 150 remote cameras mounted on vertical poles at the launch facilities with associated communications links. The system used direct line of sight communications through 15 antenna towers at the missile alert facilities monitoring the launch facility (LF) cameras connected to the Security Control Centers (SCC). #341mwhistory
13 July 1945: The first atomic bomb arrived partly assembled at its test site in the New Mexico desert on Friday the 13th. By Sunday, it was completed and set at the top of a tower waiting for the first atomic bomb test. At 5:30 a.m. on July 16, 1945, Los Alamos scientists detonated the plutonium bomb at a test site located at Alamogordo, New Mexico, some 120 miles south of Albuquerque. The test had been scheduled for 4 a.m. but when the time came it was raining, and the appointed hour was pushed back to 5:30. Those assembled included the scientist Enrico Fermi, who had directed the first nuclear chain reaction in December 1942; U.S. Army Brigadier General Leslie Groves; and Robert Oppenheimer. 13 July 1968: The first production General Dynamics FB-111A supersonic strategic bomber successfully completed a 30-minute maiden flight at Carswell Air Force Base, Fort Worth, Texas. The FB-111A differed from the F-111A fighter bomber with the substitution of a larger wing, originally designed for the F-111B, giving the bomber a 7 foot increase in wingspan. The landing gear was strengthened, the bomb bay enlarged and it had more powerful engines. In addition to a prototype which was converted from the last production F-111A, General Dynamics built 76 FB-111As. With the introduction of the Rockwell B-1B Lancer, the FB-111As remaining in service were converted to FB-111G tactical fighter bombers. They were retired by 2003. 13 July 1979: Headquarters USAF inactivated the 17th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. Assigned to the 24th Air Division of Aerospace Defense Command, the squadron flew EB-57 Canberras out of Malmstrom since July 1, 1974. The EB-57 was the "Friendly Enemy." The unit was engaged in aerial evaluation of military radars and automated defense systems for SAGE at Malmstrom. The squadron was used to penetrate Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) acting as enemy bombers to test the defense capability of interceptors and ground control radar sites of ADC. In addition, training for individual intercept squadrons was a continuing responsibility. It was the last flying radar evaluation unit assigned to ADC. The last EB-57 Canberra departed Malmstrom AFB, Montana, on April 8, 1979. Photo: Last EB-57 on Malmstrom.) #malmstromair
12 July 1942: Major George A. Young assumed command of Great Falls Army Air Base. He was the first commander of what is now Malmstrom AFB, Montana. #malmstromair 12 July 1986: The 341st Strategic Missile Wing celebrated Big Sky Day at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. As part of the celebration the base dedicated the Malmstrom museum's newest aircraft static display as a B-25J (44-30493) awaited emplacement near the main gate. The dedication ceremony included two rows of bagpipers for the occasion and short remarks by Colonel Teddy E. Rinebarger, commander of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing. The plane flew in to Malmstrom’s air field earlier from Sherman Aircraft Sales, W. Palm Beach, Florida before preliminary storage at Hangar one for the Big Sky Day celebration. The B-25 on display was purported to have been used in the movie ‘Catch-22’ as ‘Dumbo’. A hard nose was mounted on the aircraft to again reflect a J model (it was converted after 1945 to a TB-25N) and later the 490th Bombardment Squadron logo was added as nose art. (Photo: B-25 dedication at Malmstrom AFB.) #341mwhistory 12 July 2007: The 341st Space Wing began missile deactivation activities for the 564th Missile Squadron at Malmstrom AFB when it removed a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile from Sierra 38, a launch facility near Brady, Montana. The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review called for the removal of 50 Minuteman III missiles and closure of five missile alert facilities belonging to the 564th Missile Squadron.
11 July 1942: The 25th Ferrying Squadron activated at Gore Field on Gore Hill, Great Falls, Montana, along with the 383d, 384th, and 385th Base HQ and Air Base Squadrons. They joined the 7th Ferrying Squadron activated on June 22, 1942, at Gore Hill and together formed the first core of units charged with flying the northern route to Ladd Field in Alaska to transfer aircraft under the Lend-Lease Program to the pilots of the Soviet Union. Also on July 11, the 902nd Guard Squadron was activated at Gore Hill. The squadron provided overall security within the base along with perimeter patrol and initial security for the burgeoning Great Falls AAB. These units performed their mission until spring of 1944 when they were inactivated. In December 1943, Air Service Command moved its units from Gore Field to Great Falls Army Air Field. Along with those units, a detachment of the 7th Transport Group moved over from Gore Field. GFAAF assumed responsibility for the ferrying mission under the Lend-Lease Program formerly based out of Gore Field. (Photo: Lend-Lease pilots, Great Falls.) 11 July 1964: Headquarters United States Air Force announced that one additional squadron of 50 Minuteman II (LGM-30F) missiles would be collocated with the existing three Minuteman I (LGM-30A) squadrons of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, for a total force of 200 Minuteman missiles under the wing. This fourth squadron at Malmstrom was activated December 14, 1965, as the 564th Strategic Missile Squadron. #341mwhistory 11 July 1975: The Air Force's deployment of the Minuteman III was completed when the 550th weapon was emplaced at Malmstrom AFB and the 564th Strategic Missile Squadron became fully operational. The 564th SMS brought its 50th Minuteman III on alert at launch facility Tango 49. With completion of the nine-year force modernization program, the Minuteman force now consisted of 450 Minuteman II and 550 Minuteman III ICBMs. At Malmstrom the ICBM deployment was 150 Minuteman II and 50 Minuteman III ICBMs. The first operational Minutman III missile was emplaced in its silo at Minot AFB, North Dakota, on April 17, 1970.
10 July 1943: Allied airborne troops landed at Gela and Syracuse, Sicily, in the first large-scale airborne operation attempted by the allies in World War II. Following the defeat of Germany and Italy by the Allies in North Africa, the next phase of the war plan was the invasion of Sicily. This began with the largest airborne assault ever attempted by U.S. and British paratroopers up to that time. Shortly after midnight, a Regimental Combat Team (RCT) consisting of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment with the 3rd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, under command of Colonel James M. Gavin, United States Army, dropped out of a moonlit sky around Gela on the southern shore of the island and achieved reasonable success. A second airborne assault was carried out by the remainder of the 504th PIR. As the Allied formation of 144 Douglas C-47 Skytrain transports approached the Sicilian shoreline, ships of the invasion force mistook them for enemy aircraft and opened fire. Twenty-two C-47s were shot down and many others damaged. Eighty-three men were killed and 318 wounded. As a result of the friendly fire incident, the airborne assault was widely scattered, missing assigned drop zones and objectives. However, small groups of airborne troopers acting on their own initiative attacked targets of opportunity and kept the island’s defenders off balance. (Photo: U.S. Paratroopers in North Africa prepare to board C-47.) 10 July 1965: United States planes continued heavy raids in South Vietnam and claim to have killed 580 guerrillas. U.S. Phantom jets, escorting fighter-bombers in a raid on the Yen Sen ammunition depot northwest of Hanoi, engaged North Vietnamese MiG-17s. Capt. Thomas S. Roberts with his backseater Capt. Ronald C. Anderson, and Capt. Kenneth E. Holcombe and his backseater Capt. Arthur C. Clark shot down two MiG-17s with Sidewinder missiles. The action marked the first U.S. Air Force air-to-air victories of the Vietnam War. 10 July 1979: Strategic Air Command launched two Minuteman III ICBMs from Vandenberg AFB, California, during exercise Global Shield, a comprehensive exercise of SAC's nuclear forces. One of these Global Shield missions, Glory Trip 40GM, was the last Minuteman III phase I operational test flight. The missiles were launched 12 seconds apart by a SAC task force from the 90th Strategic Missile Wing, F. E. Warren AFB, Wyoming.
8-16 July 1979: Strategic Air Command held exercise Global Shield, the first time every phase of its role in the Single Integrated Operations Plan, short of nuclear warfare, was exercised. For eight days in July, active duty Air Force, Reserve, and National Guard units acted in their wartime alert contingency roles, including dispersal of bombers to civilian airfields, and even including the test launch of two Minuteman III missiles. Hundreds of missiles, bombers, tankers, and other aircraft were fully involved. Command units generated hundreds of bombers, tankers, and missiles to alert status. Aircraft and ground support teams dispersed to preselected bases and flew sorties over radar bomb-scoring sites. General Richard H. Ellis, the CINCSAC, called the exercise "an extremely valuable training experience for the aircrews, missile crews, and support personnel who participated in it." Global Shield became a regular command exercise which grew in scope and intensity throughout the 1980s. (Photo: SAC Security Police guard Post Attack Command and Control System aircraft dispersed to Malmstrom during Global Shield 1983.) 8 July 1980: The Malmstrom AFB Air Park received its second static display when a KC-97 tanker formerly assigned to the 9th Air Refueling Squadron landed at Malmstrom AFB. The KC-97 was moved from the runway to the park site on August 26. The 4061st Air Refueling Wing and its 407th and 97th Air Refueling Squadrons flew KC-97s at Malmstrom from 1957 to 1961; and 97th AREFS continued to fly KC-97s at Malmstrom until 1964. Their mission was to support Strategic Air Command’s global operation of B-47 and B-52 bombers as well as refueling other commands’ fighter aircraft. The aircraft on display is a KC-97L and was reconfigured to depict KC-97G, Serial No. 52-0638, “City of Great Falls” which operated out of Malmstrom AFB from 1957 to 1964. #malmstromair 9 July 1958: The Air Force’s Thor-Able reentry vehicle, in its first test at ICBM range and velocity, carried a mouse 6,000 miles over the Atlantic from Cape Canaveral to the Ascension Islands. The single-stage Thor intermediate range ballistic missile, originally designated as the SM-75, entered active military service in September 1958. It was the free world's first operational IRBM. Thor missiles were assigned to the Strategic Air Command and were also deployed to England early in 1959 where they were maintained in a state of combat-readiness by the Royal Air Force. With the development of more advanced missiles, the Thor was retired from its military role in 1963. 9 July 1962: The United States detonated a thermonuclear warhead over the Pacific Ocean. This was part of the Operation Dominic-Fishbowl test series at Johnston Island, and was designated Starfish Prime. It was the first successful high-altitude nuclear detonation and essentially was detonated in outer space. The Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) was launched from the Thor missile complex on Johnston Island carrying a 1.4 megaton device. The warhead detonated about 22 miles southwest of Johnston Island at an altitude of 400 kilometers. The fireball was clearly visible in the Hawaiian Islands, more than 800 miles away. In Honolulu an overcast, nighttime sky turned into day for six minutes and observers on Kwajalei, 1,400 miles west, reported a spectacular display lasting at least seven minutes. The electromagnetic pulse (EMP) damaged electrical systems in Hawaii, cutting some power, damaging equipment and interrupting telephone systems. Telstar, an American communications satellite that was placed in Earth orbit the following day, was also damaged by residual radiation from the detonation.
6 July 1942: Two months after construction began on the base, Great Falls Army Air Base was assigned to Second Air Force, headquartered at Fort George Wright, Washington. During World War II Second Air Force maintained responsibility for bomber, fighter, and other unit training in the United States to prepare those units for service overseas. The mission of Great Falls AAF for Second Air Force involved advanced training for B-17 crews before they shipped off to Europe in World War II. The first B-17 Flying Fortress landed on November 30, 1942. Four Bombardment Groups -- the 2nd, 385th, 390th, and 401st -- trained at Great Falls from November 1942 to October 1943. Group Headquarters and one of the Groups' four squadrons were stationed in Great Falls with the other squadrons stationed at Cut Bank, Glasgow, and Lewistown, Montana. #malmstromair 6 July 1943: The last B-17 group to train at Great Falls Army Air Field, the 401st Bombardment Group, arrived at Great Falls AAF to begin advanced training with their assigned B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. Its assigned squadrons included the 612th Bombardment Squadron at Great Falls AAF and the 613th (at Cut Bank), 614th (at Glasgow), and 615th (at Lewistown) Bombardment Squadrons stationed at the satellite bases. The 401st Bombardment Group departed Montana on October 19, 1943. 6 July 1965: The last Minuteman IB operational test launch at Vandenberg AFB, California, was successful.
*** THE MUSEUM IS CLOSED UNTIL JULY 6. *** 3 July 1963: The 490th Strategic Missile Squadron, the third and last Minuteman I squadron at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, became operational following the acceptance of Oscar Flight in a signing ceremony conducted by 341st Strategic Missile Wing commander Colonel Lawrence Lightner and SATAF commander Brigadier General Harry Goldsworthy. The base held the official ceremony for the turnover of the Minuteman Wing I on August 8. The 490th was initially equipped with Minuteman I "A" models; however, improvements and refinements had resulted in the production of the newer and better "B" model missile. The last eight missiles emplaced in 490th launch facilities (LFs) were "B" models. The 490th is unique in that it is the only missile squadron to have deployed both "A" and "B" model missiles. The overall cost of the initial construction of Minuteman ICBM facilities for the 10th, 12th and 490th Strategic Missile Squadrons at Malmstrom AFB came in at just under $80 million. (Photo: Col. Lightner and Brig. Gen. Goldsworthy at Oscar signing.) #341mwhistory 3 July 1975: The last Minuteman III in the ballistic missile upgrade program was emplaced at Tango 49, 564th Strategic Missile Squadron. The missile was the 550th Minuteman III deployed and the last ICBM emplaced in the force modernization program. The force modernization program replaced Minuteman II missiles with the Minuteman III. The Air Force deployed Minuteman III at Warren, Minot, Grand Forks, and Malmstrom Air Force Bases, and extensively modified the Minuteman launchers at these locations to accommodate the new missiles. Each launch tube was equipped with a new suspension system that could hold the missile absolutely motionless during the aftershocks of a nuclear attack. The Air Force also installed a system of seals, filters, and surge arrestors designed to prevent electronic equipment from being damaged by the powerful electromagnetic waves generated during nuclear explosions. Only 450 Minutemen II remained in the American arsenal, at Malmstrom, Ellsworth, and Whiteman Air Force Bases. This force structure remained intact for nearly two more decades. 4 July 1943: The 390th Bombardment Group departed Montana on July 4, 1943. The group had arrived at Great Falls Army Air Field on June 6, 1943, to begin advanced training with their assigned B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. After training at Great Falls AAF, the group moved to England, beginning combat operations in August. The group flew 300 combat missions and was twice awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions in combat. Its last mission was on 20 April 1945. After V-E Day, the group returned to the United States, where it was inactivated in August 1945. The group was later consolidated with the 390th Strategic Missile Wing, the United States Air Force's first LGM-25C Titan II wing, stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. #malmstromair 5 July 1950: First U.S. combat casualty in the Korean War. Near Sojong, South Korea, Private Kenneth Shadrick, a 19-year-old infantryman from Skin Fork, West Virginia, became the first American reported killed in the Korean War. Shadrick, a member of a bazooka squad, had just fired the weapon at a Soviet-made tank when he looked up to check his aim and was cut down by enemy machine-gun fire. Korea was split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces occupying the northern zone and Americans stationed in the south. The 38th parallel was heavily fortified on both sides, but the South Koreans were unprepared for the hordes of North Korean troops and Soviet-made tanks that suddenly rolled across the border on June 25, 1950.
1 July 1957: The 407th Strategic Fighter Wing inactivated at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. In its place Strategic Air Command activated the 4061st Air Refueling Wing as base host at Malmstrom. The 4061st assumed the refueling mission at the base with the 407th Air Refueling Squadron, in the process of converting from KB-29s to KC-97s, reassigned to the new wing. Along with the 407 SFW, all the fighter squadrons (515th, 516th, and 517th) inactivated and their fighters left the base. The wing was assigned to the Fifteenth Air Force and composed of base support units, the 407th Air Refueling Squadron with KB-29 Superfortress tankers and the 515th, 516th and 517th Strategic Fighter Squadrons, initially equipped with the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. The Wing's aircraft, provided nuclear strike, fighter escort and air refueling capability and were an integral part of SAC's long range atomic strike force. Einar Malmstrom served as the wing's Deputy (Vice) Commander at the time of his death on August 21, 1954. Also assigned to the 407 SFW, as a fighter pilot, was Gerald E. McIlmoyle from April 1954 to July 1957. Almost twenty years later on July 23, 1976, Colonel Gerald E. McIlmoyle assumed command of the 341st Strategic Missile Wing. #malmstromair 1 July 1961: First Minuteman Wing Activated. Headquarters Strategic Air Command redesignated the 341st Bombardment Wing as the 341st Strategic Missile Wing and activated it at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. Equipped with Minuteman IA missiles, the wing was SAC's first Minuteman wing. Initially activated without personnel or equipment, the first Minuteman Wing officially organized on July 15, 1961. It would be another year before the wing would receive its first operational ICBM. Along with the 341 SMW, the 341st Combat Support Group (341 MSG), the 341st Combat Security Squadron (341 SFS), the 341st Consolidated Maintenance Squadron (341 MMXS), the 341st Transportaion Squadron, the 341st Food Services Squadron, and the 341st Supply Squadron. The 341st Civil Engineer Squadron and the 341st Food Services Squadron activated at Malmstrom three months earlier. Colonel Burton C. Andrus Jr. assumed command of the new wing along with the 22nd Air Division stationed at Malmstrom. He moved to Malmstrom from Dyess AFB, Texas where he was commander of the 96th Bombardment Wing, flying B-47s. The 341st Bombardment Wing, which also flew missions with the B-47 since September 1, 1955, inactivated at Dyess on June 25, 1961, just five days before it activated at Malmstrom AFB. Colonel Andrus was the son of Colonel Burton C. Andrus who served as Commandant of the Nuremberg Prison that housed accused Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. (Photo: 341 SMW HQ, 1960s.) #341mwhistory 2 July 1966: The 813th Strategic Aerospace Division inactivated at Malmstrom AFB, Montana, under its last commander, Colonel Gerald G. Robinson. The division moved to Malmstrom on July 1, 1964 from Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. 2 July 1982: The Titan II missile at Site 9 in the 570th Strategic Missile Squadron, 390th Strategic Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, was removed from alert for testing. As result, this site became the first to be inactivated in the Titan II phaseout program. The 570th Strategic Missile Squadron along with the 390th Strategic Missile Wing inactivated two years later on July 31, 1984.
29 June 1973: Air Force Logistics Command completed the Minuteman II Balance of Force Retrofit program at Wing I, Malmstrom AFB, Montana. #341mwhistory 29 June 1994: In a ceremony at Malmstrom AFB, the 43d Air Refueling Wing was redesignated the 43d Air Refueling Group. The downgrade resulted from force reduction efforts ongoing throughout the Air Force and followed the loss of half of their KC-135 refuelers with eight remaining, assigned to the 97th Air Refueling Squadron. On the heels of the refueling group’s realignment, the 341st Missile Wing again assumed host base responsibilities at Malmstrom it relinquished on January 15, 1992, to the 301st Air Refueling Wing. The 43d Air Refueling Group later inactivated at Malmstrom AFB on September 30, 1996, as the last fixed-wing unit assigned to the base. (Malmstrom AFB mission photo 1994.) #malmstromair 29 June 2007: The 341st Missile Wing received formal direction from Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley to proceed with missile deactivation activities for the 564th Missile Squadron.
28 June 1950: First successful airstrikes of the Korean War. The Far East Air Forces (FEAF) launched its first successful airstrike as more than 20 B-26s from the 3d Bombardment Group bombed the Munsan rail yards near the 38th parallel and the rail and road traffic between Seoul and North Korean border. One B-26, heavily damaged by enemy antiaircraft fire, crashed on its return to Ashiya AB, killing all aboard. Flying from Kadena AB, the 19th Bombardment Group made the first B-29 bomber strikes of the Korean War by attacking a railroad bridge and tanks, trucks, and supply columns along North Korean invasion routes. Bad weather over Japan limited Fifth Air Force sorties, but 18 fighters flew close air support and interdiction missions. More than 30 F-80s from Itazuke escorted C-54s and B-26s flying between Japan and Suwon. 1Lt Bryce Poe II, in an RF-80A, flew the USAF’s first jet combat reconnaissance mission, photographing the North Korean advance. C-54s and C-47s flew out the last of 851 U.S. citizens evacuated by air from South Korea. FEAF transports airlifted 150 tons of ammunition from Tachikawa AB to Suwon, about twenty miles south of Seoul. 28 June 1957: Assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, the first KC-135 Stratotanker (55-3118) arrived at Castle Air Force Base, California. The jet tanker could cruise at the same speed as jet bombers while refueling, drastically reducing the time for in-flight refueling missions. The Boeing Military Airplane Company's model 367-80 was the basic design for the commercial 707 passenger plane as well as the KC-135A Stratotanker. In 1954 the Air Force purchased the first 29 of its future fleet of 732. The first of these aircraft left the assembly line at Boeing Airplane Company, Renton, Washington, July 18, 1956, and flew for the first time August 31, 1956. The last KC-135A was delivered to the Air Force in 1965. In Southeast Asia, KC-135 Stratotankers made the air war different from all previous aerial conflicts. Mid-air refueling brought far-flung bombing targets within reach. Combat aircraft, no longer limited by fuel supplies, were able to spend more time in target areas. 55-3118 was later modified into an EC-135K airborne command post. Today, the first Stratotanker (55-3118) is on display at the front gate of McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. (Photo: KC-135A 55-3118 "City of Renton" landing.) 28 June 1962: The 740th Fighter-Day Squadron was redesignated the 740th Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM-Minuteman), and activated at Minot AFB, North Dakota. The 741st Fighter-Day Squadron was redesignated the 741st Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM-Minuteman), and activated at Minot AFB, North Dakota. Built in the mid-1950s to host a Semi-Automatic Ground Environmental (SAGE) complex and Air Defense Command fighter aircraft, Minot became a Strategic Air Command base on July 1, 1962, pending the imminent activation of Minuteman IB missile launchers. With construction under way, the Air Force activated the 455th Strategic Missile Wing and components 740 SMS and 741 SMS. The 742nd Strategic Missile Squadrons activated on July 18, 1962. To preserve the continuity of units with distinguished histories, on June 25, 1968, the Air Force redesignated the 91st Bombardment Wing, Heavy as the 91st Strategic Missile Wing and inactivated the 455 SMW. The wing stationed at Glasgow, Montana transferred to Minot AFB as it relinquished its B-52s (they just took a short drive over to Minot). The 91st had organizational roots dating from World War II and had gained recent fame as a B-52 wing operating over Vietnam. The 455 SMW didn’t disappear however. It later activated as the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing stationed at Bagram AB, Afghanistan.
27 June 1949: The 341st Bombardment Group (Light) inactivated at Westover Air Force Base, Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts. After World War II the group inactivated November 2, 1945, at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. It activated again March 21, 1946, as a reserve unit and flew AT-6 Mosquito and AT-11 Kansan aircraft for light bomber training missions. The 490th Bombardment Squadron was assigned to the group in April 1947; the 491 BS in May 1947. Both had been assigned of the 341 BG during World War II. The 10th and 12th Bombardment Squadrons, also squadrons that served during the war, were assigned to the 341 BG for the first time on June 18 and July 24, 1947, respectively. #341mwhistory 27 June 1972: Pararescueman Sergeant Charles D. McGrath of the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron was on a CSAR mission on Jolly Green 77 over North Vietnam. While penetrating dense jungle to rescue F-4 crewman Captain Lynn A. Aikman, who had a broken leg, knee, elbow and jaw, Sgt. McGrath exposed himself to intense ground fire in order to drag the incapacitated Aikman to a suitable recovery area. Seeing Jolly Green 73 crippled by the hostile fire, he directed air strikes against surrounding hostile ground forces until he was able to secure Capt Aikman and himself to the penetrator of Jolly Green 57, the backup helicopter. Rising through constant accurate ground fire, he shielded Captain Aikman with his own body until they were successfully recovered. McGrath and the pilot Captain Dale Stovall were both awarded the Air Force Cross. 27 June 2016: Members of Malmstrom AFB traveled to Missoula, Montana to honor the passing of the second to last Doolittle Raider left alive. The Malmstrom Honor Guard rendered the military honors during the funeral including a seven-member firing party delivering a 21-gun salute. A B-1B Lancer from the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, and a B-25, owned by John Sessions, performed slow-speed flyovers in Thatcher's honor. Lieutenant Colonel Michael Epper, 341st Force Support Squadron commander, presented the flag to Dawn Thatcher, wife of SSgt David J. Thatcher, during the funeral service. The last remaining survivor from the Doolittle Raid, retired Lieutenant Colonel Richard Cole also attended the funeral. Ellsworth AFB and Malmstrom AFB maintained strong ties to the Doolittle Raiders. Ellsworth hosted three of the four original squadrons from the historic raid: the 34th and 37th Bomb Squadrons and the 89th Attack Squadron. Following the Doolittle Raid, many of the crewmembers that participated in the mission later remained in the China-Burma-India Theater and served with the 341st Bombardment Group (now the 341st Missile Wing) mainly in the 11th and 22nd Bombardment Squadrons. While not directly assigned to the group, Doolittle’s copilot Lt. Richard Cole flew at least one combat mission with the 341st BG. (Photo: Thatcher's funeral June 27, 2016.)
26 June 1948: Berlin Airlift. The USAF launched “Operation Vittles” in response to a Soviet blockade of rail and road lines into West Berlin. By July 15, an average of 2,500 tons of supplies were being flown into the city every day. The massive scale of the airlift made it a huge logistical challenge and at times a great risk. With planes landing at Tempelhof Airport every four minutes, round the clock, pilots were being asked to fly two or more round-trip flights every day, in World War II planes that were sometimes in need of repair. The Soviets lifted the blockade in May 1949, having earned the scorn of the international community for subjecting innocent men, women and children to hardship and starvation. The airlift -- called die Luftbrucke or "the air bridge" in German -- continued until September 1949, for a total delivery of more than 1.5 million tons of supplies and a total cost of over $224 million. This operation became the largest humanitarian airlift in history. Great Falls AFB, Montana, served as a training center for the Military Air Transport Service's 1701st Air Transport Wing. The wing's primary mission was training C-54 "Skymaster" crews. On August 13, 1948, this organization assumed responsibility for preparing Airmen for Operation Vittles, otherwise known as the Berlin Airlift. The similarity between the weather in Great Falls and Berlin made it an ideal training location. The 21-day course established at Great Falls AFB, designated "Replacement Training Unit for Operation Vittles," included 133 hours of instruction. Radio beacons broadcast on the same frequencies used in Berlin and flight corridors duplicated those in Germany, as did the magnetic heading used on the approach to the runway simulating the one in Tempelhof, Germany . Upon arrival, crews practiced unloading 10-ton cargoes of sandbags with clock-like precision. A transition training program for C-54 crews continued at the base until December 1949. (Photo: U.S. Navy and Air Force aircrafts unload at Tempelhof Airport during the Berlin Airlift.)
25 June 1961: The 341st Bombardment Wing inactivated at Dyess AFB, Texas, just five days before it activated at Malmstrom AFB as the as the 341st Strategic Missile Wing. #341mwhistory 25 June 1963: The 341 SMW accepted Mike Flight Minuteman I sites assigned to the 490th Strategic Missile Squadron. 25 June 1996: Khobar Towers. Terrorists detonated a truck bomb outside the fence surrounding a housing facility near King Abdul-Aziz Air Base, Saudi Arabia. USAF personnel were in Saudi Arabia to support Operation Southern Watch. The blast killed 19 Air Force personnel and injured 300 others. Twenty-three Malmstrom members were deployed to Dhahran at the time. Five of those deployed from Malmstrom AFB were injured: Major Steven Goff, A1C Daniel Hazell, A1C Roger Kaalekahl, A1C Dennis Kuritz, and A1C Christopher Wagar. Force protection measures at the facility were primarily concerned that terrorist bombers might penetrate the building, as happened at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Concrete barriers surrounded the fence around the Khobar Towers but there were few lights. No surveillance cameras, sensors, or alarms were in use. USAF Security Police overlooking the perimeter from the roof saw the truck being parked and alerted many occupants to the threat. However, the evacuation was still in progress when the bomb detonated. Of the seven Aiman’s Medals received for acts that day two were from Malmstrom: Major Goff, 341st Medical Operations Squadron, and A1C Wagar, 490th Missile Squadron. Goff, a flight surgeon, was injured by flying glass blown out by the explosion. Ignoring his own injuries, he made his way a half mile to the base clinic and treated the injured for several days. Wagar, a security policeman, was one of three Airmen standing watch on the building’s roof prior to the explosion. They spotted the bomb-rigged fuel truck as it parked beside the perimeter. Instead of taking cover, they immediately began efforts to try to evacuate the building. It was the worst terrorist attack against American military personnel since the 1983 bombing of a US Marine barracks in Lebanon. The perpetrators escaped. As a result of the bombing, most USAF personnel in Saudi Arabia were moved to more remote sites that were easier to defend. (Photo: Goff and Wagar presented Airman's Medal, 1996.)
22 June 1864: Sidney Edgerton was appointed the first governor of Montana Territory. Sidney Edgerton (August 17, 1818 - July 19, 1900) was a politician, lawyer, judge and teacher from Ohio. He served during the American Civil War, as a Squirrel Hunter. During this time, Edgerton served as a U.S. Congressman. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln appointed him the first Chief justice of the Idaho Territorial Court. Edgerton lobbied for the creation of separate territories, out of the Idaho Territory, and in 1864, Abraham Lincoln appointed Edgerton as the first Territorial Governor of Montana. During his term as Territorial Governor, he was an alleged member of the infamous Montana Vigilantes, and was reputedly among its founders. 22 June 1942: The 7th Ferrying Group of Air Transport Command arrived at the Great Falls Munincipal Airport to establish an air route between Great Falls, Montana and Ladd Field, Fairbanks, Alaska, mostly for the purpose of ferrying Lend-Lease aircraft to the USSR. 22 June 1971: The Arts and Crafts center at Malmstrom AFB moved to a new location at Dining Hall number one (Building 766 south entrance) opposite the base headquarters. #malmstromair
21 June 1982: The Air Force announced its decision to establish Air Force Space Command, effective September 1, to further consolidate Air Force operational space activities. As a major command it supported Air Force space operations, including satellite control and Department of Defense Space Shuttle flight planning, readiness, and command and control. The 341st Missile Wing was aligned under AFSPC from July 1,1993, until December 1, 2009, when 20th Air Force units became part of the newly formed Air Force Global Strike Command. #341mwhistory
20 June 1941: The War Department established the Army Air Forces under Maj. Gen. Henry H. Arnold. It encompassed both the Office of the Chief of the Air Corps under Maj. Gen. George Brett, who was responsible for research, development, supply, and maintenance, and Air Force Combat Command (formerly General Headquarters Air Force) under Lt. Gen. Delos C. Emmons, who was responsible for doctrine and operational training. Henry Arnold was the first commander of Twentieth Air Force. At the end of 1941, the U.S. Army Air Forces had a strength of 354,161 (24,521 officers and 329,640 enlisted) and 12,297 aircraft, with 4,477 of these classified as combat aircraft. Over the next three years, personnel would increase to a peak of 2,411,294. The number of aircraft reached a maximum 79,908 by July 1944. The most advanced aircraft in the inventory of the Army Air Forces at its inception were the Boeing B-17C/D Flying Fortress heavy bomber, the North American B-25 Mitchell and Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers, Lockheed P-38 Lighting and Curtiss Wright P-40B Warhawk fighters, and the Douglas C-39 transport. 20 June 1944: The 12th Bombardment Squadron inactivated at Alamogordo, Army Airfield, New Mexico. The squadron moved to the New Mexico base to muster out after serving at several bases in the Carribbean during World War II. They carried out antisubmarine patrols and convoy escort in the Caribbean flying the B-18 Bolo and B-25 Mitchell from 1940 to 1944. (Photo: B-18 Bolos of 12 BS over British Guiana, 1943.) #341mwhistory 20 June 1960: To determine the feasibility of deploying Minuteman ICBMs on mobile launchers, SAC ordered a series of tests to be conducted, nicknamed "Operation Big Star." Beginning June 20,1960, a modified test train, operating out of Hill Air Force Base, Utah, traveled across the western and central United States so technicians could study factors such as the ability of the nation's railroads to support mobile missile trains; problems associated with command, control, and communications; the effect of vibration on sensitive missiles and launch equipment; and human factors involved in the operation of a mobile missile system. The first two trains consisted of a variety of traditional railroad cars and carried out a prearranged plan directed by the command post. The third and fourth trains, however, operated under the direction of the train commander and included pre-prototype cars with steel tanks simulating missile configuration and weight. With the return of the fourth train on August 26, after a route that extended as far east as the Iowa-Illinois border, Air Force planners agreed that the test deployment operation had validated all elements of the mobile concept. Consequently, they cancelled the final two train trips. The plan for Minuteman trains "had been shelved temporarily" by May 19, 1961, and on December 14, 1961, the Pentagon ended the rail program due to cost. 20 June 1968: The 12th Strategic Missile Squadron became the first squadron to complete Force Modernization at Malmstrom AFB. The program replaced the original Minuteman I missiles with the Minuteman II system. The work included renovation of the underground launch facilities so that they would accommodate the Minuteman II missile.
19 June 1963: 55 Years - A C-133 flying from Hill AFB, Utah delivered the 150th and last operational Minuteman IA missile to Malmstrom AFB, Montana. The 341st Strategic Missile wing achieved full operational capability three weeks later with the acceptance of Oscar Flight under the 490th Strategic Missile Squadron. The 341 SMW was the only missile wing to stand alert with with the 'A' model Minuteman I. Later in 1964, the 490 SMS emplaced up to eight 'B' model Minuteman Is in its launch facilities, making the 341 SMW the only wing to stand alert with all four versions of the Minuteman missile. (Photo: C-133 offloads Minuteman IA at Malmstrom.) #341mwhistory 19 June 1963: Detachment 7 of the Western Air Rescue Center inactivated at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. Initially activated on October 1, 1961, the detachment flew over 200 missions in Montana and Idaho providing search and rescue and recovery operations along with support for the transition of the Malmstrom missile field. They were assigned the H-19 Chikasaw. The responsibility for helicopters operations transferred directly to the 341st Strategic Missile Wing under the Missile Support Aircraft Branch assigned to the 341st Combat Support Group. #malmstromair 19-23 June 2006: Exercise VALIANT SHIELD 2006 was the largest U.S. military exercise in Pacific waters since the Vietnam War and the first time observers from the People's Republic of China were present to view U.S. wargames. Over 290 aircraft, three aircraft carrier strike groups and some 22,000 U.S. military personnel participated in the exercise. US Air Force participation included B-2 and B-52 bombers, F-15C, F-15E, F-16CJ fighters; E-3 airborne control aircraft and KC-10 and KC-135 tankers. The exercise also involved 30 ships, including the supercarriers USS Kitty Hawk, USS Abraham Lincoln, and USS Ronald Reagan. Valiant Shield focused on cooperation between military branches and on the detection, tracking, and engagement of units at sea, in the air, and on land in response to a wide range of missions. Valiant Shield included Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard units. Air operations included thousands of sorties as well as in-air refuelings and parachute deployments. Aircraft from Valiant Shield deployed on missions ranging across the Pacific all the way to Alaska. Ships simulated anti-submarine warfare. Valiant Shield 2006 was the first time that three carrier strike groups had operated together in the Pacific in over ten years.
18 June 1942: The first buildings were completed at Great Falls AAF, Montana. The first facilities consisted of five barracks and a mess hall. All were standard theater of operations construction with one-half inch insulation boards. Construction began on May 9, 1942, and the base lay on a plot of land with a small landing strip that was reportedly used by bootleggers in the 1920s. Most of the World War II era buildings were razed in the mid-1950s and the oldest building on what is now Malmstrom AFB was built in 1952. (Photo: Early construction at Great Falls Army Air Base, 1942.) #malmstromair 18 June 1947: The 10th Missile Squadron was first assigned to the 341st as the 10th Bombardment Squadron Light. Both the 10 BS and 341st Bombardment Group were activated in the Reserve and assigned to Westover Field, Massachusetts. The squadron flew AT-6 Mosquito and AT-11 Kansan aircraft, but was again inactivated only two years later along with the 341 BG. #341mwhistory 18 June 1980: Five days after the wing installed the Minuteman III static display Lieutenant General James P. Mullins, Fifteenth Air Force commander, dedicated Malmstrom Park just inside the base main gate. At the time, the only display was the Minuteman III.

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