319th Missile Squadron

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319th Missile Squadron
LGM-30G Minuteman III test launch at Vandenburg AFB, California
Active 1942–1946; 1947–1948; 1951–1960; 1963-present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Intercontinental ballistic missile
Part of Air Force Global Strike Command
Garrison/HQ Francis E. Warren Air Force Base
Nickname(s) Asterperious (World War II)
Engagements Streamer APC.PNG
World War II (Asia-Pacific Theater)
Decorations Streamer PUC Army.PNG
Distinguished Unit Citation (3x)
US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (12x)
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation Streamer.png
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Lt Col Jeremy E. Olson
319th Missile Squadron emblem (Approved 2 September 1955)[1] 165px
319th Bombardment Squadron emblem (Approved 11 June 1943) [2][3] 165px
319th Bombardment Squadron "Jolly Rogers" patch[note 1] 150px

The 319th Missile Squadron (319 MS) is a United States Air Force unit. It is the flagship squadron of the 90th Missile Wing and is assigned to the 90th Operations Group, stationed at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. The 319 MS is equipped with the LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), with a mission of nuclear deterrence.


World War II

Media related to 90th Bombardment Group at Wikimedia Commons

The squadron was first organized as the 319th Bombardment Squadron at Key Field, Mississippi in April 1942 as a Consolidated B-24 Liberator unit and one of the original squadrons of the 90th Bombardment Group. The squadron trained with Liberators in the southeastern United States under III Bomber Command until August.[4][1]

"Jolly Rogers" of the 90th Bombardment Group on a mission, 1943
File:90th Bomb Group B-24J 1944.jpg
B-24J with the distinct nose turret, probably in 1944.

The squadron moved to Willow Run Airport, Michigan for conversion training on newly manufactured Ford Liberators. Assigned to VII Bomber Command with B-24Ds, the unit moved to Hickam Field, Hawaii in September. The squadron arrived in northern Queensland, Australia in November 1942 and began bombardment missions under V Bomber Command almost immediately.[4]

The squadron attacked enemy airfields, troop concentrations, ground installations and shipping in New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, Palau and the southern Philippines. The 319th was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its operations in Papua between through January 1943. The unit participated in the Battle of Bismarck Sea in March 1943, and earned another citation for strikes on enemy airfields at Wewak, New Guinea in September 1943 despite heavy flak and fighter opposition.[4]

During 1944, the 319th supported the New Guinea Campaign through the end of June, then made long-range raids on oil refineries at Balikpapan, Borneo, in September and October. In January 1945, the squadron moved to the Philippines and supported ground forces on Luzon, attacked industrial targets on Formosa, and bombed railways, airfields, and harbor facilities on the Asiatic mainland. Shortly before the end of the war in the Pacific, the 90th moved to Okinawa, from which it would be able to strike the Japanese home islands.[4]

After VJ Day, the squadron flew reconnaissance missions over Japan and ferried Allied prisoners of war from Okinawa to Manila. It ceased operations by November 1945. The squadron was inactivated in the Philippines in early 1946.[1]

Superfortress operations

The squadron was reactivated in July 1947 as a very heavy unit at Andrews Field, Maryland. It was a component of one of seven bombardment groups activated at Andrews by Strategic Air Command (SAC) that day. Most of these units, including the 319th, were inactivated by September 1948 and it does not appear they were manned during this period.[1][5][6]

Wing Boeing B-29[note 2]

The squadron was again organized at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington in January 1951 and equipped with the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. In February, as part of a reorganization of Strategic Air Command wings, the 90th Bombardment Group was reduced to paper status and the squadron was attached to the wing for operational control. In June 1952, this organization, which was designed to permit the wing commander to focus on the wing's combat units and the maintenance necessary to support combat aircraft, was formalized as the Dual Deputy Organization and the squadron was assigned to the wing.[7][8]

In March 1951, the squadron moved to Forbes Air Force Base, where it served primarily as a training unit. In May, it began serving as an Operational Training Unit for B-29 aircrews and mechanics of newly-activating units. The squadron help organize and train the 376th, 308th, and 310th Bombardment Wings.[9][10][11]

In June, the squadron added duty as a Replacement Training Unit, primarily providing individual training for aircrew being assigned to existing Far East Air Forces B-29 units during the Korean War.[12][note 3] In November of 1952 it also began training replacement crews for the RB-29 reconnaissance model of the Superfortress and SHORAN personnel for Strategic Air Command (SAC). These training activities continued through November 1953.[7]

Strategic reconnaissance

Replaced the propeller-driven RB-29s with new RB-47E Stratojet swept-wing reconnaissance bombers in 1954, capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and primarily designed for penetrating the airspace of the Soviet Union. It flew many long-range clandestine missions with the RB-47, flying many ferret missions around the periphery of Soviet territory, and sometimes inside on penetration flights to map planned routes for B-52s if combat missions over the Soviet Union ever became necessary. Began performing RB-47 crew training from, c. 1 January 1959 – 20 June 1960. Began phasing down RB-47 missions in 1959 when the vulnerability of the aircraft to Soviet air defenses became evident, was inactivated on 20 June 1960.

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Squadron

Reactivated on 1 October 1963 as an ICBM squadron assigned to the 90th Missile Wing at Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. Initially equipped with 50 LGM-30B Minuteman Is in early 1964, the first 90th SMW ICBM squadron activated. Upgraded to LGM-30G Minuteman III in 1973/1974, has maintained ICBMs on alert ever since.[1]


  • Constituted as the 319 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
Activated on 15 April 1942
Redesignated 319 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 6 March 1944
Inactivated on 27 January 1946
  • Redesignated as 319 Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 11 June 1947
Activated on 1 July 1947
Inactivated on 6 September 1948
  • Redesignated 319 Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 20 December 1950
Activated on 2 January 1951
Redesignated 319 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Medium on 16 June 1952
Discontinued on 20 June 1960
  • Redesignated 319 Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM-Minuteman) on 24 May 1963
Organized on 1 October 1963
Redesignated 319 Missile Squadron on 1 September 1991.[1]


  • 90th Bombardment Group, 15 April 1942 – 27 January 1946
  • 90th Bombardment Group, 1 July 1947 – 6 September 1948
  • 90th Bombardment Group, 2 January 1951 (attached to 90th Bombardment Wing after 16 February 1951)
  • 90th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 16 June 1952 – 20 June 1960
  • Strategic Air Command, 24 May 1963 (not organized)
  • 90th Strategic Missile Wing, 1 October 1963
  • 90th Operations Group, 1 September 1991 – present[1]


Aircraft and missiles

File:319th Missile Squadron - MAF - LC.png
LGM-30 Minuteman Missile Alert and Launch Facilities
Missile Alert Facilities (A-E flights, each controlling 10 missiles) are located as follows:
A-01 10.6 mi NxNE of Burns WY, Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
B-01 8.4 mi NE of Albin WY, Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
C-01 3.7 mi ExNE of Harrisburg NE, Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
D-01 10.3 mi NxNE of Bushnell NE, Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
E-01 7.1 mi SE of Pine Bluffs WY, Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.

See also

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  1. The 90th Bombardment Group "Jolly Rogers" emblem was used as a squadron patch and as a tail marking on B-24s with each squadron having its own color in the background. Watkins, pp. 86-87
  2. Aircraft is Boeing B-29-100-BW Superfortress serial 45-21846
  3. Replacement Training Units trained individuals to fill positions in existing units. See Goss, p. xxxvi


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Robertson, Patsy (December 6, 2012). "Factsheet 319 Missile Squadron (AFGSC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved May 15, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Endicott (unpaginated)
  3. Watkins, pp. 86-87
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Robertson, Patsy (May 27, 2010). "Factsheet 90 Operations Group (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved May 11, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Mueller, p. 8
  6. Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 102, 176, 178
  7. 7.0 7.1 Robertson, Patsy (April 6, 2012). "Factsheet 90 Missile Wing (AFGSC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved May 8, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Deaile, pp. 175–176
  9. Ravenstein, pp. 200–202
  10. Robertson, Patsy (August 27, 2015). "Factsheet 308 Armament Systems Wing (AFMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved May 8, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Kane, Robert B. (December 23, 2010). "Factsheet 310 Space Wing (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved May 9, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Abstract, History 90 Bombardment Wing". Air Force History Index. 1 October 1951. Retrieved May 9, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links