Beyond the Web Page...
The only book devoted exclusively to the Matador and Mace
Tactical Missiles. The book reveals the story from the initial
idea that became the first U.S. pilotless bomber, through the
politically troubled development of the ever evolving
deployment methods of the Matador and Mace Tactical Missiles.
It covers the Units, Groups, Squadrons and Wing that fielded
the missiles. From the United States test sites, Europe, Asia
and North Africa nothing is omitted. All phases of the
application of these two missiles by the U.S. Air Force (and
West German Luftwaffe) are included, from the first tentative
launches of the XSSM-A-1 Matador in January 1949, to the tense
alert duty of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the final launch
of a MQM13A in May of 1977. The maintenance, logistics and
launch, the men, equipment and tactics are all there.
"Bob, George, I finished your book 2 days after I received it. Couldn't put it down. It was incredible reading and incredibly detailed information."
Kent Washburn (KWASH55@aol.com) Mace B, Kadena, Okinawa
"George and Bob. I want you both to know how much I enjoyed reading and how much I admire and appreciate what you have accomplished in developing and publishing "The Pioneers". It is truly an outstanding piece of work, reflecting the time and effort required to produce it, but is also a formidable contribution to our military history. I mentioned in some earlier correspondence that I was a little disappointed in the relatively small amount of information regarding the Operating Location/Guidance Sites but you largely made up for it with this magnificent book."
Dale Lake (email@example.com) 601st Tactical Control Squadron, 38th TMW, Hamm, Germany
"I just finished your book, The Pioneers, et al. Please accept my "job well done!" Not only is it informative, but it's very readable. I'd also like to complement you on how well you footnoted it. You have shown that a scholarly work can be both instructive and enjoyable."
Michael Roof (firstname.lastname@example.org) SGM USA (Ret.)
"Very good work with great detail."
Col. Charlie Simpson, USAF, Retired
Association of Air Force Missileers
"George, the book arrived on Tuesday while I was off to France. Of course, I quickly read the chapter about ´Germany's quiet step into the realm of nuclear armament.´ You know, this is still a widely ignored fact over here...
...For me it is fascinating to see what the picture really was in the 1950s and 1960s as opposed to what the official communication of the time wanted people to believe. A fascinating book shedding some light on the early days of tactical nuclear missiles as well as the political background that even today is still largely hidden behind the propaganda of the time. Can´t wait to read the rest of it."
"I have your excellent book on USAF tactical missiles. I actually witnessed the decommissioning of the Maces at Wüscheim back in 1966."
Talitha, Tye Common Road
Essex CM12 9PX
"I just wanted to drop you a line and tell you how much I enjoyed the book that you and Bob wrote. The history was of particluar interest to me and my brother who was a history Professor at the University of Wisconsin. He also thought the book was well written, and he now knows what his little brother, (me), did while in Germany for three years."
George Joseph Snyder (email@example.com)
71st TMS, Steinborn, Germany
"...by the way, I read your book, it was great, thanks for writing it."
Dieses Buch ist ein Muss für alle, die im Rahmen ihres Dienstes bei der U.S. Air Force mit den frühen Marschflugkörpern zu tun hatten, aber auch für deutsche Militärarchäologen, die in der Eifel, im Hunsrück oder im Pfälzer Wald schon über rätselhafte Hinterlassenschaften gestolpert sind. Nach mehr als 40 Jahren wird endlich eine Fülle von Fakten, Informationen und Geschichten zu den zwischen 1954 und 1969 in Deutschland stationierten, mit Automwaffen ausgerüsteten amerikanischen Matador und Mace auf den Tisch gelegt. Ausführlich und lebendig erzählen George Mindling und Bob Bolton von den jungen Missilemen, die im März 1954 erstmals in Bitburg ankamen - noch ganz grün im Gesicht, weil auf dem Atlantik schwerer Sturm geherrscht hatte. Von den T-33-Flugzeugen, die aus Übungsgründen so taten, als wären sie Matador-Flugkörper, über die Startstellungen hinweg in Richtung deutsch-deutsche Grenze donnerten und sich von der Gegenseite nur nicht erwischen lassen durften. Oder von der Kuba-Krise, als die US Air Force Europe auf DEFCON 3 ging und an die Mechaniker in Bitburg Munition für ihre Karabiner ausgegeben wurde.
Augenzeugen sagen dazu: "Wir hätten die Vögel auf jeden Fall innerhalb von 15 Minuten in der Luft haben müssen!" Es ist lebendige Militärgeschichte, die nun nicht der Vergessenheit anheimfällt, sondern jedermann zugänglich wird - auch für die ortsansässige Bevölkerung, die heute endlich erfährt, was sich damals in ihrer Nachbarschaft zugetragen hat. Den beiden Autoren gebührt der Dank.
Klaus Stark (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MSA in the spring of 1969.
The entire Bitburg Air Base was painted Olive Drab in the late 1960's to hide it from visual observation.
MSA under construction in 1961
The Photo contributed by
Garld and Janice Edwards (email@example.com), used with
Dedicated to coincide
with the deactivation of the last operational Matador in
September, 1962, the Matador missile monument had been removed
by the end of the 1980's. The Matador Missile
Monument was re-dedicated in Wüscheim Air Station near Hahn in
1989 at the reactivated, and relocated, headquarters for the
38th Tactical Missile Wing Headquarters.
The TM-61C Matador Missile Monument located in front
of the munitions area, MSA, 1973.
Photos by and courtesy
of George Mindling (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Entire E&A
Section poses in 1969 in front of the Matador Missile Monument
that was later moved to Wüscheim
The A&E hangar at
contributed by Garld and Janice Edwards (email@example.com)
The Martin Company maintained support facilities at every base
the Matador or Mace was stationed. Their Tech Reps were an integral part of every organization.
Click here to take a look at the Martin Company Depot Maintenance Facility at
One the best open mess halls in the US Air Force.
Ever had hasenpfeffer? It was served at the MSA Open Mess more than once.
of Kathy Geary (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The 585th TMG kennels before the AP unit was merged with the
36th Air Police squadron.
Photo courtesy of Ed
Guidance System Checkout (GSC) and Flight Controls Hangar
A CGM-13B, still in the checkout/launch but with the wings in the folded
position, awaits being lowered to transport position for the trip to a launch site after
checkout in Flight Controls
The heavy slate
ceiling tiles began to randomly fall after the hangar had been
occupied for less than a year. All personnel had to wear their
"Army" combat helmets in the hangar as there weren't enough
hard hats to go around. Safety tabs had to be welded to each
ceiling cross member.
The Flight Controls area as seen from the Guidance System Checkout Area. The photo is after the famed "Baby Blue" asphalt floor tiles had been removed from the hangar floor.
The front of a SCOPS (Systems Checkout Power Supply) sits
behind the last nose section, a Test Set M is visible on the work stand. The trailer to the left is a 4000A with both the "Mod-B" and "Mod-C" used to supply power to the nose section during transit.
scorched area above the main door was never
"...I was working at the site one nite when we caught the hanger door on fire with a
loaded missile. Myers saved out hide by remembering where the fire extinguisher was, and I
never called him God Hates Myers after that. I was sitting in the office area right next to the door, reading a comic book. Ray was refueling the
heater. The next thing I see is Ray running by me with his ass on fire and he's beating
on his own ass to put the fire out. That's
when the door went up. I guess nobody ever checked to see if that insulation they used
was fireproof or not. It wasn't."