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U.S. Air Force
Tactical Missiles 1949-1969
The Pioneers
Book Available Now

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Steinborn "A" Pad
71st Tactical Missile Squadron


Matador 1960

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Practice Launch - TM-61C

A practice launch with the crew running up the engine in the elevated launch position with warhead sling brackets left on.

G. Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)



Steinborn was the last active US Air Force Matador launch site in Europe. Research continues on the Bundeswehr unit (Flugkörpergruppe 11 formed in 1958 and served at Kaufbeuren with possibly as many as 11 Matador units before being refitted with Pershing missiles) and may have remained in service for another year or so. The German group was originally planning to acquire the TM-76B sites at Bitburg from the US Air Force and training was actually underway with Martin-Marietta when the switch was made to the Pershing.

Located in the Eifel Mountains of Germany, Steinborn was one of three TM-61C launch sites maintained by the 585th Tactical Missile Group at Bitburg Air Base.

Located the farthest from the Missile Support Area, Steinborn was the most difficult to support, particularly in inclement weather.

We thank G Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net) for the great photo contributions to this page.



Steinborn - TM-61C

A-Pad Steinborn, sometime in mid 1960

USAFE photo coutesy of G. Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)


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U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles

Now Available On Line at
Amazon.com and Lulu.com!

By the Editors of this Website!

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.



Support independent publishing - buy this book on Lulu.

"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 (daleflake@yahoo.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 (lavinaschnur@hotmail.com) SGM USA (Ret.)

USAF Tactical Missiles - Book Cover

ISBN 978-0-557-00029-6


"Very good work with great detail."

Col. Charlie Simpson, USAF, Retired
Executive Director
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."

Burkhard Domke
Harsefeld, Germany


Support independent publishing - buy this book on Lulu.

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"U.S. Tactical Missiles 1949-1969 The Pioneers"

"I have your excellent book on USAF tactical missiles. I actually witnessed the decommissioning of the Maces at Wüscheim back in 1966."

Paul Offen
Talitha, Tye Common Road
Billericay
Essex CM12 9PX
UK


"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 (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)
71st TMS, Steinborn, Germany


"...by the way, I read your book, it was great, thanks for writing it."

Hack Hunton (hack@sstelco.com) Mace B, Kadena, Okinawa

US Air Force Tactical Missiles ©2008 - George Mindling and Robert Bolton

Inspired by the 38th TMW Website, George Mindling and Robert Bolton co-authored US Air Force Tactical Missiles 1949 - 1969: The Pioneers ©2008, the story of America's first operational missiles, from the Matador to the Mace, from Taiwan, Korea, and Okinawa to Germany, including Lowry, Orlando, Holloman, Santa Rosa Island at Eglin, and even Camp Happiness!

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   (klaus_stark@t-online.de)
Berlin, Germany

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Welcome to Steinborn 1960

The Adminstration building behind the flag pole, with the officer's quarters and the water filtering system to the left. A U.S. Air Force VW Kombi sits parked alongside a USAF tractor used for site maintenance

The Steinborn site was called "A" Pad, with Rittersdorf as "B" Pad and Idenheim as "C" pad. The Rittersdorf site later became the Mace "B" Site 7, and Idenheim became Mace "B" Site 8.

Steinborn did not migrate to the newer Mace system and was deactivated on September 25, 1962. It was the last active US Air Force TM-61C Matador site in Europe.

G. Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)





Main Street - Steinborn

"The upper photo is a view of the main road through the Steinborn Flight "A" Missile Site. in the background in the main gate and to the right of the main gate is the Air Police Guard Booth. The building in the background, to the left, is the Administration Office and I believe, the Officers Quarters. The large van to the right, behind the gas pumps, is one of the two Armament Vans used to check out and arm the warhead of the TM61-C Matador."

Main Street - Steinborn


"The lower photograph is facing toward the rear of the Steinborn, Flight "A", Launch Pad Number Two. In the background the armament van is backed up to the missile warhead for a checkout during a practice launch. To the right of the photograph are the antennas and building belong to C&G, the communications section, that was already located at Steinborn, prior to the launch crews arrival."

G. Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)




On The Pad

"The blast shield was installed to divert the jet blast to prevent damage to the farmers crops that surrounded the Flight "A" Missile Site."


On The Pad

"Armament Van backed up to war head for check out of weapon system. This was on the back launch pad, or Pad 2."


On The Pad

"This is a photograph of the back pad, or pad #2, at Steinborn Launch Site. The building in the background is the entertainment building for the site, which housed a pool table, movie projection room, and of course to the far left of the building, a bar.

The building to the right of the fire truck is the power generator storage unit, which housed two or three 60 kw diesel generators, which provided power for launch checkouts."

One day a fire broke out in the town of Steinborn. It was a storage place for hay and cow manure that had caught fire. One of the firemen and a group at the Steinborn Missile Site took the site fire truck and went to help put the fire out. Manure is truly hard to put out with just water, and this firemen used foam that worked well in extinguishing the fire.
A month or so later, the town of Steinborn threw a great party and get together for the airman from the missile site. It was a great time."

G. Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)


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Airmen's Quarters

"The barracks for enlisted personnel at Steinborn. ...there were 6 to 8 rooms, each of which held 7 men. This building was to the right as one drove in through the main, and only, gate to the site."




The Beautiful Sod

"This is another view of the Administration Building. The Air Police Guard Post is just to the right of the flag pole. The building to the far left is part the enlisted personnel barracks."


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First Snow

"The building in the background is the mess hall and furnace room. In back of the mess hall is the front launch pad, or Pad 1. To the right one can see one of the back up missiles, in storage. Looks like a first snow."



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71st TMS Launch Uniform of the Day

"This was the new look in missile launch crew members."

[The 585th TMG Group patch became a requirement and was worn by all 71st Tactical Missile Squadron launch crews until replaced by the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing patch in 1965. The colors were worn until shutdown in 1969. The correct placement for the patch was later moved to the right breast pocket]

The airman on the left is A/2c Antonie A. Kokolis, and on the right, A/1c George Joseph Snyder


Alert Standby Duty at Steinborn


Alert Standby duty could be monotonous at times...




...But time off was never wasted...


Time Off!

"This photograph was taken in 1960. The color pattern on the Buick's license plate was used in 1960, in 1961 the color pattern was just the opposite. Note the PSP (Perforated Steel Planking) to keep their vehicles from getting stuck in the winter mud."

"The airman on the right is A/2c William F. Oelgeschlager. Airman Oelgeschlager's father was a candy maker in New York. On special occasions, Oelgeschlager would receive large amounts of candy from his father. Between eating candy and drinking his favorite liquid, "Beck's Beer", he never gained a pound. Amazing."

The airman on the left, A/2c Gene E. Bicknell, also known as "Farmer", transferred to Germany from his prior base in France.

G. Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)

JG Snyder and his Sunbeam Alpine

GJ Snyder at Steinborn with his Sunbeam Alpine in 1960




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Steinborn Matador Crew 1960

This photograph was taken of all personnel who were stationed at Steinborn in 1960, including launch crew members, launch officers, G&C personnel, air police, cooks, everybody on site.

Captain John S. Almon was the officer that was assigned the setting up of the missile site on what was a C&G site. Captain Almon was also the commander of Flight "A" at Steinborn. He is the officer in dress blues, in the middle of the front row, with the standard officer's cap. The other officer in dress blues, in the middle of the front row, next to Captain Almon, was my crew's launch officer, Captain William A. McLawhon.

G. Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)



Matador Crew 4, 1959

The photograph was during our TDY for 19 days to Orlando AFB, for a live practice launch which started on November 12, 1959. We were stationed at Steinborn Missile Site, Flight "A" at the time. I believe that we were Crew 4.

Names of those depicted in the photograph are as follows:

Back Row, from left to right: A/2C William F. Oelgeschlager, Armament; A/2c Antonie A. Kokolis; A/2C Thaddeus M. Thomas II, Armament: A/1C George J. Snyder, Armament: A/2C John C. Donaldson; A/3C James D. McCormick: A/2C Richard J. Doyle.

Front Row, from left to right: SSGT Joe Kanaris; TSGT Paul D. Blissett; 1STLT Sam J Scamardo, Launch Officer: TSGT Joseph Collier; SSGT Cecil L. Church.

G. Joseph Snyder (gjsnyder@sbcglobal.net)

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Steinborn - May 1st, 2007

May 1st, 2007 - The old Steinborn launch site peacefully coexists with a contemporary wind farm

Photo by George Mindling (myakka@embarqmail.com)


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Steinborn, Kreis Bitburg, Germany - "A" Pad - 2005
( 50 º 04´ 09.54" N,   6 º 37´ 21.04" E. )

...The road that one takes to get there from Bitburg, is road B257 out of Bitburg, also called Bitburg Strasse. Go North-East until you get to Steinborn, and then take the second turn off to the left, named "Hauptstrasse". Go straight and "Hauptstrasse" will turn to the right, but you should go straight onto the road named "Bergstrasse" Stay on "Bergstrasse", go up the hill and then turn left at the next intersection. "Bergstrasse" continues to the right, and when you turn left you should be on "Auf der Held" as you go up this street, the old Steinborn Missile Site will be on the right and has trees and bushes growing in the old site...

Best Regards, Joseph Snyder

Steinborn - Google Earth - 2007

Photo Courtesy of Google Earth



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