498th TMG US
                TACTICAL MISSILES

Sembach Air Base
Hahn Air Base
Bitburg Air Base
Kadena Air Base

Osan AB
Tainan AB
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Wheelus AB
Orlando AFB
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U.S. Air Force
Tactical Missiles 1949-1969
The Pioneers
Book Available Now

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498th Tactical Missile Group

Kadena Air Base, Okinawa

Mace "B" Tactical Missile
Launch and Maintenance Sites
Combat Ready Patch

The Martin Marietta TM-76B Mace was re-designated the MGM13C, later corrected to the CGM-13C, and as backward as it seems, finally to its last designation as the CGM-13B
It was known by all who were trained on it as the "B" Bird

In the Hole

In the launch bay

The Launch Crew accepts the Mace and begins preparation for the count to 600B

Photo courtesy of Dennis Cralley, Sr.

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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.

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"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

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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
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 (gjsnyder@lanset.com)
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.

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

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"We got our handle, Wave Makers, from maintenance because we locked horns with a major over a nose availability assignment issue. Our LO had a philosophy of "don’t make waves," BUT, the Capt went to the 498th Commander, Lt Col. Batwell. The Col. spoke to the Major and we won!"

"When we asked the LO why he created a wave his reply was “ If you take the trouble of creating a wave, make it a tidal wave or don’t bother.” Therefore – Wave Makers. No problem with maintenance issues after that."

Crew #1 (Wave Makers) (1960 through 1963) Launch Officer - Capt. William Bassett

  • Crew Chief SSgt William “Bill” Voorhees
  • Mech. #1 A2C Eugene “Geno” Boozer
  • Mech. #2 A2C John “JC” Bordne (Guest book signer #135)
  • Mech. #3 A2C Michael “Mike” Schaubach
  • Mech. #4 A2C William “Bill” O’Hara (Guest book signer #25)
  • Mech. #5 A2C Richard “Rick” Marshal

    John Bordne (jcbordne@hotmail.com)

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The Kadena Controversy

In response to inquiries about my knowledge and documentation about a possible live-warhead Mace missile launch from Kadena Air Base during the Cuban Missile crisis, I present the following references and related links about the event. This is NOT operation Sunset Lily, a scheduled launch of an inert Mace-B six years later that was canceled and did not happen.

The initial Bulletin of Atomic Scientist article is at: The Okinawa Missiles of October

The response from Stars and Stripes Magazine is at: Missileers refute claim The photographs used from this web site by author Travis Tritten were used with my permission.

The Bordne/UN Interview in .mp3 format (43Mb) is available for download at Bordne Interview

My response to Aaron Tovish, Director of the 2020 Vision Campaign of Mayors for Peace, author of the original article, is at:
Letter to Aaron Tovish

George Mindling, Webmaster/Co-author U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles 1949 – 1969 The Pioneers

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An assembled missile on the lowered door. The Mace B was not usually seen fully assembled outside of the launch bay as in this show position. Operational assembly normally took place in the launch bay itself: first, the M16E3 Thiokol Booster Bottle was mated to the fuselage, then the missile with the wings extended was wenched down into the bay. The loaded warhead section was lowered and mated next, followed by the nose section which contained the missiles guidance and flight controls

An assembled CGM-13B on the

Photo courtesy of Dennis Cralley, Sr.


Site 1 Team 9 Shoulder Patch

Kadena Site 1

Kadena - Site 1

498th TMG Photo courtesy of Dennis Fitzsimmons (dennis@iris-inc.com)

Site 1 was at Yomitan Peninsula (Bolo Point)on the west side of the island. This was the closest site to Kadena, just a little north of Kadena Circle.

"We were sent to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa in the summer of 1961. Bolo Point was still under construction when the squadron arrived. The generators had been lowered into place a couple of weeks before we got there and the builders had just finished capping off the underground facilities the day we showed up at the launch site. That was still one BIG hole that had to be filled in. Sites 2, and 3 had most of the concrete poured and site 4 was still a HUGE hole in the ground."

" The summer of 1961 was spent pulling cables for bays 1 and 2. The crew ready room and launch room was still one big sheet of shock suspended metal with a framed in closet sized area that must be for the latrine."

" The first part of the fall was spent pulling cables for bays 3 and 4. The now boxed in area in the crew ready room must be for the latrine. End of fall 1961 saw the LAGG brought in and hooked up, the walls were finished and the completed closet must be,,,,oh, oh…the gun closet!

"Where was the latrine? MOC (Missile Operations Command) reply was “Ha Ha..saved some tax payer money. Use a honey bucket”.

Rules for the honey bucket:

  1. First one to use it emptied it at the end of the shift.
  2. Once christened, all crew members could use it.
  3. Do not be the first to use it.
  4. Fresh air breaks would be permitted.

"Way to go engineers! You saved the tax payers BIG BUCKS! Thanks a lot from all the thankful crew members that ever worked in those eight launch centers!"

John Bordne (jcbordne@hotmail.com)

873rd TMS

                                  TMS Patch

"I thought I would check the internet and see if there was anything on the Mace Missile Systems as an army friend had never heard of it. After reading the information on the TM-76B Mace Missile and the hard sites located on Okinawa, I thought I would drop you a note as I was stationed at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa from 1961 - 1963. I was assigned to the 873rd TMS (498th TMW) as a Nuclear Weapons Specialist on the 76B "Bird"... as we called it. I was assigned to Site 1. If I can recall correctly, it was also referred to as Bolo Point. I was a member of the first WR Launch Crew for the Mace B on Oki. and our crew worked with The Martin Co. to get the first ( 4 ) Birds on line. I was at the site, on alert, during the "Cuban Missile Crisis" and it was interesting..."

T. E. Maye ( Tim ) A1C, USAF, 1960-1964 (tmaye@msn.com)

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Kadena Site 2

Kadena - Site 2

498th TMG Photo courtesy of Dennis Fitzsimmons (dennis@iris-inc.com)

The hardened Mace "B" Launch Site 2 at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, at White Beach, Katsuren Peninsula, on the east side of the island. Photo taken during the early sixties,

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Kadena Site 3

Site 3 Patch
Kadena - Site 3

498th TMG Photo courtesy of Dennis Fitzsimmons (dennis@iris-inc.com)

Site 3 was on the east side of the island and north of Kin Village and Camp Hansen. This was the farthest site from Kadena, around twenty miles or so.

874th TMS

874th TMS Patch

"Looking at those photos I got the feeling that it was suddenly 40 years ago. WOW, talk about flash backs. I was assigned to site three but spent some time at site four as well .. both were 874th TMS sites.

Sites One and Two belonged to the 873rd TMS. I am sending two JPG files of two patches. One is the 874th TMS patch and the other is the Combat Ready patch. These might give someone else some flash backs as well.

Thanks for the memories."

Tim Lewinski (timlew@chartermi.net)

Looking for the "Green Eye"

Using the Theodolite

Using the K&E Theodolite to reference the guidance system.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Cralley, Sr.

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Kadena Site 4

Kadena - Site 4

498th TMG Photo courtesy of Dennis Fitzsimmons (dennis@iris-inc.com)

Site 4, Onna Point, was in the mountains and just about in the middle of the island

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Mace B
                                  hard site layout

The planned layout for a hardened Mace B site. Each of the two Launch Command Centers, buried 60 feet under the paved loading and transport ramp, controls four launch bays. The Mace site was called a "semi-hardened" launch site, even though the facility was designed to withstand a nuclear attack.

Photo courtesy
of George F. Kovach -(GFKGDK@aol.com)

Mace B
                                  in hard site

TM-76B (CGM-13B) Mace in launch position. The hydraulic system is powered up for acceptance test, (1500 PSI supplied by an external Hydraulic Power Supply, HPS) but the Flight Controls System has not yet gone active (left spoilers full up.)
The two nozzles aimed at the tailpipe are water nozzles used during firing of the RATO bottle.

Photo: Stars and Stripes European Edition

Missile Crew Evaluators Patch  
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The Missile Maintenance Area

498th MMS
Missile Maintenance Area

498th TMG Photo courtesy of Dennis Fitzsimmons (dennis@iris-inc.com)

The entire Missile Maintenance Complex. Supply (MAST) was in the building at the lower left. Motor Pool was to the left of the cocooned missiles. Engine run-up and Periodic Inspection was in the upper right of the photo where the exposed bird is parked. Nose picker trucks are in the middle of the photograph and also at the ramp of the guidance building, the large building at the lower right. That building housed Guidance (GSC), Flight Controls, ground power (AGE), corrosion control, workload control, analysis and records, nose replacement, and missile replacement.
The road at the bottom of the photo leads to gate 3 and all the launch sites. North is to the right of the photo.

Missile Maintenance Area

GEMS shop Kadena.

""I worked in the GEMS shop, 1962-63, the guy in the left looks like Richard Selle. There are a few of us in the Denver area who taught the Mace at Lowry still around"

James Masters (JimMasters@worldnet.att.net)

"Yes it is me in the picture, but it isn't the GEMS shop. That was taken in the TEMS shop at a time when the circuit card tester was in there. It was later put back into the GEMS shop.

I was there for four years and have many good memories of both the work and the people. I have made contact with a few people from those days, but would like to hear from many more."

Richard Selle (sellrich@juno.com)

The Corrosion Control Shop

Missile Maintenance Area

Corrosion Control Shop - Kadena

Ronald Mehne spraying the tail section of a CGM-13B Mace.
Photo coutesy of Ronald Mehne (rmehne@fullnet.com)

Corrosion Control Shop - Kadena

Ronald Mehne in foreground with the brush, John Topper in backround, and Phil Fleigle washing parts.
Photo coutesy of Ronald Mehne (rmehne@fullnet.com)

Cable Repair Shop

Missile Maintenance Area

The cable repair shop. Can anyone ID the people in this photo?

Picture of cable repair shop - man on right appears to be Grover Hoover. I was stationed there 1963-1965, or thereabout. Great site. Brings back a lot of memories.

Bud Bench (budbench@hotmail.com) USAF Retired

Site Photos provided by Charles Headlee

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