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

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Matador and Mace Missile

Models, Trading Cards, and other Memorabilia

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Wish you still had that old
Matador or Mace plastic model kit?

The Mace model kit from Aurora (above) originally retailed for $.79. This ad was recently on the Internet from Plasticpushers (
for $125.00

UPDATED PRICE: On August 15th, 2007, another of the above Aurora models was won on an on-line bid for $300.00

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U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles

Now Available On Line at and!

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 ( 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 ( 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 ( 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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Available Now!, Click Here to Order
"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 (
71st TMS, Steinborn, Germany

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

Hack Hunton ( 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   (
Berlin, Germany

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Renaud Mangallon ( sent this photo and page for the TM-76 modeled directly after the TM-76A on display at the USAF Armament Museum at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Even the decal for the tail number is a perfect match.

Check the web page at

Mace - TM-76 from Sharkit

Hawk Model of the Matador

Photo of the rare Matador kit from Hawk courtesy of Joe Perkins (

lapel pin

The Mace lapel pin in from ex-mace missileman Wayne Wendel of "No Lone Zone." Contact Wayne at

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The Book, U.S. Air Force Tactical Missiles, 1949-1969, The Pioneers, George Mindling and Robert Bolton, © 2008

Available Now!

Support independent publishing - buy this book on Lulu.

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Topping Models

Topping Manufacturers Models

The Topping Manufacturers models of the TM-61B Matador, later renamed the TM-76A Mace, and the TM-61A Matador beautifully reconditioned by Bob Bolton

" I acquired the models from eBay but didn't pay the super high dollar seen these days. I got them between about 18 months and 2 years ago before the runaway bidding and last minute snipping really started. The launch trailer for the Matador [A/C] was purchased separately. Got it for $12.00 caked in dirt and dust but all in on piece. The Matador was in really sad shape also is missing the RATO booster and the decals are badly deteriorated. It cleaned up fairly well, however. The Matador B was a complete item in good condition. I scale them both at about 1/4 scale. The Matador B is almost identical to my Aurora Mace in all profiles except the Topping has the tapered tail and not the early doghouse tail of the Aurora."

Bob Bolton  (

A Topping Model Mace sold on E-bay in August 2006, for the high bid of $360.00 US Dollars.

A Topping Mace Model recently on e-bay

Topping Models

The complete Topping collection of Martin Missiles owned by
Blake Sutton includes the B-61, the TM-61...

Topping Models

... the TM-61B Matador
and the TM-76 Mace

Topping Models

Blake Sutton (

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Faller 1/96th Model of the Matador

Photo of the rare 1/96th Matador kit from Faller.
Notice the upside down star on the fuselage on the box cover.
This kit is being sought by modellers on the internet.

The early Strombecker wood and plastic Matador Kit

Photo coutesy of Bob Bolton (

The reissued Faller Matador model by Dahlmann

Photo coutesy of Bob Bolton (

The Renwal Kit below was on an E-bay auction page.
Final sales price unknown.

The History Maker Revell Kit, below, belongs to the author of this web site. It was purchased several years ago in a Ft. Lauderdale hobby shop where it sat in the back gathering dust. It still cost $35.00!

UPDATED PRICE: On August 12th, 2007, another of the above Revell models was won on an on-line bid for $125.00

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Original Mace "B" artwork by former Launch Officer Carlo Croce

Mace Art work by Carlo Croce

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Trading and Post Cards

Mace Missile Trading Card

The trading card above was also on E-Bay.
Final sales price is unknown

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Bob Bolton's Personal Collection of Cards

Matador Missile Trading Card

Text on back of Matador Cape Launch Post Card reads:
"The tactical range matador, the Air Force's first surface-to-surface missile blasts off on a 600 mile flight from the Air Force Missile Test Center's missile launching site at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Matador, assigned to the Tactical Air Command, is now deployed in Europe and the Far East."

Matador Missile Trading Card

"B&W Matador is a post card mailed in April of 1955 from Baltimore MD to a kid in Jackson, SC. The writer refers to "our missiles". I'm lead to believe, from the text, date and location that the writer is the kid's uncle and is either military or a Martin employee involved with the Martin Matador." - Bob

Printed text states;

"The Matador is the U.S. Air Force's first successful ground-to-ground tactical pilotless bomber and the first of its type to be ordered to duty overseas. With a boost from a rocket, the B61 takes off from a highly mobile roadable launcher. A turbojet engine provides power to the target where the Matador, diving straight down, reaches a supersonic speed. No permanent installations are needed at the launching site and the "world's smallest airport"' may be quickly moves battle tactics dictate. ".

Matador Missile Trading Card

Matador Missile Trading Card

Text on back of card reads:

"Matador is situated at the entrance of the History and Traditions classroom at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. This is one of the new types of guided missiles, which denotes the newest phase of Air Research and development"

Mace Missile Trading Card
Mace Missile Trading Card

"The text for the B&W Glossy is on a 2.5 by 8 inch piece of paper glued to the back of the photo. It is faded, if it isn't readable I'll send you a typed copy of the text. Another interesting note, I got the B&W picture on eBay from a source in Australia yet the back of the picture itself is stamped with this text:

Copyright Photo Issued By Central Press Photos Ltd. 6&7 Cough Square, Fleet Street, London E.C.4 "

Matador Missile Trading Card
Matador Missile Trading Card

Mace Missile Trading Card

Text on mace card reads: "The Mace Missile is a much improved version of the Matador. The prime function of the Mace is as a tactical guided missile. Its guidance system gives it wide versatility to penetrate enemy electronic detection screens at extreme low level or in upper altitudes. "

All of the above post cards are from the personal collection of Bob Bolton (

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Mace Missile Article from the AF Magazine

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