UNCLASS\~I~Q._-;..~.,,,.. ~..-' -~. J...:: ..

'
...

i,

. ..._ .

..
Thus" while SAC 'lhl.s action has

31

reduce Biggs to satellite

status while giving the "main base

package" to Barksdale had been approved.

121

concurred Vi th General McConnell's reasoning and his plan" it did so only after been characterized d1:ff'icult problem~ a lapse of some time.

as the "0nJ.y reasonable solution

to a

'lhe presence of an Air Division at canplicated. the Air

Walker AFB" and another at Biggs AFB" had further the situation.
In reducing Biggs to a satellite,

Division was programmedto move to Fairchild

where it would

support the dispersed 92d Banb Wing. This move would clear the way for a realignment of bases and satellites southwest. in the

~U
'lhose at Walker were the 6th Bcmb In order to enter

Walker Am, NewMexiCO" like Biggs AFB" was the hane of two "banbard:nentwings.
Wing (H)"

and the 509th Bomb Wing (M).

the dispersal
wings

concept it would be necessary for one of these Wih the heavy banbers hatlng first t that the mediumwing would have

to be reassigned.

consideration, to find
8

it was natural

new hone,

Further" the plan to equip the 6AREFS

19.

TWX" CINCSAC to COMAF 15" DPLCZ 7451, 3J Jun 58, Exh1bit 21. '!he subject of this message 1s "Air Division Allocation eor HeavyDispersal Program." i1le in fonnation that SAC had approved Cen McConnell's proposal 1s found in Section D which reads" "Walker AP'B •. 47th AnN remains. Commands units at Walker, Amarillo, end Biggs. Canmand Biggs will begin of 1 July 1959." No direct statement on this matter appears 1n the files of the Directorate of P1ans. The Programm1 ng Document, ZI (Peace) Sep 58 contains this change.

n-NClASSIFIED

s SE.Cil-4l J .-'

UNCLASSIFIED
With

,
the
base's

3') L

KC-135

tankers would impose

8

heavy load on

faci1i ties

and it was desirable

equipping took place. late
in

§Y

to move the 509th before the

The move of the 509th was planned

1956, 3Ildby April of the following year it had

been decided that the reassignment would take place in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year 1958. ~

§Y

In January 1958 this headquarters asked SAC if a programming plan would be issued and when would a movement

order be published.

~

In April the camnander of tJ.le 47th

Air Division pointed out to this headquarters that the new station for the 509th, Pease AFB, New Hampshire was in'- a I area and the movementof the wing in July

summerresort

would bring personnel face to face with high summervacation rents. The Canmandertherefore proposed that the movement through the

be carried out over a period of 90 dayS/- that is, months of July I August, and September.

Capehart housing would

take care of most personnel, but accommodationsoff base would be required for 150 to 175 ainnen and officers.
~

~U

so.
81.

Intv, D W Kaufman, Historian, with MaJ R G Stephens, DPL 3 Sep 58. Notes of this interview placed With Exhibit 44.
TWX, CINCSAC to COMADC ENT Am COLORADO SPRlmS, DPLCZ 2 Apr 57, in BEDl5AF DPL files.

6016,

82. Ibid. 83.
TWX, COMAF 15

to CINCSAC, DPL 321, 22 Jan 58, Exhibit
1.2 Apr 58,

48.

84. TWX, COMAIRDIV 47 to COMAF15, 509X 8-1274, Exhibit 49.

UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIEO
USAF sent SAC a movementdirective
May.
The

3J
by TWX at the end of

order call.ed for the 509th to move ". • • at an canbined strength of 326 officers and 1135 on the

approximate

af.rmen fran Walker AFB, N.M.,

.

.

to Pease AFB, N.H.,

§2j

earliest

practicable
.'

date ai'ter 1 July 1958."

No provision An advance
~

was made for transferring echelon of 73, later

the wing in increments.

increased to 129, was authorized.

The.

Camnanderof the 47th. Air Division decided that personnel vould start

to moveon 1 J'ul.y and there vould be three increwould be movedin two

ments covering a 6o-day period; aircra:ft increments over a 19-day period.~
'On 14 June,

_(.s)--

(<..t

)

SAC told this Ccmnand that "'lbe

509th Banb Wing,

medium, is relieved

fran assignment to the 15th Air Force and

47th Air Division and is assigned to the 8th Air Force vi th further assignment to the 317th Air Division~ the fall of 1957 the practice (u)

~I}knIn
banb

of deploying a medium
Gilam,

wing on a 9O-day TDY to Andersen AFB,

became the

subject of sharp scrutiny and crt ticism.

In mid-February of

this year General Old vrote to General Charles W. Schott,

85. 36.
87.

TWX, HEDUSAF to CINCSAC, mro Ca.IA.F 15, AFOOP-OP-U3 35885L, 29 May58, Exhibit 50.

TWX, HEDUSAF to CINCSAC, 4 Jun 58, EXhibit 51.

INFO Ccw.F

15, AFOOP-OP-U3
~

48153 1,

TWX,' COMAIRDIV 47 to COMAF 15, 509DOP 8-1470, 10 Jun Exhibit 52.

58,

88.

14 Jun

~,

CINCSAC to COMAF 8, INFO CCl-IAF 15, DPIl.£ 58, Exhibit 53.

53224"

UNCLASSIFIED

QQ'\~) rp~qwTlnA.l..

UNCLASS'FlEO
Alert Road" signs. fCJr the alert ~e effort

to establish

dne prestige for the

crews included proper identification
~8

crew members.
exchange lines, could be called or actual alert.

entitled

them

to "buck"

mess and base

a privilege

well deserved by the men who on a practice

away on a maDent'8 notice

~

vast publicity

given to the alert

crews by base and local newspapers as well as by national
magazines did much to build esprit a high prestige
As

~

cr:gs and to establish (u)

for these C!.ed1catedmen.

ot the end of June I morale among the ccmbat crews
to alert

was good and the crewmen assigned well trained
Fa cUi ties

duties

were all

and capable of carrying out their mission.

were lacking and, to quote General Old' s camnent "Wehave a long way yet to go before we elert force."

made in January, have a one-third
BGiBS,

_!cV ( (,\ )

BOMBrnS AND TANKERS term "weapon systems" continued to be used to desigand the banbs they carried, two elmost

U

(J; 1be ~

nate the airplanes inseparable

elements basic to un1t C8pab1l1 ty.
important - the air

~

third

element was hardly less
'lhere was no significant

refueJ.ing tanker.
j

change in the B-47 picture

the

F1fteenth still

relied

mainly on this

fairly

stable

f'orce

16.

An excellent article descr1b1ns actinties of alert crews, both during the al.ert duty period and wb1le undergoing an alert call, was wr1tten by SSgt Charles Fra1n1e, Historian for the 22B<M\oG.Althoush written three months after the reportillg period, it ref'lects well the activities of' the times, Exh1bi 9. t

UNCLr\SSa::En

69.Mi&&;;561ii1_.,~
~-,:,
"

-----------

-

Ji78FariifiiN
strike terce.
The change fraD.

d

UNCLASSIFIED

'IJtfE i
of its bombers was

of medium. cmbers" vh1ch cCDprised three-t1ftbs b

progressing

well, and tbe program. to exchange KC-97s for KC-l35s continued.

Jet-driven

..

»-36 to :8-52

Nuclear devices" ccmsisting
banb and the obso-

of the awesCXDetbe:tmOrluclear

(b;ydrogen)

lescent
weapon

ataD1c bcmb, had tar aa:rJe time 'been tbe primary

or

this air force;,

!ale label

"special weapons",
between them and

however, was still

used to d1fferentiate

the old high explosive (HE)banbs. ~
~ Banbs ~ high

U)

explosive ~

baDbs carmon])" used throughout

World War II were being removed tran l'1fteenth AF inventories
as surplus to the needs of this
Squadron dumps of

ccmuand. .Avi.ation Depot

camnanders received instructions to clear their
almost

all coaveutiOD8l

wespone.

One

t:ra1ni.D8
in

banb kept, however, was tbe ballistic properties
drops.

MB4,

which was eqlivalent

in training

!1/~

to tbe Mark 15" end therefore useful

U')

Al. though the

'ba.B1c mission of this air force was st1ll
air warfare

to conduct "strategic 17. Inten1ev by
TSgt

on a global scale using

MSgt B:1colas Gonzales, Historian, wi tll B J !LUck, HEDl5AF IJ44Es, 7 Oct 58.

*

1Ipp81"eJl~ DO plan to equip aU tmlker units 'the IC-135, ~ 'becauae funds .-ere sbort. Change V (15 Apr 58) to 15AF ProgrAiiiiilng Pl.sn 6-56 (see Chapter 2) lists tbe \UI1t progtBliWled :tor conven1cm tb.rougb. J9G,l.

nth

Tbere vas

U~~=tASSIFIED
7

cru! t,r; 'Pi _1"1\11£
2.

UMLlASSlRm 'S,g:_it.."A !:c;:..
Fi~her1-H1 AI"

FOrce

H-':>t()(~

~or

~SCl.YiuC\.r1j -....Jl,...()e~
q

I~,:::}B

Ck)
was

nuclear

and conventional

'Weapons,

it

was evident that the

''1D-{~

cspabll1 ty to use coavenUonal practical.l..y'

HE banbs on short notice
for conventional

nll.

Banb racks

'banba" Wich

usually came as separate sear vith each a1rpl.ane delivered

to SM, \lOUl.d have to be installed and the banba wul.d have to be obtained before
Of the basic
8

mission could be ezecuted.

(c) tva were

special veapons

avallab1e"

only

atcmic.

And

these (bulk and wight considered) were of
small yiel.d.

canparat1vely

-We Mark 6 and ~ hydrogen devices,

7,

mads

obsolete

10ng ego 'by the newr

gradu.ally be.1..ng l"'eIllOJJ'ed fran the inventory. the arsenal.

tY

'Were of

'lbe rest

consisted

of b;y'drogen banbs - or, more precisely,

thermonuclear

(TN) banbs.

A1.though not
ment100ed in the previous history, the Z.fark :!}
'WBS

al.so in

stock, but this package bad only' about one-third the weight
and

?!II is) (~5;,,-0
Interviev by MSgt Gon'ZsJes, Historian, HBl.peml7, MIm1t1ons Branch, 15AF IJ.I,

18.

16 Oct 58.

with Capt Ih)~H.1t~ifUf

...

tl-IC".-

,,"- 3 1 19'"'\
',ON,

I)HAP.Y

o.c. T

._-;::-

...

~/

»: ..

'.

.

sota aGJ 'li·t
,I

UNCLASSIFIED

I

i'

Loading

Proficiency end "cocking" alert aircraft, since the

'!he system of pre-loading begun during

1951, decreased the dud probabUi ties

speed and urgency in loading nounced , aircraft

these bombers was not as pro-

However" since there was an urgent need to load the not on alert" the loading crews of the air depot
Both the practical

squadrons continued to be tirJ.ed and graded. and the written their supervisors examinations
during

adm1n.1stered to loading crevs and in the

1951 showed.marked deficiencies
the veapons.

knowledge of handl:ing end loading

20.

DF, 15AF DMto l5AF 5 Sep 58, Exhibit MSgt Gonzales with Capt R P Halpenny.

nee,

10, and

intv

*

ru.st, 15AF, Jul-Dec 57J

pp.

192-94.

According to 15AF wading Standardization Teen the poor performance of the Dyess crevs was Jeopardizing the EWO csp8b1l1 ty of the Bl.9AD1, See 1 tr, l5AF CS to COMAIRDIV v 819, "Nuclear Weapona wading Capablli ty ,," 28 May58, ExhibIt 11.

£?JlflEffffRt

U~JCLASSIFIED
LI

b

-----------

-----------~-~--~-----

"-'/ UNClhSSIFIED
~e Fifteenth
AJ.r Force Inspector

felt

that most of the Branch at

t210uble lay in poor liaison
this headquarters

between

the

)1m1t10ns

and the field visits

units

and he urged that the
board 1nspect1ons

program of staff be stepped up. had been raised

and standardization

![his was done and by 30 June the standards

to

B

remarkable degree.

Major R. Y. Furnald, who in ~tarch 1958 had been named Chief of
Mun1t10ns for the Fifteenth, frankly attributed the improve-

ments to the staff

visits

and to the helpful

inspections

of

the weapons load1ng standardization
~ lW)

team of this

headquarters.

'Jlle B;.52 loading crews generally

,

(U) were good, with those

of the 22d Aviation Depot Squadron at Castle being the best qualified.

g§J

Actual.l.y1 an acceptable
Wading

method of rating

the

22.
23.

Chart,

.run 581

'l'1::1e .. -21/36, 15A:F:.tmitions Branch, ):) Exhibit 12.

Intv, Sgt Gonzal.es, Mst, With Maj R WFurnald, Chief 15M' Munitions Branch, 24 Sep 58.
M.m1tions Branch,

24. Chart, Loading EvaluaUon--Written,l5AF 3J Jun 58, Exh:1bit 13A.
25. 26.

Chart, Loading Time--Practical, 3J J\m 58, Exhibit 138.

15M f.lmitions Branch,

Ltr, BEDl5,AFo field units, "Aviati·.ll Depot Squadron Rating t System, II 29 Jul 58, Exb.1b1 14A. t

UNClASSifl
5

squadrons 'Wasnot perfected

UNCLASSIFiED at this beadquarters
.

until

July

1958, but the _~q.U8drons vere rated retroactively
of comparison. ~

su

tor purposes

(U)

status

ot a1rcrev apecial weapons 'Was Jf"sat:r~r~·.··

Out ot tour nngs evaluated during this period, only tour crevs tailed the special 'Weapons phase, and these vere all fran the

same wit. an excellent

The newly-tormed combat-ready

rating.

gW

B-52 wings received

(U)

Rated closely

also was·the Assisted Take-ON (ATO--tormerly capabillty

JATO, for Jet-Aasisted)

ot the units.

The respon-

sibill ty for this important f"unction also rested with the l-tmitions Branch, perchlorate
as

since the propelling

agerrta (a:mnonium nitrate, are classified
the magnitude

oxydizer and plastic Sane units tolled

resin fluid) to "anticipate

explosive.

ot ATO/Jmm.o support requirement," and this poor planning resulted in approx1.Jtately five percent

or

the aircraft t:lme.

of tvo ~s

banb ldngs tailing to meet scheduled generation

focused camnand-vid.eattention anticipated that
If

to this deficiency and it was improvement in this area will

considerable

be made during the next inspection period.

?# ~(L{)

21. ~. 28. 29.

See also ltr, Col J C OWen, l5AF DM, to Brig Gen P F Dnrick, SAC IG, 28 May 58, Exh1bit 14B. AF,

Semi-annual Report, Inspector General of Fifteenth Jan - J\m 58" p. 4., Exhibit 15.
Same

report" p ~ 5

~

_.- ~~,...

."

"

-.
The Medium BcmberForce. FOr the last several years the number of' tactical AF have varied only slightly. units Of

assigned to the Fifteenth 15 wings authorized,

six have been heavy and nine have been

medium. The mediumwings were equipped with B-41 Stratoforts, 45 being authorized to each wing. of the most reliable The 509th Banb Wing, one

units of this air force, was being trans-

ferred to the Eighth Air Force on 1 July 1958, which meant that for practical purposes ,the Fifteenth had only eight Because of the

mediumwings by the close of this period. superior numbers and greater this air force relied capability. stability

of the mediumbanbers,

heavily on them for its operational

The B-47s, however, were not without their The structural frame of this bomber being

share of troubles. was seriously unknown.

damaged--the reason, at this wr! ting,

(While sane officers

thought the primary cause of

this trouble was the stress by the so-called

and strain placed on the aircraft

"pop-up" bombingmaneuver, others were in The subject is treated under B-41

sharp disagreement.

maintenance in Chapter 3.) _.(.e-)-

C4)

As of 7 July 1958 the mediumbanbardment force of the

P'if'teenth consisted of B.

368

B-41s, 355 series E and 13 series the loss of the 509th Banb Wing's
fran this

'lh1s figure reflected

B-41s, this
on 1July~ ~
3).

unit having been transferred

camnand

v.)

l5AF Weekly Unit Capability Report, 1 J'Ul 58 (2-SAC-Vl), Exhibit 11.

-LcSQliliiif;··p

UNCLASSIFIEQ

The lIeavies

CQtlri~IiiDililAI. • UNCLASSIFIED
:fran B- 36

The transition

to B- 52 aircraft

wi thin this

ccmaand vas progress1n8

sn'tisfactor1.ly

toward the latter

part

of tb1s period but sane mechanical evident late in 1957 were still

dif'f'1culties

whic4 were during the

hampering

progress

early months of' this p~

year.

'lllese troubles, are treated

which centered

around the f'Uel lines,

in detail

in

tile chapter
On

on B-52 and KC-135P~~l.I)

27 January 1958, the 92d Bcmb Wing, which had begun to
8S 8

reorganize ready,
~

B-52 unit on 1 October 1956, became ccmbab

and on the 18th ot the folloving month the 28th Banb Wing its conversion. By»
June

canpleted

the

6th

:Ba:lb

Wing had 1 ts

tull canp1ement of

B-52s and a total

ot 54 crews (24 ccubat-

ready); this un1 t, therefore, converted.
The other

was very close to being :fUll.y

B-52 unit in the ccemand was the 93d
which

BcDb Wing at Castle,

continued to have l.1I:11tedcoobat masion was to train the B- 52

capabil.i ty since its

pr1mary

.J5\!!he
31. 32.

crews for SAC. ~\

u)
operating with B-368. at Biggs, vas not scheduled

other two heavy v1.nga were still

Conversion of' tbe 95th, stationed

for sone months, but the Travis-based See also 15AF ~

5th Banb Wing began its

and the histories Progress
P.l.en

Analysis, }.tu" 58, p. 4 (Exhibit 1) of the 93d Banb Wing for this peri.ocl. A1r Force Progra:m1ng

5-56, "Conversion of 92d l3d:nbsrdmentWing (H)," as of 31. Jan 58, ~bit 16.

Report Nr. 12, Fifteenth

UNelASSIFIED

reorganization

on 1 June 1958.

ul\J CLASSIFIED

(']he conversion included

pJ.ans for dispersal

of the banb squadrons to other nearby
As

bases, a BubJect covered in Chapter 2 of this history.)

ot 7 ~

this air

force still

had 46 of the 10-engine

bcmbers, ~ at Biggs and 14 awaiting transfer

fran Travis. ~~)

:J]/

In graphic form, the progress of the n:rteenth

AF B-52 of :P

conversion progr8!l1 is tol.d in this chart, June 1958: UNIT 93d Btl 92d Btl 28th BW 6th BW

:2!:J

correct

8S

(u) DATE REORGANIZED
FOR

B-52 PROORAM
1 Feb 55 1 Oct 56 1 Feb 57 1

DATE FIRST
B-52 ARRIVED

DATE DECLARED

CCMBAT-READY
12 Mar 56* 27 Jan 58 18 Feb 58

29 Jun 55
26 Mar 57 14 Jun 57 10 Dec 57

.run

57

5th

BloT

1 Jun

58

95th BW

*

the 93d BW lost its canbat readiness when the numberof authorized aircraft vas increased :fran. :P to 45 in May 1956. Its primary mission changed fran canbat to training on 1 JUl 57; it was declared "Operationally" ready on 26 Jun 57--that is, it could perform its primary' nssion. (U)
A~ ~~

(U,

~~

7 J'uly, this air force had a totel of 162 B-52s,
series D. '!here were still

95

or

_

them

24 of the series B,
AFB. '!he (nine)

which were being used for train1 ng crews at castle

93d Bcmb Wing at Castle also

had the ~

P's available

33·

15AP' eeklyUnit Capablllty Report: (2-SAC-V1),7 Jul 58; W Exhibit 11. (!!be first B-36 left Travis :for the "graveyard" at DaVis-Monthan AFB,Ariz. on 3 J\m 58.) Fran un!t histories and other documentson file Historical Division.
in 15AF

.34.

UrJCLASSIF~ED

--__:-\

in the Fifteenth.

W

• UNCLASSIFIED

~e highly-touted G series banbers were
October

scheduled to begin arr1V'1ng in about AFB. ~(L\)
~

1958 at Travis

\

Tanker Support

(U),'(t?j 8::.uc~

~

mission of this air torce 'could bardly be much attention was given to

executed Without air retuellng, this type ot support.

'!he tra1n1ng
\laS

ot creve to man the new
being "doneat Castle

KC-135 jet-powered tanker
Air Force Base but
B

still

serious backlog ot students developed

when the new tankers were not delivered on schedule. trouble started that the training
early in January and it

rus
June June

was not until

schedule vas back to nor.:naJ.. By))
bad 37 canbat-ready crews

W

I

!

,I

1958 the Fifteenth
tanker

for the new
~ On

and the first

canbat-ready KC-135squadron.

7

July this '\

air force had 53 of the jet tankers and 135 ot the

"

propeller-driven

KC-91 Strato-tankers.

:t1.I

'lbere was no change

\ in the number of air

ref'ue~ing squadrons (AREFS) wi thin this

35.

15AFWe~ Unit Capsb1l1ty Report (2-SAC ..V1), 7 J\ll 58, Exhibit 11. (1Jh1s exhibit appears only in HEDl5AF copy of this history.) Rpt, Unit Programn1ng 58; see Exhibit 18. 15AF Mon~ Ssme report,

36.
37.

Data, KEDl.5AF Fonn 167, for 27

.run

Analysis, June p. 7.

58,

p. 4, ~bit

1-

38.
39.

15AF Weekly Unit Capab1llty Exhibit 11.

Report (2-SAC-V1), 1JUl.

58,

UNCLASSIFIED

ccxmnand;there were
Refueling

'fo,' tJ~jlofl'~~

..Jr 'i;,

UNCl,~~JS.IFIEO
! 1"

I~~.',~;

fo:r.ni.ng the

4061st Air

Wing at Malmstran All3.

Besides the 93d, Wich vas s~,

canbat-reedy,

there

were two other

(

6th,

\Ib1ch As of

were converting

to the KC-13~

ACJr u)

the 92d and the

mid-1958, the strike

hardware of the F1tteentb
was as ~\tl1ned and read;y through-

AF

(the banbs I the bcmbers and the tankers)

above. out this

!!he bulk of the untts vas canbat wo~ per1od,

but sane a1rp+anes were be1.Ilg traded off wh:1l.e others were being modified to cope demands being made

for

more modern craft with the heavier REORGANIZATION

ot them.

(U)

UNDER "mESH APFROACH" operat1ooal tests for the FRESH APPROACH out during the last
balf

'1lle required

plan of reorgan1.zat1.on were carried

of 1957 and duly reported in the operations Fifteenth
AF

chapter of the were

histor,y

for that period.
I

'lbese tests

evaluated by this
and important

headquarters

SACand USAF during thts Reorganization under

decisions

were reached.

the new p1.an v.l.l.l have far-reaching capab1l1ty of this air force.

effects

on the operatia:18l.
in

'lhe subject is treated of this

Chapter 1 (M1ss1.cmand Organization)

history.

(U)

UNCLASSIFIED

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