705th Strategic Missile Wing

The 705th Strategic Missile Wing (SMW) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned as an active unit to the 7th Air Division at South Ruislip Air Station, England. It was discontinued on 1 April 1960 and was redesignated as the 510th Tactical Missile Wing in 1985 while inactive.

705th Strategic Missile Wing
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force


Headquarters Strategic Air Command (SAC) activated the wing as the 705th SMW on 20 February 1958 at RAF Lakenheath, England,[1] to monitor the PGM-17 Thor IRBM program in the United Kingdom and provide technical assistance to the four Royal Air Force Thor squadrons. The wing never became operational, and its only manning was by additional duty personnel of the 7th Air Division Directorate of Ballistic Missiles through 1960.[1][2] Even its commanding officer, Col. William R. Yancy acted in that capacity as an additional duty from March to November 1958,[1]

While the missiles were assigned to the RAF for control, SAC retained control over the squadron's nuclear warheads and assigned a detachment of the 705th to perform the following functions:

  • Retain custody and control over, and provide maintenance for, reentry vehicles and warheads
  • Receive and initiate U. S. warhead release orders
  • Operate USAF communications facilities
  • Provide training to the Royal Air Force on the Thor missile operations

On 22 June 1959, No. 77 (Strategic Missile) Squadron at RAF Feltwell became the first British-based Thor IRBM squadron to reach operational status.[3] On 11 September and 22 December 1959, the second and third British-based Thor IRBM squadrons were declared operational and assigned to Royal Air Force personnel. When SAC turned over the fourth and final British-based Thor IRBM to the Royal Air Force on 22 April 1960, the deployment of the Thor IRBM weapon system in the United Kingdom was completed. The wing was inactivated on 1 April 1960, followed shortly by the elimination of 7th Air Division's Directorate of Ballistic Missiles.[2]



  • Constituted as 705th Strategic Missile Wing on 6 February 1958[1]
Activated on 20 February 1958[1]
Redesignated 705th Strategic Missile Wing (IRBM-Thor) on 1 April 1958[1]
Discontinued on 1 April 1960[1]
  • Consolidated with the 5th Combat Crew Replacement Center Group on 31 July 1985 as the 510th Tactical Missile Wing (remained inactive)[4]


  • Constituted as the 5th Combat Crew Replacement Center Group
Activated on 3 November 1943
Disbanded on 5 August 1944[4]
  • Reconstituted on 31 July 1985 and consolidated with the 705th Strategic Missile Wing as the 510th Tactical Missile Wing[4]



  • 5th Replacement & Training Squadron (Bombardment), 3 November 1943 - 5 August 1944
  • 99th Aviation Depot Squadron 15 May 1958 - 1 April 1950 (attached from 7th Air Division)
RAF Lakenheath[6]
RAF Feltwell, 20 Feb 1958 - 17 Aug 1959
RAF Lakenheath, 17 August 1959 - 1 October 1959

Supported RAF Missile Units


  • High Wycombe, England, 5 November 1943
  • RAF Cheddington, England, ca. 24 February 1944
  • RAF Greencastle, Northern Ireland, ca. Jul 1944 -5 August 1944
  • RAF Lakenheath, England, 20 February 1958
  • US Air Base South Ruislip (later, South Ruislip Air Station), England, 15 March 1958 – 1 April 1960



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 294. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  2. ^ a b Abstract, History of 7th Air Division, FY 1960 (accessed 12 Aug 2012)
  3. ^ Abstract, History of 7th Air Division, Jan-Jun 1959 (accessed 12 Aug 2012)
  4. ^ a b c Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 648q, 31 July 1985, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Organizations
  5. ^ Although the wing was discontinued on this date, it was not inactivated. The wing was, therefore, technically assigned to the DAF until the distinction between inactivation and discontinuation ceased in 1969. The wing has not been active in fact since 1960.
  6. ^ Abstract, History of 99th Aviation Depot Squadron, May-Jul 1958 (accessed 12 Aug 2012)
  7. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 700–701. ISBN 0-405-12194-6.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links

672d Technical Training Squadron

The 672d Technical Training Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 705th Strategic Missile Wing, based at RAF Lakenheath, England. It was inactivated on October 1, 1959.

During World War II, the squadron operated in the Southwest Pacific Theater as a light bombardment unit during the New Guinea and Philippines campaigns. It was awarded both the Distinguished Unit Citation and the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for its combat service.

The squadron was reactivated as a missile unit in 1958. After it was qualified with the SM-75 Thor, it moved to England, where it trained Royal Air Force crews to operate and maintain the missile. When training was completed, the unit inactivated.

List of Strategic Air Command bases

The Strategic Air Command of the United States Air Force, and its successor body the Air Force Global Strike Command, operate or formerly operated many air bases both in the United States and in other countries.

List of inactive AFCON wings of the United States Air Force

This is a list of inactive Wings in the United States Air Force, focusing on AFCON (HQ Air Force-controlled) wings.

Non-flying or non-combat wings, such as the 1st Medical Service Wing and 1st-7th Weather Wings, 13th, 24th, 25th, 29th, 30th 39th, 59th, 73d, 75th Air Depot Wing, 77th Air Depot Wing, 80th Air Depot Wing, 85th Air Depot Wing, and 88th Air Depot Wings, 39th and 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wings, 82nd Combat Security Police Wing, 501st and 601st Tactical Control Wings, 601st Tactical Air Control Wing, 602d Tactical Air Control Wing (later Air Control Wing, inactivated June 15, 1992), 603d Air Base Wing, 901st-908th Reserve Training Wings (906th at Miami (Miami News, June 24, 1951); 907th at Brooks AFB), Reserve Air Depot Training Wings, are listed in Charles A. Ravenstein, "Air Force Combat Wings: Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-77," Office of Air Force History, Washington DC 1984, viii.

PGM-17 Thor

Thor was the first operational ballistic missile deployed by the U.S. Air Force (USAF). Named after the Norse god of thunder, it was deployed in the United Kingdom between 1959 and September 1963 as an intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) with thermonuclear warheads. Thor was 65 feet (20 m) in height and 8 feet (2.4 m) in diameter. It was later augmented in the U.S. IRBM arsenal by the Jupiter.

A large family of space launch vehicles—the Thor and Delta rockets—were derived from the Thor design.


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