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BOMARC Support

    The BOMARC squadrons were supported by the usual array of munitions, maintenance, security, supply, transportation, and medical organizations, located at the nearby support base, usually only a few miles from the missile launch complex. Most of the support squadrons were under Combat Support Groups or Air Base Groups. Not all such units had official emblems, and even fewer had patches. This album contains those that are known.

    BOMARC Combat Units

      ADC’s initial plans called for some 52 BOMARC sites around the U.S., each equipped with 120 missiles (6,240 missiles total), but as defense budgets decreased during the 1950s, the number of sites dropped substantially. Ongoing development and reliability problems didn’t help, nor did Congressional debate over the missile’s usefulness and necessity. In June 1959, the Air Force authorized 16 BOMARC sites with 56 missiles each; the initial five would get the IM-99A with the remainder getting the IM-99B. However, in March 1960, HQ USAF cut deployment to just eight sites in the United States and two in Canada. The first USAF operational BOMARC unit was the 46th Air Defense Missile Squadron (ADMS), activated and organized in early 1959. The 46 ADMS was assigned to the New York Air Defense Sector at McGuire AFB, NJ. The four-month training program, under the 4751 ADW, used technicians acting as instructors. Training included missile maintenance, SAGE operations, and launch procedures, including the launch of an unarmed missile at Eglin’s Santa Rosa Island facility. In September 1959, the squadron assembled at their permanent station, the BOMARC site near McGuire AFB, and trained for operational readiness. The first BOMARC-A missiles were delivered to McGuire on 19 September 1959, and the BOMARC squadron near Kincheloe AFB received the first BOMARC-B missiles. While several of the squadrons replicated earlier fighter interceptor unit numbers, all BOMARC units were new organizations with no previous historical counterpart, meaning there were no “lineage and honors” to inherit, so each unit got a newly created emblem.