5 Mace-A Squadrons To ‘Retire’

Stars & Stripes – 1965


Five Mace-A winged missile squadrons, consisting of 90 short-range missiles and about 1400 men, will be withdrawn from Europe by June of next year.

Target areas assigned to the Mace-A will be covered by Army Pershing ballistic missiles, after the phase-out.

The Air Force pilotless aircraft have been aimed at military targets behind the Iron Curtain on a round-the-clock basis for several years.

Reason for the removal of the Mace-A is that they are in fixed positions and relatively vulnerable to surprise enemy attack.

Although they have a shorter range, the Pershings are based closer to the Iron Curtain so they can reach the same target areas as the Mace-A. The Pershing is also less vulnerable to attack.

Air Force units being phased out are the 38th TAC Missile Wing and the 822d, 823d and 887th Tac. Missile Squadrons at Sembach AB, Germany, and the 989th Tac. Missile Sq. at Hahn AB, Germany.

Not affected by the Defense Department order is the 405th ,Tactical Missile Sq. Bitburg AB, Germany.

Unlike the units being pulled out, the 405th is equipped with Mace-B missiles which are faster and have a longer range and are protected from the enemy by concrete shelters.

The Pershing ballistic missile is a descendant of the German V2 rocket used during World War II, The Mace-A is more closely related to the VI winged “buzz bomb” which was used in World War II raids of London.