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705th Strategic Missile Wing
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Service history
Active 1958-1960
Size 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.


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:[citation needed]

  • 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 UnitsEdit


  • 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. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 294. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 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. 4.0 4.1 4.2 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 (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 700–701. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. 


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