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490th Bombardment Squadron

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490th Bombardment Squadron

490th Missile Squadron

LGM-30G Minuteman III test launch at Vandenburg AFB, California
Active 15 September 1942 - 2 November 1945
4 April 1947 - 27 June 1949
1 September 1955 - 25 June 1961
18 December 1961 - Present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Intercontinental ballistic missile
Part of 341st Operations Group
Air Force Global Strike Command
Garrison/HQ Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana
Engagements World War II (Asia-Pacific Theater)
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (17x)
490th Missile Squadron emblem

The 490th Missile Squadron (490 MS) is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 341st Operations Group, stationed at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. The 490 MS is equipped with the LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), with a mission of nuclear deterrence.


World War II

Established as a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber squadron in mid-1942, trained by Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. Deployed to India in December 1942, operating under Tenth Air Force, supporting British ground forces in Burma during 1943. The squadron flew supplies from Chittagong, India to Imphal, India between 20 May and 30 June 1944. Reassigned to Fourteenth Air Force in China, 1944, and dropped leaflets for the United States Office of War Information from, January-August 1945. Also supported Chinese ground forces until the end of the war.

Personnel demobilized in India, squadron returned to the United States and inactivated as a paper unit.

Strategic Air Command

Was reactivated in 1955 as a Strategic Air Command B-47 Stratojet squadron . Trained in air refueling and strategic bombardment operations with the B-47. in 1961, the squadron began transferring its B-47s to other SAC wings and became non-operational.

Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Squadron

Reactivated on 1 May 1962 as an ICBM squadron assigned to the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. Initially equipped with 50 LGM-30A Minuteman Is in early 1962, becoming SAC's third operational Minuteman ICBM squadron. Upgraded to the Minuteman IB in 1964; Minuteman IIF, in 1967. Received control of LGM-30G Minuteman III silos from inactivating 321st Strategic Missile Wing at Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota in 1996; Minuteman IIs being retired. Has maintained ICBMs on alert ever since.

In 2010 The United States Air Force Global Strike Command started again with their famous competitions to bring back the glory days of the 1960s. The Global Strike Challenge was hosted at Barksdale Air Force on November 16th and 17th. The 490th Missile Squadron sent Captain Kevin Hullihan and 1Lt Brian J. Marlow to compete in this competition. The crew achieved the best score in Emergency war orders, resulting in earning the Neary Trophy.

In 2011 1Lt John Malek and 1Lt Matthew Ditson competed in the Global Srike Competition and won the McMahon Trophy for Best ICBM Weapon System score. In addition to the McMahon they also played a key role in earning the Klotz Trophy for Best ICBM Operations. [1]


  • Constituted 490th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 14 Aug 1942
Activated on 15 Sep 1942
Re-designated 490th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 1 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 2 Nov 1945
  • Re-designated 490th Bombardment Squadron, Light, on 11 Mar 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 4 Apr 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Re-designated 490th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 7 Jun 1955
Activated on 1 Sep 1955
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1961
  • Re-designated 490th Strategic Missile Squadron (ICBM-Minuteman), and activated, on 18 Dec 1961
Organized on 1 May 1962
Re-designated 490th Missile Squadron on 1 Sep 1991.[1]


Attached to 341st Bombardment Group, 25 Oct 1943-c. 7 Jan 1944
312th Fighter Wing for operational control, 7 May-c. 25 Aug 1945


Aircraft and Missiles

490th Missile Squadron Launch Facilities

Missile Alert Facilities (K-O flights, each controlling 10 missiles) are located as follows:
K-01 1.7 mi ExNE of Harlowton MT, 46°26′43″N 109°48′05″W / 46.44528°N 109.80139°W / 46.44528; -109.80139 (K-01)

L-01 1.3 mi NxNE of Judith Gap MT 46°41′40″N 109°44′27″W / 46.69444°N 109.74083°W / 46.69444; -109.74083 (L-01)

M-01 4.1 mi NE of Moore MT, 47°00′49″N 109°37′51″W / 47.01361°N 109.63083°W / 47.01361; -109.63083 (M-01)

N-01 11.0 mi WxNW of Grassrange MT, 47°03′33″N 109°01′54″W / 47.05917°N 109.03167°W / 47.05917; -109.03167 (N-01)

O-01 1.5 mi E of Roy MT, 47°19′43″N 108°55′37″W / 47.32861°N 108.92694°W / 47.32861; -108.92694 (O-01)

See also

Coordinates: 47°30′17″N 111°11′14″W / 47.50472°N 111.18722°W / 47.50472; -111.18722 (Malmstrom AFB)


  • Malmstrom AFB Minuteman Missile Site Coordinates

External links

  • USAF 490th Missile Squadron History
  • 341st Operations Group Fact Sheet
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