The 381st Strategic Missile Wing achieved full activation on December 31, 1963 with bestowal lineage of the 381st Bombardment Group (H), which flew the B-17 Flying Fortress out of England, during WW II. B-17's of the 381st BG were itentified by tail designation TRIANGLE "L".
Additional information regarding the 381st Bombardment Group, may be found at www.381st.org
381st Bombardment Group (H)
The shield design, reserved for flag bearing units, Command Units, Numbered Air Forces, Groups or Wings. The following elements are easy to distinguish. Red, white and blue represent our National colors. The olive branch hopeful for peace. The Globe, strategic reach. The missile and flame, launch and mission capable.
The 381st Strategic Missile Wing was an integral part of Strategic Air Command and was overseen by the 42nd Air Division (1962-1963), 17th Air Division (1963-1971), 12th Air Division (1971-1973), 19th Air Division (1973-1986),
The 381st Missile Inspection Maintenance Squadron
(MIMS) was activated on August 1, 1962.
One of the more dangerous maintenance operations envolved the missile fuel (unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine) and missile oxidizer (nitrogen tetroxide, N204). The missile fuel and oxidizer were hypergolic in nature ( ignite on contact with each other). Maintenance personnel who worked Propellant Transfer Systems (PTS) wore Rocket Fuel Handler' Coverall Outfit (RFHCO) to avoid exposure to the toxi missile fuel and oxidizer. As a result of a very serious missile oxidizer accident that occured on August 24, 1978, Ssgt Robert J. Thomas died. Nine days later, September 2, 1978 A1C Erby B. Hepstall died as well.
The 532nd Strategic Missile Squadron follows direct lineage and bestowed honor from the 532nd Bombardment Squadron (H). Some elements of the 532nd SMS emblem, share those of the 532nd Bombardment Squadron. The white stallion facing dexter (right) with red, piercing eyes and yellow lightning-bolts. The weapon system is apparent to both, missile for the 532nd SMS and B-17 bomber wings for the 532nd BS.
The 533rd Strategic Missile Squadron also given bestowed lineage and honors from the 533rd Bombardment Squadron (H). The 533rd BS was active from 1943-1945. The 533rd SMS was activated on December 31, 1963 and deactivated on August8, 1986.
The 532nd BS was active from January 1, 1943 and deactivated at the end of World War Two. The 532nd SMS was activated on December 31, 1963 and deactivated on August 8, 1986.
Although the 533rd Strategic Missile Squadron emblem design departs from the elements of the 533rd BS, they were assumed by the 533rd Training Squadron.(Vandenberg AFB, CA)