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1312 entries.
Thomas Kyle Reno from Sugar Land wrote on May 31, 2024 at 5:22 pm
Served in 71st TMS 1966-1969. Good food in the NCO Club , but better beer.
B. David Mendini from Albany, NY wrote on March 30, 2024 at 9:49 am
B Bird Okinawa, 1966-67.
Homer Felknor from Inverness, fl wrote on March 14, 2024 at 10:27 pm
Spent 1960 on Makung w 868 TMS. I was the backup radio comm guy. Was in Kaoshung for a short while and moved to Makung. I was A/2c when I got there and got promoted to A/1c. Lived in the hotel there and don’t remember too much. I am now 86 years old.
Watched On the Beach in the dining room. A memory I will NEVER forget.
Drop me a line….or Facebook messenger.
RAY PAGEAU from WALTHAM MASS wrote on February 12, 2024 at 7:01 pm
71st tms BITBURG 1962=1965 Eastern air-US AI= & AMERICAN -Retired 2007 the time i look back on with fondness BITBURG
DAVID DENNIS from Parker wrote on December 22, 2023 at 11:25 am
Here is to wishing everyone a MERRY CHRISTMAS and may your New Year be Great!!!!!
Samuel C Allen from Spring, Texas wrote on September 21, 2023 at 7:08 pm
I was stationed on Okinawa with the 498th TMG from January ‘65 until June ‘66, after which I was stationed at Ellsworth AFB in the Minuteman 44th MMS from July ‘66 until January ‘68.
Lester T Evans from Lompoc wrote on August 11, 2023 at 1:25 am
I enlisted in the Air Force at age 17, June 17, 1964, immediately after graduating High School.

I spent 33 months assigned to the 498 TMG at Kadena AB, Okinawa.

During basic training, a career counselor asked me what training schools that I would like to attend. I told him either jet engine mechanic school or aircraft mechanic school. He said, “I’m sorry, those schools are full, however, there are openings in missile mechanic schools”. So, that’s how I got into the missile mechanic career field. Little did I know that I would still get my dream job from an unexpected twist of fate?

I arrived there in early September 1965 as a young 18-year old A2C freshly graduated from two Mace Missile Mechanic Maintenance Courses. I was assigned to work in the Airframe and Engine Periodic Inspection and Maintenance Shop.

We had 36 Mace Missiles on Okinawa; 32 on alert, and 4 spares. My new job entailed performing annual and semi-annual inspections on the missiles. All 36 missiles came through our shop every year inspections and repairs. We had two 3-man crews, each crew worked on 18 missiles every year.

Annual inspections involved removing the engine from the missile for inspection and repairs, checking the fuel nozzles for the proper spray pattern, removing the tailpipe and replacing the shroud ring surrounding the exhaust turbine wheel, replacing components that failed inspection criteria. Operate the jet engine outside the missile, and making engine throttle speed adjustments during engine runs. Reinstalling engines back into the missile.

Also, we performed inspections and repairs on the missile airframe hardware, the hydraulic flight control system, and fuel system.

After completing the annual inspection and Quality Control inspectors gave their final blessing, the missile became a replacement spare for the next missile due its annual inspection.

I was promoted to A1C/E-4 on October 1, 1967. I only served at that rank title for only 19 days because the Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara changed the Air Force E-4 grade title to "Sergeant" and made them junior NCOs like the other military services. We were nicknamed “McNamara Sergeants” and “Buck Sergeants” during that time.

I celebrated my 19th, 20th and 21st birthdays on Okinawa. I truly enjoyed my work on the Mace.

I completed my first enlistment and reenlisted on June 17, 1968 and left Okinawa June 18, 1968.

After Okinawa, I was transferred to the Minuteman Missile weapon system at Whiteman AFB, Missouri. My new job entailed transporting, removing, and installing missile guidance sections and warheads on Minuteman II Missiles.

I retired as a Master Sergeant on June 30, 1984 at Vandenberg AFB, California.
Edward Nangle from Manheim Pa wrote on August 4, 2023 at 8:26 am
I have changed my email address to and I will be closing out the email soon. Please change my address to the new one so I can continue to receive updates to TAC Missileers
Thanks ED
GUY VANDERMAN from Deatsville. AL 36022 wrote on July 29, 2023 at 2:16 pm
Visit this site to see "our lady."
DAVID DENNIS from Parker wrote on June 26, 2023 at 2:59 pm
Well Guys, I have sat down to this PC several times since the Tac Missileers Reunion has ended. I have tried to figure out what to say and I have yet to meet that challenge. When I first got home I guess I was still riding a high from being with old friends and coworkers from the days on Okinawa. I felt that I had to say "something about the END of our days with the Matador/Mace".

For the life of me, I still don't know what to say that is appropriate except, "Thanks for the Memories".

I still feel that a part of me is lost. I valued my time on the missile system, I valued the friends I made and I valued the work we did by keeping the "cold war COLD!

I do have a hollow feeling inside me just by knowing its all over. I hope you can understand.

I know that Russ is keeping the website open for us to use and I hope ol' Missileers will use it to keep in contact with old friends.

Take Care and remember the Good Times.

Geoffrey Epler from Salado, TX wrote on June 2, 2023 at 10:41 am
My name is Geoffrey, My Father James F. Epler was part of the 38th TMW at Hahn Air Base Germany from 1956 thru 1960. Dad left Germany in 1960 and went to Lowry Air Force Base where he transitioned to Titan I ICBMs. After Lowry we moved to Grand Forks AFB and he worked on Minuteman missiles then Whiteman AFB. He retired out of Lowry in 77. Dad always talked about working with the Matadors at Hahn . He met my Mom while stationed at Hahn also.
Dad passed away in 2016, I wish he was still here , it would be nice to have a beer with him and talk about his missile days.

Thank you all for serving during the Cold War!

SFC Geoffrey Epler
U.S.Army (RET)
Admin Reply by: Russ Reston
Hi Geoffrey. I've added your Dad's name to the TAC Missileers Honor Roll -

Best Regards,
Russ Reston
TAC Missileers Webmaster
Jim Cagle from Canton, GA wrote on May 23, 2023 at 12:40 am
The 2023 TAC Missileer Farewell Reunion in San Antonio is now history. Thanks to all of the officers of TACM and others that put it all together and kept it moving smoothly. I especially would like to thank Joe Perkins for initiating the TACM in the first place. I have been a member since 2004, and went to all reunions starting with 2005 in Nashville. Many great trips experienced and wonderful memories made along the way.

Bitburg - MEMS - 62/64
Gene Henderson from Mesa wrote on May 3, 2023 at 7:30 pm
Just to let you all know that Harry Gardner and Harold Reninnger passed away recently.
Tim Geary from Mt Sterling, Ky wrote on April 30, 2023 at 9:35 pm
I was stationed with the 38th TMW at Wuschheim AFS Germany, 85-88. I ran across the missileers doing some research. Great history. I enjoyed my time in Germany and regretted coming back to the states. I hope to visit one day.
William M. ("Bill") Hughes from Kennewick, WA wrote on January 30, 2023 at 6:40 pm

I was reading about the old Mace missile system and inadvertently discovered this group. I spent only 9-10 months in the 498th TMG as a newbie Inertial Guidance Specialist since it was decommissioned in late 1969. Following that assignment, most of my class was reassigned to the 4315th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Vandenberg, during which time I completed my enlistment and was discharged as an E-5 in early 1972.

From there, I went to the University of Washington (BA) and Seattle University (MBA) before embarking on a long executive career in the defense industry. As a side note, upon completing my BA, I was contacted by a USAF recruiter about possibly reentering the USAF and taking a commission, possibly becoming a B-52 navigator. I respectfully declined.

After all these years, I've never run into anyone from my USAF days (April '68 - March '72) until now. Thank you for this group.
Amber Adair-Morrow from Omaha wrote on January 30, 2023 at 1:31 pm
My father Lonnie Adair was at Sembach AFB between 1957-1961 where I believe he worked with the MACE missile. I wondered if anyone has pictures of him.

David Irvin Dashnaw from Elizabeth wrote on January 21, 2023 at 4:36 pm
I joined the AF in 1964, trained at Lowry, AFB in Denver, Co. I then went to Germany, at Bitburg as Guidance Mechanic. My wife Janet & I had twin Boys at a Bitburg they were treated at the Hospital at Wiesbaden and Dr. Deer took care of the boys who grow up to be healthy adults. We rotated to Englen AFB, FT Walton Florida. Our site was at Okaloosa Island, A10 initially A-Birds converted for targets over the Gulf Test Range the B-Birds came off the inventory and we converted into targets we were given the task to rewire the airframe to accommodate the RC system flying, we launched 185 B & A-Birds all done by AF personnel. Then went to Hill, AFB in UT working in the Fire bee, Drones that were launched off a C-130 in multiply of
configurations, I volunteered to work on the Cruise Missile Test Force that ended in 1974 then transferred to the Engineering Division helping to upgrade to Range to support Air Force capabilities. I retired at Hill in 1990 as a SMSGT, live in Elizabeth, Co.
DAVID DENNIS from Parker wrote on October 4, 2022 at 1:46 pm
Was at the Indiana Military Museum in September and got a good look at the old Mace on display. This is a great stop if you are in the area. Toured the museum with Ron Kling (Mech 1) and Phil Goodpaster (GSC tech). Had a great day. Lots of old memories of school at Lowry AFB and our tour at Kadena. We were all there when the system was shutdown in December 1969. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the 2023 Reunion.
Hugh Ross from Essex Junction wrote on July 6, 2022 at 11:23 pm
I would like to hear from anyone who was at Patrick AFB 1956-1957 or at Hahn 9/57-6/59.
I would love to come to San Antonio, but I don't travel well anymore. Father Time!
I went back to the Cape after I got out and worked for General Dynamics/Astronautics on the Atlas Program as an Electrical Technician until I joined IBM in 1965 to work on the Apollo program as an Electrical Engineer. I worked thru Apollo 16 and then transferred to Manassas, VA to work on Large Scale Integrated Circuits including College Teaching and a long stretch as a Substitute Teacher at local schools. I think that is enough for me.
I went thru the Member List without finding anybody I knew. Maybe I am the last one from this era. I hope not. Enjoy San Antonio!
Richard Steele A/1C from Irvine, CA wrote on June 19, 2022 at 1:22 pm
Lowry 1960
Orlando 1960
Kadena 1961 - 1963
Orlando 1964

We were among the first to arrive at Kadena.
The missiles arrived at Kadena via cargo planes.

We loaded them onto 40'; trailers and delivered to the 498th maintenance area. The parts and pieces were assembled.

Each missile was diagnosed. and as construction became capable, we installed each missile to their launch bay.

From this point the 498th Maintenance Group was responsible for scheduled maintenance.
Benno KNORR from Roschberg/Germany wrote on June 19, 2022 at 5:06 am
Hi fellows,
just working on plans for a scale model of MATADOR transport('resupply') and transporter/erector/launcher trailers in 1:32 scale.
Unfortunately I can not find any good/correct drawings nor correct nomenclatura (like M-### in the ARMY...) of these trailers and all other support vehicles. Does anyone know where I can find TM (or copies/downloads...) to the MATADOR-related vehicles !
THANKS for ANY information and help !!!!!
Bill Simpson from Las Vegas wrote on June 18, 2022 at 11:30 am
Sorry to see our 2022 reunion has been canceled due to low attendance. We all knew that this would eventually happen. Father Time doesn’t wait on anyone. Regardless, myself and Frank Martinez will still celebrate in Nashville. Our flight and hotel reservations are completed. Never pass up a party. If you feel the same way we can make this a “mini reunion.” Plenty of local tours are available to keep us busy. Many thanks to Max. See you in Nashville.
Jack Drafahl from Cape Meares wrote on June 17, 2022 at 1:59 pm
Looking for launch crew members at Hahn Site IV Blockhouse 1. 1964-1966
Gordon Fisk from Brooksville,Fl wrote on May 22, 2022 at 9:32 am
Bruce Johnson:
Are you the Johnny Johnson that served with me at Hangar C in 63 ??
Lester T Evans from Lompoc wrote on April 3, 2022 at 8:43 pm
Hi Jim Martindale. This is Les Evans.
I remember you from the 498 TMG at Kadena AB, Okinawa.
I worked at the bottom of the hill in the maintenance complex. I did the airframe and engine periodic inspections and maintenance, engine test runs, etc.
I was there from September 1965 to June 1968.
I was an E-4 Sergeant when I left Okinawa.
I finished my first enlistment, and re-enlisted there.
I was transferred to the Minuteman Missile System, and remained there until I finished my 20-year career in the Air Force.
I retired in 1984 at the rank of Master Sergeant.
Retired while stationed at Vandenberg AFB, CA.
I worked on Vandenberg for a another 22 years for several civilian companies.
I live in Lompoc, near Vandenberg.