Baldy Hughes, BC

1952 Historical Report USAF Historical Division


History of the
918th Aircraft Control and
Warning Squadron

1 April 1952 30 June 1952

 

 

Chapter One
Organization and Administration

At 0001 hours on 16 April 1952 the 918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron came into existence per authority of General Order 21, Headquarters Western Defense Force, dated 31 March 1952. The newly activated unit with an authorized strength of 12 officers and 99 airmen was assigned to Western Air Defense Force and attached to the 87th Air Base Squadron, Geiger Field, Spokane, Washington. The Squadron was to be manned by one officer and one airman.

On the same day, 16 April 1952, 2nd Lt. Wesley W McBride, A0 1907738 and A/1C Kenneth G Heinz, AF 28191980 were assigned to this new unit per Special Order # 49 dated 15 April 1952 Hq 87th Air Base Squadron. Lt. McBride assumed command of the squadron under authority of Special Order # 1 dated 16 April 1952, 918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron.

Due to the lack of facilities the 918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron Headquarters was located in the same building with the 145th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron in order to receive administrative and logistical support from this other organization.

During the remaining two weeks of April, Lt. McBride and A/1C Heinz set up the machinery to handle administrative functions of the squadron. The necessary squadron sections such as Finance, Personnel, Distribution and Intelligence were set up and put in operation.

Steps had been taken to acquire office equipment and supplies necessary for the proper functioning of the unit. The month of May was largely devoted to improving the necessary groundwork for the smooth operation of the squadron.

Continued lack of facilities forced the 918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron to utilize the administrative and logistical support of the 145th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron during the month. During the first part of May the personnel of the squadron qualified with the Carbine M-1 Caliber 30 on the Fairchild Air Force Base 1000 inch range.

Lt. Colonel William E Pitcher, A0 730597, was assigned to this organization on 19 May 1952 per Special Order 74 dated 19 May 1952, 87th Air Base Squadron. On the same day Lt. Colonel Pitcher departed for nine (9) days TDY to Trenton, Ontario, Canada for the purpose of conferring with Royal Canadian Air Force Officials.

Lt. Colonel Pitcher returned from TDY on 29 May 1952 and assumed command of the squadron on that date per Special Order #2 dated 29 May 1952, Hqs 918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. 2nd Lt. Wesley W McBride, A0 1907738, was appointed Adjutant.

The month of June showed a large gain in personnel in the 918th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. With the assignment of 11 airmen from the 145th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, the 918th was finally on the road towards smooth operation.

In the latter part of the month one (1) Warrant Officer Junior Grade and eleven (11) airmen were assigned to the squadron from various organizations in WADF.

The first promotions in the squadron affected two airmen, promoting them to the grades of E-4 and E-3. Ordinary levels were held to a minimum because of the shortage of trained personnel.

Strength figures for the period of 16 April 1952 to 30 June 1952 were: Officers 1 to 3, Airmen 1 to 23.