98th Bombardment Group (H)


98th Strategic Aerospace Wing: 1964-1966. B-47s, KC-97s, Atlas F Missiles


In early 1964, the 98th added a new force to its peace keeping mission with the assignment of the 551st Strategic Missile Squadron (551st SMS).  The deployment of the squadron’s 12 Atlas F Intercontinental Ballistic cialis hong kong Missiles (ICBMs) in sites in the area surrounding the city of Lincoln was another step in the evolution of U.S. strategy to counter the threat of the Soviet Union.  Eventually, the strategy embraced a “triad” of bombers, ICBMs, and submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).  The addition of the 551st SMS resulted in the wing being designated the 98th Aerospace Wing on February 1, 1964.

The cost of maintaining the Atlas missiles was rendered prohibitive by the development of the Minuteman and Titan ICBMs, and in November 1964 SAC announced that the 551st SMS would be deactivated on June 30, 1965, due to the cost factor and the faster reaction time of the newer missiles.  At the same time, the Air Force announced that Lincoln AFB would close on June 30, 1966 and that the 98th Wing would be de-active on or about that date.  As the wing ceased flying training missions in the B-47s and began to draw down personnel, the wing received another honor when it was selected for an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

On December 7, 1965, the last three B-47s departed the base on their last flights to the “Boneyard”.  This marked the end of the bomber era for the 98th.  During the over twenty years as a bomber unit, the 98th’s record of accomplishments remains unsurpassed in the annuals of Air Force history.

Roster of Commanders

Bomber era: 1942 to 1966

Lt. Col. Frank H. Robinson, January 28, 1942

Col. Hugh P. Rush, April 1942 – December 1942

Col. John R. Kane, December 1942 – November 1943

Lt. Col. Julian M. Bleyer, November 1943 – November 1943

Col. William E. Karnes, November 1943 – January 1944

Lt. Col. Marshall R. Gray, January 1944 – July 1944

Col. Salvatore E. Manzo, July 1944 – April 1945

Col. John G. Erickson, June 1945 – September 1945

Lt. Col. Joseph D. White, July 1947 – April 1948

Col. William D. Cairnes, April 1948 – January 1949

Col. Richard D. Dick, January 1949 – April 1950

Col. Clifford H. Rees, April 1950 – May 1950

Col. Richard H. Carmichael, May 1950 – March 1951

Col. David Wade, March 1951 – September 1951

Col. Edwin F. Harding, Jr., September 1951 – November 1951

Col. Lewis A. Curtic, November 1951 – May 1952

Col. William R. Close, May 1952 – June 1952

Col. Charles B. Westover, June 1952 – May 1953

Col. Edgar S. Davis, May 1953 – July 1953

Col. George L. Robinson, July 1953 – April 1954

Col. Joseph C. Reddock, April 1954 – July 1954

Col. Ervin Wursten, July 1954 – November 1954

Col. William F. Coleman, November 1954 – November 1956

Col. Wilson R. Wood, November 1956 – December 1958

Col. William C. Garland, December 1958 – July 1961

Col. James T. Gribble, Jr., July 1961 – November 1963

Col. Lee V. Wiseman, November 1963 – August 1964

Col. Clifford J. Moore, August 1964 – June 1966