Established during World War II, Malmstrom Air Force Base (AFB) has supported the defense of the United States for nearly eight decades.
Originally a heavy bomber training base, Great Falls Army Air Base was a nexus of fascinating war stories, from Women Airforce Service Pilots ferrying fighter aircraft to Soviet pilots transferring the same aircraft to the Eastern Front during the closing days of World War II.
After the war, Great Falls AFB was selected to train pilots for the Berlin Airlift. Nuclear deterrence took center stage in the early Cold War years, with Malmstrom AFB providing air defense, command and control, and aerial refueling over the Northern Tier. Reflecting unmatched excellence, Malmstrom AFB was selected to operate the first wing of Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles in 1961.
This legacy of being the first has earned the wing the nickname “Wing One,” with a storied history to follow.
The men and women of Malmstrom AFB continue to work grueling jobs in often difficult conditions, but still maintain the pride and excellence in service that defined their predecessors’ successes.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Joseph T. Page II (“Joe”) is an amateur space historian and former Air Force space and missile officer. The space and history “bug” bit him early in life while growing up at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, the “Birthplace of America’s Missile and Space Activity.” After spending a decade in uniform, Joe and his family finally settled in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of New Mexico and is currently pursuing graduate studies in history. This is his first Fonthill Media title.