Mystery Matador Crash…?

April 6, 2011

Was it an early design “YB-61 Matador,” “Navy Matador” or a “Regulus” variant?  No conclusive identification has been made. See the bottom of this page for the most recent updates.

Thanks,
Russ


January 18, 2011

Can you help?

A suspected Matador crash site was recently discovered on Elgin AFB, Florida. Investigation is in progress to determine if the remnants are those of a Matador (or Mace). If you have any information that may help solve the mystery, please contact George Mindling or Russ Reston.

Thanks!
Russ

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Matador
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2011
From: Gary Quigg
To: George Mindling
Subject: Fwd: Matador

Hello,

I was hoping to contact Paul Dion, whom according to your website was at Eglin AFB during the 1960s. Or, I would like to contact anyone who may know of Matador/Mace launches to or from Eglin AFB.

I am an archaeologist who was asked to come down and conduct a survey of a crash site recently discovered about 8 miles north of Auxiliary Field 4 on Eglin AFB. After reviewing the remnants of the crash site over the last few days, I believe the remaining damaged parts on site are from a Matador. I say this because the horizontal stabilizer on site has small elevators, and it fits the size and swept back angle of the Matador’s horizontal stabilizer. At first I thought it was a Mace, but realized Mace missiles (and apparently later Matadors) did not have elevators.

I would like to confirm this wreckage as a Matador and find out where it came from…launched from Eglin or launched to Eglin from Cape Canaveral or Orlando.

Any help you could provide in terms of contacts or other sources would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Gary Quigg


January 19, 2011...
From: George Mindling
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
To: Sid Segler; Robert Bolton; Russ Reston; Bill Simpson; Max Butler; John M. Gibbs; Art Gust; Joe Perkins
Subject: Fwd: Matador

Good Morning, Everybody,

Here is an e-mail I just received that will probably interest the TAC Missileers.

George


From: Sid Segler
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
To: Gary Quigg
Cc: George Mindling; Bolton, Robert; Russ Reston; Bill Simpson; Max Butler; John M. Gibbs; Art Gust; Joe Perkins
Subject: Matador at Eglin

Gary,

I’m not sure this will be of any help, but maybe you can eliminate a couple of possibilities.

In October 1966, I was one of 31 members of the 4504th Training Wing at Orlando AFB, FL, who were selected to go to Eglin AFB in a TDY status to modify 20 Mace A missiles into target drones. Over time, all twenty drones were launched on a 180 heading out over the gulf test range and shot down or destroyed. One, unfortunately, continued on that 180 path over the western end of Cuba, ran out of fuel and crashed into the water south of Cuba.

The program was apparently successful, because in 1967, a Detachment of several of us from Orlando were assigned to Eglin on a permanent basis to continue the program. The unit’s charge was to modify all the remaining Mace “A” missiles into drones, followed by the Mace “B” missiles.

Our detachment served on Santa Rosa Island, first at Site A-15 and later at Site A-10. I was there for over five years and personally took part in or observed 121 launches of all the A-birds and many of the B-birds.

During my time there, not one drone ever returned toward the mainland or back to any of Eglin’s many test ranges.

Also during my time there, I never heard of any Matador or Mace that was ever launched from anywhere at Eglin except for the ones we launched from A-10 OR a-15. To my knowledge, none of our people ever heard of a Matador at Eglin, crashed or otherwise.

No Mace or Matador was ever launched from Orlando. Several of both were launched from the Cape, but I am confident in assuring you than not one was ever allowed to turn back toward the northwest and fly over our mainland en route to Eglin.

I know that among the many Tac Missileers, someone will be able to help you confirm the identity of the missile.

Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

Sid Segler
Palm Bay, FL


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
To: Sid Segler
Cc: George Mindling; Bob Bolton, Russ Reston; Bill Simpson; Max Butler; John M. Gibbs; Art Gust; Joe Perkins
Subject: Re: Matador at Eglin

Thanks Sid. Any little bit helps.

On April 29, 1974 a Mace missile launched on Santa Rosa Island crash landed 1.5 miles north of Auxiliary Field 4 on Eglin AFB. Unfortunately, the site I am investigating is 8 miles NNW of Aux Field 4. My understanding is the Mace was being used as a target drone for training with Air National Guard units.

I feel confident the wreckage I am investigating is not a Mace, as the trailing edge of the horizontal stabilizer has small elevators….but I have yet to find any evidence of early Matadors (with elevators) launched at Eglin.

I really appreciate your help and please spread the word.

Gary


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
To: Russ Reston
Cc: Sid Segler; George Mindling; John Gibbs; Art Gust; Bob Bolton; Joe Perkins; Max Butler; William Simpson
Subject: Re: Matador at Eglin

Many thanks. Additional research today revealed a photograph of a Matador launch at Eglin, dated “before 1954.” Also, after reading:

Final Report on Project “Sun Rise”
The Unit Operational Employment Test
of the TM-61C Matador Guided Missile
Project No. APG/TAT/568-A

I learned that while project “Sun Rise” involved the deployment of Eglin personnel to Wheelus Field in Libya in March of 1957, previous Matador testing is referenced in this report as Project No. APG/TAT/53-A and 53-A-2. The above report references three reports:

Final Report on Project No. APG/TAT/53-A
“OST of the B-61A Matador Pilotless Aircraft”
December 7, 1954

Final Report on Project No. APG/TAT/53-A-2
Title Classified
December 30, 1955

Interim Report No. 1 on Project No. APG/TAT/568-A
March 5, 1956

Presumably, these tests, or at least some of these tests, took place at Eglin. I am hopeful to find a veteran of the missile program who may have been involved in these test programs who might be able to shed some light on Eglin Matador operations in the early 50s.

Thanks again!

Gary


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2011
To: TAC Missileers (Russ Reston)
Subject: Re: FW: Matador at Eglin

Feel free to pass along these shots of the wreckage. The first is what I am identifying as the horizontal stabilizer. The second I have no clue, but maybe you and your contacts can help identify……the shot is of electrical components that consist of clear plastic rectangles about 3″ by 4″ by 1″ thick….inside the containers are what looks like a stack of credit cards. Thanks.

Gary

Click on images to enlarge.

Horizontal Stabilizer? (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)

Unknown? (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)

Unknown? (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)


January 20, 2011...
From: Robert Bolton
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011
To: Gary Quigg
Cc: Sid Segler; Robert Bolton; Russ Reston; Bill Simpson; Max Butler; John M. Gibbs; Art Gust; Joe Perkins; George Mindling
Subject: Mystery “Matador Maybe Pictures”

Hi Gary,

This probably is not helpful to the solving of the ID of this aircraft. But, In looking at the three pictures, in the two with the “electronics” there is something about those plastic containers that I recall seeing else where while I was in the Air Force. Could they be a type of battery pack or large capacitors?

Does that strike a memory with anyone else.

Bob


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011
To: Robert Bolton
Cc: Sid Segler; Russ Reston; Bill Simpson; Max Butler; John M. Gibbs; Art Gust; Joe Perkins; George Mindling
Subject: Re: Mystery “Matador Maybe Pictures”

Bob,

I don’t have your expertise but my guess was similar to yours. I am thinking the plastic containers are a part of a reserve battery system that gets charged when something enters the container (gas? liquid? heat?). I don’t know anything about capacitors, but I suppose that’s a possiblity too. Would something like this have been inside a Matador?

Gary


From: Fred Horky
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011
To: Russ Reston
Subject: wreckage at Eglin

Russ,

To my knowledge all Martin cruise missiles …Matador and Mace alike …had a one-piece, “all moving” tail for pitch control, much like most of the fighter planes of the day.

Of hand, I think he found some other type of wreckage.

Fred


From: Lee
Sent: Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:58 PM
To: Russ Reston
Subject: Eglin AFB Crash Site

Russ, I didn’t read anything in the e-mail from Gary Quigg that the Base Historian at Eglin had been queried. They would be the first to contact for the correct answer. They might even have something about it in one of the old base newspapers.

I know there was a GAM-77 Hound Dog that crashed near there on 6 September, 1960. I didn’t go through the entire listing of crashes at Eglin, but Mr. Quigg might want to do so.

There is a listing of aircraft accidents on Wikipedia. Have him check “List Of Aircraft Accidents At Eglin AFB” on their website. The answer to his question might be there.

I’m betting the debris is from a Hound Dog.

Lee


January 21, 2011...
From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 8:32 AM
To: Russ Reston
Cc: Lee; George Mindling; Bob Bolton
Subject: Re: Eglin AFB Crash Site

Thanks Lee. This is what I do for a living so yes I’ve spent the week here at Eglin with the base historian and gone through all of their resources which include the base histories and the base newspapers. While the base histories from 1956 are missing (which would have mentioned the two launches) I did find a half dozen articles on the Matador at Eglin which include info on the 1953 climate testing as well as the 56 and 58 launches. Aircraft archaeology and history are my specialties, so I am quite confident the wreckage is not that of a Hound Dog or any other missile used at Eglin. Further there is both a Hound Dog and a Mace at the Armament Museum here. I did a close walk around on both and the wreckage just doesn’t match up at all. I have also reviewed the entire list of crashes on Eglin, including the one on the internet you mentioned…..which isn’t complete at all by any means unfortunately.

Thank you for your suggestions.

Forgot to mention the September 6 Hound Dog crash was near Samson, Alabama.


From: Lee
To: Gary Quigg
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 Subject: Re: Eglin AFB Crash Site

Thanks for the heads-up, Gary. Obviously, a pro at work. Now it is easy to understand why you are querying the Missileers — your normal sources have pretty well run dry.

One more thought would be to try to contact any, and all, names that appear in related articles you found in the Eglin history search. Russ might be able to find some who are still living through advanced “People Search”. However, 55+ years have passed and the number of survivors might be pretty small.

Wishing you the best,

Lee


From: Gary Quigg
To: Lee
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 7:34 PM
Subject: Re: Eglin AFB Crash Site

You missileers have been immensely helpful in my research. Good point on following up on names in the articles.

Ironically this afternoon I went to check out another aircraft I had seen in a satellite image at the west end of the base. You guessed it….a Matador. This one is a TM-61C. The nose and engine had been removed, and it obviously had been placed there….probably by helicopter. Not sure why. It was not used as a target for ground manuevers as it was not shot up at all. Interestingly, it had deep cuts in the leading edge of the wings and in the vertical…..from steel cables. Makes me wonder if it was tested and “captured” in a steel cable net for some reason…..another mystery….

Gary


From: Stephanie Johnson
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 3:56 PM
To: TAC Missileers
Subject: FW: Info needed regarding Eglin crash site: Mace or Matador?

Russ,

You’ll have to read through the whole email, but Jan Clarno’s dad was working on the project here at Eglin. Hope this sheds some light on the question.

v/r,
Stephanie Johnson

—–Attached Message—–
From: Jan Clarno
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 12:56 PM
To: Stephanie Johnson
Cc: Harols Gilland
Subject: FW: Info needed regarding Eglin crash site: Mace or Matador?

Stephanie,

I talked to my Dad yesterday and the only thing he could remember was, that a Matador (he’s pretty sure that was the type that was being flown), was launched form a submarine near Jacksonville, Fl and was flown towards Eglin.

Problems accrued during the flight so they wanted to recover the Matador,they were trying to land it on Range B-70 and recover it. He wasn’t sure if it made it to B-70. B-70 is located to the west of where this crash site is located.

He thought the Navy was doing the operation.

My dad moved here in 1952 while working for Vitro, but he made trips in and out of here from 1947 to 1952. He help design some of the ranges and buildings on Eglin. He worked on the O&M contract until 1983.

Hope this can help a little.

If I can help any further let me know.

Jan Clarno


From: George Mindling
Sent: Friday, January 21, 2011 10:54 PM
To: Russ Reston
Cc: Stephanie Johnson; Gary Quigg; Bob Bolton
Subject: Re: Info needed regarding Eglin crash site: Mace or Matador?

Hello Everybody,

Don’t laugh at the Navy using the Matadors. While researching our book, Bob and I found 10 of the original B-61A’s were turned over to the Navy in 1957/58, after the Air Force had completed pulling in all the original operational/training B-61A’s. By 1958, there were 30 B-61A Matadors considered “as-is” and left for museums/displays. The Navy got an additional 10, and Martin Co. kept two for engine run-ups.

Just an FYI…

George


January 22, 2011...
To: George Mindling
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011
From: Gary Quigg
Subject: Re: Info needed regarding Eglin crash site: Mace or Matador?

George,

Can you share the source document for that info? I’d like to include the reference in my report.

What do you think about a Matador launch from a sub near Jacksonville flying over land to Eglin? Plausible?

Also, I just found a TM-61C yesterday on Eglin north of Choctaw field. The engine was removed as is was the nose but the rest is all there. It has three large cuts from steel cables (apparently)….one in each leading wing edge and in the vertical…as if it was launched and then intentionally captured by cables. Any thoughts? It clearly did not land where I found it….must have been helicoptered in and placed there….the ground is too swampy for land vehicles. It’s not shot up so it must not have been used as a target for ground maneuvers…maybe for a satellite imagery target?

Gary


To: Gary Quigg
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 9:14 AM
From: George Mindling
Subject: Re: Info needed regarding Eglin crash site: Mace or Matador?

Gary,

My archives are boxed and filed, but I’ll pull them out this weekend. Some of the Holloman records are on DVD (fiche) so it might take a week or so. The original excess/surplus B-61As were sent to Holloman in 1957/58 for the original drone program.

As far as a submarine launched Matador, that is the first I have heard of that, but I have not researched Navy records! I seriously doubt a planned unmanned, flight path over Florida, by any organization, but I have stubbed my toe on assumptions before. I have learned not to be surprised at anything I find, especially when everything was absolutely Top-Secret. And, also, the source here is worth pursuing. I would have to assume IF that were the case, and it may well be, the Navy used the same guidance system they used in the Regulus program. IF there was a Matador launch, it probably would have been from one of the few Regulus equipped ships, not necessarily a sub, as a comparison test of some sort. The Regulus program had beaten the Matador in head-to-head competition back in 1949 and actually shut down the Matador program. Only Korea and Joe-1 brought the Matador back to life. I have a hard time envisioning an armed chase plane over north Florida, but then the AF did it 3 times over New Mexico and Utah, flying from Mace-As from Holloman to Wendover.

I would assume it was a radio controlled system, I seriously doubt MSQ or any other self-contained system was the prime guidance system. I don’t know the actual guidance used, but I know we used ARW-59 (at least on several in late 1961) command guidance for range safety over-ride on the later Mace units launched at the cape. The give-away is the antenna mounted just above the tail-pipe where the tail-pipe temperature sensor is mounted or on the bottom of the vertical stabilizer. There were similar systems used later on the drones fired from Santa Rosa.

Again, interesting stuff, you never know where the research will lead.

George


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 6:09 PM
To: George Mindling
Cc: Russ Reston; Ric Gillespie; Craig Fuller
Subject: Re: Info needed regarding Eglin crash site: Mace or Matador?

Thanks George. Sorry to put you to the trouble. I’ve been e-mailing so many missileers and other interested persons that I don’t remember if I’ve told you I looked at a TM-61C here at Eglin yesterday and this morning. It’s north of Choctaw Field in a swamp and it’s about 75% complete. It’s not shot up, so it hasn’t been used as a ground target….probably set there for satellite testing or search and rescue practice. It definitely didn’t land there. The engine and nose have been removed.

What’s interesting about this Matador (which is nowhere near the crash site I am reviewing) is that it has obvious cable cuts in the leading edge of the wing and vertical stabilizer. Makes me wonder if it wasn’t fired and intentionally captured by a cable harness somewhere for testing…..maybe on Eglin? Ever heard of anything like that of have any idea where it may have come from? Here are some pics of both the crash site I reviewed early in the week and of the Matador I looked at yesterday and today.

The first picture is of the horizontal stabilizer at the crash site I reviewed earlier in the week, which I am interpreting at this time as an early Matador….but I’m not yet completely convinced of that assertion.

Click on image to enlarge.

Horizontal Stabilizer - Crash site #1 (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)

Horizontal Stabilizer - Crash site #1 (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)

The second picture is of a structure at the crash site which may be a reserve battery system or capacitors of some kind(?) Would like your opinion on this and if this would have been found in a Matador.

Click on image to enlarge.

Reserve battery system? - Crash site #1  (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)

Reserve battery system? - Crash site #1 (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)

The third picture is the TM-61C I looked at yesterday and today….not associated with the first two pics…..these sites are miles apart on Eglin.

Click on image to enlarge.

TM-61C - unrelated to previous photos (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)

TM-61C - unrelated to previous photos (photo courtesy of Gary Quigg)

By the way, do you know where I might find a parts manual, interior schematic, interior photos or a field manual of the Matador?

Gary


January 25, 2011...
From: Russ Reston
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 1:59 PM
To: Gary Quigg
Cc: George Mindling; Art Gust; Bob Bolton; Joe Perkins; Max Butler; William Simpson
Subject: RE: Eglin

Gary, thanks for keeping me ‘in the loop.’ See the attached note from Joe Perkins (TAC Missileers Executive Director). He seems to also recall some Navy cruise missile testing at Elgin.

Assuming the crash site missile may be one of the Navy’s…. I wonder if the crash remnants belong to a Regulus or a Regulus variant vs. a Matador…? Apparently the Navy’s Regulus was similar to the Matador…?

The Navy appears to have done some ‘experimenting’ with the Matador – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSM-N-8_Regulus

They definitely were looking for a seagoing missile capable of delivering a nuclear weapon – http://www.regulus-missile.com/Regulus-Missile3.html

You might be able to get some Regulus info from Nick Spark, the domain owner of http://www.regulus-missile.com/ Maybe he is aware of the Navy conducting Matador tests?

Based on the registration for www.regulus-missile.com , it looks like Spark is located in Los Angles and affiliated with www.periscopefilm.com.

Russ

Attached email________________________________________
From: Joe Perkins
Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 12:29 PM
To: Russ Reston
Cc: Bob Bolton; Max Butler; Bill Simpson; Art Gust; Julian Esposito; George Mindling
Subject: RE: [TAC Missileers] Daily newsletter

If my memory is correct the navy launched a cruise missile off the eastern coast that impacted in the Eglin range. I remember people being afraid it would crash on them for it over flew Georgia and parts of Florida.

Joe


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 2:17 PM
To: Russ Reston (TAC Missileers)
Cc: George Mindling; Art Gust; Bob Bolton; Joe Perkins; Max Butler; William Simpson
Subject: Re: Eglin

Thanks Russ. I have looked into the Regulus as a possibilty. The problem is the Regulus had no horizontal stabilizer of any kind…..unless there was an early prototype of which I am unaware that had one…..and the only identifiable aircraft component in the wreckage at the site is a swept-back horizontal stabilizer which matches the size and shape of a Matador’s. However, the stabilizer on site does not match up (in it’s construction) with a Matador TM-61C or a Mace….the horizontal stabilzers on those two were (as you know) variable incidence horizontal stabilizers (stabilators).

The rivet attachment pattern on the stabilators of the TM-61C and the Mace are markedly different than the stabilizer on the wreckage site I have found. There are not rivets on the upper and lower side of the stabilator’s airfoil…..the rivets on these attach at the leading edge, trailing edge and tips. The stabilizer at the wreckage site has a clear rivet pattern on both upper and lower surfaces of the airfoil. This leads me to the possibility that the wreckage stabilizer may be from a very early version of the Matador…..the earliest Matadors had traditional horizontal stabilizers with small elevators. I have not seen a detailed photo of an early Matador stabilizer that allows me to see if there are rivets on the airfoil (upper and lower). I believe there is an early Matador in existence (from website photos), but I don’t yet know where it is. If I can find it’s location, I can make inquiries for close-up digital photos.

I will follow up on your contacts regarding Navy testing of Matadors and Regulus variants. Really appreciate your continuing assistance.

Gary


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 2:27 PM
To: Joe Perkins (TAC Missileers)
Cc: George Mindling; Art Gust; Bob Bolton; Russ Reston; Max Butler; William Simpson
Subject: Re: Eglin

Dear Joe,

I sure hope your memory is correct about the Navy launching off the east coast with a missile impacting on the Eglin range….and people in Georgia and Florida being worried about it’s flight path. It’s very interesting because you are the second person to come forward with this kind of recollection. Guys, forgive me for not recalling who the first gentleman was….a retired Admiral?….but there has been such a flurry of e-mails that I can’t keep up….though I still have them I just don’t have time to search back and follow each line of inquiry….but I will when I can.

I like the hypothesis about the Navy launch with an impact on Eglin because it’s a good fit with the wreckage, but I’ve gotta try to nail it down with more evidence. If any of you can help find others who may have such a recollection, or know where I might find some sort of record of it that would be a great help.

I’ve said it before, but you guys are great to take the time to help me.

Gary


From: Russ Reston
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:14 PM
To: Gary Quigg’
Cc: Bob Bolton; George Mindling
Subject: Matador YB-61?

Gary, apparently the YB-61 (aka YSSM-A-1) Matador had a different horizontal stabilizer than the B-61A / TM-61C Matadors. It was swept back, but did not have the variable incidence that the TM-61C (and Mace CGM-13A & B) had.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MGM-1_Matador

Here is a YB-61 Matador photo taken at Lowry AFB, Denver, CO in 1963. (It’s hard to remember I used to be so skinny… ?)

YB-61 Matador

There is a better photo of the same YB-61 here – http://www.designation-systems.net/dusrm/m-1.html

Does this look like the is this the kind of stabilizer you are investigating?

Regards,
Russ


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 4:25 PM
To: Russ Reston (TAC Missileers)
Cc: Bob Bolton; George Mindling
Subject: Re: Matador YB-61?

Yeah….that’s what I’m talkin’ about. I’ve seen the photo on the web link you shared, but obviously not the one with the skinny you. Can’t tell from the photos…it’s the right shape and size, but I’ll need a close view of the rivet pattern on the air foil of the stabilizer. I suppose I could contact Lowry?….assuming the YB-61 is still there….maybe I could get someone to take close up photos and email them to me.


From: Robert Bolton
Sent: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 5:42 PM
To: Russ Reston
Subject: B-61

Here is the best view I have of the horizontal stabulizer showing the elevator deflected. You have to look closely at the picture to see it, but you can see that the control surface is definately there.

YB-61 Matador (photo courtesy of Bob Bolton)

YB-61 Matador (photo courtesy of Bob Bolton)

Bob


February 4, 2011...
From: Mark Sublette
Sent: Friday, February 04, 2011 8:22 PM
To: Russ Reston
Subject: TAC Missileers “Contact Us” Submission – Mystery Mace

Greetings:
I stumbled upon your page while looking for missile information. I am the primary editor of both the Eglin Air Force Base article, and the List of Aircraft Crashes at Eglin AFB on the Wikipedia.
Here I was what I know, based on articles from the Playground Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, in 1974:
*29 April 1974 – A USAF MGM-13 Mace of the 4751st ADMS, crashed in a wooded area of Eglin AFB, Florida, approximately ~1.5 miles north of Auxiliary Field 4 after launch from Eglin Site A-10 on Santa Rosa Island about 1200 hrs. for a routine Air National Guard training mission. There were no injuries or property damage although a small brushfire was ignited, quickly extinguished. (Fort Walton Beach, Florida: Playground Daily News, Tuesday, 30 April 1974, page 1A.) The okay to launch the nine remaining Maces during June for air-to-air missile tests was given on 29 May 1974. ”Officials noted that 154 mace [sic] target missiles had been fired prior to this failure, with none failing due to a similar problem.” (Fort Walton Beach, Florida: Playground Daily News, ’’Air Force Resumes MACE Tests’’, Thursday, 30 May 1974.)

Best regards,
Mark Sublette
Clemson, S.C.


February 5, 2011...
From: Russ Reston
Sent: Sat, Feb 5, 2011 at 1:18 PM
To: Mark Sublette and Gary Quigg
Subject: TAC Missileers “Contact Us” Submission – Mystery Mace

Mark, thanks for the input!

Gary, see the attached email (shown above) re the MGM-13 crash on April 29th, 1974.
Have you made any progress in identifying the ‘mystery crash’ 8 miles north of Auxiliary Field 4? Do you still think it was a pre-production Matador (e.g., YB-61)?

Regards,
Russ


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2011 1:41 PM
To: Russ Reston (TAC Missileers)
Subject: Re: FW: TAC Missileers “Contact Us” Submission – Mystery Mace

Hi Russ,
Thanks for the additional info on the Mace crash. I am still leaning toward an early Matador on the crash site I am investigating, but I’m not certain. No further progress lately, as other projects have kept me away from it.

Gary


April 6, 2011...
From: George Mindling
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2011 6:05 PM
To: Gerald Eubanks
Cc: Robert Bolton; Russ Reston; Max Butler; Joe Perkins; Bill Simpson
Subject: Re: Matador Wreckage

Gerald,

Thanks for the great e-mail. I’ll forward it to the TAC Missileers as well. Thanks again for taking the time to write. It’s great information and I think it will help.

Take care,
George

Gerald Eubanks wrote:
George, I was the launch crew chief and launched about 12 Matador missiles at Patrick AFB in 1954-56. All of those missiles either found their targets or were shot down by range safety chase planes.

There were no small elevators on the horizontal stabilizer of any of the models: the entire elevator was positioned on top of the tail section and was hydraulically operated to change the pitch of the Matador (the entire elevator pivoted).

If any of the wing parts survived, there were spoilers or fingers (approx 12 of them that were about 8 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide on each wing) that were mounted in the center of the wings and hinged up out of the wing to control roll. If you find any of these, it’s a dead givaway that it is a matador.

I have doubts that your wreckage is a Matodor wreckage because, on every launch, the Air Force sent out a chase plane to make sure the matador reached it’s target. The Matador was always launched on the beach right out to sea and, because of a history of electronic failure, many of the Matadors went out of control and were shot down. Also, the wings and fuselage we laced with explosive primer cord and the Matador could be destroyed in the air by a range safety officer if it went out of control and headed for land.

I knew one of the chase plane pilots and he hated flying close to the Matador because it was so unpredictable. They were always worried about colliding with it if it became erratic.
I hope I have helped in identifying your wreckage,

Gerald

Gerald Eubanks
Hot Springs, AR 71913


From: Gary Quigg
Sent: Thursday, April 07, 2011 10:50 AM
To: Russ Reston (TAC Missileers)
Subject:Re: FW: Matador Wreckage

Hi Russ,

Thanks for the e-mail and the attached e-mail. Good info. I submitted my report a couple weeks ago. No conclusive identification on the wreckage, best candidate still an early Matador (flat horizontal stabilizer with small elevators). I will send you the report once I get clearance to do so, but that may take a few months.

Again I want to thank you for all your help and the help of all the Missileers….feel free to forward this along.

Gary


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