Roswell

Roswell



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In this UFO Sightings video clip: Roswell: A brief look at the Roswell UFO encounter, and the controversy around it. For over 60 years, the debate has raged on. What happened in Roswell? An alien encounter or a government cover-up? Get a closer look at Roswell.


Deportation of Roswell Mill Women

Barry L. Brown and Gordon R. Elwell, Crossroads of Conflict: A Guide to Civil War Sites in Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010).

Caroline Matheny Dillman, The Roswell Mills and a Civil War Tragedy: Excerpts from Days Gone by in Alpharetta and Roswell, Georgia, vol. 1 (Roswell, Ga.: Chattahoochee Press, 1996).

Michael D. Hitt, After the Left Flank: Military Operations in the Roswell Area after July 16, 1864, and the Journey of the Roswell Mill Employees (Roswell, Ga.: privately printed, 1985).

Michael D. Hitt, Charged with Treason: Ordeal of 400 Mill Workers during Military Operations in Roswell, Georgia, 1864-1865 (Monroe, N.Y.: Library Research Associates, 1992).

Darlene M. Walsh, Roswell: A Pictorial History, 2d ed. (Roswell, Ga.: Roswell Historical Society, 1994).


THINK YOU KNOW THE HISTORY OF ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO?

In previous articles that I have written about Roswell New Mexico, I have mentioned a few things Roswell and the State of New Mexico are known for that are not affiliated with the 1947 UFO crash near town, which of course is what Roswell is known for world wide.

Since I started doing the Roswell UFO tours and became certified by the State of New Mexico and licensed by the city of Roswell, I have to admit that I have become more educated about this town I live in and its varied history, which for me as a tour guide not only has been educational, but has given me the opportunity to share that information with the visitors I take on tour. Most appreciate the fact that I share a lot more about Roswell then just the UFO Incident, since the UFO Incident is normally why they book the tours in the first place.

When driving in to Roswell from any direction you see a sign stating, “Welcome to the Dairy Capital of Southeast New Mexico,” not welcome to the “UFO Capital of the World.” The reason for the sign always shocks people when I tell them that Roswell has the largest cheese manufacturing plant of domestic mozzarella cheese in the nation, and perhaps the world. Leprino Foods owns the plant and employs some 575 workers. The plant is currently undertaking a one-million dollar expansion in Roswell. Occasionally, depending on wind direction, the dairy industry that furnishes vast amounts of milk to the plant is evident in the air. Dairy men claim “that’s the smell of money in the air.”

New Mexico didn’t become a State until 1912, although the city of Roswell was founded in the 1800’s, so there have been two state flags during it’s history. The original flag designed by New Mexico historian Ralph Emerson Twitchell, featured a design quite different from the current flag. In 1920 the Daughters of the American Revolution suggested a new design more representative of the unique character of New Mexico. The new design featured an interpretation of an ancient symbol of the sun as found on a late 19th century water jar from the Zia Pueblo. The red symbol is called a “Zia,” and is centered on a field of yellow. The number four is a sacred number for the Zia, and is repeated in the four points radiating from the circle. The four points represent the four seasons the four points of a compass and the 24 hours of a day by sunrise, noon, evening and night. The Zia also represents that with life came four sacred obligations: development of a strong body, a clear mind, a pure spirit, and devotion to the welfare of people/ family. All these things are bound together within the circle of life on the New Mexico State flag.

The New Mexico State song, “O, Fair New Mexico,” is also unique in that it was written by Elizabeth Garrett (left), born in 1885. If that last name sounds familiar, it’s because Elizabeth was the daughter of former Lincoln County Sheriff, Pat Garrett, best known for allegedly killing out law, Billy the Kid. Elizabeth lost her eyesight a few hours after birth due to an over-application of “blue vitrol” to her eyes to prevent infection. She received her education and basic training at the Texas School for the Blind in Austin, Texas. She became a voice and piano teacher, performing in respected Chicago and New York theaters, and was persuaded to sing her composition, “O, Fair New Mexico,” for the State Legislature. The song was unanimously adopted by the Legislature as the state song March 14, 1917.

Iron Cross on Spring River’s north bank

During World War II, a prisoner of war camp was established by the War Department near Orchard Park, southeast of Roswell, which housed some 4800 German prisoners of war. On January 1, 1943, the first prisoners there were from the “Afrikacorps,” Rommel’s men from the 8th Army. From 1943 to 1946, during the incarceration of these POW’s, the men worked as field hands on the many farms in Chaves County, as well as in the Artesia and Mayhill areas. In 1943, a 50-man detail worked on a flood control project in Roswell by riprapping or laying rocks on the Spring River banks. On the north bank between Pennsylvania and Kentucky Avenues the POW’s used different size rocks to make an “Iron Cross” on the bank. Some Roswell citizens were incensed by this and poured five yards of concrete over the POW’s handiwork. The concrete washed away over the years, and the iron cross is again clearly visible from this point.

A Piece of the Berlin Wall on display in Roswell, NM

Another piece of world history that the city of Roswell has on display near the Iron Cross mentioned above, is a small section of the Berlin wall, that many may remember President Reagan’s telling Russian Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, “ tear down this wall,” when Reagan was in Berlin, Germany making a speech. This section of the Berlin wall was a gift from the German Luftwaffe (the German Air Force), to the city of Roswell for the hospitality and goodwill it experienced during military maneuvers. Shown on this piece of the wall is the western side (the Democratic side), which has graffiti.

The Historical Museum of Southeast New Mexico has acquired a piece of a steel I- beam or column (above) from one of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, when the tragedy occurred September 11, 2001. Understandably, very little information is available pertaining to what specific area of which tower is represented by the piece on display in the Archives building adjacent to the museum. The acquisition of the steel was coordinated through Senator Jeff Bingaman’s office, which advised the Historical Society to contact New York City Deputy Mayor, Tom Curitore in a letter dated September 19, 2002.


UFO Story

In July 1947, something happened northwest of Roswell during a severe thunderstorm. Was it a flying saucer? Was it a weather balloon? What happened?

The answer is, nothing for many years, until leading UFO researcher Stanton Friedman came across the story in the early 1980s and began the search for information and witnesses. That research brought him to Roswell looking for the public information officer who had been at Roswell Army Air Field in 1947. That officer was Lt. Walter Haut. He still lived in Roswell and remembered the press release and the orders from his commanding officer.

Friedman's investigation also led to many others, both military and private, who had information to add to the Roswell Incident story. Stepping into the picture very strongly in the late 1980s were Don Schmitt, Kevin Randle and Tom Carey. since then, Schmitt and Carey have dedicated their research to Roswell.

Once it became public, the event known as The Roswell Incident - the crash of an alleged flying saucer, the recovery of debris and bodies and the ensuing cover up by the military - was of such magnitude and so shrouded in mystery that, 70 years later, there are still more questions than answers. Books have been written and TV documentaries have been filmed. Witnesses have come forward. Skeptics have issued rebuttals to the Incident, and the debate continues.

The International UFO Museum & Research Center, located at 114 N. Main Street, is a nonprofit corporation founded in the fall of 1991 by Walter Haut, Glenn Dennis and Max Littell. The museum opened to visitors in the fall of 1992. The UFO museum was organized to inform the public about what has come to be known as "The Roswell Incident" as well as all other aspects of the UFO phenomena. The corporation's mission statement includes the goal to educate, not convince, the general public about the Roswell Incident and all aspects of the UFO phenomena.

People from all around the world travel to Roswell to what the UFO Museum has to offer. some of the exhibits include information on the Roswell Incident, crop circles, UFO sightings, ancient astronauts and extraterrestrial abductions. The exhibits are designed to encourage visitors to ask questions and to think outside the box.

The UFO Museum's Research Center Library houses more than 7,000 books and over 30,000 magazines, periodicals, pamphlets and more than 1,500 DVDs related to the UFO phenomena. The library's friendly staff is available to help students of all ages with school projects and reports, as well as authors, researchers and visitors seeking information. Email the UFO Museum's Research Center Library for a free information packet.

Once visitors began making their way to Roswell seeking more information on the 1947 Incident, a number of local residents, in conjunction with the UFO Museum and the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, came up with the idea of celebrating the anniversary of Roswell Incident every year during the first week of July.

Since 1996, the Roswell UFO Festival has drawn thousands of visitors to the UFO Museum and to Roswell. The event is a fun-filled, entertaining and educational weekend for all who attend.


History

Shortly after its silver anniversary in 1966, Walker Air Force Base (WAFB) near Roswell, New Mexico, was phased out as an active military installation. Considerable history had been packed into those action-filled years. Famous units were destined to be stationed at the base. Many notable Air Force leaders were assigned over the years, quite a number of whom attained the general ranks during their careers (See appended list of units and commanders).

As the war clouds lowered over Europe in 1939, plans were underway in the US Army Air Corps to expand its pilot training program. With the worsening of the Allied position after the fall of continental Europe in 1940 and Far Eastern losses in 1941, the training program was expanded to provide 30,000 pilots. Many new training centers were needed. The West Coast Training Center soon found that acceptable sites for training fields were fast becoming scarce. By June 1941, there was no alternative but to locate new stations in Arizona and New Mexico. According to the official Army Air Force history of World War II, it was expected that there would be problems of heat, dust and insufficient civilian housing at these sites nevertheless, the Roswell Army Flying School was established at Roswell, New Mexico, along with four other in the Southwest area. As with its new sister stations, the Roswell School was not ready for all-out training prior to Pearl Harbor, but all of them were brought into full operation early in 1942.

For almost four years, the Roswell Army Flying School was engaged in primary flight training. According to the official list of Air Force Combat Units in World War II, no tactical organizations were ever stationed at Roswell prior to the fall of 1945. After the war, many bases were utilized for the inactivation of combat groups. Only one did so at Roswell—the 468th Bombardment Group which phased out during the first three months of 1946.

In the immediate postwar period, the 509th Bombardment Group (Wing) was assigned to Roswell Army Air Field (AAF) on November 6, 1945, and remained for almost 13 years. Its stay overlapped with that of the 6th Bombardment Wing (BW) after 1951, and these two tactical units formed the backbone of the Strategic Air Command’s (SAC) occupation of the installation for over 20 years. The Sixth remained for over 16 years.

On March 21, 1946, the Strategic Air Command was activated as the retaliatory bombardment organization of the Army Air Force. Its first numbered air force was the Fifteenth, which was stationed continuously at March Air Force Base, California, after November 9, 1949, following its move from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Roswell AAF was on of the original installations assigned to SAC and Fifteenth on Mfarch 31, 1946. The base was transferred to the jurisdiction of Eighth Air Force on November 1, 1946, but it was reassigned to Fifteenth after April 1, 1955, and remained in that status for the last 12 years of its existence as an active station.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, quite a number of bases changed their names to honor heroes of Air Force history. This was in keeping with the newly established United States Air Force as an independent defense agency on September 18, 1947. Accordingly, Roswell AAF became Walker AFB on January 13, 1948, named for Brig. General Kenneth N. Walker, a native of New Mexico. Gen. Walker was commander of the 5th Bomber Command in the Southwest Pacific and was lost on a mission to Rabaul, Solomon Islands, in January 5, 1943. He had repeatedly taken part in combat missions against the Japanese after September 5, 1942, and had developed an effective technique for bombing when opposed by enemy interceptors and anti-aircraft fire. For his valor and daring, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

A number of units with fighter aircraft were positioned around the nation as the world entered the era of the Cold War. To Roswell came the 33rd Fighter Group with P-51s on September 16, 1947. This unit had originally been activated on January 15, 1941 at Mitchel Field, New York. It operated in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, 1942-44, and received a Distinguished Unit Citation for action over central Tunisia on January 15, 1943. The unit finished out the war in India and participated in the Burma campaign. After a brief period of postwar inactivity, the 33rd was reactivated in Germany on August 20, 1946. It moved to Andrews Field, Maryland, a year later and thence to Roswell. It converted to F-84 aircraft in June 1948, and moved to a permanent assignment at Otis AFB, Massachusetts, on November 16, 1948.

Of the two bombardment units exercising a lengthy tenure at Roswell/Walker, the more famous one was the 509th BW. Its 393rd Bomb Squadron was the only combat unit ever to have dropped atomic bombs on enemy targets. This wing had originally been activated on December 17, 1944, at Wendover Field, Utah. It moved to Tinian Island under the Twentieth Air Force in the spring of 1945, and flew only practice missions until July. On August 6, one of the wing’s B-29s, the “Enola Gay,” piloted by the wing commander, Col. Paul W. Tibbetts, Jr., dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later, a B-29, “Bock’s Car,” piloted by Major Charles W. Sweeney, dropped a differently configured atomic bomb on Nagasaki. These two drops quickly brought the Japanese Empire to her knees, and the war ended. The unit returned to the United States at Roswell AAP on November 6, 1945. Assigned to SAC upon that command’s activation, it provided the nucleus for an atomic striking force. During the summer of 1946, the 509th participated in atomic tests (Operation CROSSROADS) in the Marshall Islands.

It returned to the United States in the fall and resumed a normal training regimen for the next two years. It converted from B-29 to B-50 aircraft during 1949-50 and converted again to B-47 aircraft in 1955. The 509th’s corresponding air refueling squadron underwent a similar transition from KB-29 to KB-50 to KC-97 aircraft.

Meanwhile, the Korean War crisis had created a demand for expansion of the Air Force. The number of wings doubled during 1950-51. In keeping with this development, the 6th Bombardment Wing was reactivated at Walker AFB on January 2, 1951, and equipped with B-29s and KB29s. This famous unit was one of the oldest ones in the inventory, having been originally activated in the Panama Canal Zone on September 30, 1919. One of its assigned squadrons had been activated two years earlier during World War I and had been commanded by (the) Capt. Henry H. Arnold. During World War II, the Sixth had also been assigned to the Twentieth Air Force and had earned two Distinguished Unit Citations for action against Tokyo and the Japanese Empire.

The assignment of two large wings on the same base necessitated the creation of another echelon of command to administer such extensive and diverse affairs. Consequently, the 47th Air Division was reactivated on February 10, 1951 and remained in place for over eight years. This unit had originally been activated on December 18, 1940 at Mitchel Field, New York. It operated from North African and later Italian bases, 1942-45, before its postwar inactivation.

After one year, the Sixth converted from B-29 to B-36 aircraft during 1952. On April 1, 1955, Walker and its 6th and 509th BWs were reassigned in the SAC family from Eighth Air Force to Fifteenth. The 509th converted to B-47s that year, and the Sixth to B-52 aircraft in 1957. Shortly after the first KC-135 arrived on base, the 509th moved its medium aircraft to Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, effective July 1, 1958. Since this made Walker a single-wing base, the 47th Air Division was moved to Castle Air Force Base in California on July 11, 1959. By that time, Walker’s B-52 and KC-135 squadrons had converted from a tactical to a training mission as had Castle’s several years previously, and thus the entire heavy aircraft training effort for all of SAC was consolidated within the same division.

This situation remained for four years when it was determined that Castle alone could support the training load. Walker regained a primary tactical aircraft mission and sent one of its three bomb squadrons to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, to reduce the operational load. Early in 1965, a second KC-135 squadron was transferred to Walker when Schilling Air Force Base began its inactivation process. This made the Sixth a double-sized wing and one of the largest in SAC with its 60 heavy jet aircraft.

In the meantime, quite a different tactical mission had provided another chapter in the 6th BW/Walker Air Force Base story. To counter the presumably growing Soviet missile threat, a number of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) squadrons were spotted around the country either assigned to missile wings or as dependent units of a bomb wing. In this manner, an ATLAS-F unit was added to the 6th BW on September 1, 1961. Eventually, the wing’s designation was changed to 6th Aerospace Wing (SAW) to reflect this new mission.

The 579th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) had originally been activated as a member of the 392nd Bomb Wing on January 26, 1943 at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona. After training at Biggs Field, Texas and Alamogordo Army Air Base, New Mexico, it was committed to the European Theater of Operations. The 579th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) received on Distinguished Unit Citation for an outstanding performance against the enemy over Gotha, Germany, February 24, 1944. After its reactivation, the squadron received its first ICBM on January 24, 1962 and became fully operational during the Cuban Crisis of October-November, 1962. However, bad luck dogged its footsteps and three of the 12 sites were lost by explosions on June 1, 1963, February 13, 1964, and March 9, 1964.

Just when it seemed that the future existence of Walker Air Force Base was assured, two announcements by the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Robert S. McNamara, eliminated it from long-range defense considerations. On November 18, 1964, it was announced that liquid-fueled missiles would be phased out three years early due to the increased reliability of solid-fueled missiles such as MINUTEMAN and POLARIS. Accordingly, the 579th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) inactivated March 25, 1965. Soon after receiving another aircraft tanker squadron from Schilling Air Force Base, the base was apprised by a second announcement on December 8, 1965 that it was scheduled to close as an active installation.

Previously, when the base and 6th BW had returned to a tactical mission from their years of training, the 22nd Strategic Aerospace Division (SAD) had moved to Walker on July 1, 1963 to supervise Southwestern stations. This division had no wartime record but had been originally activated on July 15, 1959 at Clinton County Air Force Base, Ohio. After moving to Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana, a year later to superintend the initial MINUTEMAN program, it then became a command echelon for the ATLAS program in the Southwest. Its inactivation on July 2, 1965 portended the closure announcement later in the year. The base and its assigned units temporarily passed to the jurisdiction of the 12th SAD at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, pending inactivation.

The base had 15 months to prepare for closure and accomplished the feat on schedule. The SAC units were disposed of in the following manner: The 310th Air Refueling Squadron (AREFS) moved to Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York on January 25, 1967. The 6th AREFS inactivated at the same time, and its resources were apportioned out to SAC organizations in need of them. The 6th SAW’s bomb squadrons also inactivated on March 25, 1967 and their resources were apportioned. The 812th Medical Group inactivated on March 25, 1967 as did the 6th Combat Support Group. The wing designation was moved to Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, where it became the 6th Strategic Wing (SW), replacing the 4157th SW designation. The 24th Bomb Squadron designation became the 24th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron. Lastly, the 4260th Air Base Squadron was activated on March 25, 1967 to facilitate the disposal of assets over the ensuing two years.

Walker closed officially as an Air Force installation on June 30, 1967 after 26 years of service to the nation, to the Air Force, and to the community of Roswell, New Mexico. In a land where military tradition is traced to Spain’s Coronado Expedition in 1540, no more fitting farewell can be composed than simply: Adios Amigos.

Units and Commanders List

Roswell Army Flying School 1941-45

509th Bombardment Group (Wing) November 6, 1945 – June 30, 1958
Col. Paul W. Tibbetts, November 6, 1945 – January 21, 1946
*Col. William H. Blanchard, January 22, 1946 – September 14, 1948
*Col. John Dale Ryan, September 15, 1948 – July 20, 1951
*Col. William H. Blanchard, July 21, 1951 – January 14, 1952
Col. Clifford E. Macomber, January 15, 1952 – June 30, 1958

468Th Bombardment Group , January 12 -=- March 31, 1946
Col. James V. Edmundson, January 12, 1946 – March 31, 1946

33rd Fighter Group (Wing) , September 16, 1947 – November 15, 1948
Lt. Col. Albert A. Cory, dates unknown
Col. Gwen G. Atkinson, dates unknown

6th Bombardment Wing , January 2, 1951 – March 25, 1967
*Col. Thomas S. Jeffrey, Jr., January 10, 1951 – January 14, 1951
*Col. William K. Martin, January 15, 1951 – May 21, 1952
*Col. Glen W. Martin, May 22, 1952 – September 20, 1956
Col. Everett W. Best, September 21, 1956 – February 22, 1960
Col. Donald E. Hillman, February 23, 1960 – July 17, 1962
Col. Ernest C. Eddy, July 18, 1962 – July 10, 1963
Col. Floyd H. Haywood, July 11, 1963 – April 14, 1965
Col. Richard M. Hoban, April 15, 1965 – June 14, 1965

*Col. Lester F. Miller, June 15, 1965 – July 8, 1966 (obituary)
*Col. George P. Cole, July 9, 1965 – September 1, 1965
Col. Robert H. Worrell, Jr., September 2, 1965 – March 25, 1967

47th Air Division , February 10, 1951 – July 10, 1959
Brig. Gen. Hunter Harris, Jr., February 10, 1951 – January 14, 1952
*Col. William H. Blanchard, January 15, 1952 – April 6, 1952
Brig. Gen. Thomas C. Musgrave, Jr., April 7, 1952 – June 6, 1954
Brig. Gen. Charles W. Schott, January 7, 1954 – September 20, 1956
*Col. Glen W. Martin, September 21, 1956 – July 6, 1957
Col. James V. Reardon, July 7, 1957 – July 15, 1957
Brig. Gen. William C. Kingsbury, July 16, 1957 – July 10, 1959

* Indicates elevated to general rank during career. Other senior officers later promoted who served a tour of duty at Walker included Col. Harold E. Humfeld and Col. Roy C. Crompton.

22nd Strategic Aerospace Division , July 1, 1963 – July 2, 1965
Col. Jack W. Hayes, Jr., July 1, 1963 – March 20, 1964
Brig. Gen. William C. Bacon, March 21, 1964 – June 30, 1965

Base Commanders
Maj. John G. Armstrong, January 20, 1942

Col. Alvan C. Kincaid, March 1, 1942

Col. John C. Harton, December 10, 1942

Col. William B. Offutt, August 22, 1942

Col. Lawrence C. Coddington, August 17, 1945

Col. Joe G. Schneider, September 8, 1945

Col. Clifford J. Heflin, November 5, 1945

Lt. Col. Col. John R. Reshe, December 1, 1945

Col. Clifford J. Heflin, January 4, 1946

Col. John D. Ryan, August 1, 1948

Col. Clarence S. Irvine, September 15, 1948

Col. James A. DeMarco, January 3, 1950

Col. Hunter Harris, Jr., January 15, 1950

Col. John B. McPherson, February 10, 1951

Lt. Col. Francis E. Tiller, July 1952

Col. Clyde H. Camp Jr. USAF (Ret.)

Col. Clifford V. Warden, August 8, 1953

Col. Wesley Waner, December 1952

Col. Mason H. Grover, Jr., May 17, 1954

Lt. Col. Clyde H. Camp, Jr., November 23, 1955
Col. George W. Porter, 1956
Col. James V. Reardon, September 30, 1957
Col. Roderic D. O’Conner, 1959
Col. Emmett H. Clements, 1962
Col. Ivor P. Evans (1923-2009), 1964
Lt. Col. John H. Denton, 1966

Tactical Squadrons by Wing

468th Bombardment Group
792nd Bomb Squadron, January 12, 1946 – March 31, 1946
793rd Bomb Squadron, January 12, 1946 – March 31, 1946
794th Bomb Squadron, January 12, 1946 – March 31, 1946
795th Bomb Squadron, January 12, 1946 – March 31, 1946
512th Bomb Squadron, January 12, 1946 – March 31, 1946

33rd Fighter Group
58th Fighter Squadron, September 1, 1947 – November 15, 1948
59th Fighter Squadron, September 1, 1947 – November 15, 1948
60th Fighter Squadron, September 1, 1947 – November 15, 1948

509th Bombardment Group (Wing)
393rd Bomb Squadron, November 6, 1945 – June 30, 1958
713th Bomb Squadron, November 6, 1945 – June 30, 1958
830th Bomb Squadron, November 6, 1945 – June 3, 1958
509th Air Refueling Squadron, 1949 – June 30, 1958

6th Bombardment Wing
24th Bomb Squadron, January 2, 1951 – January 25, 1967
39th Bomb Squadron, January 2, 1951 – January 25, 1967
40th Bomb Squadron, January 2, 1951 – December 31, 1963
6th Air Refueling Squadron, January 2, 1951 – January 25, 1967
310th Air Refueling Squadron, April 15, 1965 – January 25, 1967
579th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) , September 1,1961 – March 25, 1965

129th Combat Crew Training Squadron , May 1, 1959 – September 15, 1969

Base Support Units
2nd Strategic Support Squadron, November 6, 1945 – September 15, 1951
509th Air Base Group, November 6, 1945 – February 9, 1951
812th Air Base Group, February 10, 1951 – June 30, 1967
4260th Air Base Squadron, March 25, 1967 – 1969

Support Squadrons by Unit
6th Strategic Aerospace Wing
6th Headquarters Squadron
6th Airborne Missile Maintenance Squadron
6th Field Maintenance Squadron
6th Armament and Electronics Maintenance Squadron
6th Organizational Maintenance Squadron
37th Munitions Maintenance Squadron

6th Combat Support Group
6th Headquarters Squadron
6th Civil Engineering Squadron
6th Combat Defense Squadron
6th Service Squadron
6th Transportation Squadron
6th Supply Squadron

1941–Roswell Army Flying School was established.

November 1943–The 509th Bombardment Group (Wing) was assigned to Roswell Army Air Field for a 13-year stay. Initially, it was equipped with B-29s.

January 12, 1946–The 468th Bombardment Group was assigned to Roswell AAF for inactivation. This was accomplished by March 31, 1946.

March 21, 1946–Upon formation of the Strategic Air Command, Roswell became a SAC installation for the next 21 years.

March 31, 1946–Roswell AAF was assigned to 15th Air Force at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

July 1946–The 509th BG participated in the atomic tests (Operation CROSSROADS) in the Marshall Islands.

November 1, 1946–Jurisdiction was transferred to Eighth Air Force at Fort Westin AAF, Texas.

September 16, 1947–The 33rd Fighter Group (Wing) was assigned to Roswell AAF. Initially, it was equipped with P-51 aircraft.

June 1948–The 33rd FG converted to F-84 aircraft.

November 16, 1948–The 33rd FG moved to Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

1949-1950–The 509th BW converted to B-50 aircraft.

1949–Roswell AAF was re-named Walker Air Force Base.

January 2, 1951–The 6th Bombardment Wing was reactivated at Walker AFB and remained on station for 16 years.

February 10, 1951–The 47th Air Division was reactivated to administer the 6th and 509th BWs. Base support was provided by the 812th Air Base Group and 812th Medical Group.

May 15, 1951–The 2nd Strategic Support Squadron moved to Castle Air Force Base, California.

August 28, 1952–The first B-36 arrived on base for conversion of the 6th BW aircraft.

February 1, 1955–The first B-47 arrived on base for conversion of the 509th BW aircraft. Later in the year, the first KC-97 medium tanker arrived.

April 1, 1955–Walker AFB was reassigned to 15th Air Force, headquartered at Maren Air Force Base, California, since November 9, 1949.

August 1955–The 6th BW won the 7th annual SAC Bombing Competition.

October 1, 1957–The 6th BW entered the SAC ground alert posture.

December 10, 1957–The first B-52 arrived on base for conversion of the 6th BW aircraft. The wing became combat ready September 8, 1958.

April 3, 1957–The first KC-135 heavy tanker arrived on base.

July 1958–The 509th BW moved to Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire.

July 1958–The 6th Combat Support Group (CSC) replaced the 812th Air Base Group.

November 3, 1958–The 6th Air Refueling Squadron (AREFS) moved back from Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.

1959–A tremendous facility expansion and construction program which had begun in 1957 was continued. A new runway was opened November 3, 1959.

May 1, 1959–Two B-52 squadrons and the one KC-135 squadron of the 6th BW changed from a tactical to a training mission. To supervise the new training program, the 4129th Combat Crew Training Squadron was activated.

July 11, 1959–The 47th Air Division moved to Castle Air Force Base, California.

June 10, 1960–A third B-52 squadron also changed from a tactical to a training mission.

September 1, 1961–The 579th Strategic Missile Squadron (SMS) was activated as an ICBM unit under the 6th BW.

November 17, 1961–The first HOUND DOG aircraft-launched missile arrived on base. The 6th BW became combat ready in this weapon system in June 1962.

January 24, 1962–The first ATLAS-F ICBM arrived on base for emplacement.

February 18, 1962–Mrs. Robert Goddard visited the 579th Missile complex.

May 1, 1962–The 6th BW was designated the 6th Strategic Aerospace Wing (SAW).

July 1, 1963–The 22nd Strategic Aerospace Division (SAD) moved from Schilling AFB, Kansas.

July 1, 1963–The 6th SAW flew its first 24-hour airborne alert indoctrination training sortie.

September 15, 1963–All of the 6th SAW’s tactical squadrons were restored to a tactical mission and the 4129th’s CCT was inactivated.

December 31, 1963—The 40th Bomb Squadron moved to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

November 18, 1964—An announcement from the Secretary of Defense included all ATLAS-F units for early phase out.

April 15, 1965—The 310th AREFS moved from Schilling Air Force Base.

July 2, 1965—The 22nd SAD inactivated at Walker.

December 8, 1965—A second announcement from the Secretary of Defense included Walker in a base closure program.

December 31, 1965—The 6th SAW received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.
December 31, 1966—The 6th SAW was relieved of its ground alert commitment.

January 25, 1967—The 310th AREFS moved to Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York. The 6th AREFS and 24th and 39th Bomb Squadrons were inactivated.

March 25, 1967—The 6th SAW, 6th CSG, and 812th Medical Group were inactivated. The 6th as a designation became the 6th Strategic Wing at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Under it, the 24th Bomb Squadron became the 24th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron.

March 25, 1967—The 4260th Air Base Squadron was activated at Walker to serve as a caretaker unit until all Air Force assets were disposed of to interested agencies.

June 30, 1967—Walker Air Force Base officially closed as an active Air Force installation.


The Attack

The world expected the use of nuclear weapons by one or both sides.

Publications show that since the return of the UFO ship in October of 1949, the world had experienced a massive sense of uncertainty, fear and paranoia. The world militaries plan and wait for an attack, while many others point out there is nothing to worry about, that there is no cause for war. Cities, however, are partially evacuated and Civil Defense drills are well rehearsed. Food, fuel and medicines are stockpiled every possible step for a war has been taken and the newest weapons, a diamond-tipped .50 caliber round or larger are believed to be strong enough to penetrate the crashed alien's ship's armour.

January 2: The UFO returns to Roswell and this time they land. Local military forces are on alert but follow operational protocol and make no move. A single B-29 bomber armed with a newly tested 50 kiloton atomic bomb circles from a safe distance, ready to nuke the whole area.

January 4: The UFO comes alive and with an unseen load-speaker announces (in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Hindi, and Chinese it would like a meeting in two days with military leaders of the 509th Bombardment Wing.

January 5: The United Nations hotly debate the meaning of the request but the US decides its leadership of the 509th can represent the world as well as anyone else and there will be videotaping and an open mike to guide the discussions. The UN agrees.

January 6: The alien leaves the ship and walks straight towards the meeting room without stopping.

Commanding General Roger M. Ramey sits with the other officer the alien follows their lead and also sits. The alien wants to know what happens and when hearing of the autopsy. Gets up and wants to see the body.

January 7: The alien body is exhumed and is "scanned" by a device of some kind. The alien states: "You shot at a damaged ship with some kind of projectile device and then desecrate the body in a harmful way that makes recovery impossible you must all be taught a lesson."

The alien and his ship leave.

After the ship leaves the world leaders don't know what to do. Fear grows.

February 2-5: Stalin and Truman meet in Peking, China with other world leaders. Little changes.

Additional photo records of before the attack:

March 30: The first rumours of a fleet of asteroid-sized ship on the way towards Earth are spreading.

Demonstrations around the globe.

April 5: Mass demonstrations around the world turn violent and riots start as the people demand to know the truth.

May 1: May Day Parades get out of control: 59 are killed as the people storm the Kremlin in Moscow, USSR seeking the truth.

June 20: The United Nations have a tell-all news conference in the hope of ending the riots they admit:

  1. There are more than twenty quarter-mile-wide objects heading towards Earth.
  2. There is no way of stopping them in space.
  3. Each, if they are ships, may have the fighting force in the hundreds to thousands of troops and up to a thousand pieces of equipment, tanks, APC, heavy guns and aircraft.

We are helpless to stop the attack.

July 4: Independence Day in America police and military are prepared for anything. But people are wary of the impending arrival of the huge objects and instead the Americans and the world have a peaceful day.

July 14: Bastille Day in France goes on without a problem as the French collectively yell: C' est la vie (Such is life).

New York City the largest city on Earth with 7,000,000 people.

  • The first asteroid bomb hits Earth in the Pacific Ocean at 1:06 am Washington D.C. time.
  • It is felt around the world with a massive earthquake.

Warning went out in Hawaii, but the whole island chain was submerged.

One of the craters caused by the bombing.

The reports on how many other asteroids hit are sketchy but the average is 22 which many believe makes sense as the first few were about two thousand miles apart, and it appears they hit around the world twice.

By this point many of the governments around the world were gone or out of contact People were now on their own. How many had already died is pure conjecture. But the number of people living on the coast, on islands or near a land-hit was at least several hundred million people.

Additional photos of the destruction of Earth shortly after the attack:


Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe

In a world dizzy with pleasure, there is a dearth of joy. In the maze of electronic devices, we have lost the way to true happiness. But to the martyrs who sang on their scaffolds, to the confessors who laughed in their labors, to the virgins who despised earthly prestige and station for the love of Christ, the Poor Clares add their humble testimony: it is in giving that we receive. And giving all, we receive all joy. “I will see you again and your heart will rejoice. And your joy no one shall take from you” (Jn 16:22). The contemplative's heart already rejoices as her whole life keeps watch for his coming. Joy is the product of a lifetime of penance.


Perhaps no life has been more subjected to misinterpretation than the cloistered contemplative life. A cloister is variously thought to be: a haven for those unfit to live in the world a refuge for the frustrated a sinecure for those unwilling to take on the burdens of the active apostolate. A Poor Clare monastery is decidedly none of these. The nuns are called Poor Clares because they are poor, living by the work of their hands and their minds and on the alms of the faithful, and because they are followers and daughters of one of the most charming women who ever lived. Her name was Clare, Clare of Assisi.

Why did Assisi’s loveliest debutante of 1212 want to lock herself up in a cloister? Why did laughing, singing, sought-after Clare want to live in silence and prayer? Why did a girl whose home was a castle desire to be poor, to live by the work of her hands and the alms of the faithful? What the world calls “everything,” Clare assuredly had. It was not enough. Her heart was too great to be filled with less than the whole. She simply plunged herself into the Heart of God. There she could fulfill her destiny. There she would be another sign of contradiction to those who look for happiness everywhere except in God.


“In the years in which she met Francis to learn from him about the way of God, Clare was an attractive young woman. The ‘Poverello’ of Assisi showed her a loftier beauty that cannot be measured by the mirror of vanity but develops in a life of authentic love, following in the footsteps of the Crucified Christ. God is the true beauty! Clare’s heart was lit up with this splendor and it gave her the courage to let her hair be cut and to embark on a life of penance” (Letter of His Holiness Benedict XVI to Domenico Sorrentino, the Bishop of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino on the occasion of the 2011-2012 Clarian Year).


To the active religious today, Holy Scripture rings out challenges: “Preach the word. Be urgent in season and out of season” (2 Tim 4:2). “And He went about doing good” (Acts 10:38).


To the contemplative religious, Holy Scripture underlines other words: “Your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3). “He went out to a mountain to pray, and He passed the whole night in prayer to God” (Lk 6:12). “As dying, and behold we live!” (2 Cor 6:9). The active sister serves God and ministers to souls in the marketplace. The contemplative nun serves God and ministers to souls from the cloister.


CIA Operative Joins the Search for Answers to the Roswell Mystery

Laurence Fishburne and History's Greatest Mysteries hope to discover the secrets behind the Roswell UFO crash mystery.

Photo: A+E Networks

A former CIA operative is teaming up with the family of the first Army officer on the scene of an alleged crash of an alien spacecraft near Roswell, to search for the truth in a new three-part investigation for History’s Greatest Mysteries.

On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) distributed a press release claiming they had recovered the remains of a “flying disc” crashed in the New Mexican desert outside of Roswell. The news made headlines, but the media’s enthusiasm was short-lived. The next day the US Army released a second statement claiming the recovered object was just a weather balloon.

The incident would have been lost to the dustbin of history had it not been for Jesse Marcel, a former intelligence officer stationed at RAAF in 1947. When a local rancher reported the debris’ discovery, Marcell was sent out to take a look and bring some of the material back to the base. He was then ordered to fly some of it to Fort Worth, Texas, for examination, where he took photos with the material.

However, in the late 70s, Marcel told UFO researchers the photos with him and the debris was staged for the press. He claimed the Army whisked the real debris away while he was ordered to aid in the cover-up of what was really found. Marcel claimed the actual crash site included extremely strong shiny material that was foil-like but returned to its original shape after it was crumpled. He also described light balsa-wood-like I-beams with strange markings.


How the Roswell UFO Theory Got Started

O dds are, if you’re familiar with the city of Roswell, N.M., you’re familiar with what happened there on this day, July 7, in 1947: a rancher named W.W. Brazel told Sheriff George Wilcox that he had found something strange on a sheep ranch northwest of the town. After finding bits of rubber, wood, foil, tape and paper in the field, the Sheriff called the local Army air field, which sent Major Jesse Marcel, an intelligence officer, to check it out. Marcel was convinced that Brazel stumbled upon nothing less than the remains of a flying saucer. He told his group commander, who told the press officer on duty, Walter Haut, who sent out a press release. The next day the Roswell Daily Record bore a headline&mdash”RAAF CAPTURES FLYING SAUCER ON RANCH IN ROSWELL REGION”&mdashthat instantly turned the town into the nation’s UFO capital.

But there’s a big hitch in that oft-told tale. As TIME reported in an investigation on the 50th anniversary of the incident, the same day that the Daily Record ran the sensational story, it was determined that the litter was from a destroyed weather balloon. The paper printed a follow-up retraction the next day, and Brazel stated that he was embarrassed to have gotten so worked up over nothing.

That should have been that. But not everyone bought the official explanation, as TIME explained in 1997:

Enter Stanton Friedman, a former itinerant nuclear physicist now living in New Brunswick, Canada, who has long been, in his words, “a clear-cut, unambiguous UFOlogist.” In 1978, while waiting in a Baton Rouge, La., television station for an interview, Friedman was told that Jesse Marcel, long retired from the Air Force and living nearby, had once handled the wreckage of a UFO. After quizzing Marcel, who still believed the debris he retrieved was extraterrestrial, Friedman reviewed the old stories about Roswell, painstakingly sought out and interviewed other witnesses, and came to a dramatic conclusion: there had been a cover-up of “cosmic Watergate” proportions. His research and conclusions became the basis of the 1980 book The Roswell Incident, co-written by Charles Berlitz (author of The Bermuda Triangle) and UFO investigator William Moore. Its publication put Roswell back on the map.

The next decades saw the publication of several more Roswell books. Public awareness of the supposed cover-up grew to a point that the Air Force did its own investigation, eventually making public details of a top-secret balloon-tracking project that had been going on during that 1947 period and which they said explained the original wreckage.

Others clung to their belief that it was a flying saucer&mdashincluding Walter Haut. Haut, who died in 2007 without ever giving up on the idea of the alien landing, was one of the founders of the city’s UFO Museum.

Read the 1997 cover story about Roswell, here in the TIME Vault:The Roswell Files


What Roswell family records will you find?

There are 12,000 census records available for the last name Roswell. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Roswell census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 1,000 immigration records available for the last name Roswell. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 3,000 military records available for the last name Roswell. For the veterans among your Roswell ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

There are 12,000 census records available for the last name Roswell. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Roswell census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

There are 1,000 immigration records available for the last name Roswell. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

There are 3,000 military records available for the last name Roswell. For the veterans among your Roswell ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.