50° Escadrille

50° ESCADRILLE MSL insigne_50esc

Created on October 6, 1959 by IAT n° 12/59, the 50 Squadron will form an integral part of 3 WETSA from the start. Upon receipt of the equipment, it moved into the Sergent Mercy barracks in Malmedy. Its personnel will participate in the service role for the benefit of 51 Squadron. In November 1960, the decision to install the squadron in Bierset falls. The unit moves from 12 December. On December 23, the 50 Squadron is installed on the base of Bierset in Hollogne-aux-Pierres. The unit will be operationally assigned to 2 ATAF and will participate in the operational watch role from September 1, 1961. A few months later, the staff of the squadron learns that he joins his final garrison in FRG: Düren. On June 20, 1962, the 50 Squadron took up residence in Camp Bastin in Düren. On October 23, 1963, the 50 Squadron officially received an emblem: the swallow. In 1963, the unit, not wanting to be outdone, ranked second in the competition for the Paul Henri Spaak trophy. His result earned him the AIRCENT prize. On April 28, 1964, Captain Lebacq, commanding the 50 Squadron, will receive from the hands of Lieutenant-General Burniaux, a souvenir plaque commemorating this brilliant result. From December 25, 1964, the occupation of one of the systems installed on the temporary site of Soller will allow the 50 Squadron to maintain its operational status during the modifications of its own system. It will join the Nideggen site at the end of February 1965. The authorization acquired after an American inspection and a tactical evaluation to hold special weapons will be followed, at the beginning of May, by that of mounting these weapons. On May 12, the squadron has nuclear engagement capability. Installed on the plain of Camp Bastin, the troop canteen is the meeting place of all the militiamen of the Air Force of Düren. To general satisfaction, this canteen was taken over in 1965 by the hostesses of the Central Military Canteen (CMC)

In early 1966, an additional trailer appeared on the BCA site of 50 Squadron. The MPQ-T1 simulator will henceforth be an invaluable aid for training Nike personnel in tactical situations and in ECCM procedures for firing periods (ASP) and tactical evaluations. In July 1968, the equipment from the BCA site returned for a major inspection to the firm HSA (Holland Signaal Apparaat). The squadron redeployed under tents for approximately eight months on the temporary site of Soller. The installation on the plain of Soller in February 69 of two wooden barracks will allow the 50 Squadron to ensure an operational status in a more decent way. In June 1969, the 50 Squadron should be operational on a system capable of engaging ballistic missiles (ATBM). However, sending the BCT, necessary for system checks, to Hengelo will cause a slight delay in planning. In July, the squadron operates again from the Nideggen site and the Soller site is completely evacuated. On October 7, His Majesty the King honors the squadron with his visit. Her Majesty takes a particular interest in the unit's radar installations. In 1970, the unit also took advantage of the departure of the 4 Battalion of Carabiniers Cyclistes to settle in better conditions in the Quartier Bastin. In 1972, the squadron fired the last Ajax missile from Belgian units. During this year, following the future departure of the Land Force, we begin to dream of installing the troop in hard premises. The wooden huts of Camp Bastin will soon be a thing of the past. On May 29, 1973, the unit recovered its INH-ATBM system returning from inspection. On January 14, 1974, the command and the troop of the 50 Squadron moved to the Quartier Edith Cavell. Block 6, taken over from the Land Force, shows multiple damage to the electrical and sanitary installations as well as to the floor and wall coverings. The cost of repairs is excessive for the expected duration of occupancy. The final date of occupation of the Handzaeme Quarter by the Air Force is not known. The departure of the 17th Brigade which occupies this district is planned for mid-seventy-five. Development work in the Handzaeme district will begin at this time. On September 30, 1976, the squadron fired the last Mim 14-A (Stovepipe) missile at Namfi. Built for eighteen years, the fence of the launch site shows definite signs of age. The beginning of its replacement, taking into account the requirements of the "Long Range Security Program" (LRSP), took place in 1978. On October 13, the 50 Squadron greeted the departure of the BCT trailer from the ATBM system. It will now be equipped with a Nike Improved SAMCAP system. At the end of the summer of 1980 (August and September), the 50 Squadron left the blocks of the Quartier Edith Cavell to settle in Handzaeme, which the 1 Lancers had just left. With this departure, the Handzaeme Quarter brings together the General Staff of the 13 Wing, the 50 Squadron, the Equipment Squadron, the Flight MT, the General Maintenance Flight and the W S MSL Barracks. This situation leads to a redistribution of responsibilities between the W S MSL and the 50 Squadron whose Commander becomes on October 1, 1981 Commander of the Handzaeme Quarter. Various services (CSOs, Mess Offrs, bars, households, refreshments and cafeterias, postman, hairdresser, etc.) are now within its remit. The unit is given most of the barracks. On February 28, 1983, the 50 Squadron recovered its IFC system, the latter returning from Mechernich where it was undergoing its last modification. From May, the launch site becomes a construction site: on May 9, the first stone of the new guardhouse is laid. Less than a year later, with the work completed, the new facilities offer more security and more comfort to the militiamen in charge of site security. The sites of the 50 Squadron were not spared from the pacifist demonstrations which became commonplace in 1983. The first of these took place on October 15. Following the installation in Düren of W MSL in 1985, the 50 Squadron must share its EM block with the EM of 13 Gp OPS. In November 1986, the household kept since 1980 by the 50 Squadron as well as the MT section (garage part) returned to the Support Missiles Group. The 50 Squadron only has a traffic section and becomes totally dependent on the Gp S MSL for its transport. On November 5, 1986, His Majesty King Baudouin arrived smiling in Düren. After meeting Mr. Vossen, Mayor of Düren, the King shared lunch with staff delegations of all levels. At dessert, he leaves the head table to join the other tables and chat with all categories of staff. His Majesty pays particular attention to the various problems encountered by the militiamen and the reserve cadre. He had also wished to attend certain courses that our young people receive during their education. This royal visit will be one of the most beautiful memories for those who took part in it. If, during the year 1987, the militiamen showed little interest in the language courses organized within the framework of the promotion of military service, it was not the same in the field of anti-aircraft defense where the unit wins the LAA challenge. The last firing period began on May 28, 1988. On June 1, the 50 Squadron was the first Belgian unit to fire three missiles during an ASP in Crete. 19.444 - 1974 - 1234 these are not the measurements of the Unit Commander, author of this shot, but the serial number of the last missile, its maximum speed and its cruising speed both expressed in km/h. If we add to this the altitude of seventy-two thousand feet and the result of ninety-nine percent achieved by the unit, we will have been complete. After two days of relaxation, the unit's return to Germany was marked by a technical incident. The B-727 takes off from Souda-Bay. After a few minutes of flight and having jettisoned its fuel over the sea, the plane returned to the airport. The anxiety passed, the squadron joined Germany the next day. From this adventure, the few tourists accompanying the unit will keep an additional memory. Barely returned to the unit, the personnel of the shooting site proceeds to the dismantling of the special weapons. The American detachment, in support of the squadron, is dissolved. The weapons for which it provided protection left the site on July 25, 1987, carried away by helicopter. More than twenty-five years of close collaboration came to an end on August 3, 1988, the day of the dissolution ceremony. In September 1989, the traffic section of the 50 Squadron was merged with the traffic of the Support Missiles Group. From the month of January 1990, the dismantling of the squadron began with the re-entry of equipment not necessary for the Gp S MSL. On June 12, the unit successfully passed its final operational evaluation. On June 21, the unit's flag left during a final parade. On June 30, the squadron assumes its last operational status. The dismantling of the IFC system begins on July 1, that of the first launch section began fifteen days earlier. While the material intended for the scrap metal accumulates on the sites, the families move towards Belgium. On August 27, the majority of soldiers joined their new assignment leaving Germany with some regrets. Until July 1, 1991, the guard of the sites of the 50 Squadron will be ensured by the personnel remaining in the rear guard.