52° Escadrille

52° ESCADRILLE MSL insigne_52esc

The 52 Missile Squadron was officially born on October 6, 1959 in Malmedy. She moved into the Sergent Mercy barracks. Its staff assumes part of the operational monitoring roles for the benefit of the 53 Squadron on the Roderhöhe site. From December 12, 1960, under the command of Captain Ghesquière, the squadron moved towards Bierset. In February 1962, a few months after its installation in Bierset, the personnel of the 52 Squadron was informed that while awaiting the completion of the operational sites and the administrative site in Euskirchen, the unit would redeploy to a temporary site in Düren. . The German authorities hope to complete the work to complete the operational sites by mid-August. No firm date has been given for the administrative site. The 52 Squadron moved towards Düren from April 25, 1962 and occupied the operational sites of Euskirchen from June 1962. A holly leaf, with three berries and surrounded by an old belt bearing the motto, "Qui s'y rubte, s'y pique", was assigned as an emblem on October 23, 1963. You don't rub shoulders there for long at the holly leaf squadron. In 1963, she won with 98% the Paul-Henri Spaak trophy rewarding the Nike missile unit of Center Europe having obtained the best result during its period of shooting in the USA. The presentation of the trophy takes place on April 28, 1964 in Düren. In the presence of Lieutenant-General Burniaux, Commander of 2 ATAF, General Devriese, Chief of Staff of the Netherlands Air Force, Major-Generals Truyers, Inspector General of the Air Force and Ceuppens, Chief of General Staff of the Air Force, General-Major Baurin, Chief of Staff of the 1st Belgian Corps in FRG, Brigadier General Fischer, representing the German Air Force, Colonel BEM Schnitzler, Commander of the 16th Armored Brigade and Place de Düren, Colonel Derycker J-M., Commander of GRETSA, Air Chief Marshal Sir Hudleston, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Air Forces in Central Europe, presents the Paul-Henri Spaak trophy to Captain Goffart, Commander of the 52 Squadron. On March 30, 1965, after a tactical evaluation, the 52 Squadron received authorization to hold special weapons. On May 1, it can proceed with the assembly of these weapons. On May 7, the unit has the capability to carry out engagements using nuclear missiles. Installed in the district of Zelzate when it arrived in Euskirchen, the 52 Squadron began to occupy, in 1967, the buildings built on NATO credits in the Loncin district. The refurbishment of two permanent blocks and the non-commissioned officer housing block was practically completed at the end of the year. The same year, the squadron obtained the maximum score of 100% during its shooting period at Mac Gregor (October 22-28) Since the creation of this shooting range in 1958, the 52 Squadron is the fifth unit of 2 ATAF to achieve this result.

In 1968, the 52 Squadron occupied the Quartier Loncin and abandoned the Quartier de Zelzate. The move is done in a weekend. In 1971, an IFC Improved (INH) system replaced the Basic system. However, the squadron does not have the necessary infrastructure (the TRR platform is not finished) and the normal power supply is not sufficient for the new system. Three weeks after the installation of this system, the squadron passes its tactical evaluation. The disappointing result can be explained on the one hand by the departure, in September, from 9 Wing (as part of the creation of 54 Squadron), of the majority of experienced operators with a Dutch language regime and on the other , by the remaining staff's lack of practice with the system. At the end of the year, the implementation of a generator and the installation of the TRR in a temporary but operationally acceptable manner made it possible to use all the ECCM resources offered by the system. The year 1971 will also be that of the installation on the launch site with the help of an engineering unit of three watchtowers instead of three sentry boxes. In January 1972, construction work on the platform for the TRR began at the fire control site. They will end on March 17. The departure of the units of the 17th Armored Brigade stationed in Euskirchen becomes clearer. In January 1975, the Air Force announced the installations it would continue to occupy. Work to refresh the new neighborhood, install a new fence and convert the heating from coke to oil should be done before the unit moves. These will never be done. In June 1976, the Place d'Euskirchen was taken over by the 52 Squadron. The Command of the Place and all the territorial services now depend on this unit. From July to December, the squadron moved into its new administrative quarters. The cost of the developments reached nine million francs. For several years, the line of sight between the MTR and the launch site has been obstructed by vegetation. The German authorities are demanding that the Belgian State bear the cost of the deforestation and the compensation for the owner. The Belgian authorities accept. The year 1979 saw the installation, in optimal comfort, of the female volunteers who had arrived at the unit. The former Land Force mess, where single officers and reserve officer candidates live, is being fitted with new furniture. On April 29, 1982, the 52 Squadron, whose system was being modified at Mechernich, recovered the latter. "Open doors" have always been part of the life of missile units. The unit having not organized any more for years, those of June 12, 1983, are a great success. Many were the visitors. A few weeks later, personnel from 53 Squadron assigned to 52 arrived at the unit. Despite certain rumors published by the press, confidence reigns at the end of the year. There is talk of disbanding a new squadron but we agree that the 51 Squadron will pay the price. At the very beginning of January 84, the staff of the 52 Squadron was informed of the decision taken by the Command: the unit was to be disbanded on July 1, 1985. On May 8, 1984, the Euskirchen Cultural Center opened its doors in a house in one of the Belgian districts. There is no shortage of activity ideas. On July 1, 1984, the unit left the NATO order of battle and began to carry out its national mission (school squadron) In October, the 52 Squadron was responsible for organizing a mobilization exercise for the all recalled from 13 Wing Missiles. The dismantling of the first launch section began on March 1, 1985. A few days later, on March 4, the last operational evaluation of the unit took place. On March 31 at 00:00, the squadron ceased to be operational. On April 1, the complete dismantling of the unit begins. The evacuation of the material takes place by road. The evacuation of the missiles to the 25th Logistics Wing is carried out by train. The duration of the dismantling operations is estimated at three months. On April 16, the unit's dissolution ceremony in the presence of Lieutenant-General Aviator, ADC, J. Lefebvre, Commander of the Tactical Air Force takes place in Euskirchen. Six weeks later, on May 29, a magnificent farewell ball ended the less official part of 52 Squadron's presence in the Euskirchen garrison. On June 30, the squadron was officially disbanded. The next day, Place d'Euskirchen becomes Place de Blankenheim. Some families are authorized on a voluntary basis to reside in Euskirchen without benefiting from the support normally provided for in the territorial directives. On July 19, the entire infrastructure of Euskirchen is handed over to the territorial authorities.