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B Battery, 3rd Missile Battalion, 61st Artillery Regiment
Limestone, Maine

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3rd Missile Battalion Unit History

The 61st Artillery's heritage began in WWI when it was activated in the Chesapeake Bay region. All elements of the regiment bear on their colors streamers reflecting distinguished service in World Wars I and II and the Korean war.
The United States Army first came to Loring AFB in September 1954 when the 548th AAA Bn brought 75mm Skysweeper guns from Ft. Bliss and took up positions around the perimeter of the base. In 1957 the primary armaments were changed to NIKE Ajax surface -to-air guided missiles.
Permanent sites were constructed at Caribou, Caswell, Connor and Limestone. They were occupied by Batteries C, A, D and B respectively, in April. All sites were operational by the end of June, and the guns were removed and turned in.
In September of 1958 DA instituted the Combat Arms Regimental System, under which the 548th AAA Bn was redesignated the 3rd Msl Bn, 61st Arty. Beginning in 1959, NIKE Ajax was replaced by the more powerful NIKE Hercules system, and in 1961, Batteries B and D were deactivated and closed.
The defense did not suffer, however, because the Hercules system provided even better coverage against enemy aircraft than did the smaller Ajax.
In December 1965 the Secretary of Defense announced the deactivation of the battalion, effective 25 June. All systems became nonoperational on 1 March 1966, and the colors were retired in a ceremony at Loring on 3 May 1966.
The 61st continued defending our country and the free world with units in California, Germay and Okinawa following our own removal from the active rolls of the US Army.

Former commanders, 548th AAA Bn:
  LTC John Parrott
LTC Otho Moomaw
MAJ George McBride
LTC William F. Kuhn
LTC William J. Gildert
Former commanders, 3rd Msl Bn:
  MAJ Robert B. McDaniel
LTC Clarence N. Kennedy
MAJ Wilfred O. Boettiger
LTC Donald J. Jalbert
LTC Garth A, Ridder
LTC John M. Lane
LTC John C. Marchhausen

*The above unit history is from the article "Unit History" in the February 2002 issue of "Blazing Skies", the newsletter for and about the men who served with 3rd Msl Bn, 61st Arty.

7 June, 2002

Just added 1 May 2007 The offical history of the battalion 21 March 1960

Pete Tustison