December 15, 1957

1957: The 556th Strategic Missile Squadron activated at Patrick AFB, FL., to train missile crews and conduct test launches. It was the Strategic Air Command’s first operational SM-62 Snark squadron and first missile squadron. The 556th Strategic Missile Squadron was activated under the command of Lt Col Richard W. Beck at Patrick AFB, FL. The 556th was assigned to SAC, but it started its on-the-job training under the direction of the 6555th Guided Missiles Squadron in January 1958.
The Northrop SM-62 Snark is an early-model intercontinental range ground-launched cruise missile that could carry a W39 thermonuclear warhead. The Snark was deployed by the USAF’s Strategic Air Command from 1958 through 1961. It represented an important step in weapons technology during the Cold War.