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My Army Redstone Missile Days

Page 15



Appendix C:

7th Army

Battery A, 1st Missile Battalion, 333rd Artillery

40th Artillery Group (Redstone)
Bad Kreuznach, Germany

Redstone Missile Articles appearing in ARTILLERY TRENDS

The following articles related to the Redstone missile appeared in the United States Army Artillery and Missile School (USAAMS) Fort Sill, Oklahoma publication ARTILLERY TRENDS in the period 1959 to 1962. I have edited and reformatted some articles for inclusion on these web pages. Each article can be viewed in its entirety and how it appreared in ARTILLERY TRENDS by clicking on the Article Title.

In addition, the complete appropriate ARTILLERY TRENDS issue in PDF can be viewed by first going to the Past Editions Page at:


and next selecting the appropriate year, and finally selecting the particular issue in that year.

Article No. 1:



Captain Luke A. Vavra

Department of Materiel
United States Army Artillery and Missile School

(Article edited and reformatted from Original: JKR)

The Redstone is the largest and longest-range operational field artillery missile.  The missile has a rocket propulsion system and an inertial guidance system.  Guidance is set before firing.  The system automatically guides the missile to the target, making the necessary corrections in the trajectory to insure accuracy.

The Redstone is 21.1 meters long, 1.8 meters in diameter, and weighs 31 tons when it is prepared for firing.  Its range is 200 miles.

The Redstone Group (ARTILLERY TRENDS, February 1959) has 2 firing batteries, each containing the equipment and personnel required to prepare and fire one missile at a time; a headquarters and headquarters battery; an ordnance company; and an engineer company. The headquarters and headquarters battery provides the normal command, administrative, maintenance, and supply functions.  The ordnance company is responsible for missile supply and maintenance, in addition to supplying the fuel and hydrogen peroxide. The engineer company manufactures liquid oxygen (LOX) and supplies it directly to the firing battery. The entire Redstone group is 100 percent mobile.  Normally one Redstone group is assigned to each field army.

Three Units

The missile consists of a thrust unit, an aft unit, and a warhead unit. The aft and warhead units are known as the body unit when they are assembled. The thrust unit includes the tail section, which has fixed stabilizers, movable rudders, and jet vanes. The jet vanes extend into the rocket exhaust and provide control of the missile until its speed is sufficient to make the rudders effective. The rocket engine and a propellant pumping system are located inside the tail section. The pumping system is operated by hydrogen peroxide, a chemical that readily decomposes into steam. The oxidizer tank, which is loaded with 25,000 pounds of liquid oxygen (LOX), is located above the tail section. The fuel tank, which is loaded with 19,000 pounds of an alcohol and water solution, is located above the oxidizer tank.

Various valves of the propulsion system are operated by high-pressure air contained in fiberglass spheres near the engine. High-pressure air also is used to maintain a slight pressure on the fuel tank. The oxidizer tank is self-pressurized by the evaporation of liquid oxygen.

The aft unit houses the guidance system. Four vanes, which control the body unit after separation, are positioned at the base of the aft unit. The guidance system has a gyro-stabilized platform as a reference, accelerometers to measure missile performance, computers to determine corrective commands, a relay box to apply battery power to the motor actuators which position the rudders during thrust phase as required, and a program device to provide pitch programming and timing signals.

Shortly after thrust termination, the thrust and body units are separated by igniting six explosive bolts, which connect the units, and by pushing the units apart using two compressed air-loaded expulsion cylinders. Separation improves the reentry characteristics of the missile.

The rest of the story is told in pictures. The photographs show the equipment needed to get the missile in the air and insure that it hits its target.

Thrust Unit
Aft Unit




Battery Shop
Power Distribution


Alcohol Trailer
LOX Plant
LOX Tanker
H2O2 Truck
Fire Truck


Redstone Liftoff

End of Article No. 1.

Article No. 2:



by Second Lieutenant Lawrence W. Zimmer

Department of Publications and Nonresident Training

(Article edited and reformatted from Original: JKR)

5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 - FIRE! The time: 2248 hours. The date: Friday, 31 January 1958. The place: Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Jupiter C left its launching pad carrying a 30-pound payload: Explorer I. The satellite was in orbit at 2255 hours.

The United States had her first man-made satellite circling the globe, and it was a proud moment for the Army. The Army again demonstrated its ability in the missile business. The primary vehicle in the Jupiter C was the field artillery's Redstone, which was modified for its mission of putting Explorer I into space.

The success of that January night had added significance because the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th stages were driven by solid-propellant rockets. This was a clue that the second generation of Army missiles was on its way. At present, the solid-propellant Sergeant and Pershing missiles, members of that second generation, are being developed. However, the first generation missiles are tried and tested and will be with us for some time.

Here are descriptions of the field artillery's operational missiles and those planned for the future.


"Old Reliable," as Redstone has been dubbed, is the long-range missile, which can be fired further than 200 miles. It is 69 feet long and 6 feet in diameter. The missile is checked out in a horizontal position and then is raised into its vertical firing position. When fired it rises slowly at first then accelerates to several times the speed of sound.

Alcohol is used as the fuel and liquid oxygen (LOX) as the oxidizer. Hydrogen peroxide generates the steam, which drives internal equipment. The fuel tanks make up the center section of the missile, with the entire power plant comprising about 75 percent of the length.

The other sections are the warhead section and guidance sections. The Redstone's guidance system is entirely self-contained. The missile follows a preplanned ballistic trajectory to the target independent of outside influences. The preplanned trajectory makes it completely immune to known electronic countermeasures.

As the Redstone reenters the atmosphere, its power unit slows and falls short of the target. The remainder of the missile body continues on to the target. The first firing of the Redstone by troops was accomplished on 16 May 1958 at Cape Canaveral using test center facilities and equipment. More significant was the first troop tactical firing on 2 June 1958 at White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico, using the unit's own field equipment.


End of Article No. 2.

Article No. 3:



Chief Warrant Officer John C. McDuffey

Department of Materiel

(Article edited and reformatted from Original: JKR)

Redstone missile materiel courses are now being taught at the US Army Artillery and Missile School. The first classes started in January 1959. Redstone training is not new to the School curriculum. Resident officer classes have been taught Redstone gunnery and tactics for 2 years. The officer and enlisted materiel specialist courses are new to the School.

Formerly the Field Artillery Instructional Detachment of the Artillery and Missile School taught these materiel courses at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. The Ordnance Guided Missile School at Redstone Arsenal initially trained the detachment personnel. On the job training with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency followed this formal schooling. Part of the detachment went to Cape Canaveral, Florida, to observe and assist in several Redstone firings.

In October 1958, the detachment was transferred to Fort Sill where it became the Redstone Division of the Department of Materiel.

While at Redstone Arsenal, the detachment conducted several materiel maintenance courses. These included a course in Redstone operation and maintenance for US Air Force officers and airmen connected with the Jupiter program. This instruction was feasible because of the similarity of the Jupiter and Redstone systems.

Three Courses Offered

At the present time three separate Redstone courses are being offered.

Redstone Officers' Course (MOS 1191) for selected commissioned officers -

This course trains officers as to the characteristics, operating principles, capabilities, and limitations of the Redstone and its associated equipment. The course is 8 weeks long.

Redstone Electronic Materiel Maintenance Course (MOS 218 for enlisted men and 1192 for warrant officers) -

The course trains selected enlisted men and warrant officers to assemble, install, calibrate, adjust, and maintain on-missile electronic guidance control components and associated electronic test equipment. This course is 9 (sic) weeks long. (actually, 23 weeks in duration).

Redstone Mechanical Materiel Maintenance Course (MOS 169) -

This course trains selected enlisted men to assemble, install, maintain, and adjust Redstone mechanical on-missile guidance and control systems and associated test equipment; to assemble missiles and perform required checks on propulsion, pneumatic, and mechanical systems and their associated test equipment; and to operate and supervise the maintenance of the ground handling equipment. This course is 8 weeks long.

These missile courses prepare graduates to successfully occupy key positions in Redstone units.

End of Article No. 3.

Article No. 4:


Tactical Redstone Employment

Captain George M. Rodgers

Tactics/Combined Arms Department

(Article edited and reformatted from Original: JKR)

. . . . Five, four, three, two, one, A, B, C, D, E . . . . , a blinding flash, a mighty roar, a cloud of dust, and the largest and longest range tactical operational field artillery guided missile in the Army - the Redstone - is on its way. The Redstone provides the Army with a missile that supplements and extends the firepower of artillery cannon and missiles, provides long-range fire support for ground forces, and compensates for the expanding dimensions of the battle area.

The Redstone was named for its place of development - Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. The United States' first successful developmental firing of an inertial-guided Redstone ballistic missile was accomplished in December 1955. In December 1956, the Redstone was the first operational prototype, long-range ballistic missile to be fired in the western hemisphere, to a range of over 400 nautical miles. In January 1958, when the first United States satellite, Explorer I, was placed into orbit by a Jupiter C missile, a Redstone missile was used for the first stage of the Jupiter C missile system. A Redstone missile was also used in the Jupiter C missile system, which placed Explorer IV into orbit. The Redstone was first successfully fired by troops in May and June of 1958. These historic firing tests were accomplished in May by Battery A of the 40th Field Artillery Missile Group, Redstone, at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and in June by Battery B, 40th Field Artillery Missile Group, Redstone, at White Sands, New Mexico.

The first Redstone unit to be organized was the 217th Field Artillery Missile Battalion, Redstone, which was activated in April 1956 at Redstone Arsenal. The battalion was composed of a headquarters and service battery, two firing batteries, and a medical section. A separate ordnance company, Redstone, and a separate engineer company, Redstone, furnished ordnance and engineer support. However, certain weaknesses were found in testing this battalion, and the unit was reorganized in September 1957 as the 40th Field Artillery Missile Group, Heavy, Redstone


The Redstone Group, Heavy, was composed of a group headquarters and headquarters battery, a field artillery missile battalion, Redstone, an ordnance company, Redstone, and an engineer company, Redstone. Field experience indicated that the field artillery missile battalion headquarters and service battery, Redstone, was not necessary for effective employment of the Group, Heavy; thus, the unit was reorganized in March 1958 as the 40th Field Artillery Missile Group, Redstone. This field artillery missile group, Redstone, is typical of the present-day organization. It consists of a headquarters and headquarters battery, two missile batteries, an engineer company, Redstone, and an ordnance company, Redstone (figure 35).

Redstone Group

Figure 35. The present-day organization of the Field Artillery Missile Group, Redstone.

The Army has three Redstone groups. The 40th Field Artillery Missile Group, Redstone, and the 46th Field Artillery Missile Group, Redstone, which was activated in October1957 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, have taken their place at the forefront of the armed might of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in Europe. The 209th Field Artillery Missile Group, Redstone, which was activated in September 1958 at Fort Sill, is the third group. Its mission is to support the US Army Artillery and Missile Center, the US Army Artillery and Missile School, and to provide equipment support for Advanced Individual Training for the 1st Field Artillery Missile Brigade.

Figure 36 lists the characteristics of the Redstone missile system. These characteristics influenced the organization of the present-day Redstone group.

Redstone Characteristics

Figure 36. Characteristics of the Redstone missile system.

The mission of the field artillery missile group, Redstone, is to provide nuclear missile fires in general support of the field army; one Redstone group is normally assigned per field army. The supported or higher headquarters commander and his staff must be familiar with several considerations to accomplish this mission.


The coordination of fire support of the Redstone group must be considered.  Under the concept of the field army tactical operations center (FATOC), coordination of the fires of the Redstone group is accomplished by the fire support element (FSE) of the field army tactical operations center. The fires of the group are planned, coordinated, and integrated with other fires in accordance with principles for the employment of fire support in FM 6-20. Another factor that must be considered is the detailed analysis of potential nuclear targets to determine their suitability for attack. This is done in the FSE after the commander and the G3 have evaluated a target area. The commander's guidance is given to the FSE; then the target analyst performs the detailed analysis and makes a recommendation to the commander on the method of attack, yield, height of burst, and expected condition of the target area after attack.

The supported or higher headquarters is responsible for the surveillance of fire, which is accomplished through the field army tactical operations center. The surveillance of fire of the Redstone group may be performed by Army aviation through the Army aviation element, by the tactical air support element, by artillery controlled equipment and personnel through the FSE, or by other means available to the commander through the G2 or G3 element.

The next consideration is, what targets are available for the Redstone? The Redstone can be used against troop concentrations, such as general reserve units; command installations, corps or higher; missile firing positions; airfields; communication centers; logistic centers; and critical terrain defiles. After a target has been selected, the supported or higher headquarters commander and his staff must consider the mobility and transportability of the Redstone group to move it to a position where the mission can be accomplished. The Redstone group is 100 percent mobile with its organic vehicles; it is air transportable in current aircraft of the United States Air Force (C-124's and C-133's), with the exception of the liquid oxygen generating plants, whose space requirements and excessive weight prevent air travel. The Redstone can be moved at road speeds comparable to heavy cannon artillery. For deception purposes, movement will be conducted during darkness or under conditions of reduced visibility by multiple routes or by infiltration.

The Redstone is considered invulnerable to known electronic countermeasures.

How is the Redstone group tactically employed? First, you must understand the relationship between the Army artillery officer and the Redstone group. The artillery officer controls the fires of the Redstone group; this control includes the selection of a general position area for the group. The artillery officer or his representative should make a preliminary map and aerial reconnaissance of the possible position areas before a general area is assigned to the Redstone group. The artillery officer will notify the group commander of his selection of position area. The group commander will then make a thorough map reconnaissance of the designated area followed by an air reconnaissance. Aircraft requested for the reconnaissance by the group commander must come from the Army air section, since the Redstone group’s tables of organization and equipment do not authorize aircraft. Then, a more detailed reconnaissance is made. The reconnaissance of a Redstone group position area is time consuming because of the large area required for the entire group - an area 13 to 16 kilometers in diameter. During his reconnaissance, the group commander may select the position areas for the elements within the group, placing them in what is known as a "Maltese cross" formation (figure 37).

The Redstone group commander uses this formation for simplification of command, administration, communication, survey, and local security problems. A major advantage of the Maltese cross formation is the time saved in re-supplying the missile batteries with missiles, fuel, and components.

Redstone Group Formation

Figure 37. A diagram of the "Maltese cross" formation.

When selecting position areas for the company- or battery-size units, the group commander must ask himself several questions. Is the terrain firm enough to support the missile when it is fully serviced and ready for firing? Are there good access roads and communication routes leading into and out of the area? Are natural cover and concealment used to their best advantages? After he has answered these questions, the commander must consider security, since the personnel and equipment organic to the group are not adequate for ground and air defense of the Redstone group. Security is a major factor that the Army commander and artillery officer must also consider in selecting the Redstone group position areas. The position areas should be located, when possible, in an existing air defense framework. Because the nuclear capability of the Redstone missile makes each position area of the Redstone group a high priority target for attack, additional personnel and equipment may be required for position area defense.

The most effective way for an enemy to counteract the effectiveness of missile fire is to prevent a unit from firing its missiles; therefore, it can be expected that the enemy will focus his counter-missile intelligence efforts on locating the Redstone group position areas. It can also be expected that the enemy will attack the position area with every means at his disposal. The group commander must insure that all active and passive security measures are fully implemented, so that the Redstone group can accomplish its mission. The principle of tactical mobility must be practiced, since this principle is the key to successful employment of missiles. Keep this in mind; fixed missile sites are dead sites. The commander must make a continuous reconnaissance and study of the situation, and have several firing positions pre-selected and prepared to minimize the time required when a mission is assigned.

The Redstone system is an extremely hard-hitting, reliable system, which is immediately responsive to the requirements of the Army commander. By applying the principles of tactical employment, the mission of the Redstone group can be and will be accomplished. The Redstone can influence the actions on the battlefield to a depth and degree never before possible.

End of Article No. 4.

Article No. 5:



Captain Frank E. Robinson

Redstone Division, Department of Materiel

(Article edited and reformatted from Original: JKR)

The development of the Redstone missile system presented new problems to artillerymen. In cannon artillery, it had been the practice to train a unit with the use of actual equipment and to explain nomenclature operation with cutaway models. However, the Redstone missile's precision-built components could not stand the stress of everyday operation without damage and missile malfunction. To have cutaway models built or to have units learn by shooting was economically unfeasible. So, Department of the Army issued directives that no tactical missile would be used for training purposes, except at the US Army Artillery and Missile School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and at the Ordnance Guided Missile School at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

Testing of the Redstone operator and maintenance personnel in their job proficiency also posed a problem. It was difficult to determine whether a man knew his duties well by having him sit by a panel reading meters and operating switches.

Then the Redstone trainer was designed. Initially, the trainer was developed to overcome the problems that proficiency testing introduced; the trainer enabled the operation of the entire Redstone fire unit to be analyzed. Soon, it was discovered that the Redstone trainer could also be used for training the Redstone operators and maintenance men - eliminating the risk of damaging a tactical missile. The trainer is produced at a fraction of the price of the tactical missile.

All the actual tactical equipment except the missile is used with the Redstone trainer, which allows a complete pre-firing sequence to be accomplished when the trainer is inserted into the tactical system. Facilities for the mating, erecting, checkout, and propellant loading operations have been provided which are as realistic as possible. No provisions are made to train ordnance personnel in pre-issue checkout procedures.


The basic items (figure 30) in the trainer system are a training missile, trainer test station, two junction boxes, a dummy load box, a dummy relay box, and necessary cables. Radios are provided for use by umpires if desired.

Redstone Trainer Configuration

Figure 30. The Redstone trainer system.

The trainer test station can be considered the headquarters for training operations. All operations are monitored and recorded at the test station by a Clary data printer; the printer prints code numbers showing the times when various switches were thrown and whether these operations were in error. The circuitry within this station can be modified to reflect changes in operation, so that the latest procedure may be used as a basis for evaluation. A magnetic tape recorder records all telephone conversations in the tactical net and umpires radio conversations. Thus, the unit commander has an excellent opportunity to review the entire operation and to eliminate failures or weak points in planning future training.

The trainer test station can also generate signals into the system and cause various meters and indicator lamps to operate as though a tactical missile were being used. Wrong indications can be made to appear so that operators will have a chance to recognize them. In addition, actual malfunctions can be set into the system, enabling maintenance personnel to use schematic and test equipment in tracing the trouble to its source.

The two junction boxes channel the electrical signals to the correct places. Junction box 1 directs signals going to the missile into the trainer test station. Junction box 2 permits the signals generated by the trainer test station to be inserted in the overall system.


The trainer missile is a realistic copy of the actual tactical round so that maximum benefit may be obtained in training. The components of the trainer missile are of identical size and shape and are located as nearly as possible in the same position as their counterparts in the tactical missile. All cables, plugs, and electrical connections are numbered the same. The trainer missile can be separated into three units and be transported exactly like the tactical round.

Redstone Trainer

Figures 31, 32, and 33. The upper left photo shows the Redstone trainer missile in the pre-erection position. Lower left, the trainer missile is in the process of being erected. Right, the missile trainer in the erected position.

However, there are some differences between the two missiles. Although the positions of the center of gravity are the same, the weight of the trainer missile is about one-third that of the tactical missile. Actual components, such as valves and relays, are used where needed; otherwise, functional dummy components are installed which emit realistic sounds during checkout procedure. The entire trainer missile skin and framework is made of aluminum and is riveted rather than welded. The air systems of the two missiles are almost identical, but the trainer has aluminum air lines instead of steel and operates on a pressure of 1,000 pounds per square inch (psi) instead of 3,000 psi.

Training in propellant loading is done by using a few procedures peculiar to the trainer. There is no alcohol tank on the missile. Training in alcohol loading is accomplished by the use of a return line from the alcohol fill valve to the alcohol trailer, so that the fuel is pumped back into the trailer. A small belt-type liquid oxygen (LOX) tank in the trainer missile has a 250-gallon capacity. All necessary liquid oxygen connections are present to allow pre-cooling, LOX loading, and replenishing (figure 34). A hydrogen peroxide tank is aboard the missile but because ordinary water would contaminate the tactical ground equipment, de-mineralized water is used.

LOX Loading

Figure 34. The LOX loading operation of the Redstone trainer missile.

The Redstone trainer enables training to be conducted in two unrelated areas at the same time. The missile and launcher can be disconnected from the system electrically and the dummy load box installed in their place. The dummy load box causes the same panel indications to appear as if the missile was connected. Thus, for example, training in electrical checkout and missile mating can be conducted simultaneously. In this way, the unit commander can insure that his personnel are being trained in a minimum of time.

The current authorization for the Redstone trainer is one per Redstone group. The trainer is allocated to the group's ordnance company, but the group commander uses it as he sees fit. Aircraft Armaments, Inc., located in Cockeysville, Maryland makes the trainer.


To show the functioning of the missile electrical and mechanical components more graphically, two system trainers in use at the US Army Artillery and Missile School—one for the propulsion system and one for the guidance and control system—are mounted on panels so that the overall functioning of the system can be readily seen. All the advantages of a cutaway model are there - perhaps even more - since the system layout shows all components with little difficulty. Both system trainers are designed for the latest tactical missile.

The propulsion system trainer consists of four carts (figure 35) and two consoles. The complete missile propulsion system is on three of these carts. The airlines and valves found on the ground-support equipment are on the fourth cart.

Propulsion System Trainer

Figure 35. The four carts in the propulsion system trainer. Cart 1 shows the items in the guidance unit. Cart 2 shows items of the thrust unit (e.g., propellant tanks). Cart 3 pictures items in the tail section of the thrust unit (e.g., turbine, motor). Cart 4 shows exterior items on the launcher.

One console represents the propulsion panel in the missile test station, and the other is a malfunction panel for training purposes (figure 36).

Propulsion System Trainer

Figure 36. The left console is the propulsion panel found in the test station truck of the propulsion system trainer. The right console is the malfunction panel.

Guidance System Trainer

Figure 37. The four panels shown represent the four panels in the missile test station of the guidance and control system trainer.

Guidance System Trainer

Figure 38. The above panels of the guidance and control system trainer represent the guidance system aboard the missile. The actuator panel is not shown.

All valves used in this system trainer are actual components, but the airlines are of stainless steel and the propellant tanks and rocket motor are mockups. A complete firing sequence, which shows the operation of all propulsion components, can be performed. Malfunctions can be inserted, and training in troubleshooting procedures can be given. The various valves and airlines can actually be seen. In this way excellent training on the propulsion system can be given prior to working with an actual missile.

The guidance and control system trainer is similar to the propulsion system trainer in layout. Four panels (figure 37) represent the panels in the missile test station, and eight panels represent the guidance and control system (figure 38) aboard the missile.

The guidance and control system is drawn schematically on eight panels, and actual electronic components are exposed to view where appropriate. Then, for an example, the operation of the range accelerometer and ball and disk integrator can be easily seen and the functioning of these components can be better understood. In addition, test points are provided and malfunction switches are located behind each panel to enable troubleshooting operations to be performed.

By use of the Redstone training devices in the School and the field, the Redstone unit commander can be assured that his unit is adequately trained to render effective fire support.

End of Article No. 5.

Article No. 6:

ARTILLERY TRENDS – February 1962

Artillery Trends

from group to battalion . . .


Captain George M. Rodgers

Tactics/Combined Arms Department

(Article edited and reformatted from Original: JKR)

With the reorganization of the US Army comes a new organization for Redstone.  The most obvious and significant change is that from a group to a battalion. The battalion will be assigned to a field army on a basis of one battalion per army.  The overall mission of Redstone remains the same: to provide field artillery missile nuclear fire in general support of the field army.

More specifically, it will be the Redstone battalion's job to deliver nuclear fire on targets beyond the range of other field artillery units, to accomplish mass destruction on large area targets, to afford continuous fire support by displacing its two missile batteries by echelon, and finally, to provide organizational supply and maintenance for the complete missile system. Figure 26 reflects the changes in personnel authorizations incident to the change in the Redstone organization.


The Redstone battalion (figure 20) is composed of a headquarters and headquarters battery, two field artillery missile batteries, an engineer company, and an ordnance company. The battalion is organized under the battalion fire unit principle, which simply means that the battalion, rather than the battery, is the fire unit. Like other artillery battalions, the Redstone battalion is also the tactical and administrative organization.

Figure 20.

The Redstone battalion staff (figure 21) consists of 14 officers and 1 enlisted man. For the most part, the duties of these staff members are comparable to the traditional duties of their counterparts in cannon artillery units. The assignment of an engineer company and an ordnance company to the battalion places certain additional responsibilities on the battalion commander. For example, he must be familiar with the capabilities and limitations of all units within the battalion (engineer and ordnance as well as artillery) so that he can properly advise the next higher commander on employment of the battalion. He may even be required to assist the next higher commander in the selection of targets for his battalion. In addition the S3, on receipt of a fire mission, must coordinate the activities not only of the firing batteries but also of the engineer and ordnance companies.

Figure 21.


The headquarters and headquarters battery (figure 22) contains the necessary administrative and service elements to support the battalion and, when augmented by the security detachment, provides security personnel for safeguarding nuclear warheads.

The battery headquarters consists of the personnel and equipment necessary for the administrative and tactical control of the headquarters battery.

The operations and intelligence platoon contains a platoon headquarters, an administrative section, and a survey section.

The platoon headquarters consists of the necessary personnel and equipment to perform the functions of fire direction and liaison. The platoon headquarters can support two fire direction centers, thus allowing fire direction operations to be performed at each firing battery if necessary. The platoon headquarters has a liaison sergeant and the necessary liaison communications to assist the battalion liaison officer.

The administrative section consists of the personnel and equipment to support the battalion commander and staff in administrative matters.

The survey section is composed of two field artillery survey teams, which furnish the firing batteries with the required survey control.  Survey control should be furnished to within approximately 1,000 meters of each firing position by an engineer topographic battalion or a field artillery target acquisition battalion.

The battalion communication platoon is equipped to provide communications to the subordinate units and to higher headquarters when necessary.  Each subordinate unit establishes its own internal communication system.

The functions of the battalion personnel, maintenance, and medical sections are comparable to those of cannon battalion personnel, maintenance, and medical sections.

The battalion supply section consists of the personnel and equipment to handle the supply functions normally performed by a cannon battalion supply section.

Figure 22.


There are two missile batteries organic to the battalion. Each battery (figure 23) is composed of a battery headquarters, a communication section, and a firing battery.

The battery headquarters contains the necessary equipment and administrative, supply, maintenance, and mess personnel to perform battery administrative, supply, maintenance, and mess functions.  The communication section consists of the personnel and equipment to operate and maintain the battery communication system.

Figure 23.

The firing battery has a headquarters for control, a missile firing section, and a missile servicing section.

The firing section consists of the necessary personnel to operate the air compressor truck, air servicer, missile test and fire control equipment, and auxiliary equipment. The firing section, in general, performs all operations pertaining to electrical cabling, pneumatic line installation, missile testing, and missile pressurization.

The missile servicing section consists of the necessary personnel to maintain the launcher, lightweight erection equipment, missile and propellant transport vehicles, and firefighting equipment. The servicing section, in general, performs all operations pertaining to missile and fuel transport; missile assembly, other than intercabling; missile erection; and missile fueling. Each missile battery has one launcher, giving the battalion a two-launcher firing capability.


The engineer company, Redstone (fig 24), is composed of a company headquarters, a maintenance platoon, and two liquid oxygen-generating platoons. Furthermore, the engineer company will be augmented, when authorized, with a liquid nitrogen (LN2) supply section or a carbon dioxide (CO2) generating section.

The company headquarters is the command and administrative element of the company. It provides mess, supply, and administrative facilities for the personnel of the unit.

The maintenance platoon is responsible for the field maintenance of mechanical engineer items in the battalion. It provides engineer maintenance contact teams for repair at the firing position; the teams are on a stand-by basis during fire missions. The platoon also performs second-echelon maintenance on its organic ordnance and engineer equipment.

Figure 24.

The liquid oxygen generating platoons generate, store, and transport liquid oxygen. In addition, these platoons perform preventive maintenance on all their operating equipment and produce liquid nitrogen as required.

The augmentation liquid nitrogen (LN2) supply section is equipped with four skid-mounted oxygen storage (3/4-ton) tanks, each carried in a 1&1/2-ton trailer and pulled by a 2&1/2-ton truck, and one semi trailer-mounted 9-ton liquid oxygen storage tank pulled by a 5-ton truck tractor. These vehicles and tanks are used for the transport and storage of LN2 required for Block II missiles.

The augmentation carbon dioxide (CO2) generating section is equipped with necessary facilities to produce and store dry ice (CO2) required for Block I missiles.


The ordnance company, Redstone (fig 25), is composed of a company headquarters, an operations section, a missile maintenance platoon, a supply platoon, an automotive maintenance platoon, and a firing trainer section.

The company headquarters is the command and administrative element of the company. It provides mess, unit supply, and administrative facilities for the personnel of the unit except that administration required for personnel management.

The operations section is the focal point for all mission activities performed by the unit. The operations officer is the coordinator for all maintenance and supply activities. The master control records for maintenance and this section maintains supply functions, and the section coordinates requests for special contact teams.

The missile maintenance platoon provides missile system maintenance. It supplies the contact teams to work outside the physical confines of the unit shop; e.g., at the firing batteries and ordnance unit storage points. The main functions of this platoon include pre-issue inspections, component repair, and
in-storage inspections.

The supply platoon performs all supply functions within the unit with the exception of unit supply. These functions include the supply of major Redstone items and missile fuel, and the supply of repair parts to the operating sections of the ordnance company and the firing batteries.

The automotive maintenance platoon is responsible for all supporting functions of the unit, such as machine shop facilities, welding facilities, wrecker service, and field maintenance for automotive equipment. The platoon provides special personnel and equipment to the contact teams as deemed necessary for the performance of a particular task.

The Redstone trainer section operates and maintains the Redstone trainer and furnishes training support to the firing batteries as directed by the battalion S3.

Figure 25.

This is the new Redstone organization, the Field Artillery Missile Battalion, Redstone, which has the mission of providing missile nuclear fire in general support of the US field army. The Redstone battalion, an extremely hard-hitting, reliable organization that is responsive to the requirements of the army commander, can influence the actions on the battlefield to a depth and to a degree never before possible.

Figure 26.

End of Article No. 6.

Special Orders Number 217 dated 15 December 1962 issued by HQ 46TH ARTILLERY GROUP reorganized the 46th Artillery Group (Redstone) in to a Redstone Battalion: 2nd Missile Battalion, 333rd Artillery.

Article No. 7:

ARTILLERY TRENDS – November 1960



The US Army's highly reliable Redstone rocket engine has passed another milestone in its brief but colorful career. The delivery of the last of the liquid propellant rockets to the Army by the manufacturer marked the end of eight years of production which started early in 1952. During that period the Redstone has chalked up a record of accomplishments and reliability that is unique in the field of missiles, rockets, and space exploration. Of 61 attempted firings, 59 have been successful. A Redstone boosted the Army's Explorer I, America's first space satellite, into orbit. Subsequently, it boosted two of the next three successful US satellite launchings.

Although production has ended, the operational life of the Redstone is far from finished. United States Army Redstone units will continue to stand guard in Europe until eventually replaced by the newer solid propellant Pershing missile units.

A Redstone is scheduled to boost the capsule in which the first US Astronaut will be transported out of the earth's atmosphere into space. The 78,000-pound thrust Redstone engine was the predecessor to the H1 engine, which, in a cluster of eight units will provide the first stage lift for the 1.5-million-pound thrust Saturn space vehicle

Page 57

End of Article No. 7.

Article No. 8:

ARTILLERY TRENDS - February 1960



The Army Ballistic Missile Agency will use eight Redstone missile boosters in the advanced stages of Project Mercury. Present plans of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is sponsoring the effort to put a man into orbit in outer space, are to use the Redstone boosters as power units on manned trainer capsules which will carry the spaceman to an altitude of more than 100 miles. These flights will provide a period of weightlessness of about 5 minutes and test the spaceman's reaction under gravity-free conditions. The Redstone, which has been fired successfully more than 50 times, was selected because of its reliability. Its record is unmatched by any other ballistic missile in the western world.

Page 69

End of Article No. 8



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