The 44th Missile Wing was established at Ellsworth Air Force Base in 1962. It's job was to maintain and, if necessary, operate the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile systems and launch facilities established in some 150 locations around Western South Dakota.
The clip below describes facilities construction and the evolution of the 44th Missile Wing's mission during a twenty year period between 1962 and 1982. (The 44th was deactivated in 1994.)
The film and images in the above clip were provided by Historical Footprints, Inc. of Lead, South Dakota. The clip is a segment of a longer program written and directed by Lt. Robert Carver and Sgt. David Hancock, "Ellsworth Air Force Base: A Proud History."
For Teachers: Related Activities
Learn more about the history of Ellsworth AFB on the base's official Web site.
Learn about the 44th Strategic Missile Wing and visit the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.
Visit the South Dakota Air and Space Museum.
Related entry: Ellsworth Air Force Base, 1942-1957