SUMMARY HISTORY - Stony Brook Air Force Station
Stony Brook Air Force Station (AMC) was one of the seven (five Air Force, one Army and one Navy) Operational Storage Sites (OSS) located within the United States. Stony Brook performed the vital functions of providing maintenance, storage and provision of nuclear weapons for the Strategic Air Command during the Cold War. The Operational Storage Sites represented a period of tactical transition from the large, centralized structures of the National Stockpile Sites (NSS) to the physically smaller alert facilities in closer strategic proximity to Air Force bases. This transitional period spanned approximately 10 years, from 1952 to 1962. The National Stockpile Sites continued in operation throughout most of this period, but the strategic importance of the OSS became primary.
On 17 March 1954, a 3084th Aviation Depot Squadron was organized at Westover AFB. It was initially manned with personnel from the 1091st Special Reporting Squadron out of Sandia Base, New Mexico.
On 1 July 1954, the 3084th Aviation Depot Squadron was redesignated the 3084th Aviation Depot Group. At the same time, three squadrons were organized and assigned to this Group. One was the 3084th Operations Squadron, the others were the 3084th Support Squadron and the 3084th Security Squadron. On 1 November 1954, Stony Brook Air Force Station was designated as a separate station under the Air Materiel Command (Air Force Logistics Command). The 3084th Operations Squadron was redesignated the 3097th Aviation Depot Squadron on 1 March 1957.
Stony Brook and the other Operational Storage Sites were assigned to the 3079th Aviation Depot Wing, Air Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. This Wing remained active until July 1962.
During the approximately 19 years of its operations, Stony Brook AFS carried out its primary Cold War mission to maintain the United States' capability of launching a sustained attack in a nuclear encounter. The 3084th Aviation Depot Group's prescribed mission was to "(a) operate and maintain special weapons storage activities for the Department of Defense as well as to maintain the capability to assemble, modify, maintain and perform the custodial transfer of complete weapons and/or components to combat or storage organizations, (b) to provide command and staff supervision over assigned units and to exercise such control as may be prescribed over attached units, (c) to provide services to the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) as agreed upon between the AEC and the Air Materiel Command (AMC), and to receive weapons from the AEC for training exercises, maneuvers, execution of the Emergency War Plan, or as directed by higher authority, (d) to correlate the required station D-Day ground defense support with the commander of the appropriate Army area, and (e) to maintain disaster control plans as necessary to cope with emergency and disaster situations and to execute such plans as required.(1) Stony Brook's Q Area was associated with Westover AFB of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and it was focused upon the stockpiling and maintenance of atomic and thermonuclear bomb components, both nuclear and non-nuclear.
On 1 July 1962, Stony Brook and the other Operational Storage Sites were transferred from the Air Materiel Command to the Strategic Air Command (SAC). One Westover/Stony Brook veteran describes this period: "I was at Westover from 1964 to 1967. SAC ran everything outside the Q area - motor pool, firehouse, and security. They also took over the mess hall, clubs and recreation areas. The 3097th ADS, AFLC (Air Force Logistics Command), ran the Q area. We supported the SAC wing with all their nuclear weapons needs. SAC inspected and maintained the bomb release racks but we loaded the clip-in assemblies and delivered them to the bomber alert ramps using the old straddle carriers. We still had a handling section on duty in the Q area 24 hours a day. The first underground bunker was used for ops control, QC, maintenance officer and training. It was connected to Plant A via a tunnel. Maintenance and training was done in Plant A and sometimes we uploaded and downloaded clip-ins. Most maintenance was performed in Plant B - LLC exchanges, parachute swaps, etc. We received weapons from Europe and also shipped weapons out to other bases. We did some modifications, alternations and demilitarization's." (Wines, Glenn, SMSGT, retired)
The 3097th Aviation Depot Squadron at Stony Brook, and the 3096th Aviation Depot Squadron at Fairfield Air Force Station (Travis AFB, CA) were the only two aviation depot squadrons of the Operational Storage Sites that were not discontinued on 1 July 1962. They were both reassigned on that date to the SAAMA (San Antonio Area Materiel Area), per Special Orders G-38, Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson AFB. The Stony Brook physical site, however, was transferred to SAC, per Special Orders G-46, AFLC, WPAFB. The Fairfield Air Force Station site was transferred to the Military Air Transport Service (MATS).
The 3097th Aviation Depot Squadron was eventually transferred in 1973,
along with all of its equipment, nuclear weapons, etc. to Bossier Base,
Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana when Stony Brook Air Force Station
was closed down and sold to private entities in the early 1970s.
The nuclear weapons stored and maintained on Stony Brook and other
Operational Storage Sites, as well as the National Stockpile Sites, were transported world-wide (utilizing the
C-124 Globemaster, primarily) by three Logistic Support Squadrons, the
7th LSS out of Robins AFB in Georgia, the 19th LSS out of Kelly
AFB in Texas and the 28th LSS from Hill AFB in Utah. The LSSs were
organized in the period from 1952 to 1954 and were assigned to the
3079th Aviation Depot Wing, Air Materiel Command, headquartered on
Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio. Upon the deactivation of the operational
sites and the 3079th ADW in 1962, the LSSs were reassigned to the
Military Air Transport Service (MATS).
The old Stony Brook site has been occupied by a Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company power plant and a county prison, along with many small construction firms, since its deactivation and subsequent sale to private interests in the early 1970s. Many of the original facilities are still there - the nuclear weapons maintenance plants and weapons storage igloos are being used as warehouses.
Many of the photographs included were taken by Clarke Ketter and
William Lindstrom during a tour of the old Stony Brook site in June of
2002. Appreciation for
that tour is extended to the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric
Company who is now the primary owner of the Stony Brook properties. Other
photos were contributed courtesy of Charles Moore, Karl
Butler, Loyal Madden, Stuart Schrock, Bob Sunden, Tom Hildreth and William Ollinger.
Aerial Views of