Contact Us

Base Operator
Commercial: 660-687-1110
DSN: 975-1110

509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
509 Spirit Blvd., Suite 116
Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. 65305

Comm: 660-687-5727/DSN prefix: 975

Please note that the Public Affairs office cannot provide phone numbers or redirect calls.

Whiteman Namesake

Upholding the Legacy of Excellence - your legacy!

Public Affairs is offering the opportunity for you, members of Team Whiteman (to include active duty, Guard, Reserve, civilian and retired military), to submit commentaries about your personal experiences with or reflections on the 509th Bomb Wing's Legacy of Excellence and what it means to you.

Submissions must be 250-1200 words in length and will be reviewed for content, grammar and style before publication by the Public Affairs staff. Once approved, one commentary will be posted in the Whiteman Warrior base newspaper weekly.

To make a submission, please email the 509th Bomb Wing PA office at Please include "UTL Commentary" as the subject line. Lastly, please ensure that you include information about yourself, such as your name and rank, job title, and any information that could help tie you to the Legacy.

Photos are accepted! Please ensure that they are either official military photos or scans/digital copies of personal photos.

We look forward to publishing your story!


509th BW Emblem

Since 1952, the 509th has proudly displayed its one and only official heraldic device--the wing emblem (or patch). 

The 509th Bomb Wing's emblem is rich in history. The shield is like a family coat of arms and uses symbols to tell its story. Each symbol on the shield represents some part of our unique past.

First, the Air Force wings represent the branch of service; but the wings are not in the familiar outstretched position. When the ancient Greeks approached a stranger, they raised their arms with the palms outward to show they were carrying no weapons--a sign of peace. The 509th obtained special permission to display the wings in this configuration to show that it, too, comes in peace. 

Wings with an official motto are required to display it in the scroll of their emblem. The 509th has an official motto. The motto, "Defensor Vindex" (Translated: Defender avenger) means that its mission was, and remains, to protect and retaliate for any infringement on that peace. 

The atomic cloud burst represents two things: the fact that the 509th dropped the only two atomic bombs ever in wartime, and that it still uses atomic power as a deterrent to war and defender of peace. 

Finally, the eldest son symbol (the red tripod) shows that the wing is the oldest atomic-trained military unit in the world. Members of the 509th are indeed the inheritors of a proud legacy. Properly wearing and displaying the wing emblem enhances our esprit de corps and unit identity.

The 509th Bomb Wing, one of the most famous wings in the Air Force, traces its historical roots back to its World War II ancestor, the 509th Composite Group. During World War II, the Army Air Forces (AAF) formed the Group with one mission in mind: to drop the atomic bomb. Led by Col Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., the Group made history when, on August 6, 1945, the B-29 "Enola Gay," piloted by Tibbets, dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. 

On August 9, 1945, the Group once again visited the Japanese mainland and unleashed the atomic inferno upon Nagasaki. Within days, the Japanese sued for peace, ending the war.

Upon returning to the United States in late 1945, the Group settled into Roswell Army Air Base, New Mexico, where it became the core of the newly formed Strategic Air Command (SAC). In August 1946, the now called 509th Bombardment Group again traveled to the Pacific where it participated in Operation Crossroads. 

During this special maneuver, the Group dropped an atomic bomb on an armada of obsolete and captured naval vessels moored off the Bikini Atoll.