12th Air Division

The 12th Air Division an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the Eighth Air Force, based at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. It was inactivated on 31 July 1990.

12th Air Division
Active1940–1942; 1942–1944; 1947–1949; 1951–1990
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleCommand of Strategic strike forces
12th Air Division emblem (approved 30 December 1988)[1]
12th Air Division crest
12th Air Division emblem (approved c. December 1986)[2]
12 Air Division emblem
Patch with 12th Strategic Missile Division emblem [3]
Division 012th Strategic Missile
12th Air Division emblem (approved 16 April 1952)[4]
12th Air Division 1952


The division was established as the 12th Pursuit Wing in the Panama Canal Zone on 20 November 1940. The organization commanded pursuit groups and squadrons for Sixth Air Force until 6 March 1942.[1]

It was reassigned to Eighth Air Force in England during November 1942 as a bombardment wing, but never made operational . All personnel and equipment were withdrawn in January 1943, and the organization did not serve in combat.[1]

Reactivated in 1951, the 12th Air Division was an intermediate command echelon of Strategic Air Command. It conducted training for worldwide bombardment operations. From 1963–1984 and 1988–1990. It maintained an intercontinental ballistic missile capability, conducted staff assistance visits, and monitored programs such as retention, domestic actions, and medical capabilities of its subordinate units.

Its mission was to assure unit Emergency War Order (EWO) capability and combat crew training conducted at Castle and Dyess Air Force Bases, continually evaluate qualification training, direct correction or improvement when appropriate, and represent training concerns to higher headquarters.

It was inactivated in 1990 as part of the military drawdown of the USAF after the end of the Cold War.[1]


  • Established as the 12th Pursuit Wing on 19 October 1940
Activated on 20 November 1940
Inactivated on 6 March 1942
  • Redesignated: 12th Bombardment Wing on 23 August 1942
Activated on 8 September 1942
Disestablished on 9 October 1944
  • Reestablished and redesignated 12th Bombardment Wing, Light on 3 July 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 3 August 1947
Redesignated: 12th Air Division, Bombardment on 16 April 1948
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
  • Redesignated: 12th Air Division on 1 February 1951
Organized on 10 February 1951
Discontinued on 16 June 1952
  • Activated on 16 June 1952
Redesignated: 12th Strategic Aerospace Division on 1 June 1962
Redesignated: 12th Strategic Missile Division on 30 June 1971
Redesignated: 12th Air Division on 1 March 1973
Inactivated on 31 July 1990[1]






Aircraft and Missiles


Or, a globe azure grid lined of the first between in dexter an airplane palewise ascending argent, exhaust gules and in sinister a missile palewise of the like, overall a gauntlet of the third, grasping an olive branch vert and a lightning flash of the fourth bend sinisterwise and two lightning flashes of the last bendwise, on a chief of the second per chevron inverted seme of mullets argent; all within a diminished bordure of argent (silver gray).

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Factsheet 12 Air Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 4 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Approved insignia for: 12th Air Division". National Archives Catalog. 3 December 1986. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ Replaced 16 April 1952 emblem
  4. ^ Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 381-382


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

106th Fighter-Interceptor Wing

The 106th Fighter-Interceptor Wing is a former unit of the New York Air National Guard, last stationed at Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, Westhampton Beach, New York.

The 102d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, which was assigned to the Wing's 106th Fighter-Interceptor Group, was first organized during World War I as the 102d Aero Squadron on 23 August 1917. It was reconstituted on 4 November 1922, as the 102d Observation Squadron, and is one of theObservation Squadrons of the United States Army National Guard formed before World War II. The squadron has a history going back to 30 April 1908, and is the oldest unit of the New York Air National Guard.

12th Military Transport Aviation Division

The 12th Mginskaya Red Banner Military Transport Aviation Division was a formation of the 61st Air Army of the Supreme Command of the Air Forces of the Russian Federation.

The division was formed on 5 May 1943 as the 12th Air Division Long Range at Monino, equipped with Li-2 aircraft. On 1 August 1943 it was subordinate of the 7th Aviation Corps Long Range. It received its name for the successful accomplishment of combat missions in the battle against the Nazi invaders and the release of Mga, Leningrad Oblast. On 26 December 1944, it became the 12th Bomber Aviation Division.Renamed 12th Transport Aviation Division in 1946. On 12.10.55 renamed 12th Military-Transport Aviation Division and made part of Military Transport Aviation.

In 1970 comprised:

374th Military-Transport Aviation Regiment (Tula, Tula Oblast) with An-12

566th Military-Transport Aviation Regiment (Seshcha, Bryansk Oblast) with An-12

229th Military-Transport Aviation Regiment (Ivanovo, Ivanovo Oblast) with An-22

8th Military-Transport Aviation Regiment (Seshcha, Bryansk Oblast) with An-12

In 1998 with the rest of VTA became part of 61st Air Army. Based at the Migalovo airfield (Tver), from 1946, and disbanded probably 2009. The division used An-22, Il-76, and An-124 aircraft.It is now the 6955th Air Base.

22nd Air Refueling Wing

The 22d Air Refueling Wing (22 ARW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Mobility Command's Eighteenth Air Force. It is stationed at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas and also functions as the host wing for McConnell.

Its primary mission is to provide global reach by conducting air refueling and airlift where and when needed. It is one of only three "supertanker" wings in the Air Force, with four Regular Air Force air refueling squadrons, and 63 KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft.

Its origins date to 1940 as the 22d Bombardment Group. The group was one of the first United States Army Air Forces units to be deployed into the Pacific Theater after the Pearl Harbor Attack with the Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber. The 22d Operations Group carries the lineage and history of its highly decorated World War II predecessor unit. Active for over 60 years, the 22 ARW and its earlier designation as the 22d Bombardment Wing, was a component wing of Strategic Air Command's deterrent force during the Cold War.

The 22d Air Refueling Wing is commanded by Colonel Joshua Olson. Its Vice Commander is Colonel Bruce P. Heseltine, Jr. The wing's Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Shawn M. Hughes.

330th Aircraft Sustainment Wing

The 330th Aircraft Sustainment Wing was a wing of the United States Air Force based at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

381st Training Group

The United States Air Force 381st Training Group (381 TRG) at Vandenberg AFB, California provides training for the nation's space and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) operations and ICBM and Air Launched Missile (ALM) maintenance forces. This Air Education and Training Command (AETC) organization is a tenant unit located on an 80-acre (320,000 m2) site at Vandenberg AFB.

During the Cold War, the 381st Strategic Missile Wing maintained and operated Titan II Intercontinental ballistic missiles for the Strategic Air Command at McConnell AFB, Kansas.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 381st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed at RAF Ridgewell. The group had the highest losses of all groups on first Schweinfurt mission on 17 August 1943. It flew 296 combat missions, with its last mission being flown on 25 April 1945.

384th Air Expeditionary Wing

The 384th Air Expeditionary Wing is an inactive unit of the United States Air Force. Its last assignment was with the United States Central Command Air Forces, being stationed at Shaikh Isa Air Base, Bahrain. It was inactivated in 2004. The wing's mission is largely undisclosed. However, it is known that one of its missions was aerial refueling of combat aircraft.

390th Strategic Missile Wing

The 390th Strategic Missile Wing was a United States Air Force Strategic Air Command organization, stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. Its mission was to maintain and control intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The wing was first organized as the 390th Bombardment Group in January 1943 and equipped with the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. After training in the United States, the group moved to England, beginning combat operations in August. The group flew 300 combat missions and was twice awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for its action in combat. Its last mission was on 20 April 1945. After V-E Day, the group returned to the United States, where it was inactivated in August 1945.

The 390th Strategic Missile Wing was organized in January 1962 as the United States Air Force's first LGM-25C Titan II wing, becoming operational in March 1963. It earned honors as the best Titan II wing in Strategic Air Command (SAC) on five occasions, and in 1979 earned the Blanchard Trophy as SAC's best missile wing of any kind. It was inactivated in 1984 with the retirement of the Titan II from the United States intercontinental ballistic missile inventory. Just before the wing was inactivated, the Air Force consolidated the group and the wing into a single unit.

44th Missile Wing

The 44th Missile Wing (44 MW) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Twentieth Air Force, being assigned to Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. It was inactivated on 4 July 1994.

For over 40 years the 44th was a front-line Strategic Air Command wing, initially as a B-47 Stratojet medium bomber unit in the 1950s. With the phaseout of the B-47, the wing became a LGM-30 Minuteman ICBM unit in the 1960s, being inactivated in 1994 as part of the drawdown of U.S. strategic forces after the end of the Cold War.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 44th Bombardment Group was the first B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment group of VIII Bomber Command stationed in England. Colonel Leon W. Johnson, while commander of the 44th Bombardment Group, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Ploesti Raid on 1 August 1943.

55th Wing

The 55th Wing is a United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Combat Command. The wing is primarily stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, but maintains one of its groups and associated squadrons at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona as a geographically separated unit.

The 55 WG is the only Air Force wing with continuous operations, maintenance, and aircraft presence in the United States Central Command area of responsibility since Operation Desert Storm.The wing's mission is to provide worldwide reconnaissance, real-time intelligence, command and control, information warfare and combat support to U.S. leaders and commanders. One of the wing's units, the 55th Operations Group, operates 46 aircraft, including 13 models of seven different types. It is the largest wing in Air Combat Command and flies the most diverse number of aircraft.

819th Strategic Aerospace Division

The 819th Strategic Aerospace Division is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Second Air Force of Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, where it was inactivated on 2 July 1966.

The division was activated as the 819th Air Division in 1956 to command two Boeing B-47 Stratojet wings that SAC was organizing at Dyess. "The division emphasized flying operations, flying training, and aircraft maintenance. In fulfilling its duties, the 819th participated in numerous tactical training exercises throughout its existence." Until April 1961, the division also provided supporting services at Dyess through its 819th Air Base Group.

After 1961, the wing became an operational headquarters for wings located at bases in the southwestern United States. It added SM-65 Atlas ICBMs, Boeing B-52 Stratofortresss and Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers in 1962, and its B-47s were phased out by the middle of the following year. The missile mission brought with it a new name, 819th Strategic Aerospace Division.

The division was inactivated in 1966 and its component wings were assigned to other SAC divisions.

Ellsworth Air Force Base

Ellsworth Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: RCA, ICAO: KRCA, FAA LID: RCA) is a United States Air Force base located about 10 miles (16 km) northeast of Rapid City, South Dakota, just north of the town of Box Elder.

The host unit at Ellsworth is the 28th Bomb Wing (28 BW) assigned to the Global Strike Command's Eighth Air Force. The 28 BW is one of the Air Force's two B-1B Lancer wings (the other is the 7th Bomb Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas). As of 2017, the 28th Bomb Wing is commanded by Colonel John Edwards; its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Adam Vizi.An expansion of a bomber training area encompassing the Northern Plains known as the Powder River Training Complex began in 2008.

First Air Force

The First Air Force (Air Forces Northern; 1 AF-AFNORTH) is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command (ACC). It is headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. Its primary mission is the air defense of the Contiguous United States (CONUS), United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

It was one of the four original pre-World War II numbered air forces formed during the existence of the United States Army Air Corps. It was activated as the Northeast Air District on 18 December 1940, at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York with a mission of air defense of the Northeastern United States and Great Lakes regions. Its primary mission was the organization and training of new combat units prior to their deployment overseas. It was active in 1941-42; 1942-58; 1966-69; and with minor name and function changes from 1985 to the present.

First Air Force is commanded by Lieutenant General R. Scott Williams. Its Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sgt. Richard D. King.It has the responsibility for ensuring the air sovereignty and air defense of the Contiguous United States (CONUS), United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. As the CONUS NORAD Region (CONR) for North American Aerospace Defense Command, CONR provides air defense in the form of airspace surveillance and airspace control. 1AF (AFNORTH) is also the designated air component for the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). USNORTHCOM's area of responsibility includes the continental United States, Canada, and Mexico, and its air, land and maritime approaches.

With the transfer of responsibility for continental air defense from the active duty component of the Air Force to the Air National Guard, 1 AF became the first numbered air force to be made up primarily of citizen airmen. Furthermore, 1AF now has operational control (OPCON) of the Civil Air Patrol.

Howell M. Estes II

Howell Marion Estes Jr. (or Howell Marion Estes II) (September 18, 1914 – July 2, 2007) was a general in the United States Air Force and commander of the Military Air Transport Service, later renamed the Military Airlift Command.

Jack J. Catton

General Jack Joseph Catton (February 5, 1920 – December 5, 1990) was a United States Air Force four-star general and was commander of the Air Force Logistics Command with headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and of the Military Airlift Command.

General Catton was born in Berkeley, California, in 1920. He attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, Santa Monica Junior College and Loyola University in Los Angeles, California.

He entered the Army Air Corps in 1940 as a flying cadet and received pilot training at Santa Maria, California, and Randolph and Kelly Fields in Texas. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps in February 1941.

Early in World War II, General Catton served as an instructor pilot at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, and Hendricks Field, Florida, and as a squadron commander at Lockbourne Field, Ohio. He flew the first B-29 bomber across the Pacific to the Mariana Islands in 1944. While serving with the XXI Bomber Command he was awarded the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross with oak leaf cluster for extraordinary achievement during combat missions against Japan.

In 1946 and 1947 General Catton took part in the first two atomic weapons tests in the Pacific. During this period, he also commanded the 65th Bombardment Squadron. In June 1948 he was assigned as chief of the Policy Branch, Directorate of Plans, at Strategic Air Command headquarters, Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. He moved with the command to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, as chief of the Requirements Branch, Directorate of Plans. After a successful bout with polio, he went to March Air Force Base, California, in 1950 and served as director of operations for the 22d Bombardment Wing and later for the 12th Air Division until November 1951.

After flying combat missions against North Korea out of Japan for 90 days, General Catton went to Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, in February 1952 as deputy commander of the 92d Bombardment Wing. As commander, he later led the wing from Fairchild to Guam in the first test of B-36 aircraft capabilities in sustained oversea operations. He then went to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, to command the 43d Bombardment Wing for a year. In June 1956 he returned to SAC headquarters for a tour of duty in the Directorate of Operations.

In November 1958 General Catton was selected chief of staff for the Eighth Air Force, Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts. When he assumed command of the 817th Air Division at Pease Air Force Base, New Hampshire, in July 1959, he was the youngest brigadier general in the Air Force. Two years later he took command of the 822d Air Division, Turner Air Force Base, Georgia, where he served one year prior to becoming commander of the 823d Air Division at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. In August 1963 he was named commander of the 821st Strategic Aerospace Division at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.

In February 1964 he was assigned to Headquarters U.S. Air Force as director of operational requirements, deputy chief of staff for programs and requirements (later reorganized as Operational Requirements and Development Plans, Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development). During this period, he served as the Department of Defense representative and chairman of the National Committee for Clear Air Turbulence. In July 1966 he was transferred to the Office of the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Resources as the director of Aerospace Programs, with additional duties as chairman of the Air Staff Board. In August 1967 he became deputy chief of staff for programs and resources.

Catton took command of Fifteenth Air Force at March Air Force Base, California, in August 1968, and of the Military Airlift Command at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois the following August. In September 1972 he became the commander of the Air Force Logistics Command with headquarters at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

He was a command pilot and qualified in the C-5 Galaxy, C-141 Starlifter, C-9 Nightingale, all bombers from the B-17 Flying Fortress through the B-52 Stratofortress, KC-97 Stratofreighter and KC-135 Stratotanker, the F-4 Phantom II fighter bomber and the HH-53 helicopter. In addition he had limited experience in many of the century series fighters, and logged nearly 14,000 flying hours.

List of Strategic Air Command bases

The Strategic Air Command of the United States Air Force, and its successor body the Air Force Global Strike Command, operate or formerly operated many air bases both in the United States and in other countries.

List of USAF Bomb Wings and Wings assigned to Strategic Air Command

List of USAF Bomb Wings and Wings assigned to the Strategic Air Command and brief information of the unit; including unit nickname, lineage, reassignments, aircraft assignments, and link to main Wikipedia articles for that unit.

List of United States Air Force air divisions

List of United States Air Force air divisions is a comprehensive and consolidated list of USAF Air Divisions.

March Air Reserve Base

March Air Reserve Base (IATA: RIV, ICAO: KRIV, FAA LID: RIV) (March ARB), previously known as March Air Force Base (March AFB) is located in Riverside County, California between the cities of Riverside, Moreno Valley, and Perris. It is the home to the Air Force Reserve Command's Fourth Air Force (4 AF) Headquarters and the host 452d Air Mobility Wing (452 AMW), the largest air mobility wing of the Fourth Air Force. In addition to multiple units of the Air Force Reserve Command supporting Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Pacific Air Forces, March ARB is also home to units from the Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, California Air National Guard and the California Army National Guard. For almost 50 years, March AFB was a Strategic Air Command base during the Cold War.


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