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315th Air Division: Wikis


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315th Air Division
Emblem of the 315th Air Division
Active 1944–1969
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg Army of Occupation ribbon.svg KSMRib.svg
  • World War II
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1945)
  • Army of Occupation (Japan) (1945–1948)
  • Korean Service (1951–1953)
Decorations Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation

The 315th Air Division (315th AD) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Pacific Air Forces, based at Tachikawa Air Base, Japan. It was inactivated in April 1969.



The unit's origins begin with its predecessor, the World War II 315th Bombardment Wing (315th BW) was part of Twentieth Air Force. The 315th BW engaged in very heavy bombardment B-29 Superfortress operations against Japan.



  • Established as 315 Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy on June 7, 1944
Activated on July 17, 1944
Redesignated 315 Composite Wing on January 8, 1946
Inactivated on August 20, 1948
  • Redesignated 315 Air Division (Combat Cargo) on January 10, 1951
Activated on January 25, 1951
Redesignated 315 Air Division on August 1, 1967
Inactivated on April 15, 1969.


Attached XXII Bomber Command, c. August 14 – c. December 7, 1944
XXI Bomber Command, April 5, 1945
V Fighter Command, May 30, 1946



  • Wings
475th Fighter: August 18–20, 1948
437th Troop Carrier: January 25, 1951 – June 10, 1952
374th Troop Carrier: January 25, 1951 – July 1, 1957
403d Troop Carrier: April 14, 1952 – January 1, 1953
315th Troop Carrier: June 10, 1952 – January 18, 1955
483d Troop Carrier: January 1, 1953 – June 25, 1960
463d Tactical Airlift : November 23, 1965 – April 8, 1969
314th Tactical Airlift: January 22, 1966 – April 8, 1969
374th Tactical Airlift: August 8, 1966 – April 8, 1969
  • Groups
16th Bombardment: April 15 – June 1, 1945
501st Bombardment: April 15, 1945 – May 15, 1946
331st Bombardment: May 12, 1945 – April 15, 1946
502d Bombardment: May 12, 1945 – April 15, 1946
38th Bombardment Group/Wing: May 31, 1946 – August 20, 1948
8th Fighter Group/Wing: May 31, 1946 – August 20, 1948
347th Fighter Group/Wing: September 25, 1947 – August 20, 1948
6315th Operations Group : 1963–1966

Operational History

Bell-Atlanta B-29B-60-BA Superfortress "Pacusan Dreamboat" (44-84061)

During World War II, the 315th Bombardment Wing was the command and control organization for four very heavy Boeing B-29 bombardment groups in the South Pacific Theater.

The Groups and Squadrons of the 315th Bomb Wing for the most part, flew the B-29B aircraft. The limited-production B-29B was designed to was to save weight by removing all of the guns and sighting equipment used on other B-29s, except the tail gun. The weight savings allowed the B-29B to fly a little higher and a little further. The B-29B aircraft also had two new radar units installed. One was the AN/APQ-7 Eagle Radar for bombing and navigation and the other was the AN/APG-15 used for aiming the tail gun. These two radar units gave the B-29B a distinctive shape as the APQ-7 antenna appeared as a small wing under the fuselage, between the two bomb bay doors and the APG-15 added a ball shaped antenna to the tail of the aircraft below the tail guns.

Its groups flew "shakedown" missions against Japanese targets on Moen Island, Truk, and other points in the Carolines and Marianas. Bombing missions commenced against targets in the Japanese homeland on June 26, 1945 when the wing damaged the Utsube River oil refinery at Yokkaichi. Thereafter, oil targets in Japan served as its primary targets.

When hostilities ended, the wing's B 29s carried relief supplies to Allied prisoner of war camps in Japan and Manchuria.

In January 1951 at Ashiya AB, Japan, the 315th Air Division replaced and absorbed the resources of the Far East Air Forces Combat Cargo Command (Provisional).

During the Korean War, its components evacuated wounded from Korea, airdropped supplies and personnel, hauled emergency supplies, materiel, replacement troops, mail, rations and ammunition, participated in joint training exercises in Japan, took part in numerous combat missions, and operated regular transport schedules within the Far East area.

Before combat operations ceased in Korea, the division began supporting French forces engaged in a war in Indochina. From May 1953 – July 1954, it provided C-119s to the French, trained French air crews and maintenance personnel, performed additional airlift missions in support of the French, and finally evacuated wounded French troops from Indochina during operation Wounded Warrior.

In July 1954, the 315th resumed normal airlift operations and participated in training exercises in Japan.

In 1962, it established airlift support for the expanding conflict in Southeast Asia. Meantime, the division continued its routine airlift in the Far East, flew humanitarian missions, and participated in training exercises when possible.

The crisis prompted by the North Korean seizure of the USS Pueblo in January 1968, found the 315th supporting an emergency airlift to the Republic of Korea.

The 315th AD was inactivated in April 1969. Its operational units (314th, 374th and 463d TAW) were reassigned.


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
  • Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links


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