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40th Air Division: Wikis

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40th Air Division
40th Air Division crest.jpg
40th Air Division emblem
Active 15 January 1943 – 25 December 1946
14 March 1951 – 1 April 1957
1 July 1959 – 8 June 1988
7 July 1989 – 14 June 1991
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ see "Stations" section below
Equipment see "Aircraft / Missiles / Space Vehicles" section below
Decorations see "Lineage and Honors" section below

The 40th Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Fifteenth Air Force, stationed at Malmstrom AFB, Montana. It was inactivated on 14 June 1991.

As the 40th Bombardment Wing, the unit was one of the primary B-17 Flying Fortress heavy strategic bombardment wings of VIII Bomber Command and later, Eighth Air Force in World War II.

Contents

History

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Lineage

  • Established as 40 Bombardment Wing on 15 Jan 1943
Activated on 21 Jan 1943
Redesignated: 40 Bombardment Wing (Heavy) on 3 May 1943
Redesignated: 40 Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy) on 30 Aug 1943
Redesignated: 40 Combat Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 13 Aug 1944
Redesignated: 40 Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 9 Jun 1945
Inactivated on 25 Dec 1946
  • Redesignated 40 Air Division on 2 Mar 1951
Organized on 14 Mar 1951
Discontinued on 1 Jul 1952
  • Activated on 1 Jul 1952
Inactivated on 1 Apr 1957
  • Activated on 1 Jul 1959
Inactivated on 8 Jun 1988
  • Activated on 7 Jul 1989
Inactivated on 14 Jun 1991

Assignments

Components

Wings

  • 17 Bombardment: 1 Feb-1 Jul 1963; 1 Jul 1971-1 Jul 1973
  • 31 Fighter Escort (later, 31 Strategic Fighter; 31 Fighter Bomber): 14 Mar 1951-1 Jul 1952; 1 Jul 1952-1 Apr 1957 (detached 10 Jul-11 Oct 1952 and 10 Nov 1953-12 Feb 1954)
  • 108 Fighter: 14 Mar-16 Nov 1951
  • 146 Fighter: 17 Apr-c. 1 Sept 1951
  • 301 Air Refueling: 2 Jul 1966-31 Mar 1970; 1 Jul 1973-1 Jul 1975; 7 Jul 1989-14 Jun 1991
  • 305 Air Refueling: 1 Jul 1973-1 Dec 1982
  • 341 Strategic Missile: 7 Jul 1989-14 Jun 1991
  • 351 Strategic Missile: 1 Jul 1973-1 Dec 1982
  • 379 Bombardment: 9 Jan 1961-8 Jun 1988
  • 410 Bombardment: 1 Feb 1963-1 Sept 1964; 31 Mar 1970-8 Jan 1988
  • 416 Bombardment: 30 Jun 1971-1 Jul 1973; 1 Dec 1982-8 Jun 1988
  • 449 Bombardment: 1 Feb 1963-30 Sept 1977
  • 499 Bombardment: 1 Feb 1963-30 Sept 1977
  • 500 Air Refueling: 1 Jul 1963-15 Dec 1964
  • 508 Fighter Escort (later, 508 Strategic Fighter): 1 Jul 1952-11 May 1956 (detached c. 8 Feb -c. 13 May 1953 and 12 Feb-c. 7 May 1954)
  • 4026 Strategic: 1 Jul 1959-9 Jan 1961
  • 4042 Strategic: 1 Jul 1959-1 Feb 1963
  • 4043 Strategic: 1 Jul 1959-1 Feb 1963
  • 4080 Strategic Reconnaissance: 1 May 1956-1 Apr 1957
  • 4239 Strategic: 1 Jul 1959-1 Feb 1963.

Groups

Squadron

  • 100 Air Refueling: 20 Jan-23 May 1953; 24-25 Nov 1953

Stations

Aircraft and Missiles

Operations

The 40th Bomb Wing was established on 15 January 1943 and officially activated on 21 January 1943. In May of that year, the Wing deployed to Brampton Grange, England. During the war, the wing went through a succession of name changes starting on 3 May 1943 when they were redesignated the 40 Bombardment Wing (Heavy). This was quickly followed by another change on 30 August 1943 when they were redesignated the 40 Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy). In September 1943, the wing received three bombardment groups and began combat operations against Nazi Germany, striking such targets as Nantes, Emden, Wilhelmshaven, and Bremen. Its units participated in a mission to Schweinfurt on 14 October 1943 that resulted in the loss of over half of the aircraft dispatched. The final name change came on 13 August 1943 when they became 40 Combat Bombardment Wing, Heavy. For the remainder of World War II, the wing flew numerous missions against military targets throughout occupied Europe and Germany. Following the end of the war the Wing was deactivated on 25 December 1946.

Redesignated the 40th Air Division in March 1951, it assumed a supervisory role over assigned units of the Strategic Air Command, ensuring that they were manned, trained, and equipped to conduct long range bombardment missions using either nuclear or conventional weapons. It also developed and maintained the capability for effective air refueling and Minuteman II (intercontinental ballistic missile) operations. In these roles the division conducted staff assistance visits and participated in numerous exercises such as Buy None, Buckskin Rider and Busy Player.

After July 1989, the 40th Air Division established policies to ensure support for wartime execution of a strategic ICBM wing and a strategic air refueling wing in accordance with the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) directed conventional war-fighting commitments.

References

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.
  • USAF Historic Research Agency: 40th Air Division

External links


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