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4780th Air Defense Wing


Emblem of the 4780th Air Defense Wing
Active 1962-1971
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Air Defense Fighter Training
Part of Air Defense Command
Air Training Command

The 4780th Air Defense Wing is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the Tenth Air Force, being stationed at Perrin Air Force Base, Texas. It was inactivated on 30 Jun 1971





  • Established as: 4780th Air Defense Wing on 1 Jul 1962
Activated by redesignation of 3555th Flying Training Wing, 1 Jul 1962
Inactivated on 30 Jun 1971




  • 4781st Combat Crew Training Squadron
  • 4782nd Combat Crew Training Squadron


In 1958, Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command took responsibility for conduct of their combat crew training, Air Defense Command (ADC) retained Air Training Command (ATC) to train pilots as all-weather interceptor crews. However, in March 1962, ADC decided it wanted to merge Perrin AFB's interceptor school with other air defense resources. ADC acquired Perrin from ATC on 1 July 1962 and with it the 3555th Flying Training Wing. On that date, ADC discontinued the 3555th and using the wing's assets, formed the 4780th Air Defense Wing (Training).

From 1962 to 1971 Perrin had the largest fleet of F-102 Delta Dagger's in the US Air Force. Perrin AFB became the only F-102 training base within the Air Defense Command.

The 4780th trained already jet-qualified pilots to operate interceptor-type aircraft as combat weapons. Perrin graduates of the F-102 were assigned to active duty units or went on for further instruction in the F-101 Voodoo, F-106 Delta Dart or B-58 Hustler operations.

In October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis a number of Perrin pilots and aircraft went on special alert, some flying missions to Florida. Under the 4780th there were two flying squadrons, the 4781st and 4782nd CCTS. The 4780th was under the command jurisdiction of 73d Air Division until April 1966.

In 1969 the 4780th won many honors for their accomplishments, which included three outstanding unit awards and the United States Air Force Flying Safety Plaque for flying 38,551 hours without a major accident. From its inception, pilots from Perrin trained in the BT-14, BT-13A, AT-6, T-28 trainers, B-25, B-26 bomber, T-33 & T-37 jet trainers, F-86D & F-86L Sabre jets and F102 & TF102 delta wing jet. Pilots trained at Perrin served in World War II; the Korean War and Vietnam War. Perrin trained dozens of aces and forty-nine United States astronauts. On March 3, 1971, it was announced that Perrin would close. On May 13, 1971, the last graduating class flew its F102's in formation over Sherman and Denison, Texas as a farewell to its two host cities.

A few days later the last of the F-102 Delta Daggers left the base, and the 4780th Air Defense Wing was deactivated.

See also


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.


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