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3 AIR DIVISION

Posted 10/4/2007 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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3 Air Division Emblem
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Lineage

Established as 3 Bombardment Division on 30 Aug 1943. Activated on 13 Sep 1943. Redesignated 3 Air Division on 1 Jan 1945. Inactivated on 21 Nov 1945. Organized on 23 Aug 1948. Discontinued on 1 May 1951. Redesignated 3 Air Division (Operational) on 8 Oct 1953. Activated on 25 Oct 1953. Inactivated on 1 Mar 1954. Redesignated 3 Air Division on 8 Jun 1954. Activated on 18 Jun 1954. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1970. Activated on 1 Jan 1975. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1992.

Assignments

VIII Bomber Command (later, Eighth Air Force), 13 Sep 1943; VIII Fighter Command, 16 Jul-21 Nov 1945. United States Air Forces in Europe, 23 Aug 1948; United States Air Force, 3 Jan 1949; United States Air Forces in Europe, 21 Jan-1 May 1951. United States Air Forces in Europe, 25 Oct 1953-1 Mar 1954. Strategic Air Command, 18 Jun 1954-1 Apr 1970. Strategic Air Command, 1 Jan 1975; Fifteenth Air Force, 31 Jan 1982-1 Apr 1992.

Components

Wings. 1 Bombardment: 12-c. 26 Aug 1945. 2 Bombardment: 12-c. 25 Aug 1945. 4 Combat Bombardment: 13 Sep 1943-18 Jun 1945 (not operational, 18 Nov 1944-9 Feb 1945). 4 Bombardment Provisional: 18 Nov 1944-10 Feb 1945. 5 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 14 Jan-12 Apr 1955. 6 Bombardment (later, 6 Strategic Reconnaissance): attached 14 Jan-12 Apr 1955; assigned 9 Aug 1990-1 Apr 1992. 9 Bombardment: attached 3-22 Oct 1955; attached 1 Oct 1957-c. 10 Jan 1958. 13 Combat Bombardment (later, 13th Bombardment): 13 Sep 1943-c. 6 Aug 1945. 14 Bombardment: 16 Jun-26 Aug 1945. 20 Bombardment: 16 Jun-c. 6 Aug 1945. 22 Bombardment: attached 1 Apr-5 Jul 1957; attached 6 Feb-c. 15 Apr 1968. 28 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 14 Apr-24 Jul 1955. 31 Fighter Escort: attached 3 Jan-10 Feb 1951. 43 Bombardment (later, 43 Strategic, 43 Bombardment): attached 1 Jul Oct 1957; assigned 1 Jan 1975-30 Sep 1990. 45 Combat Bombardment: 13 Sep 1943-18 Jun 1945. 55 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 15 Jan-10 Feb 1951. 65 Fighter: 1 Jun-l Nov 1945 (not operational, 28 Aug-l Nov 1945). 66 Fighter: 15 Sep 1944-1 Nov 1945 (not operational, c. 16 Oct-1 Nov 1945). 67 Fighter: 12 Aug-l Nov 1945 (not operational, 16 Oct-1 Nov 1945). 91 Bombardment: attached 5 Feb-15 Apr 1968. 91 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 16 Jan-10 Feb 1951. 92 Bombardment: attached 16 Oct 1954-12 Jan 1955; attached 26 Apr-6 Jul 1956. 92 Combat Bombardment: 31 Mar 1944-c. 13 Jun 1945 (not operational, 18 Nov 1944-c. 13 Jun 1945). 93 Bombardment: attached c. 20 Jan 1950-1 Feb 1951. 93 Combat Bombardment: 10 Jan 1944-c. 13 Jul 1945 (not operational, 24 May-c. 13 Jul 1945). 95 Bombardment: attached 26 Jul-14 Nov 1955. 96 Bombardment: attached 10 Jan-7 Apr 1957. 97 Bombardment: attached c. 26 Jul 1950-10 Feb 1951. 99 Bombardment: attached 29 Jan-25 Apr 1956. 301 Bombardment: attached c. 3 Jul-1 Dec 1950. 303 Bombardment: attached 4 Jul-4 Oct 1956; attached 5 Apr-4 Jul 1958. 307 Strategic: 1 Jan-30 Sep 1975. 320 Bombardment: attached 5 Oct 1956-11 Jan 1957. 341 Bombardment: attached 9 Jan-c. 4 Apr 1958. 376 Strategic: 1 Jan 1975-30 Oct 1991. 401 Provisional Combat, Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943. 402 Provisional Combat, Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943. 403 Provisional Combat, Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943. 509 Bombardment: attached 1 Feb-1 May 1951; attached 11 Jul-15 Oct 1954. 3960 Air Base (later, 3960 Air Base Group; 3960 Strategic Wing; 3960 Combat Support Group; 3960 Strategic Wing): 1 Apr 1955-1 Apr 1970. Bombardment Wing Provisional, 4133: attached 1 Feb 1966-1 Apr 1970. 4252 Strategic: 12 Jan 1965-1 Apr 1970. 4258 Strategic: 2 Jun 1966-1 Apr 1970 (detached 2 Jun-c. 25 Oct 1966).

Groups. 2 Bombardment: attached 23 Aug-17 Nov 1948; attached 21 Feb-c. 15 May 1950. 4 Fighter: 16 Oct-1 Nov 1945. 20 Fighter Bomber: attached 20 Jul-10 Dec 1950. 22 Bombardment: attached 19 Nov 1948-14 Feb 1949; attached 17 Nov 1949-17 Feb 1950. 28 Bombardment: attached 23 Aug-18 Oct 1948. 43 Bombardment: attached 20 Aug-18 Nov 1949. 92 Bombardment: attached 6 Feb-6 May 1949. 94 Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943; 18 Jun-12 Aug 1945; 28 Sep-1 Nov 1945. 95 Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943. 96 Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943; 18-12 Aug 1945; 28 Sep-1 Nov 1945. 97 Bombardment: attached 4 Nov 1948-15 Feb 1949. 98 Bombardment: attached 18 May-18 Aug 1949. 100 Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943; 18 Jun-12 Aug 1945; 28 Sep-1 Nov 1945. 301 Bombardment: attached 19 Oct 1948-17 Jan 1949; attached 19 May-c. 3 Jul 1950. 307 Bombardment: attached 23 Aug-4 Nov 1948; attached 15 Feb-30 Apr 1949. 339 Fighter: 14 Apr-c. 6 Aug 1944. 355 Fighter: 16 Jul-Oct 1945. 385 Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943. 388 Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943. 390 Bombardment: 13-14 Sep 1943. 479 Fighter: 16 Jul-Oct 1945. 493 Bombardment: 1-10 Jan 1944. 509 Bombardment: attached 4 May-30 Aug 1949.

Squadrons. 2 Air Refueling: attached 6 Apr-c. 15 May 1950. 23 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 22 Dec 1949-6 Mar 1950. 36 Bombardment: 12 Aug-l Sep 1945. 72 Strategic Reconnaissance: attached 1 Jun-15 Nov 1950. 82 Strategic Reconnaissance: 25 Aug 1967-2 Jan 1968. 301 Air Refueling: attached 19 May-c. 3 Jul 1950. 652 Bombardment (Weather Reconnaissance): 25 Aug-1 Sep 1945; 12 Oct-1 Nov 1945. 653 Bombardment (Weather Reconnaissance): 12 Oct-1 Nov 1945. 862 Bombardment: attached 17 Feb-7 May 1945.

Stations

Camp Blainey, England, 13 Sep 1943; Honington, England, c. 27 Oct-21 Nov 1945. Marham, England, 23 Aug 1948; Bushy Park, England, 8 Sep 1948; Victoria Park Estate (later, USAF Station), South Ruislip, England, 15 Apr 1949-1 May 1951. Wiesbaden, Germany, 25 Oct 1953-1 Mar 1954. Andersen AFB, Guam, 18 Jun 1954-1 Apr 1970. Andersen AFB, Guam, 1 Jan 1975; Hickam AFB, HI, 12 Sep 1988-1 Apr 1992.

Commanders

Brig Gen Curtis E. LeMay, 13 Sep 1943; Col Russell A. Wilson, 23 Nov 1943 (temporary); Maj Gen Curtis E. LeMay, 20 Jan 1944; Maj Gen Earl E. Partridge, 21 Jun 1944; Brig Gen Norris B. Harbold, 14 May 1945; Brig Gen Eugene L. Eubank, 6 Jun 1945; Brig Gen Murray C. Woodbury, 6 Sep-21 Nov 1945. Maj Gen Leon W. Johnson, 23 Aug 1948-1 May 1951. Unkn, 25 Oct 1953-unkn; Maj James D. McCauley, by 1 Dec 1953; Maj Russel R. Frederick, 26 Dec 1953 1 Mar 1954. Brig Gen Joseph D. C. Caldara, 18 Jun 1954; Brig Gen Nils O. Ohman, 10 Feb 1955; Col Thomas G. Netcher, 14 Sep 1956; Maj Gen Charles W. Schott, 1 Oct 1956; Maj Gen Richard M. Montgomery, 3 Sep 1958; Maj Gen John M. Reynolds, 2 Aug 1959; Maj Gen William C. Kingsbury, 7 Jul 1961; Brig Gen Harold W. Ohlke, 2 Jul 1963; Maj Gen William J. Crumm, 16 Jul 1965; Brig Gen John W. Kline, 7 Jul 1967; Maj Gen Selmon W. Wells, 8 Jul 1967; Lt Gen Alvan C. Gillem II, 6 Jun 1968-1 Apr 1970. Maj Gen Charles F. Minter Sr., 1 Jan 1975; Maj Gen Thomas F. Rew, 20 Aug 1975; Maj Gen Hilding L. Jacobson Jr., 17 Aug 1976; Maj Gen Thomas F. Rew, 18 Aug 1976 (acting); Maj Gen Hilding L. Jacobson Jr., 28 Aug 1976; Maj Gen Andrew Pringle Jr., 30 Apr 1978; Maj Gen Louis C. Buckman, 13 Aug 1979; Maj Gen Stanley C. Beck, 12 Aug 1980; Maj Gen C. Reuben Autery, 27 Aug 1982; Maj Gen E. G. Shuler Jr., 7 Jul 1984; Maj Gen Donald L. Marks, 10 Jul 1986; Maj Gen David J. Pederson, 29 Sep 1989; Maj Gen Robert E. Dempsey, Jun 1991-1 Apr 1992.

Aircraft

B-17, 1943-1945; B-24, 1944; P-47, 1944-1945; P-51, 1944-1945. B-50, 1954; B-36, 1954-1955, 1955-1956; RB-36, 1955; B-47, 1955, 1956-1964; B-52, 1964-1970; KC-97, 1957-c. 1965; KC-135, 1965-1970. B-52, 1975-1992; KC-10, (tankers in TDY status), 1986-1988; KC-135, 1975-1992; RC-135, 1975-1992.

Operations

The division entered combat in Sep 1943, performing strategic bombardment against Axis targets in the European theater of operations. During the weeks immediately preceding D Day (6 June 1944), division aircraft bombed tactical targets such as German communications centers and lines of support, and on D Day hit targets on the Cherbourg Peninsula immediately behind the landing beaches. In August 1948, the division assumed the job of administering and controlling attached SAC bombardment, fighter, and reconnaissance organizations deployed in England for training. From 3 Jan 1949-21 Jan 1951, as a major command the division controlled large numbers of USAF organizations based in the United Kingdom and supervised a tremendous airfield construction program. It also provided aircraft maintenance support for C-54 aircraft used in the Berlin Airlift. When the Berlin Airlift ended in 1949, the division participated in the Military Assistance Program in England and began an extensive air base construction program through May 1951. It moved to Guam and gained most of the resources of the former Far East Air Forces Bomber Command (Provisional) in Jun 1954. The division exercised operational control over numerous deployed tactical components, since all SAC operations in the region came under its jurisdiction. It also supported air refueling needs of all United States military agencies operating in or transiting the region. In mid 1958, the deployment of entire SAC wings to Guam was replaced by an "Air Mail" alert program, whereby several B 47 wings in the U.S. maintained a specific number of B 47s and KC 97s at Andersen AFB to meet both routine and alert requirements. In April 1964, the division switched from "Air Mail" B 47/KC 97 to "Reflex" B 52/KC 135 alert forces, again with aircraft and crews furnished in deployed status from U.S. based SAC wings. In 1965, it became heavily involved in Arc Light and Young Tiger operations in the Far East and SEA. Strategic Air Command wings in the U.S. furnished the aircrews and aircraft for these operations. The first elements of the 3d Air Division to enter combat in SEA were the tanker forces under Young Tiger. In June 1965, Arc Light B 52s struck suspected Viet Cong targets in South Vietnam, commencing the first SAC combat missions. B 52s began striking targets in North Vietnam on 11 April 1966; the initial attack against the Mu Gia Pass marked the largest single bomber raid since World War II. By late 1969, most Arc Light operations staged from U Tapao, Thailand, while others were mounted from Kadena and Andersen. Andersen AFB remained the primary base for deployed forces from the U.S., however, and aircraft and crews were sent from Guam to Kadena and U Tapao for combat missions. On 1 April 1970 the 3d Air Division's resources passed to Eighth Air Force Effective 1 January 1975, 3 Air Division again controlled all SAC operations in the Western Pacific, Far East, and Southeast Asia. Additionally, it assumed responsibility for air refueling support of all U.S. military forces in these areas. During Persian Gulf operations in late 1990 through early 1991, it tasked and supported numerous sorties supporting the deployment in the Pacific Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Service Streamers. World War II European African Middle Eastern Theater .

Campaign Streamers. None.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device: 2 Mar 1969-31 Mar 1970. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 18 Jun 1965-1 Mar 1966; 2 Mar 1966-1 Mar 1968; 2 Mar 1968-1 Mar 1969.

Emblem

Azure, three lightning bolts, points to base, radiating to chief or. (Approved 14 Mar 1955.)

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 1 Apr 1992

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 1 Apr 1992







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