Suvarna Garge (Editor)

42d Air Division

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Country  United States
42d Air Division
Active  1943–1945; 1951–1958; 1959–1969; 1970–1991
Branch  United States Air Force
Role  Command of strike forces
Decorations  French Croix de Guerre with Palm

The 42d Air Division was a unit of the United States Air Force. It was established as the 42 Bombardment Wing (Dive) on 8 February 1943. The wing first saw combat in September 1943. It was inactivated in 1991.

Contents

History

Activated in 1943 as the 42d Bombardment Wing and controlled Martin B-26 Marauder groups as part of Twelfth Air Force. "The wing first saw combat in the invasion of Italy, where its units flew close support missions to stop the German counterattack on the beachhead at Salerno during September 1943. As the Allied forces progressed, the 42d took a leading part in interdicting Axis road and rail transport, and later in 1944, in the attacks against the monastery at Cassino. In August 1944, it supported the Allied landings in southern France. As the war drew to a close the 42d attacked German positions along the Siegfried Line and, in support of the Allied forces in their sweep across southern Germany, bombed enemy strong points, and communications and supply facilities."

Reactivated an intermediate command echelon of Strategic Air Command in March 1951, the 42d Air Division "equipped and trained its assigned units to conduct strategic air warfare using nuclear or conventional weapons anywhere in the world. It also trained and maintained air refueling assets. Tankers from units assigned to the 42d supported the Eielson Tanker Task Force and, over the years, occasionally deployed to Spain for Spanish Area Support. The division conducted numerous staff assistance visits and simulated no notice inspections, and participated in exercises such as Buy None and Global Shield."

Aircraft and personnel from units assigned to the division, at various times in the late 1960s and early 1970s, deployed to Southeast Asia and took part in Operation Arc Light and Operation Young Tiger missions. Subordinate units of the 42d deployed aircraft and personnel in support of the war in Southeast Asia.

Inactivated in 1991 as part of the Cold War drawdown of USAF forces.

Lineage

  • Established as the 42 Bombardment Wing (Dive) on 8 February 1943
  • Activated on 16 February 1943 Redesignated 42 Bombardment Wing (Medium) on 31 July 1943 Redesignated 42 Bombardment Wing, Medium on 23 October 1944 Inactivated on 25 October 1945
  • Redesignated 42 Air Division on 2 March 1951
  • Organized on 10 March 1951 Discontinued on 16 June 1952
  • Activated on 16 June 1952
  • Inactivated on 8 January 1958
  • Activated on 15 July 1959.
  • Redesignated 42 Strategic Aerospace Division on 1 June 1962 Redesignated 42 Air Division on 1 July 1963 Inactivated on 2 July 1969 Activated on 1 January 1970 Inactivated on 9 July 1991

    Components

    Wings

  • 2nd Bombardment Wing: 1 July 1965 – 2 July 1969; 1 December 1982 – 16 June 1988
  • 12th Fighter-Escort Wing (later 12 Strategic Fighter Wing, 12 Fighter-Day Wing): 9 April 1951 – 16 June 1952 (detached 20 July – 20 November 1951). 16 June 1952 – 8 January 1958 (detached 18 May – 10 August 1953 and 10 May – 7 August 1954)
  • 17th Bombardment Wing: 1 July 1973 – 30 September 1975
  • 19th Bombardment Wing (later 19 Air Refueling Wing): 30 June 1971 – 16 June 1988
  • 27th Fighter-Escort Wing (later 27 Strategic Fighter wing, 27 Fighter Bomber Wing): 6 August 1951 – 16 June 1952. 16 June 1952 – 8 January 1958 (detached 6 October 1952 – 13 February 1953 and 7 May – 17 August 1955)
  • 43rd Bombardment Wing: 1–31 January 1970
  • 68th Bombardment Wing: 30 June 1971 – 30 September 1982
  • 97th Bombardment Wing: 1 July 1963 – 2 July 1969. 1 January 1970 – 30 June 1971; 1 July 1973 – 16 June 1988
  • 131st Fighter-Bomber Wing: c. 10 March-c. 31 July 1951
  • 301st Air Refueling Wing: 31 March 1970 – 1 July 1973; 1 July 1975 – 30 September 1979
  • 305th Air Refueling Wing: 1 January 1970 – 1 July 1973; 1 December 1982 – 16 July 1988
  • 306th Bombardment Wing: 30 June 1971 – 1 July 1974
  • 308th Strategic Missile Wing: 1 January – 31 March 1970; 1 April 1973 – 1 December 1982
  • 319th Bombardment Wing: 16 June 1988 – 9 July 1991
  • 321st Strategic Missile Wing: 16 June 1988 – 9 July 1991
  • 381st Strategic Missile Wing: 1 March 1962 – 1 July 1963
  • 454th Bombardment Wing: 1 July 1963 – 2 July 1969
  • 4347th Combat Crew Training Wing: 15 July 1959 – 15 June 1963
  • 4397th Air Refueling Wing: 15 July 1959 – 15 June 1962
  • Groups

  • 1st Fighter Group: 24 August – 15 December 1953
  • 17th Bombardment Group: 24 August 1943 – 29 May 1945
  • 31 Bombardment (French Air Force): attached 6 January – c. 1 May 1945
  • 34 Bombardment (French Air Force): attached 6 January – c. 1 May 1945
  • 68th Air Refueling Group: 30 September 1982 – 16 June 1988
  • 319th Bombardment Group: 24 August 1943 – 10 November 1944
  • 320th Bombardment Group: 24 August 1943 – 29 May 1945
  • 325th Fighter Group: 24 August – 22 October 1943
  • Squadrons

  • 307th Air Refueling Squadron, 1 July 1953 – 18 November 1953
  • Aircraft and missiles

    Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, 1940 Martin B-26 Marauder, 1943–1945 Lockheed P-38 Lightning, 1943

    Convair B-36 Peacemaker, 1951–1957 Republic F-84 Thunderjet, 1951–1958 Boeing KB-29 Superfortress, 1953–1957 McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, 1957–1958 Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker, 1957–1958

    Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, 1963–1969 Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, 1963–1969 LGM-25C Titan II, 1963–1969 Boeing EC-135, 1966–1969

    Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, 1970, 1973–1988 Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, 1972–1988 LGM-25C Titan II, 1970, 1973–1982 Boeing EC-135, 1970–1973, 1982–1988 McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender, 1982–1988 Rockwell B-1 Lancer, 1988–1991 Minuteman-III (LGM-30G), 1988–1991

    Decorations

    This unit earned the following unit decorations:

  • French Croix de Guerre with Palm, April 1944 – June 1944
  • Emblem

    Per chevron inverted azure and light blue between in chief a fleur de lis or enarched with four mullets of four points above two of same argent, all between two lightning bolts gules fimbriated of the fourth and in base saltirewise a palm and an olive branch of the last, in fess point a cloud formation of the like and over all in pale a winged mace displayed or, all within a diminished border of the last. (Approved 29 December 1965)

    References

    42d Air Division Wikipedia


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