|Country United States|
Part of Strategic Air Command
|Branch United States Air Force|
The 806th Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force organization. It was assigned to Second Air Force of Strategic Air Command at Chennault Air Force Base, Louisiana. where it was inactivated on 15 June 1960.
The division was activated to manage the two Strategic Air Command medium bombardment wings at Chennault in 1952. Shortly after the division was activated, its mission changed from crew training to strategic bombardment, originally with Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, then with Boeing B-47 Stratojets. It was inactivated with one of its wings, which left Chennault as a single wing base.
The 806th Air Division was activated in 1952 at Lake Charles Air Force Base, Louisiana when Strategic Air Command (SAC) departed from the wing base organization system and created air divisions as the headquarters on bases with two operational wings. The division's components were the 44th and 68th Bombardment Wings, and the newly activated 806th Air Base Group. Both its operational wings flew variants of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. Its 44th wing served as an Operational Training Unit for B-29 aircrews and maintenance personnel being assigned to Far East Air Forces until late August.
The following year, the division's bombardment units upgraded to the Boeing B-47 Stratojet and expanded to include air refueling squadrons flying Boeing KC-97 Stratotankers. The 98th Air Refueling Squadron moved to Lake Charles from MacDill Air Force Base, Florida in November 1953 and was assigned to the division. The squadron was inactivated a few days later and its personnel and equipment were transferred to the 68th wing's 68th Air Refueling Squadron. The division monitored and coordinated the units' manning, equipping, and training for global strategic air warfare on a global scale. In fulfilling its mission, the division participated in numerous tactical exercises.
The division's 44th wing deployed as a unit to 5th Air Division forward locations in Morocco in Operation Reflex, while the 68th deployed to bases in the United Kingdom controlled by 7th Air Division. The division's tanker units deployed separately to locations including Canada.
On 14 November 1958, Lake Charles Air Force Base was renamed Chennault Air Force Base in honor of General Claire Lee Chennault, the founder of the Flying Tigers, who died in July of that year.
The 806th was inactivated in June 1960 when the 44th Bombardment Wing was inactivated as a first step toward the planned closure of Chennault in 1962. This left only a single wing at Chennault and the 68th Bombardment Wing and its 68th Combat Support Group assumed host base responsibility as the sole remaining wing at Chennault.
Col Carlos J. Cochrane, 16 Jun 1952; Brig Gen Raymond L. Winn, 3 Nov 1952; Brig Gen Henry K. Mooney, 2 Aug 1954; Brig Gen John K. Hester, 1 Aug 1955; Col Jacob J. Brogger, 24 Jul 1957; Col Robert H. Strauss, 4 Dec 1958; Col William J. Cain Jr., 27 May – 15 Jun 1960