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20th Air Division

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

20th Air Division
Air Defense Command.png
85th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron North American F-86D-40-NA Sabre 52-3725.jpg
Active1955–1960; 1966–1967; 1969–1983
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleCommand of air defense forces
Part ofTactical Air Command
20th Air Division Emblem
(approved 20 August 1956)[1]
USAF 20th Air Division Crest.jpg
20th Air Division ADC AOR 1955–1960
20th Air Division ADC AOR 1955–1960

The 20th Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Tactical Air Command at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida where it was inactivated on 1 March 1983.

During most of the division's history it served with Air Defense Command as a regional command and control headquarters. Between 1955 and 1967 the division controlled air defense units in the central United States. It controlled a slightly different areas of the midwestern US from 1955 to 1960 and again from 1966 to 1967. Its area of responsibility shifted to the east coast if the United States from 1969 to 1983. It was shifted to its final station on paper in 1983 and was immediately inactivated.

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The 20th Air Division was assigned to Air Defense Command (ADC) for most of its existence. It served as a regional command and control headquarters, controlling fighter interceptor and radar units over several areas of responsibility during the Cold War. For three years it also commanded a surface-to-air missile squadron.[1]

The division was initially activated as an intermediate command organization under Central Air Defense Force at Grandview Air Force Base (later Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base) in June 1955.[2] The division was responsible for the interceptor and radar units within an area that covered parts of Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, and virtually all of Kansas and Missouri.[3]

On 1 October 1959 ADC activated the Sioux City Air Defense Sector and its Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) DC-22 Direction Center and assigned it to the division.[4] The 20th also operated a Manual Control Center (MCC-2) at Richards-Gebaur. The division was inactivated in 1960 when ADC reorganized its regional air defense units, and the 33d Air Division assumed command of most of its former units.[2][5]

20th Air Division ADC AOR 1966–1967
20th Air Division ADC AOR 1966–1967

The division was reactivated in 1966 under Tenth Air Force as a SAGE organization, replacing the Chicago Air Defense Sector when ADC discontinued its air defense sectors and replaced them with air divisions.[6] The 20th provided air defense from the Truax Field, Wisconsin DC-7/CC-2 SAGE blockhouse for parts of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and all of Illinois.[3] The division also acted as the 20th NORAD Region after activation of the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) Combat Operations Center at the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Colorado. Operational control of the division was transferred to NORAD from ADC.[citation needed]

In addition to the active duty interceptor and radar units, the division supervised Air National Guard units that flew interception sorties using (among other aircraft) McDonnell F-101 Voodoos and Convair F-106 Delta Darts. At the same time the division controlled numerous radar squadrons. It was inactivated in 1967[1] as part of an ADC consolidation of intermediate level command and control organizations, driven by budget reductions required to fund USAF operations in Southeast Asia.[citation needed]

20th Air Division/NORAD Region ADC AOR 1969–1983
20th Air Division/NORAD Region ADC AOR 1969–1983

The 20th Air Division was activated for a third time in November 1969 under Aerospace Defense Command (ADCOM).[2] The division provided air defense for virtually all of the southeastern United States, except for most of Louisiana from the SAGE DC-4 blockhouse at Fort Lee Air Force Station, Virginia.[7] The division also controlled a CIM-10 Bomarc surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile squadron near Langley Air Force Base until the squadron's inactivation in October 1972.[8]

ADCOM was inactivated on 1 October 1979. The atmospheric defense resources (interceptors and warning radars) of ADCOM were reassigned to Tactical Air Command, which formed Air Defense, Tactical Air Command as the headquarters to control them.[9] After 1981, the division controlled units equipped with McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle aircraft. Its subordinate units continued to participate in intensive academic training, numerous multi-region simulated (non-flying) exercises, and flying exercises.[1]

The division moved to Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida in March 1983[1] where it was inactivated and its mission, personnel and equipment were transferred to the Southeast Air Defense Sector.[10]


  • Established as the 20 Air Division (Defense) on 8 June 1955
Activated on 8 October 1955
Inactivated on 1 January 1960
  • Activated on 20 January 1966 (not organized)
Organized on 1 April 1966
Discontinued and inactivated, on 31 December 1967
  • Activated on 19 November 1969
Inactivated on 1 March 1983[11]



  • Grandview Air Force Base (later, Richards Gebaur Air Force Base0, Missouri, 8 October 1955 – 1 January 1960
  • Truax Field, Wisconsin, 1 April 1966 – 31 December 1967
  • Fort Lee Air Force Station, Virginia, 19 November 1969
  • Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, 1 March 1983 – 1 March 1983[11]



  • Sioux City Air Defense Sector: 1 October 1959 – 1 January 1960[4]


Sioux Gateway Airport, Iowa
Truax Field, Wisconsin
Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Missouri
Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida[16]
Fort Fisher Air Force Station, North Carolina


Langley Air Force Base, Virginia
Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
Dover Air Force Base, Delaware
Langley Air Force Base, Virginia
Houston Intercontinental Airport, Texas
Roanoke Rapids Air Force Station, North Carolina
Lake Charles Air Force Station, Louisiana
Dauphin Island Air Force Station, Alabama
Homestead Air Force Base, Florida
Patrick Air Force Base, Florida
Bedford Air Force Station, Virginia
Dallas Center Air Force Station, Iowa
Bedford Air Force Station, Virginia
MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
NAS Key West, Florida
Antigo Air Force Station, Wisconsin
Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida[16]
NAS Jacksonville, Florida
Palermo Air Force Station, New Jersey
Cross City Air Force Station, Florida
Dauphin Island Air Force Station, Florida
Fort Fisher Air Force Station, North Carolina
Savannah Air Force Station, Georgia
Walnut Ridge Air Force Station, Arkansas
Olathe Air Force Station, Kansas
Williams Bay Air Force Station, Wisconsin
Fort George G. Meade, Maryland
Cape Charles Air Force Station, Virginia
Rockville Air Force Station, Indiana
Chandler Air Force Station, Minnesota
  • 788th Aircraft Control and Warning (later Radar) Squadron, 1 March 1956 – 15 October 1958; 1 April 1966 – 1 December 1967[35]
Waverly Air Force Station, Iowa
Omaha Air Force Station, Nebraska
Kirksville Air Force Station, Missouri
Hanna City Air Force Station, Illinois
North Charleston Air Force Station, South Carolina
Hutchinson Air Force Station, Kansas
Bartlesville Air Force Station, Oklahoma
Fordland Air Force Station, Missouri
Belleville Air Force Station, Illinois[36]
Winston-Salem Air Force Station, North Carolina
Aiken Air Force Station, South Carolina
  • 4638th Air Defense Squadron (SAGE), 1 January 1972 – 1 January 1975[21]

Aircraft and Missiles

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e "Factsheet 20 Air Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 5 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 53
  3. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson. p. 31
  4. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 59
  5. ^ Cornett & Johnson, P. 55
  6. ^ Cornett & Johnson, pp. 36–38
  7. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 37
  8. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 150
  9. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 46
  10. ^ "Eastern Air Defense Sector History". Eastern Air Defense Sector Public Affairs. 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 21 December 2014. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  11. ^ a b c d Lineage, Including assignment, components, stations and aircraft in AFHRA Factsheet. except as noted
  12. ^ Robertson, Patsy (24 February 2009). "Factsheet 53 Wing (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  13. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 79
  14. ^ Butler, William M. (27 December 2007). "Factsheet 328 Armament Systems Wing (AFMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  15. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 85
  16. ^ a b Mueller, pp. 564–565
  17. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 86
  18. ^ Robertson, Patsy (14 April 2014). "Factsheet 48 Flying Training Squadron (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  19. ^ "Factsheet 85 Test and Evaluation Squadron". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 31 March 2008. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  20. ^ "Factsheet 95 Fighter Squadron". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 1 April 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  21. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 105
  22. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 154
  23. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 155
  24. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 156
  25. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 97
  26. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 157
  27. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 159
  28. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 160
  29. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 161
  30. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 162
  31. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 163
  32. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 164
  33. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 166
  34. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 168
  35. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 169
  36. ^ a b c d e Cornett & Johnson, p. 170
  37. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 101
  38. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 102
  39. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 172


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

Further Reading

This page was last edited on 18 September 2019, at 16:24
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