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1st Strategic Aerospace Division
USAF - 1st Strategic Aerospace Division.png
1st Strategic Aerospace Division emblem
Active 30 August 1943 – 31 October 1945
7 June 1946 – 1 December 1948
1 July 1954 – 1 April 1955
15 April 1955 – 20 May 1956
15 April 1957 – 1 September 1991
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Command and Control
Part of Strategic Air Command
Garrison/HQ Vandenberg AFB, California
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg
  • World War II
European Campaign (1943–1945)
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg
  • Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC): Germany, 11 January 1944
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 January 1970 – 30 June 1971; 1 July 1974 – 30 June 1976; 1 July 1977 – 30 June 1979; 1 July 1982 – 30 June 1983; 1 July 1984 – 30 June 1986; 1 July 1986 – 30 June 1988.

The 1st Strategic Aerospace Division (1st SAD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Strategic Air Command, assigned to Fifteenth Air Force, being stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It was inactivated on 1 September 1991.

The division directed and supervised heavy bombardment (1943–1945) and fighter (1944–1945) operations during World War II in the European Theater.

Replacing the Eighth Air Force in Okinawa in June 1946, the division directed fighter reconnaissance and bomber organizations, and provided air defense for the Ryukyu Islands, Japan until December 1948.

From 1954 to 1955, the division served as a holding unit at Westover Air Force Base, Massachusetts, for personnel of Eighth Air Force, who moved to the base as part of a transfer of Eighth's headquarters from Carswell Air Force Base, Texas.

Activated again under the Air Research and Development Command in April 1957, it was the first division level organization controlling intermediate range and intercontinental ballistic missiles. It became an operational component of Strategic Air Command (SAC) in January 1958 and began operational testing of missile systems, supporting missile launchings by SAC and other agencies, and training SAC missilemen. These missions continued until the final disbandment on 1 September 1991.

History[edit | edit source]

Lineage[edit | edit source]

  • Established as 1st Bombardment Division on 30 August 1943
Activated on 13 September 1943
Redesignated 1st Air Division on 19 December 1944
Inactivated on 31 October 1945
  • Activated on 7 June 1946
Inactivated on 1 December 1948
Activated on 1 July 1954
Inactivated on 1 April 1955
  • Redesignated 1st Air Division (Meteorological Survey) on 12 April 1955
Activated on 15 April 1955
Inactivated on 20 May 1956
  • Redesignated 1st Missile Division on 18 March 1957
Activated on 15 April 1957
  • Redesignated 1st Strategic Aerospace Division on 21 July 1961
Redesignated 1st Strategic Missile Center on 31 July 1990
Inactivated on 1 September 1991.

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Stations[edit | edit source]

Components[edit | edit source]



(World War II)
(United States Air Force)



Aircraft and Missiles[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Berger, Carl. History of the 1st Missile Division. Santa Barbara County, California: Vandenberg Air Force Base, 1960.
  • Bishop, Cliff T. Fortresses of the Big Triangle First: A History of the Aircraft Assigned to the First Bombardment Wing and the First Bombardment Division of the Eighth Air Force for August 1942-31 March 1944. Bishop's Stortford, UK: East Anglia Books, 1986. ISBN 1-869987-00-4.
  • Bowman, Martin W. Airfields Of 1st Air Division (USAAF): Cambridgeshire * Northamptonshire * Bedfordshire. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen and Sword Books, 2007. ISBN 1-84415-453-X.
  • Mackay, Ron. First in the Field: The 1st Air Division over Europe in WWII. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 2007. ISBN 0-7643-2588-4.
  • Merritt, Robert F. 1st Air Division, Okinawa. Okinawan, Japan: McFadden, 1947.
  • USAF. History and Lineage: 1st Strategic Aerospace Division, 1st Bombardment Division, 1st Air Division, 1st Missile Division. Santa Barbara County, California: Vandenberg Air Force Base, 1981.

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