|65th Air Division|
65th Air Division emblem
25 March 1943 – 21 November 1945; |
17 April 1952 – 8 March 1954;
8 April 1957 – 1 January 1965;
1 June 1985 – 30 June 1991
|Part of||see "Assignments" section below|
|Garrison/HQ||see "Stations" section below|
|Equipment||see "Aerospace vehicles" section below|
see "Lineage and honors" section below
The 65th Air Division (65th AD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with United States Air Forces in Europe, assigned to Seventeenth Air Force, being stationed at Lindsey Air Station, Germany. It was inactivated on 30 June 1991.
Established as the 4 Air Defense Wing, the unit was not activated or manned. Re-designated as the 65th Fighter Wing, the wing and its subordinate units transferred to England and was assigned to VIII Fighter Command in June 1943 and began flying combat missions. Subordinate units escorted bombers, flew counter air patrols, and dive bombing missions. They attacked airdromes, marshaling yards, missile sites, industrial areas, ordnance depots, oil refineries, trains, and highways. During "Big Week" (February 1944), the 65th participated in the assaults against the German Air Force and the German aircraft industry. Its units supported the Allied invasion of Normandy (June 1944); the Allied ground troops during the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944 through January 1945); the Allied airborne attack on Holland (Operation Market Garden, September 1944); the defense of the Remagen bridgehead against German air attacks (March 1945); and the airborne attack across the Rhine (March 1945).
As an Air Division, it carried out air defense operations in Iceland from 1952 to 1954. Activated three years later it transferred to Spain, where it cooperated with Spanish Air Force units in the Air Defense Direction Centers (ADDCs). The 65th Air Division directed base construction, and the establishment of off base housing and radar sites. Its fighter squadrons flew air defense interceptions over Spanish airspace.
The 65th also controlled the operations of attached tactical fighter squadrons deployed to Spain for temporary duty. Assigned or attached units of the division participated in numerous exercises with the Spanish Air Defense Command, and in some instances, with the U.S. Sixth Fleet. In June 1985, the 65th assumed responsibility for integrating USAFE's electronic combat systems to maximize overall warfighting potential.
- Established as 4th Air Defense Wing on 25 March 1943
- Activated on 27 March 1943
- Redesignated 65th Fighter Wing on 24 July 1943
- Inactivated on 21 November 1945
- Redesignated 65th Air Division (Defense) on 17 April 1952
- Organized on 24 April 1952
- Discontinued on 8 March 1954
- Activated on 8 April 1957
- Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 January 1965
- Redesignated 65th Air Division and activated on 1 June 1985
- Inactivated on 30 June 1991.
- Fourth Air Force, 27 March 1943
- Army Service Forces, 6 May 1943
- Eighth Air Force, 2 June 1943
- VIII Fighter Command, 4 June 1943
- 2 Bombardment (later, 2 Air) Division, 15 September 1944
- 3 Air Division, 1 June – 21 November 1945
- Iceland Air Defense Force, 24 April 1952 – 8 March 1954
- Sixteenth Air Force, 8 April 1957
- United States Air Forces in Europe, 1 July 1960 – 1 January 1965
- Seventeenth Air Force, 1 June 1985 – 30 June 1991.
Radar sites (1957-1965)
- 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.
- Air Force Historical Research Agency: 65th Air Division (Defense)
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