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36th Air Division
USAF 36th Air Division Crest.jpg
36th Air Division emblem
Active 4 September 1951–15 March 1960
1 April 1966–30 September 1969
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ see
Equipment below
Decorations see

36th Air Division Air Defense Command AOR 1966-1969

The 36th Air Division (36th AD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with First Air Force, being stationed at Topsham Air Force Station, Maine. It was inactivated on 30 September 1969.


Strategic Air Command

The 36th Air Division was activated to solve the organizational and jurisdictional problems caused by placing two combat wings at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1951. The division first flew B-29s and B-50 Superfortresses for bombardment operations, but by late 1954 it was completely equipped with B-47 Stratojet medium bombers. Conversion from KB-29s to KC-97s for refueling began in the summer of 1952 and ended in 1954.

The division constantly flew training missions, engaged in simulated combat operations, and participated in joint exercises with the Air Defense Command. Until 1960, it continued its task of manning, training, and equipping the assigned bombardment wings with B-47s so that they would be ready for aerial warfare on a global scale. Inactivated with the turnover of Davis Monthan to Tactical Air Command in 1960.

Air Defense Command

Reactivated as part of First Air Force (Air Defense Command), April 1966–September 1969. The division administered, trained, and placed all available combat capable forces, including surveillance and control elements, in a maximum state of readiness for air defense missions, and participated in numerous exercises. Assumed additional designation of 36th NORAD Region after activation of the NORAD Combat Operations Center at Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado and reporting was transferred to NORAD from ADC at Ent AFB in April 1966.

Inactivated in 1969 due to budget reductions and the diminished air defense threat to the United States.


  • Established as 36 Air Division, and organized, on 4 September 1951
    Discontinued on 16 June 1952
  • Activated on 16 June 1952
    Discontinued on 15 March 1960
  • Organized on 1 April 1966
    Inactivated on 30 September 1969.



  • Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona, 4 September 1951 – 16 June 1952; 16 June 1952 – 15 March 1960
  • Topsham AFS, Maine, 1 April 1966 – 30 September 1969.


Strategic Air Command

  • 43d Bombardment Wing: 4 September 1951 – 6 June 1952. 16 June 1952 – 15 March 1960 (detached c. 10 March – 5 June 1953, 5 September – 10 December 1954, and 1 July – 1 October 1957)
  • 303d Bombardment Wing: 4 September 1951 – 16 June 1952. 16 June 1952 – 15 March 1960 (detached 5 October – 6 November 1952, 4 March – 5 June 1954, 4 July – 4 October 1956, and 5 April – 4 July 1958)

Air Defense Command

Interceptor squadrons
Radar squadrons
Charleston AFS, Maine, 1 April 1966-15 September 1969
Caswell AFS, Maine, 1 April 1966-15 September 1969
Bucks Harbor AFS, Maine, 1 April 1966-15 September 1969

See also


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

  • Winkler, David F. (1997), Searching the skies: the legacy of the United States Cold War defense radar program. Prepared for United States Air Force Headquarters Air Combat Command.
  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • 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.
  • Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1).
  • Air Force Historical Research Agency: 36th Air Division

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