12th Air Division


12th Air Division
Active1940–1942; 1942–1944; 1947–1949; 1951–1990
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleCommand of Strategic strike forces
12th Air Division emblem (approved 30 December 1988)[1]12th Air Division crest.jpg
12th Air Division emblem (approved c. December 1986)[2]12 Air Division emblem.png
Patch with 12th Strategic Missile Division emblem [3]Division 012th Strategic Missile.png
12th Air Division emblem (approved 16 April 1952)[4]12th Air Division 1952.png

The 12th Air Division an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the Eighth Air Force, based at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. It was inactivated on 31 July 1990.


The division was established as the 12th Pursuit Wing in the Panama Canal Zone on 20 November 1940. The organization commanded pursuit groups and squadrons for Sixth Air Force until 6 March 1942.[1]

It was reassigned to Eighth Air Force in England during November 1942 as a bombardment wing, but never made operational . All personnel and equipment were withdrawn in January 1943, and the organization did not serve in combat.[1]

Reactivated in 1951, the 12th Air Division was an intermediate command echelon of Strategic Air Command. It conducted training for worldwide bombardment operations. From 1963–1984 and 1988–1990. It maintained an intercontinental ballistic missile capability, conducted staff assistance visits, and monitored programs such as retention, domestic actions, and medical capabilities of its subordinate units.

Its mission was to assure unit Emergency War Order (EWO) capability and combat crew training conducted at Castle and Dyess Air Force Bases, continually evaluate qualification training, direct correction or improvement when appropriate, and represent training concerns to higher headquarters.

It was inactivated in 1990 as part of the military drawdown of the USAF after the end of the Cold War.[1]


  • Established as the 12th Pursuit Wing on 19 October 1940
Activated on 20 November 1940
Inactivated on 6 March 1942
  • Redesignated: 12th Bombardment Wing on 23 August 1942
Activated on 8 September 1942
Disestablished on 9 October 1944
  • Reestablished and redesignated 12th Bombardment Wing, Light on 3 July 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 3 August 1947
Redesignated: 12th Air Division, Bombardment on 16 April 1948
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
  • Redesignated: 12th Air Division on 1 February 1951
Organized on 10 February 1951
Discontinued on 16 June 1952
  • Activated on 16 June 1952
Redesignated: 12th Strategic Aerospace Division on 1 June 1962
Redesignated: 12th Strategic Missile Division on 30 June 1971
Redesignated: 12th Air Division on 1 March 1973
Inactivated on 31 July 1990[1]






Aircraft and Missiles


Or, a globe azure grid lined of the first between in dexter an airplane palewise ascending argent, exhaust gules and in sinister a missile palewise of the like, overall a gauntlet of the third, grasping an olive branch vert and a lightning flash of the fourth bend sinisterwise and two lightning flashes of the last bendwise, on a chief of the second per chevron inverted seme of mullets argent; all within a diminished bordure of argent (silver gray).

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Factsheet 12 Air Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 4 October 2007. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Approved insignia for: 12th Air Division". National Archives Catalog. 3 December 1986. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
  3. ^ Replaced 16 April 1952 emblem
  4. ^ Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 381–382


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

  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.