1st Strategic Aerospace Division


The 1st Strategic Aerospace Division (1st STRAD) 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.

1st Strategic Aerospace Division
USAF - 1st Strategic Aerospace Division.png
1st Strategic Aerospace Division emblem
Active1943–31 October 1945; 1946–1948; 1954–1955; 1955–1956; 1957–1991
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
RoleCommand of Missile units
Part ofStrategic Air Command
Garrison/HQVandenberg Air Force Base, California
  • World War II
European Campaign (1943–1945)
Lt Gen Gerald W. Johnson

The division directed and supervised heavy bombardment (1943–1945) and fighter (1944–1945) operations during World War II within the Eighth Air Force 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.


  • Established as the 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 Strategic Missile Center on 31 July 1990
Inactivated on 1 September 1991[1]





  • 301st Fighter Division (Provisional): 18 August – 16 September 1948 (not operational entire period)
  • 316th Air Division: See 316th Bombardment Wing below[1]


(World War II)
(United States Air Force)



Aircraft and missiles operatedEdit

From[note 2]

Missile systems

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ I was assigned to the 4315 CCTS at Vandenberg from April 1979 through July 1984 as Chief of Maintenance for the ICBM crew training simulators.[citation needed]
  2. ^ a b See' list in Air Force Historical Research Agency Factsheet, 1 Strategic Aerospace Division


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Factsheet 1 Strategic Aerospace Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 2 January 2008. Archived from the original on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 1 March 2014.

General referencesEdit

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

  • 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.
  • 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.* Merritt, Robert F. 1st Air Division, Okinawa. Okinawan, Japan: McFadden, 1947.
  • 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.
  • 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.