The 44th Air Division, Bombardment was redesignated as a division on 16 April 1948, when it was at Brooks Field (later, Brooks Air Force Base), Texas, under the 14th Air Force, then transferred to the 12th Air Force on 1 July 1948.
|44th Air Division
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Engagements||European Theater of World War II|
|Lt. Gen. Herbert B. Thatcher|
The unit started as the 44th Bombardment Wing, conducting medium bomber training in the United States. It deployed to the European Theater of Operations in the summer of 1943, but before it could being combat operations, was redesignated in November 1943 as the 99th Bombardment Wing and assigned to the new IX Bomber Command, the medium bombardment component of the revamped Ninth Air Force.
Its subordinate units attacked enemy airfields in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands between December 1943 and February 1944. Beginning in March 1944, they bombed rail road and highway bridges, oil tanks, and missile sites in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. Its subordinate units supported the Allied offensive at Caen, France, and the breakthrough at Saint-Lô, France, in July 1944. Between October and December 1944, they bombed bridges, road junctions, and ordnance depots in support of the assault on the Siegfried Line. On 16 December 1944, during a period of poor flying weather, the Germans launched a major offensive, known as the Battle of the Bulge, in the Ardennes Forest. When the weather cleared, 99th BW units bombed supply points, communication centres, bridges, marshalling yards, roads, and oil storage tanks.
The wing was reactivated as a reserve unit under Air Defense Command (ADC) on 26 June 1947 at Brooks Field, Texas (later Brooks Air Force Base. In 1948, when the regular Air Force implemented the wing base organization system, the wing, along with other multi-base reserve wings was redesignated as an air division. The same year Continental Air Command assumed responsibility for managing reserve and Air National Guard units from ADC.
The 44th was inactivated when Continental Air Command reorganized in June 1949 in response to President Truman’s reduced 1949 defense budget that required reductions in the number of unit (groups – 48) in the Air Force.
Performed bombing operations in Europe until V-E Day
This unit earned the following organizational service streamers: