65th Air Division


65th Air Division
EC-130H 66th ECW landing at Sembach 1989.JPEG
an EC-130H of the division's 66th Electronic Combat Wing landing at Sembach AB
Active1943–1945; 1952–1954; 1957–1965; 1985–1991
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleCommand of electronic warfare units
EngagementsEuropean Theater of World War II
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award
65th Air Division emblem[note 1][1]65th Air Division crest.jpg

The 65th Air Division 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. Redesignated 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 [in late] 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 the Netherlands (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)."[1]

"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."[1]

The air division "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 United States Sixth Fleet. In June 1985, the 65th assumed responsibility for integrating the United States Air Forces in Europe's electronic combat systems to maximize overall warfighting potential."[1] In this role, it supervised the 66th Electronic Combat Wing and 601st Tactical Control Wing.

The division was inactivated in June 1991 as the Air Force eliminated air divisions to shorten the chain of command.[1]


  • Established as the 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[1]






  • 1 Gunnery and Tow Flight: 17 November 1944 – 29 May 1945[1]


Villatobas Air Station, Spain
  • 872d Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron,
Constantina Air Station, Spain
  • 874th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron,
Inoges Air Station, Spain
  • 875th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron,
Rosas Air Station, Spain
  • 876th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron,
Alcoy Air Station, Spain
  • 877th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron,
Elizondo Air Station, Spain
  • 880th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron,
Soller Air Station, Mallorca, Spain


See also



Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Approved 1 August 1961.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Factsheet 65 Air Division (Defense)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 5 October 2007. Archived from the original on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2014.


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.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
  • 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.