4704th Defense Wing
|4704th Defense Wing|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Type||Fighter Interceptor and Radar|
|Part of||Air Defense Command|
|Garrison/HQ||McChord Air Force Base|
The 4704th Defense Wing is a discontinued United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the 25th Air Division of Air Defense Command (ADC) at McChord Air Force Base, Washington, where it was discontinued in 1954. It was established in 1952 at McChord in a general reorganization of ADC, which replaced wings responsible for a base with wings responsible for a geographical area. It commanded three fighter interceptor squadrons initially, and added three more squadrons before the end of the year. In early 1953 it added several radar squadrons in the Pacific Northwest, one of which was an Air National Guard squadron mobilized for the Korean War. When it was discontinued in the fall of 1954 its units transferred to the 25th Air Division.
The wing was organized as the 4704th Defense Wing at the beginning of February 1952, in a major reorganization of ADC responding to ADC's difficulty under the existing wing base organizational structure in deploying fighter squadrons to best advantage. Five days later, the 325th Fighter-Interceptor Wing (FIW) was inactivated and its operational elements, including the 123rd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS), 317th FIS and 318th FIS, transferred to the 4704th Defense Wing. The support elements of the 325th FIW were transferred from that wing's 325th Air Base Group (ABG) and 325th Maintenance & Supply Group to the 4704th Wing's 567th ABG, which assumed host responsibility for USAF units at McChord. The 317th and 318th FIS at McChord flew Lockheed F-94 Starfire fighter interceptor aircraft, while the 123rd FIS, a Federalized Oregon Air National Guard (ANG) unit, at Portland AFB, flew World War II era F-51 Mustang aircraft. By June, the 123rd had converted to F-86 Sabre aircraft. The Wing's mission was to train and maintain tactical flying units in state of readiness to destroy enemy aircraft in order to defend Northwest United States. It also oversaw the transfer of Air Force facilities at Portland AFB from Tactical Air Command (TAC) to ADC in March 1952. It managed supporting units at McChord AFB for the 25th Air Division, and controlled host support squadrons at dispersed fighter bases.
Additional fighter squadrons were assigned to the wing during 1952. In March, the 82nd FIS, flying F-94s at Larson AFB, Washington was transferred from the 4703rd Defense Wing in preparation for the transfer of Larson from ADC to TAC. In August, the 83rd FIS, flying F-89 Scorpion aircraft moved to Paine AFB, WA and was assigned to the wing. At the beginning of November, the 123rd FIS was released back to the ANG and its personnel, mission and equipment were absorbed by the newly activating 357th FIS. A final fighter squadron, the 323d FIS at Larson AFB, which was assigned to the 25th Air Division, was briefly attached to the wing at the end of 1952.
At the beginning of 1953, the wing added the aircraft detection, warning and control mission, when six radar squadrons were assigned to it. ADC again made major organizational changes in February 1953 that affected the wing. The 567th ABG redesignated as the 567th Air Defense Group and assumed responsibility for command of the 317th and 318th FIS. The 503rd Air Defense Group activated at Portland AFB and the 357th FIS was assigned to it, while the 529th Air Defense Group activated at Paine AFB and the 83rd FIS was assigned to it. Responsibility for ADC units at Larson AFB transferred to the 4702nd Defense Wing. In October 1953, the Federalized 136th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron (AC&W Sq) of the ANG was returned to the control of the State of Texas and its personnel and equipment transferred to the newly activated 689th AC&W Sq.
The wing was discontinued in 1954 and its equipment and personnel were transferred to other ADC units at McChord. Its subordinate air defense groups were then assigned directly to the 25th Air Division.
- Designated as the 4704th Defense Wing and organized on 1 February 1952
- Discontinued on 8 October 1954
- Western Air Defense Force, 1 February 1952
- 25th Air Division, 10 December 1952 - 8 October 1954
- 503rd Air Defense Group
- Portland International Airport (formerly Portland AFB), 16 February 1953 - 8 October 1954
- 529th Air Defense Group
- Paine Field (formerly Paine AFB), 16 February 1953 - 8 October 1954
- 567th Air Base Group (later 567th Air Defense Group), 1 February 1952 - 8 October 1954
- McChord AFB, Washington, 1 February 1952 - 8 October 1954
- Col. Alan T. Bennett, 1 February 1952 - ca. 1 January 1953
- Col. Loring F. Stetson, Jr., ca. 1 January 1953 - unknown
- F-84G, 1953
- F-86D, 1953-1954
- F-86F, 1952-1953
- F-89B, 1952-1953
- F-94A, 1952-1954
- F-94B, 1952-1953
- List of MAJCOM wings of the United States Air Force
- List of USAF Aerospace Defense Command General Surveillance Radar Stations
- Aerospace Defense Command Fighter Squadrons
- List of United States Air Force aircraft control and warning squadrons
- Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946-1980. Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. 66.
- Grant, C.L., The Development of Continental Air Defense to 1 September 1954, (1961), USAF Historical Study No. 126, p. 33
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 176–177. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 387, 389. ISBN 0-405-12194-6.
- Cornett & Johnson, p. 122
- Cornett & Johnson, p. 85
- Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 391. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
- Cornett & Johnson, pp. 124-125
- Abstract, History of 4704th Def Wg, Apr-Jun 1952 (accessed 17 Feb 2012)
- Abstract, History of 4704th Def Wg, Feb-Mar 1952 (accessed 17 Feb 2012)
- Abstract, history of 4704th Def Wg, Jan-Jun 1953 (accessed 17 Feb 2012)
- Cornett & Johnson, p. 119
- Maurer, p. 287
- Maurer, p. 290
- Maurer, p. 445
- Maurer, p. 398
- Cornett & Johnson, p. 155
- Cornett & Johnson. p. 95
- Cornett & Johnson. pp. 164-65
- Cornett & Johnson, p. 81
- Cornett & Johnson, p. 83
- Cornett & Johnson, p. 161
- Factsheet, 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron (accessed March 3, 2012)
- Factsheet, 357th Fighter Squadron (accessed March 9, 2012)
- Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946–1980. Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6.
- Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6.
- 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.
- Grant, C.L., The Development of Continental Air Defense to 1 September 1954, (1961), USAF Historical Study No. 126
- Leonard, Barry (2009). History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missiile Defense. Vol I. 1945-1955. Fort McNair, DC: Center for Military History. ISBN 978-1-4379-2131-1.
- Winkler, David F.; Webster, Julie L (1997). Searching the skies: The legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program. Champaign, IL: US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories. LCCN 97020912.