65th Air Division

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65th Air Division
65th Air Division crest.jpg
65th Air Division emblem
Active 25 March 1943 – 21 November 1945;
17 April 1952 – 8 March 1954;
8 April 1957 – 1 January 1965;
1 June 1985 – 30 June 1991
Country United States
Branch Air Force
Part of see "Assignments" section below
Garrison/HQ see "Stations" section below
Equipment see "Aerospace vehicles" section below
Decorations European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg
see "Lineage and honors" section below

The 65th Air Division (65th AD) 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. Re-designated 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" (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).

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.

The 65th 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 U.S. Sixth Fleet. In June 1985, the 65th assumed responsibility for integrating USAFE's electronic combat systems to maximize overall warfighting potential.


  • Established as 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.




See also[edit]



 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.