91st Air Division

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91st Air Division
Active 1943–1949
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Command and Control
Part of First Air Force
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg American Campaign Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg
  • World War II
American Campaign (1943–1944)
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1944–1945)
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg
  • Philippine Presidential Unit Citation

The 91st Air Division (91st AD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Continental Air Forces, assigned to First Air Force, being stationed at Newark Municipal Airport, New Jersey. It was inactivated on 24 June 1949.

During World War II, the 91st Photographic Wing was the primary source of aerial photography and visual intelligence and mapping for Fifth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific theater. Its assigned units flying unarmed over enemy territory, photographing Japanese airfields, harbors, beach defenses, and personnel areas in New Guinea, the Bismarcks, Borneo, and the southern Philippines. They also reconnoitered target areas and enemy troop positions to provide intelligence for Air Force and Army units.

Liaison aircraft assigned to the wing rescued Allied fliers forced down in Pacific jungles, and evacuated wounded personnel from forward areas. Frequently fighters, assigned to subordinate units, attacked gun emplacements, bridges, supply dumps, and other installations in support of ground troops.

In 1945, as the war with Japan came to a close, the subordinate units flew photographic missions over Kyūshū. After hostilities ceased, these flights continued, and the aerial photographs obtained helped to locate prisoner of war (POW) camps and in assessing damage done to the Japanese communications system. Inactivated in Japan during early 1946.

Activated as part of the Air Force Reserve at Newark Airport, New Jersey in late 1946 controlling tactical reconnaissance units. The organization was redesignated as an Air Division in April 1948 as part of the realignment of the United States Air Force command echelon structure. It was primarily an administrative organization. It inactivated in 1949.

The Strategic Air Command assigned the designation 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing to its first global strategic reconnaissance and aerial mapping unit in 1948 as part of its policy of designating new units with ones having a World War II combat history. However, there is no relationship or lineage between the units.



  • Established as 91 Photographic Wing, Reconnaissance on 9 October 1943
Activated on 20 October 1943
Redesignated 91 Reconnaissance Wing on 20 June 1945.
Inactivated on 27 January 1946
  • Activated in the Reserve on 20 December 1946
Redesignated 91 Air Division, Reconnaissance on 16 April 1948
Inactivated on 27 June 1949.






  • 17 Reconnaissance: attached c. 21 October – 10 November 1945
  • 20 Reconnaissance: 10 November – 1 December 1945
  • 25 Liaison: 15 April 1944 – 16 February 1945.



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