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26th Air Division: Map


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The 26th Air Division (26th AD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Tactical Air Command, (ADTAC) assigned to First Air Force, being stationed at March Air Force Basemarker, Californiamarker. It was inactivated on 30 September 1990.



  • Established as 26 Air Defense Division on 21 October 1948
Activated on 16 November 1948
Redesignated 26 Air Division (Defense) on 20 June 1949
Inactivated on 1 February 1952
  • Organized on 1 February 1952
Redesignated: 26 Air Division (SAGE) on 8 August 1958
Redesignated: 26 Air Division on 1 April 1966
Inactivated on 30 September 1969
  • Activated on 19 November 1969
Inactivated on 30 September 1990


Attached to Eastern Air Defense Force, 17 Nov 1949
Remained attached to Eastern Air Defense Force to 31 Aug 1950


Redesignated Hancock Fieldmarker, New Yorkmarker, 14 February 1959


Topsham AFS, Mainemarker
Custer AFS, Michiganmarker
Goose AFBmarker, Labrador, Canadamarker
Gunter AFSmarker, Alabamamarker
March AFBmarker, Californiamarker
Syracuse AFS, New Yorkmarker
Fort Lee AFS, Virginiamarker

Hamilton AFBmarker, Californiamarker
  • 78th Fighter Wing: 1 April 1966 – 15 September 1969; 19 November – 31 December 1969
Hamilton AFBmarker, Californiamarker
Otis AFBmarker, Massachusettsmarker
Redesignated: 4621st Air Defense Wing (SAGE), 1 Apr 1956
Redesignated: New York Air Defense Sector, 1 Oct 1956-1 Oct 1966
McGuire AFB, New Jerseymarker
Redesignated: Boston Air Defense Sector, 1 Oct 1956-1 Apr 1966
Otis AFBmarker, Massachusettsmarker
Stewart AFB, New Yorkmarker
Niagara Falls MAPmarker, New Yorkmarker
Redesignated as: 33d Fighter Wing: 18 October 1956 – 8 January 1957
: (under control of 4622d Air Defense Wing [SAGE], 18 October 1956 – 8 January 1957)
Otis AFBmarker, Massachusettsmarker
New Castle Airportmarker, Delawaremarker

Air Force

  • 26th Air Division (SAGE) Provisional: attached 15 May 1963 – 1 July 1964.

Kingsley Fieldmarker, Oregonmarker
Oxnard AFBmarker, Californiamarker
  • 503 Aircraft Control and Warning Group
Attached 1 April – 15 November 1949
Assigned 16 November 1949 – 1 February 1952 (not operational, 25 March 1950 – 1 February 1952) (Inactivated February 1952)
Roslyn AFS. New Yorkmarker
  • 751 Air Defense Group: 1 March 1970 – 17 January 1974
Redesignated 751st Radar Squadron, 17 January 1974
Laguna AFS, Californiamarker
  • 858 Air Defense Group: 1 March 1970 – 17 January 1974
Resesignated 858th Radar Squadron, 17 January 1974
Las Vegas AFS, Nevadamarker
  • 4604th Support Group (Texas Towers)
762d Air Control and Warning (AC&W) Squadron (SAGE) (TT-2) (April 1958 – 15 January 1963)
: Parent station was North Truro AFSmarker, Massachusettsmarker
773d Air Control Group and Warning (AC&W) Squadron (SAGE) (TT-3) (October 1958 – 25 March 1963)
: Parent station was Montauk AFSmarker, LI, New Yorkmarker
646th Air Control Group and Warning (AC&W) Squadron (SAGE) (TT-4) (April 1959 – 15 January 1961)
: Parent station was Highlands AFS, New Jerseymarker


  • 6th Air Defense Missile Squadron (BOMARC-A)
Suffolk County AFBmarker, New Yorkmarker, 1959-1964
  • 22d Air Defense Missile Squadron (BOMARC-A/B)
Langley AFBmarker, Virginiamarker (1960-1972)
  • 26th Air Defense Missile Squadron (BOMARC-A/B)
Otis AFBmarker, Massachusettsmarker, 1960-1972
  • 30th Air Defense Missile Squadron (BOMARC-A)
Dow AFBmarker, Mainemarker, 1960-1964
  • 35th Air Defense Missile Squadron (BOMARC-B)
Niagara Falls International Airportmarker, New Yorkmarker, 1961-1969
  • 37th Air Defense Missile Squadron (BOMARC-B)
Kincheloe AFBmarker, Michiganmarker, 1961-1972

  • 46th Air Defense Missile Squadron (BOMARC-A/B)
McGuire AFB, New Jerseymarker, 1959-1972
Travis AFBmarker, Californiamarker
Castle AFBmarker, Californiamarker
Castle AFBmarker, Californiamarker
  • 4758 Defense Systems Evaluation: 19 November 1969 – 31 October 1970
Holloman AFBmarker, New Mexicomarker

Operational History

Beginning in November 1948, the division performed air defense over an area that covered much of the industrial northeast, including New York Citymarker, Philadelphiamarker, and Washington, D.C.marker. It employed off shore naval picket ships, fixed "Texas Tower" radar sites, airborne early warning units, and a civilian ground observer corps program. The latter phased down when the SAGE program was implemented.

Improved radar and communications equipment and fighter interceptors, and better techniques and methods, eventually led to the 26th Air Division becoming the first operational SAGE air defense system (1 January 1959) within Air Defense Command.

The 26th's area of control expanded until by 1963 its boundaries extended from the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexicomarker and well toward the center of the United States. In 1961 the division assumed air defense training responsibility for Air National Guard (ANG) units within the area.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the division deployed fighter aircraft and part of its airborne early warning and control force to Floridamarker. In April 1966, the division, replaced by the First Air Force, moved without personnel or equipment to Adair Air Force Station, Oregonmarker, where it assumed responsibility for the defense of Oregon, part of Californiamarker and Nevadamarker, gradually phasing down until it replaced the 27th Air Division at Luke Air Force Basemarker, Arizonamarker in November 1969.

In October 1979, it transferred to Tactical Air Command and continued to supervise its assigned components until 1 July 1987. Inactivated and redesignated as Southwest Air Defense Sector on 1 October 1990


  • Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1).

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