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27th Air Division

27th Air Division
The area of the Los Angeles Air Defense Sector (1960-6) and 27th Air Division (1966-9) was adjacent to the 26th, 30th, and 31st Air Divisions at the Four Corners
Active 1950–1959, 1966-1969
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Command and Control
Part of Air Defense Command

The 27th Air Division was a USAF numbered air division and the geographic Air Defense Command region controlled by the 27th AD. Its last assignment was with Air Defense Command (ADC)'s Tenth Air Force, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. It was inactivated on 19 November 1969.

Area of the 27th Air Division (1950-9) and subsequent 1959 Los Angeles Air Defense Sector


  • Norton AFB 1
  • Rocky Mountain Division 2
  • Luke AFB 3
  • Lineage 4
    • Components 4.1
  • See also 5
  • References 6

Norton AFB

Activated as the 27 Air Division (Defense) on September 7, 1950,[1] the unit was assigned to ADC for most of its existence,[2] the division's initial air defense area was southern California and later southern Nevada[3] (and a small portion of Arizona by 1953).[3]

4705th Defense Wing
The 4705th Defense [6] one month later.[3]

In May 1958, the 27th AD directed a hostile intercept of a "declared unknown" aircraft (without proper IFF), but the "inter­ceptor pilot remembered...that opening bomb bay doors was to be considered a hostile act only after declaration of an Air Defense Emergency or Warning Yellow or Red" (the SAC B-47 was on an RBS bomb run near the Los Angeles Bomb Plot.)[7] The 27th AD was designated 1 of 23 NORAD divisions effective June 10, 1958, by NORAD General Order 6.[7]:7

Planned 27th Air Division (Rocky Mountain) with Super Combat Center at Denver

Rocky Mountain Division

The "27th Air Division (Rocky Mountain)" was to transfer to the midwest with command of 2 NORAD sectors (Super Combat Center/Direction Center (SCC/DC) nuclear bunker for the division was to be at Denver, Colorado (cf. the bunkers later planned for Cheyenne Mountain and in a Cripple Creek mine). The division's general area was west-to-east from the western Nevada state meridian (near the Sierra Escarpment) to the Great Plains near Oakley, Kansas; and north-south from mid-Wyoming to just south of the Four Corners latitude. Existing Permanent System radar stations in the planned Rocky Mountain Division included the Fallon, Tonopah, and Winnemucca AFSs (the atomic-powered "SAGE feeder station" in the Black Hills NF became operational in 1962);[8]:169 and facilities and cities to be protected by the division included the Salt Lake City military installations west of the Rockies and planned Titan missile launch complexes and assembly plant at the Colorado Front Range. The Reno sector was activated February 15, 1959, and the AN/FSQ-7 at Stead AFB[8]:135 was replaced by Backup Interceptor Control at Fallon Naval Air Station by 1970.

In February 1959, the Los Angeles Air Defense Sector was activated during deployment of SAGE as a subordinate unit of the 27th AD.[9] However, the Denver SCC/CC was cancelled on March tbd, 1959; so instead of moving from the Southwest United States to the Zone of Interior (and the 28th Air Division then taking over as the Southwestern Air Division), the 27th Air Division was inactivated on October 1, 1959 (command transferred to the subordinate Los Angeles Air Defense Sector).

Luke AFB

Reactivated in January 1966 at [8]


  • Constituted as the 27 Air Division (Defense)
Activated on 20 September 1950
Inactivated on 1 February 1952[10]
  • Organized on 1 February 1952
Inactivated on 1 October 1959
  • Redesignated as the 27th Air Division and activated on 20 January 1966
Organized on 1 April 1966
Inactivated on 19 November 1969.


Fourth Air Force, 1 April 1966
Tenth Air Force, 15 September 1969 – 19 November 1969.


  • Norton AFB, CA, 20 September 1950 – 1 October 1959
  • Luke AFB, AZ, 1 April 1966 – 19 November 1969.



  • Los Angeles Air Defense Sector
Norton AFB, CA, 15 February 1959 – 1 October 1959


March AFB, CA 20 September 1950 – 1 February 1952
Hamilton AFB, CA, 15 September 1969 – 19 November 1969
  • 4705th Defense Wing[6]
Norton AFB, CA, 1 February 1952 – 1 March 1952

Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron

Holloman AFB, New Mexico, 15 November 1969 – 19 November 1959
Fighter Squadrons Radar squadrons

See also


  1. ^  This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.
  2. ^ until 1 December 1950, its parent WADF was part of Continental Air Command
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Factsheet, 27th Air Division. Retrieved 18 February 2012
  4. ^ Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings', Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 6.  
  5. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 138, 262.  
  6. ^ a b compiled by Johnson, Mildred W (31 December 1980) [February 1973 original by Cornett, Lloyd H. Jr]. A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980.  
  7. ^ a b Preface by Buss, L. H.—Director.  (Report). Directorate of Command History: Office of Information Services. "In May 1958, Western CONAD Region pointed out a weak area in the definitions of a hostile act uncovered in an incident in the 27th Air Division. A B-47 was declared unknown and intercepted, and then was observed opening its bomb bay doors prior to crossing Los Angeles. By the provisions of 55-6, the B-47 should have been declared hostile and destroyed. Fortunately, however, the inter­ceptor pilot remembered the provisions of CONAD 55-3 which provided that opening bomb bay doors was to be considered a hostile act only after declaration of an Air Defense Emergency or Warning Yellow or Red. The actions of the bomber, CFWCR continued, were standard practice for SAC aircraft on radar bomb scoring runs. And when the aircraft was known to be friendly, the prnctice was not dangerous. However, in cases such as the one in the 27th, the aircraft could possibly be declared hostile and shot down."
  8. ^ a b c d Winkler, David F; Webster, Julie L (June 1997). Searching the Skies: The Legacy of the United States Cold War Defense Radar Program (Report). Champaign, IL: U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratories.
  9. ^ Preface by Buss, L. H.—Director.  (Report). Directorate of Command History: Office of Information Services.
  10. ^ The simultaneous inactivation and organization in February 1952 represents only a change in the type of organization of the division between Table of Distribution and Table of Organization and had no practical effect on the unit.
  11. ^ Factsheet, 94th Fighter Squadron. Retrieved 11 March 2012
  • 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 Missile Defense. Vol I. 1945-1955. Fort McNair, DC: Center for Military History.  

Vol II

  • Leonard, Barry (2009). History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense. , Vol II, 1955-1972. Fort McNair, DC: Center for Military History.  
  • Redmond, Kent C.; Smith, Thomas M. (2000). From Whirlwind to MITRE: The R&D Story of The SAGE Air Defense Computer. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  
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