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4711th Air Defense Wing

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Title: 4711th Air Defense Wing  
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Subject: F-89 Scorpion units of the United States Air Force, 4727th Air Defense Group, Charleston Air Force Station, 4708th Air Defense Wing, 30th Air Division
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4711th Air Defense Wing

4711th Air Defense Wing
F-86Ds of the wing's 37th FIS in 1955
Active 1952–1956
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Fighter Inteerceptor and Radar
Role Air Defense
Part of Air Defense Command

The 4711th Air Defense Wing is a discontinued Air Defense Command (ADC), which replaced wings responsible for a base with wings responsible for a geographical area.

It assumed control of several fighter Interceptor squadrons that had been assigned to the 23d Fighter-Interceptor Wing, including two Air National Guard squadrons mobilized for the Korean War. In early 1953 it also was assigned six radar squadrons in Maine, Vermont, and New York and its dispersed fighter squadrons combined with colocated air base squadrons into air defense groups. The wing was redesignated as an air defense wing in 1954. In 1956, as ADC prepared to implement the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense system, the wing lost its combat components and moved to Selfridge, where it was discontinued.


The fighter squadrons to best advantage.[2] The wing assumed operational control and the air defense mission of fighter squadrons formerly assigned to the inactivating 23d Fighter-Interceptor Wing (FIW).[3] The 74th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS) and 74th FIS, flying North American F-86 Sabre aircraft[4] were at Presque Isle, while the 101st FIW's 132d FIS, flying Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars[5] was at Dow AFB, Maine, and the 134th FIS, flying World War II era North American F-51 Mustangs[5] was at Burlington Municipal Airport, Vermont.[6][5] The two dispersed squadrons were federalized Air National Guard (ANG) squadrons that had been attached to the 23rd FIW.[5] The 27th FIS at Griffiss AFB, another F-86 squadron,[7] was transferred to the wing from direct assignment to Eastern Air Defense Force.[8] The support elements of the 23rd FIW's 23rd Air Base Group and 23rd Maintenance & Supply Group were replaced at Presque Isle by an air base squadron and air base squadrons were activated at Presque Isle and Burlington to support the fighter squadrons at those bases. The wing's mission was to train and maintain tactical units in a state of readiness to intercept and destroy enemy aircraft attempting to penetrate the air defense system in the Northeastern United States.

In June, the 74th FIS converted to Northrop F-89 Scorpion interceptor aircraft, but by fall its F-89Cs had been grounded and the squadron was forced to convert to F-94 Starfires.[4] In November 1952, the two ANG fighter squadrons were returned to the control of their states and replaced by the 37th FIS at Ethan Allen and the 49th FIS at Dow.[9][5]

In February 1953, another major reorganization of ADC activated Air Defense Groups at ADC bases with dispersed fighter squadrons. Two radar detection, control and warning mission, and it was assigned six Aircraft Control & Warning Squadrons (AC&W Sq) to perform this mission.[11][12][13] The 49th FIS traded in its F-80s for F-86s in the same month.[14] Meanwhile, the 75th FIS moved to Suffolk County AFB in October and was reassigned to another wing.[6]

In 1954, two of the wing's squadrons upgraded to radar equipped and rocket armed fighters. The 49th FIS received later model F-86D Sabres, while the 27th FIS converted to F-94C Starfires.[7][14]

In 1955, ADC implemented Project Arrow, which was designed to bring back on the active list the fighter units that had compiled memorable records in the two world wars.[15] As a result of Project Arrow, the 23d Fighter Group (Air Defense), replaced the 528th Air Defense Group at Presque Isle, while the 14th Fighter Group replaced the 517th Air Defense Group at Ethan Allen.[10][16] In October, a second F-89 squadron, the 465th FIS, activated at Griffiss AFB[17]

In preparation for the implemation of the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense system, the 4711th wing lost its operational units in March 1956[13][18] and moved to Selfridge AFB where it was discontinued shortly thereafter.[1]


  • Designated as the 4711th Defense Wing and organized on 1 February 1952
Redesignated as the 4711th Air Defense Wing on 1 September 1954
Discontinued on 8 July 1956


  • Eastern Air Defense Force, 1 February 1952[1]
  • 32nd Air Division, 16 February 1953[1]
  • 30th Air Division, 1 March 1956 – 18 October 1956[1]





  • Presque Isle AFB, Maine, 1 February 1952
  • Selfridge AFB, Michigan, 1 March 1956 – 8 July 1956



  • Col. Charles H. McDonald, 1 February 1952 – after Mar 1952[26]
  • Col. Norvel K. Heath, by Jul 1952 – 1952[27]
  • Col. James O. Beckwith, 1952 – unknown[27]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d e 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. 67. 
  2. ^ Grant, C.L., (1961) The Development of Continental Air Defense to 1 September 1954, USAF Historical Study No. 126, p. 33
  3. ^ Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 43–44.  
  4. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 118
  5. ^ a b c d e Cornett & Johnson, p. 123
  6. ^ a b Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 272–274.  
  7. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 114
  8. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 138.
  9. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 176, 213
  10. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, pp. 82–83
  11. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 95
  12. ^ a b c d Cornett & Johnson, p. 165–166
  13. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 157
  14. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 116
  15. ^ Buss, Lydus H.(ed), Sturm, Thomas A., Volan, Denys, and McMullen, Richard F., History of Continental Air Defense Command and Air Defense Command July to December 1955, Directorate of Historical Services, Air Defense Command, Ent AFB, CO, (1956), p. 6
  16. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 58, 74.  
  17. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 572
  18. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 165–166, 173
  19. ^ Robertson, Patsy, AFHRA Factsheet, 14th Operations Group 11/6/2007. Retrieved March 2, 2012
  20. ^ Robertson, Patsy, AFHRA Factsheet, 23rd Fighter Group 8/7/2008. Retrieved March 2, 2012
  21. ^ Robertson, Patsy, AFHRA Factsheet, 27th Fighter Squadron 7/22/2010. Retrieved March 8, 2012
  22. ^ Robertson, Patsy, AFHRA Factsheet, 37th Flying Training Squadron 12/11/2007. Retrieved March 3, 2012
  23. ^ Robertson, Patsy, AFHRA Factsheet, 49th Fighter Training Squadron 12/18/2007. Retrieved March 8, 2012
  24. ^ Robertson, Patsy, AFHRA Factsheet, 74th Fighter Squadron 2/26/2008. Retrieved March 3, 2012
  25. ^ Robertson, Patsy, AFHRA Factsheet, 75th Fighter Squadron 2 /26/2008. Retrieved March 3, 2012
  26. ^ Abstract, History of 4711 Def Wg, Feb 1952 – Mar 1952. Retrieved 13 March 2012
  27. ^ a b Abstract, History of 4711 Def Wg, Jul 1952–Dec 1952. Retrieved 13 March 2012


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

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