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820th Strategic Aerospace Division
Shield Strategic Air Command.png
Active 1956–1965
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Command and Control
Part of Strategic Air Command
820th Strategic Aerospace Division emblem (approved 14 December 1962)[1] 820thsad-emblem.jpg

The 820th Strategic Aerospace Division (820th SAD) is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Strategic Air Command's Eighth Air Force at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York. It was inactivated on 25 June 1965.

The division was activated in 1956 as an intermediate command echelon of Strategic Air Command, providing command and control of Boeing B-47 Stratojet wings at Plattsburgh. It later managed SAC MAJCOM B-52 Stratofortress Strategic wings, along with air refueling squadrons. The 820th supervised the organization and training of its subordinate units in long range bombardment and air to air refueling operations. It acquired control of SM-65 Atlas ICBM missile units in 1962 for strategic aerospace warfare using intercontinental ballistic missiles, being redesignated as a Strategic Aerospace Division.[1]


The 820th Air Division was activated By Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Plattsburgh Air Force Base, New York in January 1956 as the command headquarters for Plattsburgh in anticipation of the movement of a second Boeing B-47 Stratojet wing to Plattsburgh. In June, its 820th Air Base Group became the host organization for Plattsburgh, taking over from the 380th Air Base Group, which had acted in that capacity since the summer of 1955.[2] The 380th Bombardment Wing, which had activated at Plattsburgh in the summer of 1955 was the first combat wing assigned to the division. While awaiting the completion of facilities at Plattsburgh, the 380th wing had been training with B-47s at Pinecastle Air Force Base, Florida. In late June 1956, the wing's initial training was complete and its operatinal units returned to Plattsburgh[3] However, the arrival of the second B-47 wing was delayed, and the 380th was the division's only operational wing until 1959.[1]

The division supervised the training of assigned reserve personnel and units. In fulfilling its mission, the 820th participated in numerous training exercises. Inactivated in June 1965 as part of the phaseout of the B-47.[1]


  • Established as 820 Air Division on 24 January 1956
Activated on 1 February 1956
Redesignated 820 Strategic Aerospace Division on 1 May 1962
Discontinued and inactivated, on 25 June 1965[1]





Dow Air Force Base, Maine
Griffiss Air Force Base, New York
  • 4060th Air Refueling Wing: 1 January 1959 – 1 February 1960
Dow Air Force Base, Maine
  • 4108th Air Refueling Wing: 1 January 1961 – 1 January 1963[1]


  • 820th Air Base Group (later 820th Combat Support Group): 1 June 1956 - 15 September 1964[4]
  • 820th Medical Group: 1 May 1959 - 15 September 1964



  • 4020th USAF Hospital: 1 June 1956 - 1 May 1959

Aircraft and Missiles[edit]

KC-97s of 341st ARS assigned to Dow AFB, Maine = 22 aircraft---one was an "E" model, tail 51-151 (overwing fueling only), we had several "F" models (no drop tanks but central pressure fueling) and the balance were 52- "G" models. some I remember were 52-619, -620, -621, -622, -623 and -624. All had R-4360-59B engines. The air re-fuleing tank location was very different on "E", "F", and "G" models and the flight engineers station was a mess on 51-151.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Factsheet 820 Strategic Aerospace Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 10/11/2007. Archived from the original on October 30, 2012. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  2. ^ Mueller, p. 475
  3. ^ a b Ravenstein, Combat Wings, pp. 205-206
  4. ^ See Mueller, pp. 476-478


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

External links[edit]

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