323d Air Division

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323d Air Division
Active 1942–1946; 1947–1949; 1958–1960
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Airlift
Part of Military Air Transport Service
Lt Gen Glenn O. Barcus
Lt Gen Laurence C. Craigie

The 323d Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the Western Transport Air Force at Travis Air Force Base, California, where it was inactivated on 8 May 1960.

The wing was initially active as the Boston Air Defense Wing, an air defense organization during World War II. In 1944, when the perception of a possible air attack on the United States diminished, it was stripped of its personnel. After a short hiatus, it became the 323d Combat Crew Training Wing and trained heavy bomber aircrews until the end of the war.

It was active again in the reserves as the 323d Troop Carrier Wing from 1947 to 1949. During this period, it became the 323d Air Division before being inactivated in 1949 during a major reorganization of the air reserve.

Its final active period began in 1958 when Military Air Transport Service (MATS) took over Travis from Strategic Air Command (SAC). It managed support activities at Travis for SAC and MATS.


World War II

The division was first organized at Logan Airport, Massachusetts in the summer of 1942 as the Boston Air Defense Wing, an air defense organization, reporting to First Air Force, and responsible for the air defense of the Boston metropolitan area. It also trained fighter organizations and personnel. As the possibility of an air attack on the east coast became increasingly remote, the wing's manpower was withdrawn in July 1944.[1]

In February 1945, it was redesignated the 323d Combat Crew Training Wing and was remanned. It served as a training organization for very heavy bomber personnel until August when its personnel was again withdrawn. It continued as a "paper" unit until it was inactivated in 1946.[1]

Cold War

The unit was redesignated the 323d Troop Carrier Wing and was reactivated as a reserve unit under Air Defense Command (ADC) on 1 August 1947 at Stout Field, Indiana. It was assigned reserve troop carrier groups at Stout[2] and Godman Air Force Base, Kentucky.[3] In 1948 the Air Force implemented the wing base organization. As a result, along with the other multi-base wings of Continental Air Command (ConAC), the wing was redesignated as an air division.[1] ConAC assumed reserve management responsibility from ADC in 1948.[4] It was inactivated in June 1949 when ConAC implemented the wing base organization and most of its personnel and equipment were transferred to the newly formed 434th Troop Carrier Wing at nearby Atterbury Air Force Base.[1][5]

From July 1958 to May 1960, the division maintained military air transport and support facilities and provided base support for all tenant organizations at Travis Air Force Base, California. It conducted peacetime operations such as airlifting cargo, troops, personnel, patients, and mail.[6]


  • Constituted as the Boston Air Defense Wing on 6 August 1942
Activated on 11 August 1942
Redesignated Boston Fighter Wing on 24 July 1943
Redesignated 323d Combat crew Training Wing on 13 February 1945
Inactivated on 8 April 1946
  • Redesignated 323d Troop Carrier Wing on 2 July 1947
Activated in the reserve on 1 August 1947
Redesignated 323d Air Division, Troop Carrier on 16 April 1948
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
  • Redesignated 323d Air Division on 27 June 1958
Activated on 1 July 1958
Discontinued on 8 May 1960[6]




  • Logan Airport, Massachusetts, 11 August 1942
  • MacDill Field, Florida, c. 22 February 1945 – 8 April 1946
  • Stout Field, Indiana, 1 August 1947 – 27 June 1949
  • Travis AFB, California, 1 July 1958 – 8 May 1960[6]



  • Col Minthorne W. Reed, 11 August 1942
  • Col Glenn O. Barcus, 25 March 1943
  • Col Laurence C. Craigie, 6 April 1943
  • Lt Col Bingham T. Kleine, 11 June 1943
  • Col Louis M. Merrick, 22 July 1943
  • Lt Col J. Marshall Booker, 29 April - c. 31 July 1944
  • none (not manned), c. 31 July 1944 - 21 February 1945
  • Col Howard Moore, 22 February 1945
  • Col Frank Allen, 29 May 1945 - unknown
  • none (not manned), August 1945 - 8 April 1946
  • Unknown, 1 August 1947 - 27 June 1949
  • Brig Gen George F. McGuire, 1 July 1958
  • Col Charles W. Stark, 15 February - c. 8 May 1960[6]
Service Streamer Campaign Dates Notes
World War II - American Campaign Streamer (Plain).png American Theater without inscription 11 August 1942 – 2 March 1946 Boston Fighter Wing (later 323d Combat Crew Training Wing)[1]

See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  2. Maurer, Combat Units. pp. 305–306
  3. Maurer, Combat Units. pp. 307–308
  4. "Abstract, Mission Project Closeup, Continental Air Command". Air Force History Index. 27 December 1961. Retrieved March 24, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947–1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 228–230. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 "Factsheet 323 Air Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 10 May 2007. Archived from the original on October 30, 2012. Retrieved March 22, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


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

Further reading

  • Cantwell, Gerald T. (1997). Citizen Airmen: a History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946–1994. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program. ISBN 0-16049-269-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>