Constituted as 21st Bombardment Wing on 16 Dec 1942 and activated on 22 Dec. Assigned to Second AF. Functioned throughout the war as a staging wing, processing heavy bombardment crews and aircraft to prepare them for overseas movement; in Apr 1944 began processing men returning to the US from combat zones. Redesignated I Staging Command in Sep 1945. Assigned to Fourth AF in Nov. Inactivated on 3 Apr 1946.
Redesignated 21st Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 20 Dec 1946. Redesignated 21st Air Division (Bombardment) in Apr 1948. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949.
Redesignated 21st Air Division. Activated on 16 Feb 1951. Assigned to Strategic Air Command.
(This wing is not related to a 21st Bombardment Wing that was constituted on 19 Oct 1940, activated at Barksdale Field on 1 Nov 1940, inactivated on 1 Nov 1941, and disbanded on 15 Dec 1942.)
Components. Groups. 95th: 1947-1949. 384th: 1947-1949.
Wings. 44th Bombardment: 1951-1952. 55th Reconnaissance: 1952-. 90th Reconnaissance: 1951-.
Stations. Smoky Hill AB, Kan, 22 Dec 1942; Topeka AAFld, Kan, May 1943; Merced AAFld, Calif, c. 7 Oct 1945-3 Apr 1946. Memphis Mun Aprt, Tenn, 20 Dec 1946-27 Jun 1949. Forbes AFB, Kan, 16 Feb 1951-.
Commanders. Brig Gen Albert F Hegenberger, 22 Dec 1942; Col Henry W Harms, Feb 1944; Col Cornelius W Cousland, 26 Dec 1944; Col Wallace S Dawson, 21 Jan 1945; Col Ralph E Koon, 29 May 1945; Brig Gen James M Fitzmaurice, 19 Jul 1945-c. Apr 1946. Maj Gen David W Hutchison, 16 Mar 1951; Brig Gen Joseph D C Caldara, Dec 1952; Brig Gen David Wade, 15 Apr 1954; Brig Gen Henry R Sullivan Jr, 25 Jul 1955-.
Campaigns. American Theater.
Insigne. Shield: Per bend enhanced, azure and argent, in base a branch of olive proper, over all a sword bend sinisterwise proper, hilt and pommel or, point to dexter base, in chief five stars or, encircling the hilt and pommel of the sword, three and two. (Approved 17 Jul 1952.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986