The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a Major Command (MAJCOM) of the United States Air Force and a “specified command” of the United States Department of Defense. SAC was the operational establishment in charge of America’s land-based strategic bomber aircraft and land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) strategic nuclear arsenal from 1946 to 1992. SAC also controlled the infrastructure necessary to support the strategic bomber and ICBM operations, such as aerial refueling tanker aircraft to refuel the bombers in flight, strategic reconnaissance aircraft, command post aircraft, and, until 1957, fighter escorts.
Strategic Air Command (SAC) Histories
The following collection of histories was donated to The Black Vault by FOIA researcher Cory Newman. He spent YEARS collecting and researching these, and has allowed The Black Vault to archive parts of his collection. The records have been converted (to the best of a computer’s ability as the records are older and in parts harder to read) to a searchable format within the PDF, and uploaded below.
They are organized by entire microfilm reels, and in addition to the histories, there are many other SAC related records. Following each entry, is a brief breakdown of what’s inside the PDFs.
Strategic Air Command – 1946 [1,609 Pages, 343MB]
Includes biographical sketch of Maj. Gen Clements McMullen, staff memoranda, correspondence, general orders, station organizational plans, comments and recommendations on Hobson plan, information on reduced manning level and minutes of commanders’ meeting in Washington DC 20 Mar 47.
Strategic air command (SAC) headquarters reorganized; SAC organizational thinking reshaped; and subcommands, stations, and units reorganized. Hobson plan instituted retraining wing as designation of unit occupying station with wing headquarters highest echelon on station. Efforts made to overcome personnel problems and manning shortages. Cross training program instituted for SAC personnel. Arctic and polar operations begun in projects Eardrum and Snowman; Polaris considered feasibility of regularly scheduled air transport command flights between Iceland and Greenland; goodwill flights made to Europe; operation parkway (later sunfast) planned to provide very heavy bomber group for Europe; groundwork laid for rotation of very heavy bomber squadron to japan; and Barken project to test bombs against concrete facilities started. Other operations included combine, test of navy against bombers; sea search and antisubmarine; maximum effort missions; Wendover maneuvers; south American and Caribbean; and operational readiness tests.
Contains statistical summaries and charts.
Includes information on atomic bombing with b-29 aircraft and operation crossroads and research and development of atomic weapons.
Includes correspondence pertaining to reorganization of continental air forces and creation of strategic air command (sac) as well as general organization of air force; activations, inactivations, redesignations, and transfers of various units; organization charts; future plans for army air forces; personnel and training.
Recounts development of strategic air command (SAC) beginning with redesignation of Continental Air Forces to SAC. States organization and mission of sac giving background information on concept of strategic operations in World War II. Details planning for Air Force and SAC. 2 Air Force reassigned from Continental Air Forces (CAF) to SAC then inactivated 21 Mar 46 and assigned to defense command in inactive status. 15th Air Force (AF) activated at Colorado springs, CO under command of Brig Gen Charles born. 8th bomber command assigned to 15 AF. Includes information on 8th AF, 58th Bombardment Wing (BW), 311 Reconnaissance Wing (RW), and bases under SAC jurisdiction. Gives appraisal of training activities in sac as well as personnel problems and shortages.
Strategic Air Command – 1947 [2,184 Pages, 505MB]
Contains data on the Strategic Air Command (SAC) increased bombing strength with the introduction of b-50 aircraft and b-36 aircraft, program to provide air to air refueling of bomber aircraft in calendar year 1948, changes in wing/base plan of organization, succession of Generals Curtis E. Lemay and Thomas S. Power to command and deputy command positions, personnel problems, increases in operational flying training, priority system of aircraft maintenance/supply support, priority 1a as well as other units assigned unique missions, overseas duty of airmen, mission in the atomic energy program, elimination of undesirable or substandard personnel, uses of Women in the Air Force (WAF), association with aviation cadet program, use of black personnel, safety programs, around the world flights, alert of Jun 48, rotational policies for personnel, Operation Sandstone, Caribbean area operations, reconnaissance operations, operational readiness tests, ground and airborne strategic training programs, aircraft maintenance, inspections, procedures for critical engine repair, supply actions to validate B-36 aircraft/B-50 aircraft parts requirements, food service, clothing required for special strategic missions, base construction, housing, movement of SAC headquarters to Offutt Air Force Base NE, and a listing of supporting documents by volume and title.
Contains additional data on Strategic Air Command statistical summaries pertaining to organization, personnel, aircraft maintenance, supply, air base functions, training, and operations.
Contains data on Strategic Air Command statistical summaries pertaining to organization, personnel, aircraft maintenance, supply, air base functions, training, and operations.
Contains Strategic Air Command data on key personnel, and organization. Mentions Generals Curtis E. Lemay, George C. Kenney, Thomas S. Power, August W. Kissner, David W. Hutchison, John B. Montgomery, and Walter c. Sweeney, jr.
Contains data on Strategic Air Command operations. Includes trip reports, mission summaries, reconnaissance reports, and other aviation centered data.
Contains data on Strategic Air Command training.
Contains data on Strategic Air Command supply, maintenance, and facilities.
Strategic Air Command – 1947-1950 (Various Records) [1,830 Pages, 436MB]
Supplements were prepared monthly for purpose of presenting newly compiled data augmenting and/or changing that information contained in basic report.
This document is intelligence summary based upon analysis and evaluation of monitored transmissions from strategic air command point to point and air/ground radio circuits.
Contains summaries of miscellaneous research studies.
Intelligence brief: Soviet long/range guided missile
Discusses air bases in Greenland, Iceland, and Canada.
Contains listing and description of airfields.
Intelligence brief: soviet B-29 aircraft airfields
Discusses Soviet imports from United States and American imports from Soviet Union.
Discusses Eastleigh Airdrome in Nairobi, Kenya.
Includes historical and current information concerning Anglo/Egyptian Sudan as well as description of airfield facilities.
Provides historical and current information about Ceylon as well as description of Negombo airfield, Ceylon.
Intelligence brief: soviet petroleum situation.
Intelligence brief: weather of northern hemisphere.
Contains description of Moscow, capital of Soviet Union.
Discusses soviet aggression in eastern Europe.
Intelligence brief: capabilities of soviet antiaircraft for defense against very heavy bombardment operations.
Intelligence brief: capabilities of soviet air force to defend western Russia against air bombardment.
Intelligence brief: significance of Spitzbergen (Svalbard) as strategic air base.
Intelligence brief: significance of Iceland as strategic air base.
Intelligence brief: implications of Arab/Jewish conflict in Palestine.
Discusses history and current status of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia as well as airfield facilities at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Discusses possible soviet attempts to obtain economic foothold in western Europe before marshal plan would have time to become effective.
Intelligence brief: indications of atomic energy facilities in union of soviet socialist republics.
Intelligence brief: American foreign policy.
Intelligence brief: Russia, colossus of Eurasia.
Target folder: bombing competition.
Medical history of continental air forces and strategic air command.
Regulation concerns Strategic Air Command and Continental Air Command fighter bomber interception program.
Topics include crew syllabus, aircraft commander syllabus, radar operator syllabus, navigator syllabus, bombardier syllabus, flight engineer syllabus, radio operator syllabus, gunner syllabus, briefing and critique procedures, grading and evaluation, mission requirements and routes, and lesson plans.
Supplement number five to intelligence summary from communications of strategic air command.
Strategic Air Command – 1948 [2,385 Pages, 437MB]
Contains Strategic Air Command statistical summaries.
Contains Strategic Air Command general orders 1 through 90.
Contains supporting documents, exhibit 1 through 70 of chapter iv , exhibit 1 through 6 of chapter v, and exhibit 1 through 7 of chapter vi.
Contains data on Strategic Air Command operations and training.
Contains data on Strategic Air Command personnel administration.
Strategic Air Command – 1949 [1,518 Pages, 284MB]
Contains information pertaining to operational readiness tests, aircrew training, proposals for long range missions, and other operational items.
Goal of three Air Forces as subcommands realized when 311th Air Division redesignated 2nd Air Force, giving Strategic Air Command (SAC) 2nd, 8th and 15th Air Forces. Major personnel problem was that of manning units with personnel possessing required skills; SAC development program began end of 1948. Reserve officers on flying status converted to regular component or separated during year. United states Air Force (USAF) undertook development of career program for airmen in Apr 48 involving reclassification and reassignment of airmen during 1949. Women in the Air Force (WAF) personnel restricted to three subcommand headquarters in SAC. SAC involved in transition from B-29 aircraft to B-36 and B-50 bomber aircraft. Lucky lady II, B-50 aircraft, circled globe nonstop using inflight refuelings. Flight tests on B-36 aircraft continued as controversy raged in Washington DC. Continued arctic operations, participated in continental maneuvers and operational readiness tests. Contains biographical sketches on Generals Curtis e. Lemay and Walter Sweeney.
Contains supporting documents pertaining to maintenance. Includes report on conference on B-36 aircraft.
Contains correspondence and other papers pertaining to operational readiness test.
Contains information on operations and training.
Includes Strategic Air Command (SAC) regulations and correspondence pertaining to organization of subordinate units and staff officers and personnel.
Strategic Air Command – 1949 [1,980 Pages, 370MB]
Contains Strategic Air Command data on bombing effectiveness and combat crew training.
Has data on Strategic Air Command reorganization, comptroller, reconnaissance, and air to air refueling.
Contains data on reorganization of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), controller activities, reconnaissance actions, refueling sorties, bombing effectiveness, lead and combat crew training, key personnel, and photographs.
Contains Strategic Air Command statistical summaries.
Contains general orders 1 through 78.
Supporting documents, exhibits 194 through 212 (supply), exhibits 213 through 218 (facilities). Includes the Strategic Air Command mobility and supply plan.
Strategic Air Command – 1950 [2,009 Pages, 531MB]
Data on reassignment of units and attachment of units.
General orders no. 13 through 47
Preparation of histories, Strategic Air Command manual 200-20-1
Study describes the details surrounding the 26 Jan 49 call to the president from Nebraska’s governor to assist in humanitarian rescue and support of snowbound citizens of the western states of Wyoming, the Dakotas, and Nebraska. Includes photographs and statistics.
Contains organization and functions list of the strategic air command.
Contains Strategic Air Command general orders 1 through 38, station/unit listing, and photographic supplement.
Contains roster of Strategic Air Command officers.
Contains data on Strategic Air Command operations.
Summary of Strategic Air Command operational data
Data on assignment of aviation squadrons.
Data on staff assignments, inactivation of reserve corollary units, and assignment of aviation squadrons.
Data on reorganization of the 509th aviation squadron, bombardment, medium.
Data on reorganization, reassignment, redesignation of regular air force units, and redesignation of reserve units of Strategic Air Command units.
Data on reorganization of Strategic Air Command units.
Data on reorganization and inactivation of Strategic Air Command units.
Data on reorganization of Strategic Air Command units.
Data on redesignation of 27th fighter wing and reorganization of 306 bombardment group, medium.
Data on assignment of the 509th aviation squadron, bombardment, medium.
Data on reorganization of 924th engineer aviation group and assignment of United States Air Force Reserve Corollary units.
General order 76.
Strategic Air Command – 1950 [1,880 Pages, 402MB]
Summary of Strategic Air Command operational data
Strategic Air Command – 1950 [1,454 Pages, 315MB]
Organization and functions.
Describes Astrocator compass, designed as means of simplifying polar navigation.
Strategic Air Command bombing competition.
Contains information on procedures for determining recurring radar difficulties, summary of radar performance/46 reconnaissance squadron, difficulties in b-29 aircraft operations due to weather, and standard operating procedures for b-29 aircraft with Curtiss electric props and fuel injection engines in extremely cold weather.
Contains report covering experience of 46 reconnaissance squadron, Fairbanks AK, in field of radar operations and maintenance; material extracted from mission reports submitted to strategic air command.
Presents some details and suggestions not considered in standard operating procedure pertaining to polar operations, survival and rescue. Discusses emergency procedures for crash landing and bailout over polar region and living in arctic area.
States purpose of radar bomb scoring detachment assigned to operation crossroads, details equipment used, discusses personnel and operations, and makes recommendations.
Contains report on polar navigation explaining methods in use and attendant problems.
Title supplied; cover shows 21 Nov 49.
Station and unit listing.
Roster of officers
SAC (Srategic Air Command) supply plan
B-36 (aircraft) radio operators s.o.p. (standard operating procedure)
B-36 (aircraft) pilots s.o.p. (standard operating procedure)
Chart showing stations and units of strategic air command.
Organization chart, statistical control office
Contains information pertaining to use of booklet, basic radio propagation predictions, wd technical bulletin 11-499; advantages and limitations of using projections in bulletin for arctic and polar regions.
Strategic Air Command – 1950 [1,575 Pages, 371MB]
Contains supporting documents to section two: personnel; chapter i, personnel in formative period; chapter ii, supply of personnel.
Includes adjutant general letter establishing air defense, strategic air and tactical air commands and redesignation of continental air forces and certain other army air forces units as well as activation, inactivation and assignment of certain army air forces units; organization plan of tactical air command (tac); status of tac units; report of board appointed to study unit personnel sections of bases and organizations within tac; proposed plan for 3 air force; contemplated move to Langley field VA; assignment of stations; disposal of surplus property and transfer of jurisdiction of certain fields; tac staff conference notes; and future operational plans of army air forces to include information on weapon systems.
Includes information on aircraft maintenance, maintenance organization, training, flying safety, and biographical sketches on Maj Gen Elwood R. (Pete) Quesada, Brig Gen Robert M. Lee, Brig Gen Glenn O. Barcus, and Brig Gen Warren R. Carter.
Activated Mar 46. Composed of 3rd, 9th and 12th Air Forces. 9th and 3rd Air Forces merged 1 Nov 46 with designation of 9th Air Force with headquarters at Greenville SC. Considers amount of control to be given to numbered air forces. Tactical air command (TAC) headquarters moved to Langley field VA from Tampa FL during May 46. Deals with acquisition, loss, utilization, and disposal of inactive and surplus bases. Contains information on organization of command and key personnel. Maj Gen Elwood R. Quesada assumed command of TAC 26 Mar 46. Includes section on acquisition, losses and sources of officer, airmen and civilian personnel.
Presents brief comprehensive picture of ground-controlled approach (GCA) operations, with primary emphasis on duties of operating team.
Radar operator’s report, strategic air command form number 66-20
Radar maintenance log, strategic air command form number 66-19
Contains operating instructions for radio and other types of communications within strategic air command.
Contains information based on flight test by 8th air force operational engineering section to determine changes in performance characteristics caused by change in configuration of aircraft.
Includes tactical air command aircraft accident prevention data bulletins, prepared by flying safety section and information on base commanders conference held at headquarters, tactical air command, Langley field VA, 11 Jul 46.
Contains report of major aircraft accident involving b-36b aircraft number 44- 92079. Aircraft crashed on takeoff at Carswell Air Force Base TX 15 Sep 49.