48th Flying Training Squadron

The 48th Flying Training Squadron is part of the 14th Flying Training Wing based at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. It operates T-1 Jayhawk aircraft conducting flight training. The squadron is one of the oldest in the Air Force, being formed during World War I as the 48th Aero Squadron on 4 August 1917.

Currently the squadron specializes in the tanker and airlift track of specialized undergraduate pilot training. Students receive at least 159 hours of flight instruction in the Raytheon T-1 Jayhawk where they learn air refueling procedures, tactical navigation, airdrop, and advanced navigation. Upon completion of this phase, students earn the aeronautical rating of pilot and receive their Air Force wings.[4]

48th Flying Training Squadron
48th Flying Training Squadron Beech Raytheon T-1A Jayhawk 94-0138
48th Flying Training Squadron Beech Raytheon T-1A Jayhawk 94-0138
Active1917–1919; 1927–1931; 1933–1936; 1941–1945; 1946–1949; 1952–1991; 1996–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
TypeSquadron
RolePilot Training
Part ofAir Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQColumbus Air Force Base, Mississippi
Nickname(s)Alley Cats
Engagements
  • World War I War Service Streamer without inscription

    World War I
  • Army Occupation of Germany - World War I streamer

    Occupation of the Rhineland
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer

    EAME Theater
    World War II[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
  • Streamer PUC Army

    Distinguished Unit Citation
  • US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer

    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (12x)
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt. Col. Jason Richardson
Insignia
48th Flying Training Squadron emblem (reintroduced 29 May 1987, modified 8 August 1996)[1]
48th Flying Training Squadron
48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron emblem (approved 5 June 1953)[2]
48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Emblem
48th Fighter Squadron emblem (World War II)[3]
48 Fighter Sq emblem

History

World War I

The squadron's origins date to 4 August 1917 with the formation of the 48th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas. It was organized into the first Aero construction squadron designated for deployment to the American Expeditionary Forces in France. After basic training at Kelly Field, the squadron was sent to the Aviation Concentration Center, Garden City, New York in mid-September 1917 for subsequent movement to France. It embarked on the Cunard Liner SS Pannonia, suffering a stormy and unpleasant voyage across the Atlantic. It arrived at Liverpool, England on 29 October. After a few days in England, the squadron arrived at Rest Camp #2, Le Havre, France on 1 November.[5]

462d Aero Squadron - Formation
Formation of the 462d Aero Squadron, probably taken in Germany during the summer of 1919 just prior to its demobilization

The first meaningful work of the squadron was at the Third Aviation Instruction Center, Issoudun Aerodrome in Central France. It arrived on 3 November to help construct barracks and shops from lumber. It also erected hangars and did the necessary construction work to bring the airfield into an operational school for training pursuit (fighter) pilots. It also began work on six airfields to support the training school, building roads, putting up hangars, and installing water and electrical systems. A detachment of the squadron was sent to the Second Aviation Instruction Center, Tours Aerodrome. In doing this work, the squadron got the reputation of being one of the best, and fastest, all around construction squadrons in the AEF.[5]

In May 1918, the squadron was then reassigned to the First Army Air Service, and began constructing combat airfields to support the St. Mihiel Offensive. Throughout the year, it was moved from place to place, erecting hangars, constructing buildings and preparing airfields for use by Air Service planes. At Parois Aerodrome in the Meuse, it constructed 12 hangars and 23 barracks, the flying field being full of former trenches and shell holes that had to be filled in. During the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in early November, it moved to Buzancy to reconstruct a former German airfield that was littered with munitions and other hazardous materiel. However, the war ended on 11 November before the airfield could be put to use.[5]

After the armistice, the squadron was reassigned to the Third Army Air Service and moved to Trier Airdrome, Germany as part of the Army of Occupation. The former German Airfield there was prepared for seven American Aero Squadrons to use, which was done in less than a week. It then moved to Weißenthurm to construct another Aerodrome for Third Army. It remained in the Rhineland until the summer of 1919 until it was ordered, along with the Third Army Air Service to demobilized. After turning in all equipment at the 1st Air Depot at Colombey-les-Belles Aerodrome, the unit moved to a channel port where it boarded a troop ship, returning to the United States in August 1919. The men of the squadron were discharged and returned to civilian life.[5]

Inter-war period

The 48th School Squadron was activated in 1927 as part of the 11th School Group at Kelly Field, Texas. A part of the Air Corps Primary Flying School, it trained aviation cadets using the Consolidated PT-1, with tandem seats and a Wright E engine.[6] In 1930, the squadron was consolidated with the 462d Aero Squadron.[1]

By the fall of 1931, construction of Randolph Field was essentially completed, and the primary flying school at Kelly Field was moved to the new installation. With the transfer of the school, the 48th School Squadron was inactivated on 31 December 1931[6] It was activated again at the Air Corps Technical School at Chanute Field, Illinois in August 1933. In March 1935, the squadron became the 48th Pursuit Squadron, but it was inactivated in September 1936 and disbanded on 1 January 1938.[1]

World War II

A new 48th Pursuit Squadron was activated in January 1941.[1] The squadron was equipped with Lockheed P-38 Lightnings in 1941 and assigned to Hamilton Field, California. From 5 February to 3 June 1942 it flew air defense patrols along the California coast. Redesignated the 48th Fighter Squadron, it was deployed to the European Theater of Operations in August 1942 to fly escort missions for Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombers as part of VIII Fighter Command.

P-38 of the 48th Fighter Squadron - Taken in North Africa
P-38 of the 48th Fighter Squadron - Taken in North Africa

The squadron was sent to North Africa in late 1942 as part of the Operation Torch invasion forces, taking up station in Algeria. It was reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and flew fighter escort missions for the Flying Fortresses operating from Algeria as well as tactical interdiction strikes on enemy targets of opportunity in Algeria and Tunisia during the North African Campaign.

Following the German defeat and withdrawal from North Africa the squadron participated in the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy and the subsequent drive of the United States Fifth Army up the Italian peninsula. It was engaged primarily in tactical operations after November 1943, supporting ground forces and attacking enemy targets of opportunity such as railroads, road convoys, bridges, strafing enemy airfields and other targets. The squadron was deployed to Corsica in 1944 to attack enemy targets in support of the Free French Forces in the liberation of the island and to support Allied forces in the invasion of southern France. The squadron continued offensive operations until the German capitulation in May 1945. The unit was inactivated in the fall 1945 in Italy.[2]

Cold War Air Defense

48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Convair F-102A-55-CO Delta Dagger 56-1017
Convair F-102A-55-CO Delta Dagger 56-1017, about 1959
48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron- F-15 - Langley AFB
48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron- F-15 - Langley AFB

It was reactivated in 1946[2] as part of Air Defense Command to perform air defense of the eastern United States. the squadron was activated at Dow Field in November 1946 with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts. In October 1947 a transition into Republic P-84B Thunderjets was completed. These were flown until the unit was temporarily inactivated on 2 October 1949.

The squadron was redesignated the 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron and reactivated in November 1952 at Grenier Air Force Base, New Hampshire,[2] with F-47 Thunderbolts, replacing the New Hampshire Air National Guard's 133d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, which was released from federal control. A relocation to Langley Air Force Base was completed in early 1953 along with a transition into F-84Gs and then Lockheed F-94C Starfires in the fall of 1953. In the summer of 1957 the squadron completed a transition into Convair F-102A Delta Daggers followed by another in the fall of 1960 to Convair F-106 Delta Darts. It deployed to Florida in 1962 during Cuban Missile Crisis.

The 48th flew McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagles from 1982 to 1991, when many of the F-15 were transferred to the Missouri and Hawaii Air National Guard, and 3 or 4 going to Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center. The 48th continued training and operational exercises until inactivation in 1991.[1]

Lineage

462d Aero Squadron
  • Organized as the 48th Aero Squadron on 4 August 1917
Redesignated 435th Aero Squadron on 1 February 1918
Redesignated 462d Aero Squadron (Construction) on 3 March 1918
Demobilized on 11 August 1919
  • Reconstituted and consolidated with the 48th School Squadron in 1930[1]
48th Pursuit Squadron
  • Constituted as the 48th School Squadron on 6 February 1923
Activated on 1 August 1927
Consolidated with the 462d Aero Squadron in 1930
Inactivated on 1 September 1931
  • Activated on 1 August 1933
Redesignated 48th Pursuit Squadron on 1 March 1935
Inactivated on 1 September 1936
Disbanded on 1 January 1938
  • Reconstitured and consolidated with the 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in 1956[1]
48th Flying Training Squadron
  • Constituted as the 48th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Redesignated 48th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942
Redesignated 48th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine on 28 February 1944
Inactivated on 9 September 1945
  • Redesignated 48th Fighter Squadron, Jet-Propelled and activated on 20 Nov 1946
Redesignated 48th Fighter Squadron, Jet on 26 July 1948
Inactivated on 2 October 1949
  • Redesignated 48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 11 September 1952
Activated on 1 November 1952
  • Consolidated with the 48th Pursuit Squadron in 1956
Inactivated on 31 December 1991
  • Redesignated 48th Flying Training Squadron on 25 April 1996
Activated on 1 July 1996[1]

Assignments

  • Unknown, 4 August 1917[note 1]
  • Third Aviation Instruction Center, November 1917 (detachment with Second Aviation Instruction Center, December 1917 – April 1918)
  • Advance Section, Service of Supply, April 1918
  • First Army Air Service, August 1918[note 2]
  • Third Army Air Service, November 1918 – June 1919
  • Unknown, until 11 Aug 1919
  • 10th School Group, 1 August 1927
  • 24th School Wing, 15 July–1 September 1931
  • Air Corps Technical School, 1 August 1933
  • 3d Wing, 1 March 1935 – 1 September 1936 (attached to Air Corps Technical School)
  • 14th Pursuit Group (later 14th Fighter Group), 15 January 1941 – 9 September 1945
  • 14th Fighter Group, 20 November 1946 – 2 October 1949

Stations

  • Kelly Field, Texas, 4 August 1917
  • Mineola, New York, 21 September–13 October 1917
  • Issoudun Aerodrome, France, 4 November 1917 (detachment at Tours Aerodrome, France 2 December 1917 – 15 April 1918)
  • Delouze Aerodrome, France, 29 April 1918
  • Vaucouleurs Aerodrome, France, 20 August 1918 (detachment at Bovee)
  • Bulainville (for Pretz-en-Argonne Airdrome ?), France, 17 September 1918
  • Vadelaincourt, France (191 September 1918 (detachment at Foucaucourt Aerodrome)
  • Lisle-en-Barrois Aerodrome, France, 21 September 1918 (detachment at Foucaucourt Aerodrome)
  • Parois Aerodrome, France, 6 October 1918
  • Buzancy Aerodrome, France, 6 November 1918)
  • Mercy-le-Haut, France, 20 November 1918
  • Trier Aerodrome, Germany, c. 2 December 1918
  • Weißenthurm, Germany, c. January 1919–1919
  • Mitchel Field, New York, c. 29 July–11 August 1919
  • Kelly Field, Texas, 1 August 1927 – 1 September 1931
  • Chanute Field, Illinois, 1 August 1933 – 1 September 1936
  • Hamilton Field, California, 15 January 1941
  • March Field, California, 10 June 1941 – 20 July 1942 (operated From: San Diego, California, 5 February-3 June 1942)

Aircraft

See also

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

Notes

Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Probably assigned to Post Headquarters, Kelly Field while at Kelly and possible to the Aviation Concentration Center at Mineola.
  2. ^ Robertson and Maurer in Combat Squadrons each indicate the squadron was assigned directly to the headqaurters of the numbered army. However, each had an intermediate headquarters for its aviation units.
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Robertson, Patsy (April 14, 2014). "Factsheet 48 Flying Training Squadron (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on January 29, 2016. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 209-210
  3. ^ Watkins, p. 16
  4. ^ No byline (December 19, 2014). "Columbus Air Force Base Library: Fact Sheet 48th Flying Training Squadron". 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Gorrell
  6. ^ a b Maurer (1987)

Bibliography

  • Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946–1980 (PDF). Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center.
  • Gorrell, Col. Edgar S. (1974). History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917-1919. Series E: Squadron Histories. Vol. 23 History of the 400th, 462d-470th, 474th, 477th, and 480th-500th Aero Squadrons. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration. OCLC 215070705.
  • Maurer, Maurer (1987). Aviation in the U.S. Army, 1919-1939 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, United States Air Force. ISBN 0-912799-38-2. LCCN 87012257. OCLC 15661556. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 209–210. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
  • Watkins, Robert A. (2009). Insignia and Aircraft Markings of the U.S. Army Air Force In World War II. Volume IV, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater of Operations. Atglen,PA: Shiffer Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7643-3401-6.

External links

14th Flying Training Wing

The 14th Flying Training Wing is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

The 14th Operations Group and its six squadrons are responsible for the 52-week Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT) mission. The group also performs quality assurance for contract aircraft maintenance.

The 14th Mission Support Group provides essential services with a 5-squadron/2-division, 750+ person work force and $38 million budget. It operates/maintains facilities and infrastructure for a 6,013-acre (24.33 km2) pilot training base and provides contracting, law enforcement, supply, transportation, fire protection, communications, education, recreation and personnel management for 9,500 people. The group is also responsible for wartime preparedness and contingency operations.

14th Operations Group

The 14th Operations Group is the flying component of the 14th Flying Training Wing, assigned to the United States Air Force's Air Education and Training Command. The group is stationed at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi.

The group was first activated in 1941 as the 14th Pursuit Group at Hamilton Field, California. For a short time following the Attack on Pearl Harbor it flew patrols along the Pacific coast. It moved to the United Kingdom as the 14th Fighter Group in the summer of 1942 and was the first fighter unit to ferry its own aircraft across the Atlantic. After combat training with the Royal Air Force, the group moved to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations following Operation Torch, the North Africa invasion. It continued in combat until V-E Day, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation for defending bombers attacking a target in Austria in 1944. It was inactivated in Italy in September 1945.

The 14th was again activated at Dow Field, Maine in 1946 as part of Air Defense Command (ADC). It became the first Army Air Forces combat unit to equip with the Republic P-84 Thunderjet. The group was inactivated in 1949 when reductions in the Department of Defense budget required a reduction of groups in the United States Air Force (USAF) to 48.

In the summer of 1955 the group was activated at Ethan Allen Air Force Base, where it assumed the mission, personnel and equipment of the 517th Air Defense Group under ADC's Project Arrow, which was designed to replace post-war units with fighter organizations with distinguished combat records. It remained there until 1960, when it was inactivated.

The group was again activated as the 14th Operations Group at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi in December 1991 and assumed its current mission of training pilots for the USAF.

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Columbus Air Force Base

Columbus Air Force Base (IATA: CBM, ICAO: KCBM, FAA LID: CBM) is a United States Air Force base located in Columbus, Mississippi. The host unit at Columbus AFB is the 14th Flying Training Wing (14 FTW), which is a part of Air Education and Training Command (AETC).

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List of American aero squadrons

This is a partial list of original Air Service, United States Army "Aero Squadrons" before and during World War I. Units formed after 1 January 1919 are not listed.

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List of United States Air Force training squadrons

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Raytheon T-1 Jayhawk

The Raytheon T-1 Jayhawk is a twin-engined jet aircraft used by the United States Air Force for advanced pilot training. T-1A students go on to fly airlift and tanker aircraft. The T-400 is a similar version for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.

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