The squadron is one of the oldest in the United States Air Force, its origins dating to 18 August 1917 when it was organized at Selfridge Field, Mount Clemens, Michigan as a pilot training Squadron during World War I. The squadron saw combat during World War II, and became part of Air Defense Command during the Cold War.
|87th Flying Training Squadron|
87th Flying Training Squadron T-38s flying over Laughlin AFB
|Active||1917-1918; 1935-1936; 1942-1947; 1952-1955; 1956-1985; 1990 – present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Education and Training Command |
19th Air Force
47th Flying Training Wing
47th Operations Group
|Garrison/HQ||Laughlin Air Force Base|
|Nickname(s)||Skeeers (World War II)|
|Motto(s)||Vigilantia est Pax Latin Vigilance is Peace|
|Engagements||World War II|
*North African Campaign
* Operation Avalanche
|Decorations||Distinguished Unit Citation|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
87th Flying Training Squadron emblem (approved 12 February 1969)
87th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron emblem (approved 16 July 1956
It was activated as the 87th Aero Squadron. the 87th saw brief service in the 1910s and again in the 1930s.
It was reactivated in 1942 when it was transferred to North Africa to fight against Germany's Afrika Korps. Following the German defeat and withdrawal from North Africa the 87th participated in the Allied Invasion of Sicily and Invasion of Italy and subsequent drive up the Italian Peninsula. During the Allied offensive in Italy the squadron was briefly dispatched to support the invasion of Southern France in 1944. Following the war the 87th was stationed in Austria for a short time before its return to the United States and inactivation.
The 87th was again activated at Sioux City Municipal Airport, Iowa in 1952 to provide air defense of the central United States. Equipped with the North American F-51D Mustang, it was later equipped with the North American F-86D Sabre in 1953 prior to being reassigned to USAFE, stationed at RAF Bentwaters, England in 1954 assisting in the air defense of the United Kingdom.
It was returned to CONUS in 1956 at Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio with an air defense mission over the Ohio Valley. It was uas upgraded to the North American F-86L Sabre in 1957, an improved version of the F-86D which incorporated the Semi Automatic Ground Environment, or SAGE computer-controlled direction system for intercepts; upgraded again in 1960 to the supersonic Convair F-102 Delta Dagger interceptor.
The 87th was re-equipped with new McDonnell F-101B Voodoo supersonic interceptor, and the F-101F operational and conversion trainer in 1960. The two-seat trainer version was equipped with dual controls, but carried the same armament as the F-101B and were fully combat-capable. On 22 October 1962, before President John F. Kennedy told Americans that missiles were in place in Cuba, the squadron dispersed one-third of its force, equipped with nuclear tipped missiles to Clinton County Air Force Base at the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis. These planes returned to Lockbourne after the crisis.
The F-101Bs were transferred to the Air National Guard in 1968 and the squadron moved to Duluth International Airport, Minnesota. At Duluth, was upgraded to the Convair F-106 Delta Darts. During this period the squadron became known for its ability to perform cold weather operations.
The squadron was again moved to K. I. Sawyer Air Force Base, Michigan in 1971. Inactivated in 1985 after budget cuts forced the cancellation of its scheduled conversion to the mcDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle.
The squadron was reactivated in 1990 and its mission changed to providing flight training. Today the squadron operates Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft providing training to pilot students on track to operate fighters or bombers.
87th Aero Squadron
87th Pursuit Squadron
87th Flying Training Squadron
The 47th Flying Training Wing is a United States Air Force pilot training wing based at Laughlin Air Force Base, near Del Rio, Texas. It is one of five pilot training units in the Air Force's Air Education and Training Command which conducts joint specialized undergraduate pilot training for the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and allied nation air forces utilizing the T-38C, T-6A and T-1A aircraft.47th Operations Group
The 47th Operations Group (47 OG) is the flying component of the 47th Flying Training Wing, assigned to the United States Air Force Air Education and Training Command. The group is stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.521st Air Defense Group
The 521st Air Defense Group is a disbanded United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the 31st Air Division at Sioux City Municipal Airport, Iowa, where it was inactivated in 1955. The group was originally activated as a support unit for the 310th Bombardment Group at the end of World War II in Italy and then redeployed to the United States where it was inactivated in 1945.
The group was activated once again in 1953, when ADC established it as the headquarters for a dispersed fighter-interceptor squadron and the medical, maintenance, and administrative squadrons supporting it. It was replaced in 1955 when ADC transferred its mission, equipment, and personnel to the 53d Fighter Group in a project that replaced air defense groups commanding fighter squadrons with fighter groups with distinguished records during World War II.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.
Aero Squadrons were the designation of the first United States Army aviation units until the end of World War I. These units consisted of combat flying, training, ground support, construction and other components of the Air Service. After World War I ended, the majority of these squadrons were demobilized. Some however were retained during the interwar period of the 1920s and 1930s, and served in all theaters of operation during World War II. Today, the oldest squadrons in the United States Air Force and Air National Guard can trace their lineage back to the original Aero Squadrons of World War I.List of United States Air Force training squadrons
This is a list of United States Air Force training squadrons. It covers units that specialize in training such as combat training, flying training, and training squadrons and serves as a break out of the comprehensive List of United States Air Force squadrons. Units in this list are assigned to nearly every Major Command in the United States Air Force.List of accidents and incidents involving military aircraft (2010–present)
This is a list of notable accidents and incidents involving military aircraft grouped by the year in which the accident or incident occurred. Not all of the aircraft were in operation at the time. For more exhaustive lists, see the Aircraft Crash Record Office, the Air Safety Network or the Dutch Scramble Website Brush and Dustpan Database. Combat losses are not included except for a very few cases denoted by singular circumstances.Northrop T-38 Talon
The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twinjet supersonic jet trainer. It was the world's first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2018 in several air forces.
The United States Air Force (USAF) operates the most T-38s. In addition to training USAF pilots, the T-38 is used by NASA. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School is the principal US Navy operator (other T-38s were previously used as USN aggressor aircraft until replaced by the similar Northrop F-5 Tiger II). Pilots of other NATO nations fly the T-38 in joint training programs with USAF pilots.
As of 2018, the T-38 has been in service for over 50 years with its original operator, the United States Air Force.