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33d Flying Training Squadron

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Country  United States
Garrison/HQ  Vance Air Force Base
Type  Pilot Training
33d Flying Training Squadron
Active  1 February 1940 – 15 March 1963 11 May 1990 – 1 October 1992 1 October 1998 – Present
Branch  United States Air Force
Part of  Air Education and Training Command 19th Air Force 71st Flying Training Wing 71st Operations Group

The 33d Flying Training Squadron is a United States Air Force squadron based out of Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma. It is a part of the 71st Flying Training Wing. As Vance AFB is a joint specialized undergraduate pilot training (JSUPT) base, Navy and Marine Corps aviators as well as Air Force and Air National Guard pilots are trained there.


The 33 FTS currently flies the T-6A "Texan II" which has 1100 shaft horsepower and a maximum speed of 316 KIAS (knots indicated airspeed).

The 33 FTS mascot is the dragon and students use callsigns starting with "DRAGN" when on station and "Hook" when off station.


Established as a GHQ Air Force medium bomber squadron in 1940 as a result of the buildup of the Army Air Corps after the breakout of World War II in Europe. It trained with a mix of B-18 Bolos and B-26 Marauders.

After the Pearl Harbor Attack, the squadron was transferred to the West Coast, flying anti-submarine patrols from Muroc AAF, California from December 1941 to the end of January 1942. It was then assigned to the new Fifth Air Force, originally based on the Philippines, leaving the B-18s at Muroc, being redesignated as the 408th Bombardment Squadron. By the time the squadron arrived in the theater the situation on the Philippines was desperate, and the squadron was based in Australia. From there it attacked Japanese targets on Papua New Guinea and New Britain. In October 1943 the B-26 Marauders were joined by B-25 Mitchells, and for the rest of the year the group continued to operate in support of Allied troops on New Guinea.

In February 1944 the unit was redesignated as a Heavy Bombardment Squadron, and was assigned very long range Consolidated B-24 Liberators, built by Ford and optimized for long range bombing missions in the Pacific. With its new heavy bombers the group attacked targets on Borneo, Ceram and Halmahera, amongst them the crucial oil fields of the Dutch East Indies. In September 1944 the squadron moved its attention to the Philippines, attacking targets on Leyte. It moved onto Leyte on 15 November 1944. From then until August 1945 it flew against targets on Luzon, as well as supporting the campaign on Borneo and even ranging out as far as China. Finally, on 15 August 1945 the unit moved to Okinawa, from where it flew a number of armed reconnaissance missions over southern Japan to make sure the surrender terms were being obeyed. Most of the squadron's personnel were demobilized after the war; the squadron being reassigned to the Philippines where it's B-24s were sent to reclamation and it became a paper unit.

The squadron was redesignated as a B-29 Superfortress squadron on Okinawa in 1946, receiving former Eighth Air Force B-29s originally deployed from the United States for the planned Air Offensive as part of the Japanese Campaign. Became part of Twentieth Air Force, and flew training missions over the Southwest Pacific until being made non-operational in 1948.

Assigned to Strategic Air Command in 1948, receiving B-29s and operating from Smoky Hill AFB, Kansas; later March AFB, California. Took part in SAC deployments and exercises. In 1950 was part of the Fifteenth Air Force SAC contingent of non-nuclear-capable B-29 units deployed to Okinawa due to the breakout of the Korean War. Flew combat missions over North Korea during 1950, returning to the United States in October.

Upon return to the United States, trained with second-line B-29s for training and organization. Replaced the propeller-driven B-29s with new B-47E Stratojet swept-wing medium bombers in 1953, capable of flying at high subsonic speeds and primarily designed for penetrating the airspace of the Soviet Union. In the late 1950s, the B-47 was considered to be reaching obsolescence, and was being phased out of SAC's strategic arsenal. Began sending aircraft to other B-47 wings as replacements in late 1962; Inactivated in early 1963 when the last aircraft was retired.

Reactivated under Air Training Command as a flying training squadron in 1990. Inactivated in 1992; Reactivated in 1998 as part of AETC.


  • Constituted 33d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 22 December 1939
  • Activated on 1 February 1940 Redesignated: 33d Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 3 February 1944 Redesignated: 33d Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 30 April 1946 Redesignated: 33d Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 28 July 1948 Discontinued, and inactivated, on 15 March 1963
  • Redesignated 33d Flying Training Squadron on 9 February 1990
  • Activated on 11 May 1990 Inactivated on 1 October 1992
  • Activated on 1 October 1998.
  • Assignments

  • 22d Bombardment Group, 1 February 1940
  • Attached to 22d Bombardment Wing, 10 February 1951 – 15 June 1952
  • 22d Bombardment Wing, 16 June 1952 – 15 March 1963
  • 64th Flying Training Wing, 11 May 1990
  • 64th Operations Group, 15 December 1991 – 1 October 1992 71st Operations Group, 1 October 1998 – Present


  • B-18 Bolo, 1940–1941
  • B-26 Marauder, 1941–1943
  • B-25 Mitchell, 1943–1944
  • B-24 Liberator, 1944–1945
  • B-29 Superfortress, 1946–1952
  • B-47 Stratojet, 1953–1963
  • T-37 Tweet, 1990–1992; 1998–2006
  • T-6A Texan II, 2006–Present
  • References

    33d Flying Training Squadron Wikipedia

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