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8th Flying Training Squadron

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Country  United States
Garrison/HQ  Vance Air Force Base
Role  Pilot Training
8th Flying Training Squadron
Active  1942–1951; 1972–present
Branch  United States Air Force
Part of  Air Education and Training Command

The 8th Flying Training Squadron is part of the 71st Flying Training Wing based at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. It operates the T-6A Texan II aircraft conducting flight training.



Performs Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training with T-6A Texan II trainers.


Activated in early 194 under Fourth Air Force; after a brief organizational period in Southern California where it was equipped with reconnaissance P-38 Lightnings (F-4) it deployed to the Southwest Pacific Area (SPA), being assigned to Fifth Air Force in Australia.

Engaged in long-range tactical reconnaissance missions over New Guinea; later the Dutch East Indies and in late 1944, over the Philippines in support of Mac Arthur's Island-Hopping campaign (1942–1945). After the Japanese capitulation in August 1945, became part of the Army of Occupation in Japan. It was not operational between April 1946 and July 1947.

From 1947–1949 flew photographic mapping missions over Japan, Korea, Philippines and other areas of western Pacific. During the Korean War, the squadron flew tactical reconnaissance sorties over North and South Korea from, 29 June 1950 – 24 February 1951.

The 8th has conducted undergraduate pilot training for active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and selected foreign allies since 1 November 1972. Since the mid-1990s, the squadron has also conducted joint primary flight training for selected US Navy and US Marine Corps student naval aviators, with command of the squadron alternating between Air Force officers in the rank of lieutenant colonel and Navy officers in the ranks of commander.


  • Constituted as the 8th Photographic Squadron on 19 Jan 1942
  • Activated 1 Feb 1942 Redesignated 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 9 Jun 1942 Redesignated 8th Photographic Squadron (Light) on 6 Feb 1943 Redesignated 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 13 Nov 1943 Redesignated 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic on 10 Aug 1948 Redesignated 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Photo-Jet on 1 Aug 1949 Inactivated on 25 Feb 1951
  • Redesignated 8th Flying Training Squadron on 14 Apr 1972
  • Activated on 1 Nov 1972


  • IV Air Support Command, 1 Feb 1942
  • Fifth Air Force, 29 Mar 1942 (attached to Allied Air Forces, Apr – Sep 1942)
  • V Bomber Command, 5 Sep 1942
  • 6th Photographic (later, 6th Reconnaissance) Group, 13 Nov 1943 (attached to V Bomber Command after c. 10 Dec 1945)
  • V Bomber Command, 27 Apr 1946
  • 314th Composite Wing, 31 May 1946
  • 71st Reconnaissance Group (later, 71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group), 28 Feb 1947 (attached to 314th Composite Wing until Nov 1947)
  • Fifth Air Force, 1 Apr 1949
  • 543d Tactical Support Group, 26 Sep 1950 – 25 Feb 1951
  • 71st Flying Training Wing, 1 Nov 1972
  • 71st Operations Group, 15 Dec 1991 – present
  • Notable Members

  • Jeffrey B. Cashman, future Brigadier General.
  • Fred Hargesheimer, pilot turned philanthropist to those who saved his life after he was shot down.
  • James P. Ulm, future Brigadier General.
  • References

    8th Flying Training Squadron Wikipedia

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