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434th Fighter Training Squadron

The 434th Fighter Training Squadron is part of the 47th Flying Training Wing based at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. It operates Beechcraft T-6 Texan II aircraft conducting flight training.

434th Flying Training Squadron
Air Education and Training Command.png
434th Fighter Training Squadron -T-38.jpg
434th Fighter Training Squadron T-38 Talon
Active1943–1945; 1952–1991; 2007–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RolePilot Training
Part ofAir Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQLaughlin Air Force Base
Mascot(s)Red Devils
EngagementsEuropean Theater of Operations[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
French Croix de Guerre with Palm
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt Col Matthew Vollkommer
Insignia
434th Fighter Training Squadron emblem (approved 7 July 1944)[1]434th Fighter Training Squadron.jpg
Unofficial 434th Fighter Sq emblem (P-51 era)[note 1][2]434th Fighter Sq (P-51 era).png

Contents

HistoryEdit

World War IIEdit

 
434th Fighter Squadron P-51B[note 2]

The squadron was activated on 15 October 1943 at Grand Central Air Terminal. It was initially equipped with the Lockheed P-38F Lightning and trained for combat to serve as an air defense organization for the west coast as part of IV Fighter Command.

Even though the defense of the US west coast initially took priority, it was decided to deploy Lightning squadrons to Britain for heavy bomber escort duty. The squadron was assigned to VIII Fighter Command, Eighth Air Force and moved to RAF Wattisham, England, in April–May 1944.

From England, the squadron escorted heavy bombers during operations against targets on the Continent, strafed targets of opportunity, and flew fighter-bomber, counter-air, and area-patrol missions. Engaged primarily in Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator escort activities and fighter sweeps until the Normandy invasion in June 1944.

Patrolled the beachhead during the invasion. Strafed and dive-bombed troops, bridges, locomotives, railway cars, barges, vehicles, airfields, gun emplacements, flak towers, ammunition dumps, power stations, and radar sites while on escort or fighter-bomber missions as the Allies drove across France during the summer and fall of 1944. The unit flew area patrols to support the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July and the airborne attack on the Netherlands in September. The unit continued escort and fighter-bomber activities from October to mid-December 1944. It converted to P-51s between 10 September and 1 October, using both types on missions until conversion was completed.

Participated in the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944 – January 1945) by escorting bombers to and from targets in the battle area and by strafing transportation targets while on escort duty. From February to April 1945 it continued to fly escort missions, but also provided area patrols to support the airborne attack across the Rhine in March. Returned to Camp Kilmer New Jersey in November 1945, and was inactivated on December 1945.[1]

Cold WarEdit

 
Squadron F-100A[note 3]

The squadron trained as fighter-day, and later, tactical fighter squadron from, 1952-1962. It was not manned from, 3 January 1962-October 1966. In 1966, began training McDonnelll F-4 Phantom II crews for assignment in Southeast Asia. In August 1972, the squadron deployed to Thailand, where it served under operational control of 49th Tactical Fighter Wing. It engaged in combat over North and South Vietnam. It redeployed to the U.S. in October 1972. By 1975, the 434th provided combat aircrew training for U.S. and Allied pilots. From 1977-1991, the squadron trained pilots, weapon systems officers, and forward air controllers.[1]

LineageEdit

  • Constituted as the 434th Fighter Squadron on 12 October 1943
Activated on 15 October 1943
Inactivated on 1 December 1945
  • Redesignated 434th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 15 October 1952
Activated on 1 December 1952
Redesignated 434th Fighter-Day Squadron on 15 February 1954
Redesignated 434th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958
Redesignated 434th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 1 October 1975
Inactivated on 3 May 1991
  • Redesignated 434th Fighter Training Squadron on 21 June 2007
Activated on 19 July 2007[1]

AssignmentsEdit

StationsEdit

AircraftEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ This emblem was adopted when the squadron switched from Lightnings to Mustangs. Squadron members felt that the "Double Trouble" emblem was not appropriate for a single engine fighter squadron. Watkins, p. 91.
  2. ^ Aircraft is North American P-51B-5 Mustang Serial 42-7040 in June 1945. This P-51B was previously assigned to the 361st Fighter Group at RAF Bottisham and was a replacement for a low-hour P-51 reassigned from the group.
  3. ^ Aircraft is North American F-100A-10-NA Super Sabre serial 53-1562.
Citationss
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Robertson, Patsy (December 10, 2008). "Factsheet 434 Fighter Training Squadron (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  2. ^ Watkins, p. 91
  3. ^ Station number in Anderson.

BibliographyEdit

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


See alsoEdit