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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.

48th Flying Training Squadron
48th Flying Training Squadron Beech Raytheon T-1A Jayhawk 94-0138.jpg
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
RolePilot Training
Part ofAir Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQColumbus Air Force Base, Mississippi
Nickname(s)Alley Cats[citation needed]
  • World War I War Service Streamer without inscription.png
    World War I
  • Army Occupation of Germany - World War I streamer.jpg
    Occupation of the Rhineland
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer.jpg
    EAME Theater
    World War II[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
  • Streamer PUC Army.PNG
    Distinguished Unit Citation
  • US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (12x)
Lt. Col. Jason Richardson[citation needed]
48th Flying Training Squadron emblem (reintroduced 29 May 1987, modified 8 August 1996)[1]48th Flying Training Squadron.jpg
48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron emblem (approved 5 June 1953)[2]48th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Emblem.png
48th Fighter Squadron emblem (World War II)[3]48 Fighter Sq emblem.png

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]



World War IEdit

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.[dubious ] 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]

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 periodEdit

The 48th School Squadron was activated in 1927 as part of the 11th School Group[dubious ] 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 IIEdit

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

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 DefenseEdit

Convair F-102A-55-CO Delta Dagger 56-1017, about 1959
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]


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]




See alsoEdit


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website


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.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Robertson, Patsy (14 April 2014). "Factsheet 48 Flying Training Squadron (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 29 January 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 209-210
  3. ^ Watkins, p. 16
  4. ^ No byline (19 December 2014). "Columbus Air Force Base Library: Fact Sheet 48th Flying Training Squadron". 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Gorrell[page needed]
  6. ^ a b Maurer (1987)[page needed]


External linksEdit