337th Flight Test Squadron

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337th Flight Test Squadron [1]
337th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron F-104 56-813.jpg
538th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Lockheed F-104A-20-LO Starfighter 56-813 Westover AFB, Massachusetts, 23 May 1958
Active 11 September 1942 - 31 March 1944
8 July 1954 - 8 July 1960
1 April 1982 - 1 July 1985
15 January 1988 -
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Flight Test
Nickname Falcons
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Insignia
Emblem of the 337th Flight Test Squadron 337thts-emblem.jpg

The 337th Flight Test Squadron (337 FLTS) was most recently part of the 46th Test Wing and based at McClellan Air Force Base, California. It performed depot acceptance testing until being inactivated with the closure of McClellan AFB on 13 July 2001.

History[edit]

Activated in 1942 at Keflavik, Iceland, equipped with P-38 Lightnings. Mission was to intercept and destroy German planes that on occasion attempted to attack Iceland or that appeared in that area on reconnaissance missions. Returned to the United States in November 1942 as a IV Fighter Command P-38 Lightning Replacement Training Unit (RTU). Trained P-38 pilots in California and Washington State until phaseout of Lightning training in March 1944.

Reactivated in 1953 as an Air Defense Command interceptor squadron. Performed air defense mission over Minneapolis and Upper Midwest United States, 1953-1955 with F-89D Scorpions. Re-assigned to air defense of Boston and New England with ith F-86D Sabre Interceptors. In 1957 began re-equipping with the North American F-86L Sabre, an improved version of the F-86D which incorporated the Semi Automatic Ground Environment, or SAGE computer-controlled direction system for intercepts. The service of the F-86L destined to be quite brief, since by the time the last F-86L conversion was delivered, the type was already being phased out in favor of supersonic interceptors.

Received new F-104A Starfighter interceptor aircraft in early 1958, the third ADC squadron to receive the F-104. In addition, the squadron received the two-seat, dual-control, combat trainer F-104B. The performance of the F-104B was almost identical to that of the F-104A, but the lower internal fuel capacity reduced its effective range considerably. However, the F-104A was not very well suited for service as an interceptor. Its low range was a problem for North American air defense, and its lack of all-weather capability made it incapable of operating in conjunction with the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) system. Service with the ADC was consequently quite brief, and the F-104As of the 337th FIS were transferred to the Air National Guard.

With the transfer of the Starfighters, ADC shut down operations at Westover AFB and the 337th FIS was inactivated in July 1960.

Reactivated as an F-4 Phantom II Tactical Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson AFB in 1982-1985; then as a flight test squadron at McClellan AFB. Conducted flight tests on aircraft returning to active service after depot maintenance, modification, or repair from, 1988-2001. Inactivated with closure of McClellan AFB.[1]

Lineage[edit]

337th FIS (Air Defense Command)
  • Constituted 337th Fighter Squadron on 29 August 1942
Activated on 11 September 1942
Redesignated: 337th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 1 July 1942
Redesignated: 337th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 5 February 1944
Disbanded on 31 March 1944
  • Reconstituted, and redesignated 337th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, on 23 March 1953
Activated on 8 July 1954
Discontinued on 8 July 1960
  • Redesignated 337th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 11 December 1981
Activated on 1 April 1982
Inactivated on 1 July 1985
  • Consolidated (1 October 1992) with the 2874th Test Squadron, which was designated, and activated, on 15 January 1988
Redesignated: 337th Test Squadron on 1 October 1992
Redesignated: 337th Flight Test Squadron on 1 March 1994
Inactivated: 13 July 2001

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]