434th Fighter Training Squadron

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434th Flying Training Squadron [1]
434th Fighter Training Squadron.jpg
434th Flying Training Squadron Patch
Active 15 October 1943 - 1 December 1945
1 December 1952 - 3 May 1991
19 July 2007 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Pilot Training
Part of Air Education and Training Command
19th Air Force
47th Flying Training Wing
47th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Laughlin Air Force Base
Mascot Red Devils
Engagements World War II
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Ruban de la croix de guerre 1939-1945.PNG FCdG w/ Palm
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg RVGC w/ Palm
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt Col Michael Land
434th Fighter Training Squadron T-38 Talon
Northrop AT-38B-55-NO Talon AF Serial No. 64-13172 of the 434th TFTS/479th TTW.
F-100A-10-NA 53-1562 of the 434th Fighter-Day Squadron.
North American P-51B-5 Mustang Serial 42-7040 from the 434th Fighter Squadron in June 1945. This P-51B was previously assigned to the 361st FG at RAF Bottisham and was a replacement for low-hour P-51s reassigned from the group.

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

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Activated on 15 October 1943 at Grand Central Air Terminal, near Long Beach, California. Equipped with the Lockheed P-38F Lightning, trained for combat and served 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 reassigned to RAF Wattisham, England, April–May 1944, and assigned to VIII Fighter Command, Eighth Air Force.

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 B-17/B-24 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 War[edit]

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 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]

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted 434th Fighter Squadron on 12 Oct 1943
Activated on 15 Oct 1943
Inactivated on 1 Dec 1945
  • Re-designated 434th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 15 Oct 1952
Activated on 1 Dec 1952
Re-designated: 434th Fighter-Day Squadron on 15 Feb 1954
Re-designated: 434th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1958
Re-designated: 434th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 1 Oct 1975
Inactivated on 3 May 1991
  • Re-designated: 434th Fighter Training Squadron on 21 Jun 2007
Activated on 19 Jul 2007.

[1]

Assignments[edit]

Attached to 49th Tactical Fighter Wing, 12 Aug-6 Oct 1972

[1]

Stations[edit]

[1]

Aircraft[edit]

[1]

Operations[edit]

[1]

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]

See also[edit]