43d Flying Training Squadron
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|43d Flying Training Squadron |
43d Flying Training Squadron Patch
|Active||1 February 1940 - 20 May 1946
1 July 1972 - 30 September 1977
25 June 1990 - 1 October 1992
1 April 1997 - Present
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Reserve Command
10th Air Force
340th Flying Training Group
|Garrison/HQ||Columbus Air Force Base|
|Engagements||World War II|
The 43d Flying Training Squadron (43 FTS) is part of the 340th Flying Training Group and is the reserve associate to the 14th Flying Training Wing based at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. It operates T-1 Jayhawk, T-6 Texan II and T-38 Talon aircraft conducting flight training.
The 43 FTS administers and executes the Air Education and Training Command/Air Force Reserve Command Associate Instructor Pilot (IP) Program and provides Active Guard Reserve (AGR) and Traditional Reserve (TR) IPs to augment the cadre of active duty pilots conducting pilot training. During wartime, or in the event of hostilities, the unit is mobilized to offset anticipated losses of experienced active duty pilot contributions to the instructor pilot training programs.
Activated in early 1940 as part of the pre-World War II build up of the United States Army Air Corps after the breakout of war in Europe. Assigned to the GHQ Northeast Air District, equipped with B-18 Bolos; later early model B-17C/D heavy bombers. After the Pearl Harbor Attack. flew antisubmarine patrol missions in the Caribbean from, January–June 1942.
Returned to the United States in June 1942 and was assigned to II Bomber Command. Was an Operational Training (OTU) and later Replacement Training Unit (RTU) for B-17 heavy bomber units and replacement personnel until March 1944 with the end of Heavy Bomber training.
B-29 Superfortress operations against Japan
Re-designated on 1 April 1944 as a B-29 Superfortress Very Heavy bombardment squadron. When training was completed moved to North Field Guam in the Mariana Islands of the Central Pacific Area in January 1945 and assigned to XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force. Its mission was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands and the destruction of its war-making capability.
Flew "shakedown" missions against Japanese targets on Moen Island, Truk, and other points in the Carolines and Marianas. The squadron began combat missions over Japan on 25 February 1945 with a firebombing mission over Northeast Tokyo. The squadron continued to participate in wide area firebombing attack, but the first ten day blitz resulting in the Army Air Forces running out of incendiary bombs. Until then the squadron flew conventional strategic bombing missions using high explosive bombs.
The squadron continued attacking urban areas with incendiary raids until the end of the war in August 1945, attacking major Japanese cities, causing massive destruction of urbanized areas. Also conducted raids against strategic objectives, bombing aircraft factories, chemical plants, oil refineries, and other targets in Japan. The squadron flew its last combat missions on 14 August when hostilities ended. Afterwards, its B 29s carried relief supplies to Allied prisoner of war camps in Japan and Manchuria.
Squadron remained in Western Pacific, although largely demobilized in the fall of 1945. Some aircraft scrapped on Tinian; others flown to storage depots in the United States. Remained as a paper unit assigned to Twentieth Air Force until inactivated in 1946.
United States Air Force
It conducted undergraduate pilot training from, 1972–1977, 1990–1992, and since 1997.
Operations and decorations
- Combat Operations: Antisubmarine patrols, Dec 1941-Jun 1942; Combat in Western Pacific, c.16 Feb-15 Aug 1945.
- Campaigns: World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Western Pacific; Air Offensive, Japan.
- Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citations: 31 Mar 1945; 19-26 Jun 1945. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jan-31 Dec 1973; 1 Oct 2001-30 Sep 2003; 1 Oct 2003-30 Sep 2004.
- Constituted as 29 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 22 Dec 1939
- Activated on 1 Feb 1940
- Redesignated as 43 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 13 Mar 1940
- Inactivated on 1 Apr 1944
- Redesignated as 43 Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, and activated, on 1 Apr 1944
- Inactivated on 20 May 1946
- Redesignated as 43 Flying Training Squadron on 22 Mar 1972
- Activated on 1 Jul 1972
- Inactivated on 30 Sep 1977
- Activated on 25 Jun 1990
- Inactivated on 1 Oct 1992
- Redesignated as 43 Flying Training Flight, and activated in the Reserve, on 1 Apr 1997
- Redesignated as 43 Flying Training Squadron on 1 Apr 1998.
- 29th Bombardment Group, 1 Feb 1940-1 Apr 1944; 1 Apr 1944-20 May 1946
- 29th Flying Training Wing, 1 Jul 1972-30 Sep 1977
- 14th Flying Training Wing, 25 Jun 1990
- 14th Operations Group, 15 Dec 1991-1 Oct 1992
- 610th Regional Support Group, 1 Apr 1997
- 340th Flying Training Group, 1 Apr 1998–Present
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- AFHRA 43 Flying Training Squadron Factsheet
- 43d Flying Training Squadron Website