39th Flying Training Squadron

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39th Flying Training Squadron
Jayhawk - RIAT 2007 (2484556536).jpg
Active1940–1957; 1969–1974; 1977–1984; 1990–1991; 1993–1999; 2001–2007; 2007–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleInstructor Pilot Training
Part ofAir Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQRandolph Air Force Base
EngagementsSouthwest Pacific Theater
Korean War[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation[1]
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Lt. Col. Thomas J. Lynch
Insignia
39th Flying Training Squadron emblem (approved 13 April 2009)[1]39th Flying Training Squadron.jpg
39th Pursuit Squadron emblem (approved 16 April 1941)[1]39 Pursuit Squadron emblem.png

The 39th Flying Training Squadron is part of the 340th Flying Training Group and is the reserve associate to the 12th Flying Training Wing based at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.

The squadron was first activated as the 39th Pursuit Squadron in the buildup of the United States Army Air Corps in response to the War in Europe. It moved to the Pacific Coast in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor and briefly flew antisubmarine patrols before deploying to the Southwest Pacific Theater, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations (DUC)s and a Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for its actions during the war.

The squadron remained in the Far East and as the 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was part of the air defenses of Japan when North Korea invaded South Korea. The 39th earned two more DUCs and a Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation during combat in Korea. Following the 1953 truce, the squadron returned to Japan, serving as an air defense unit until inactivating in December 1957.

The squadron was activated as the 39th Tactical Reconnaissance Training Squadron in 1969 when Tactical Air Command replaced its Command controlled (4 digit) units with Air Force controlled units. It trained Douglas B-66 Destroyer aircrews until inactivating in 1974.

The squadron has been a flying training unit since 1990, except for a brief stint as a test squadron.

Mission[edit]

It operates the Beechcraft T-6 Texan II, Raytheon T-1A Jayhawk and Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft conducting Pilot Instructor Training.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Activated by Northeast Air District (later First Air Force) as the 39th Pursuit Squadron, a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk pursuit squadron,[clarification needed List of aircraft flown does not show ever operatied P-40s] at Selfridge Field, Michigan, where it was one of a number of units drawing its cadre from the 1st Pursuit Group, stationed there. The squadron moved to Baer Field, Indiana the say before the attack on Pearl Harbor, but was soon rushed to Bellingham Army Air Field, where it flew antisubmarine patrols off the coast of Washington until the middle of January 1942, when it was reassigned from the 31st Pursuit Group to the 35th Pursuit Group, which was preparing for deployment to Australia.[1]

Aces of the 39th FS at Schwimmer Airfield, May 1943, in front of squadron commander Thomas J. Lynch's P-38 number 10. Kneeling, left to right: Captain Charles P. O'Sullivan, Captain Thomas J. Lynch, 1st Lieutenant Kenneth C. Sparks. Standing, left to right: Captain Richard C. Suehr, 1st Lieutenant John H. Lane, 1st Lieutenant Stanley O. Andrews

Re-equipped with long-range Lockheed P-38 Lightnings and deployed to Fifth Air Force in Australia, June 1942. Engaged in combat operations against the Japanese in the Lightning, but became the second Pacific Theater fighter group[clarification needed unit is squadron, not group] to convert to the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt in late 1943. Conducted combat operations in the Thunderbolt from late 1943 through Spring 1945. Participated in offensives in the Netherlands East Indies, New Guinea, Bismarck Archipelago, Philippines and the Battle of Okinawa.

Far East Air Forces[edit]

Squadron F-86D at Yokota AB[note 1]

Re-equipped with North American P-51 Mustangs and moved to Japan as part of the army of occupation, September 1945, remaining as part of the Far East Air Forces air defense mission throughout the postwar era. Engaged in combat, June 1950, during the initial actions of the Korean War. Re-equipped with Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star jets, fighting air-to-air combat against communist aircraft and engaging in ground support missions supporting United Nations Forces, 1950–1953. Returned to Japan after the 1953 armistice and upgraded to the purpose-built Lockheed F-94 Starfire interceptor flying air defense missions.

The squadron moved to Johnson Air Base on 20 July 1954 and established temporary air defense detachments on the same day at Komaki Air Base,[note 2] Japan to 4 August 1954 and at Misawa Air Base, Japan to 27 August 1954.[1] The squadron was inactivated in December 1957.[1]

Tactical Air Command[edit]

39th TFTS F-4C at George AFB[note 3]

Reactivated by Tactical Air Command in 1969 at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, assuming the personnel and equipment of the 4417th Combat Crew Training Squadron. Equipped with reconnaissance and electronic warfare versions of the Douglas B-66 Destroyer and trained tactical reconnaissance and electronic warfare crews from, 1969–1974 when the B-66 was retired. Moved to George Air Force Base, California and equipped with McDonnell F-4E Phantom IIs. Trained Wild Weasel aircrews in surface to air missile suppression tactics from, 1977–1984. Inactivated when the F-4 was retired.

39th Test Squadron F-16[note 4]
39th FTS formation flying

Reactivated by Air Training Command as an undergraduate pilot training squadron with Northrop T-38 Talons, 1990–1991. Transferred to Air Force Material Command, 1993 as a flight test squadron on various weapons systems from 1993 to 1999, then went back to Air Education and Training Command providing flying training from 2001 onwards.[1]

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as the 39th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 22 December 1939
Activated on 1 February 1940
Redesignated 39th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Redesignated 39th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 27 October 1942
Redesignated 39th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 19 February 1944
Redesignated 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 20 January 1950
Inactivated on 8 December 1957
  • Redesignated 39th Tactical Reconnaissance Training Squadron on 18 August 1969
Organized on 15 October 1969
Redesignated 39th Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron on 15 February 1970[note 5]
Inactivated on 15 March 1974
  • Redesignated 39th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 1 June 1977
Activated on 1 July 1977
Redesignated 39th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 9 October 1980
Inactivated on 11 May 1984
  • Redesignated 39th Flying Training Squadron on 9 February 1990
Activated on 2 April 1990
Inactivated on 15 December 1991
  • Redesignated 39th Test Squadron on 31 August 1993
Activated on 8 September 1993
Redesignated 39th Flight Test Squadron on 15 March 1994
Inactivated on 1 September 1999
  • Redesignated 39th Flying Training Squadron on 30 September 1999
Activated in the reserve on 2 April 2001[1]

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is North American F-86D Sabre serial 52-4038. Taken in 1955.
  2. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 183. Haulman misspells this as Komati.
  3. ^ Aircraft is McDonnell F-4C-23-MC, serial 64-781. Taken about 1980.
  4. ^ Aircraft is General Dynamics F-16B Block 1 Fighting Falcon serial 78-97, about 1995. The oldest active F-16 in the USAF inventory, originally delivered to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill AFB in 1979.
  5. ^ The 39th Tactical Electronic Warfare Training Squadron is not related to the 39th Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron, which was constituted on 18 March 1969 and activated 1 April 1969 at Spangdahlem Air Base, and inactivated 1 January 1973.
Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Haulman, Daniel L. (April 19, 2017). "Factsheet 39 Flying Training Squadron (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  2. ^ Station information in Haulman, except as noted.

Bibliography[edit]

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

External links[edit]