70th Flying Training Squadron

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70th Flying Training Squadron [1]
70th Flying Training Squadron.jpg
70th Flying Training Squadron Patch
Active 15 January 1941 - 10 May 1946
25 February 1953 - 25 June 1966
1 August 1972 - 30 September 1973
1 December 1973 - 1 December 1975
22 October 2005 - present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
10th Air Force
340th Flying Training Group
Garrison/HQ United States Air Force Academy
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg PUC
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg PPUC
Lieutenant Colonel Rodriguez
Emblem of the World War II 70th Bombardment Squadron

The 70th Flying Training Squadron (70 FTS) is Reserve unit of the United States Air Force based at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado.

70 FTS augments the 94th Flying Training Squadron for glider training, augments the parachuting element of training for the 98th Flying Training Squadron, and supports the 557th Flying Training Squadron by assisting the cadet flying team compete at a national intercollegiate level as well as providing oversight in the Academy flight screening program.


The 70th supports sailplane, powered flight, Initial Flight Screening, and parachute operations at the United States Air Force Academy.


World War II[edit]

Established as a pre-World War II GHQAF bombardment squadron; equipped with B-18 Bolos and early-model B-26 Marauders. After the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, squadron was engaged in antisubmarine operations over the mid-Atlantic coast. Reassigned to Third Air Force and equipped with A-26 Invader light bombers; deployed to Fifth Air Force in Australia in 1942 as part of the re-equipping of that command after its withdraw to Australia after the 1941-1942 Battle of the Philippines.

Deployed to South Pacific Area (SPA); being assigned to Thirteenth Air Force and attacking enemy targets in the Solomon Islands; New Hebrides and other enemy locations north and east of Papua New Guinea. Became part of Mac Arthur's New Guinea campaign, supported Army ground forces with tactical bombing of enemy formations and targets along the northern coast of New Guinea and in the Dutch East Indies.

Attacked enemy forces in the Philippines during early 1945 as part of the liberation from Japanese control; continued combat missions until the Japanese capitulation in August 1945. Became part of the Fifth Air Force forces in Occupied Japan in 1946 before being demobilized and inactivated in May 1946.

The 70th was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its pre-invasion bombing of Balikpapan between 23 and 30 June 1945. Balikpapan was a center for oil refining on Borneo held by the Japanese. These attacks included bombing and strafing enemy shore installations. The round trip to the target was over 1700 miles and was among the longest flown by medium bombers during the war. Pre mission experiments determined that the squadron's bombers could carry a bomb load over this distance with fuel tanks installed in their radio compartments despite having to take off from a runway damaged by enemy action. Four of the missions encountered severe tropical weather fronts. Despite intense and accurate flak, the squadron destroyed gun positions, warehouses, roadblocks, fuel and ammunition dumps, a radar station as well as huge stores of gasoline and oil which the enemy had placed in position to be released into shallow pits oil the beach and ignited when the Australian ground troops made their assaults. The group attacked the beach while naval underwater demolition teams operated offshore without losing a man. The attacks were so effective that the Australian Seventh Division was able to come ashore without enemy opposition.[2]

Cold War[edit]

Reactivated as a Strategic Air Command B-36 Peacemaker bombardment squadron in 1953. Engaged in worldwide training missions with the B-36 until 1956 when re-equipped with the jet B-52 Stratofortress. Deployed to Western Pacific during the Vietnam War and flew conventional Arc Light bombardment missions over enemy military and industrial targets in North Vietnam. Inactivated in 1966 due to budget reductions.

Pilot training[edit]

Reactivated as an Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) T-37 Tweet squadron in 1972. Remained in Air Training Command providing initial flight training first at Laredo AFB, then at Moody AFB. Inactivated in 1975 when Moody was transferred to Tactical Air Command as a fighter base.

Reactivated in the Reserve at the United States Air Force Academy in 2005 as a pilot screening squadron, replacing Detachment 1, 302nd Operations Group. Also flies unpowered gliders.[3]


  • Constituted 70 Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Redesignated 70 Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 19 September 1944
Inactivated on 10 May 1946
  • Redesignated 70 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 19 February 1953
Activated on 25 February 1953
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 June 1966
  • Redesignated 70 Flying Training Squadron on 22 March 1972
Activated on 1 August 1972
Inactivated on 30 September 1973
Activated on 1 December 1973
Inactivated on 1 December 1975
  • Activated on 22 October 2005



Aircraft operated[edit]


See also[edit]


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


  1. ^ AFHRA 70 FTS Page
  2. ^ Cohn, Preface (quoting the citation for the award)
  3. ^ Reserve squadron soars onto Academy flightline, 25 October 2005, by Technical Sgt. Jason Tudor, Headquarters Air Force Reserve


External links[edit]