8th Flying Training Squadron

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8th Flying Training Squadron
Air Education and Training Command.png
Active 1942–1951; 1972–present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Pilot Training
Part of Air Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQ Vance Air Force Base
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
LtCol Deirdre Gurry[1]
8th Flying Training Squadron emblem (approved 28 July 1990)[2][note 1] 8th Flying Training Squadron.jpg
8th Flying Training Squadron emblem (approved 2 January 1973)[3] 8 Flying Training Sq emblem (1984).png

The 8th Flying Training Squadron is part of the 71st Flying Training Wing based at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. It operates the T-6A Texan II aircraft conducting flight training.


Performs Joint Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training with T-6A Texan II trainers.


Activated in early 1942 under Fourth Air Force; after a brief organizational period in Southern California where it was equipped with reconnaissance P-38 Lightnings (F-4) it deployed to the Southwest Pacific Area (SPA), being assigned to Fifth Air Force in Australia.

Engaged in long-range tactical reconnaissance missions over New Guinea; later the Dutch East Indies and in late 1944, over the Philippines in support of Mac Arthur's Island-Hopping campaign (1942–1945). After the Japanese capitulation in August 1945, became part of the Army of Occupation in Japan. It was not operational between April 1946 and July 1947.

From 1947–1949 flew photographic mapping missions over Japan, Korea, Philippines and other areas of western Pacific.[4][5] During the Korean War, the squadron flew tactical reconnaissance sorties over North and South Korea from, 29 June 1950 – 24 February 1951.

The 8th has conducted undergraduate pilot training for active duty, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and selected foreign allies since 1 November 1972.[2] Since the mid-1990s, the squadron has also conducted joint primary flight training for selected US Navy and US Marine Corps student naval aviators, with command of the squadron alternating between Air Force officers in the rank of lieutenant colonel and Navy officers in the ranks of commander.[2]


  • Constituted as the 8th Photographic Squadron on 19 Jan 1942
Activated 1 Feb 1942
Redesignated 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 9 Jun 1942
Redesignated 8th Photographic Squadron (Light) on 6 Feb 1943
Redesignated 8th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 13 Nov 1943
Redesignated 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic on 10 Aug 1948
Redesignated 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Photo-Jet on 1 Aug 1949
Inactivated on 25 Feb 1951
  • Redesignated 8th Flying Training Squadron on 14 Apr 1972
Activated on 1 Nov 1972[2]




Notable Members[edit]


  1. ^ This emblem was based on a World War II emblem that apparently never received official approval. Maurer, pp. 48-49, cf. Endicott, p. 394.
  1. ^ "Gurry takes command of 8th FTS". Vance Air Force Base. United States Air Force. Retrieved 27 November 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Kane, Robert B. (March 16, 2010). "Factsheet 8 Flying Training Squadron (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved September 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ Endicott, p. 394
  4. ^ Pape & Donna Campbell[page needed]
  5. ^ Maurer, pp. 48-49


Further reading
  • Stanaway, John and Bob Rocker. The Eight Ballers: Eyes of the Fifth Air Force. The 8th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron in World War II. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-7643-0910-2.