8th Flying Training Squadron

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8th Flying Training Squadron
8th Flying Training Squadron.jpg
8th Flying Training Squadron Patch
Active 1 February 1942 – 21 February 1951
1 November 1972 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Pilot Training
Part of Air Education and Training Command
19th Air Force
71st Flying Training Wing
71st Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Vance Air Force Base
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines).svg PPUC
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg ROK PUC
World War II reconnaissance squadron emblem

The 8th Flying Training Squadron (8 FTS) 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 (JSUPT) with T-6A Texan II trainers.


Activated in early 194 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.[1][2] 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.[3] 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.[4]


  • Constituted 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
Redesignated: Inactivated on 25 Feb 1951
  • Redesignated 8th Flying Training Squadron on 14 Apr 1972
Redesignated: Activated on 1 Nov 1972.


Attached to Allied Air Forces, Apr–Sep 1942
Attached to V Bomber Command after c. 10 Dec 1945
Attached to 314th Composite Wing to Nov 1947


Aircraft Operated[3]


Famous people



  1. Pape, Garry R., John M. and Donna Campbell. Northrop P-61 Black Widow – The Complete History and Combat Record. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International, 1991. ISBN 0-87938-509-X
  2. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 AFHRA 8 FTS Page
  4. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9766


  • 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.

External links