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49th Fighter Training Squadron

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Title: 49th Fighter Training Squadron  
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Subject: Columbus Air Force Base, Convair F-106 Delta Dart, Richard Bong, 14th Flying Training Wing, Weapon systems officer, Eric Boe, 14th Operations Group
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49th Fighter Training Squadron

49th Flying Training Squadron [1]

49th Fighter Training Squadron Patch
Active 15 January 1941 - 9 September 1945
20 November 1946 - 2 October 1949
1 November 1952 - 7 July 1987
25 June 1990 - 18 September 1992
1 July 1993 - present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Pilot Training
Part of Air Education and Training Command
19th Air Force
14th Flying Training Wing
14th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Columbus Air Force Base
Decorations AFOUA
Lt Col Neil Oakden

The 49th Fighter Training Squadron (49 FTS) is part of the 14th Flying Training Wing based at Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi. It operates T-38 Talon aircraft conducting flight training.


World War II

Established in early 1941 as an Army Air Corps fighter squadron assigned to the Southwest Air District at March Field, California. Equipped with early model P-38 Lightnings. After the Pearl Harbor Attack and formation of Eighth Air Force in England, was deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) in 1942 to fly escort missions of B-17 and B-24 heavy bombers as part of VIII Fighter Command.

Was sent to North Africa in late 1942 as part of the Operation Torch invasion forces, taking up station in Algeria. Was reassigned to Twelfth Air Force and flew both fighter escort missions for the B-17 Flying Fortresses operating from Algeria as well as tactical interdiction strikes on enemy targets of opportunity in Algeria and Tunisia during the North African Campaign.

Following the German defeat and withdrawal from North Africa the squadron participated in the Allied Invasion of Sicily and Invasion of Italy and subsequent drive of the United States Fifth Army up the Italian Peninsula. Engaged primarily in tactical operations after November 1943, supporting ground forces and attacking enemy targets of opportunity such as railroads, road convoys, bridges, strafing enemy airfields and other targets. Was deployed to Corsica in 1944 to attack enemy targets in support of Free French forces in the liberation of the island and to support Allied Forces in the invasion of Southern France. Continued offensive operations until the German Capitulation in May 1945. Demobilized during the summer and fall 1945 in Italy, was inactivated in the United States in early 1946.

Air Defense Command

Was reactivated in 1946 under the new Air Defense Command at Dow Field, Maine and equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts and later early-model F-84B Thunderjets. Was inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions. Reactivated in 1952 at Dow AFB as an F-80C Shooting Star day fighter interceptor squadron; Moved to Hanscom AFB near Boston where the squadron flew F-86D Sabre Interceptors. In October 1956 began re-equipping with the North American F-86L Sabre, an improved version of the F-86D which incorporated the Semi Automatic Ground Environment, or SAGE computer-controlled direction system for intercepts. The service of the F-86L destined to be quite brief, since by the time the last F-86L conversion was delivered, the type was already being phased out in favor of supersonic interceptors.

In October 1959 the 49th FIS replaced the 465th FIS at Griffiss AFB, New York, and became a major tenant at Griffiss AFB. At Griffiss, the 49th was re-equipped with new McDonnell F-101B Voodoo supersonic interceptor, and the F-101F operational and conversion trainer. The two-seat trainer version was equipped with dual controls, but carried the same armament as the F-101B and were fully combat-capable.

Operated the Voodoos until late 1968, the aircraft being passed along to the Air National Guard; the squadron was re-equipped with F-106 Delta Darts. There were a total of 46 F-106's assigned to the 49th FIS at Griffiss AB NY between 30 Sept 1968 until its inactivation on 30 Sep 1987. The last two F-106s (59-0062 and 59-0136 were the last Delta Darts in active-duty USAF service, being sent to AMARC on 9 July 1987.

The squadron was initially programmed to receive F-15 Eagles to be used in the interceptor mission, however it was decided to inactivate the unit as part of the transfer of the CONUS air defense mission to the Air National Guard. The 49th FIS was the last active USAF F-106 unit.

Reactivated in 1990 as an undergraduate pilot training squadron and has taught basic procedures and techniques of fighter employment since 1993.[1]


  • Constituted 49th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 20 Nov 1940
Activated on 15 Jan 1941
Redesignated: 49th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942
Redesignated: 49th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 28 Feb 1944
Inactivated on 9 Sep 1945
  • Redesignated 49th Fighter Squadron, Jet Propelled, and activated, on 20 Nov 1946
Redesignated: 49th Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 26 Jul 1948
Inactivated on 2 Oct 1949
  • Redesignated 49th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 11 Sep 1952
Activated on 1 Nov 1952
Inactivated on 7 Jul 1987
  • Redesignated: 49th Flying Training Squadron on 11 May 1990
Activated on 25 Jun 1990
Inactivated on 18 Sep 1992
  • Activated on 1 Jul 1993
Redesignated: 49th Fighter Training Squadron on 19 May 2003.



Operated From: San Diego, California (7–12 December 1941)
Operated From: Corsica (10–21 August 1944)




  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Maurer, Maurer. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1982.
  • USAF Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1).
  • 49th Flying Training Squadron History

External links

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