97th Flying Training Squadron

97th Flying Training Squadron

97th Flying Training Squadron


Mission:  Provide world-class instruction to Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training student pilots and instructor Trainees while demonstrating the values and discipline of military professionals.

Vision:  Serve as the benchmark for integrated associate operations in AFRC and AETC as an unrivaled wingman.

Lineage.  Constituted 97 Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 13 Jan 1942. Activated on 9 Feb 1942. Redesignated as 97 Pursuit Squadron (I) (Twin Engine) on 22 Apr 1942; 97 Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942; 97 Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 28 Feb 1944. Inactivated on 9 Sep 1945. Activated on 12 Apr 1947. Redesignated 97 Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 15 Aug 1947. Inactivated on 2 Oct 1949. Redesignated 97 Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 13 Nov 1950. Activated on 1 Dec 1950. Inactivated on 8 Jan 1958. Redesignated 97 Flying Training Squadron on 22 Jun 1972. Activated on 1 Feb 1973. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1993. Activated in the Reserve on 1 Apr 1998.

 

Assignments.  82 Pursuit (later 82 Fighter) Group, 9 Feb 1942-9 Sep 1945. 82 Fighter Group, 12 Apr 1947-2 Oct 1949. Eastern Air Defense Force, 1 Dec 1950 (attached to 56 Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 1 Dec 1950-20 May 1951; 142 Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 20 May 1951-6 Feb 1952); 4706 Defense (later 4706 Air Defense) Wing, 6 Feb 1952; 82 Fighter Group, 18 Aug 1955-8 Jan 1958. 82 Flying Training Wing, 1 Feb 1973; 82 Operations Group, 15 Dec 1991-1 Apr 1993. 340th Flying Training Group, 1 Apr 1998-.

 

Stations.  Harding Field, LA, 9 Feb 1942; Muroc, CA, 17 Apr 1942; Long Beach, CA, 22 May -16 Sep 1942; Eglington, N. Ireland, 5 Oct 1942; Tafaraoui, Algeria, 24 Dec 1942; Telergma, Algeria, 1 Jan 1943; Berteaux, Algeria, 28 Mar 1943; Souk-el-Arba, Algeria, 13 Jun 1943; Grombalia, Tunisia, 4 Aug 1943 (operated from Gerbini, Sicily, 6-18 Sep 1943); San Pacrazio, Italy, 3 Oct 1943; Lecce, Italy, 10 Oct 1943; Vicenzo Airfield, Italy, 11 Jan 1944; Lesina, Italy, c. 30 Aug-9 Sep 1945. Grenier Field, NH, 12 Apr 1947-2 Oct 1949; Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, 1 Dec 1950; New Castle Cty Airport, DE, 18 Aug 1955-8 Jan 1958; Williams AB, AZ, 1 Feb 1973-1 Apr 1993; Sheppard AFB, TX, 1 Apr 1998-.

 

Commanders.  Unk, 9 Feb-16 Apr 1942; Maj Ernest C. Young, 17 Apr 1942; Maj William W. Wittliff, 13 Jan 1943; Capt. Richard G. McAuliffe, c. 28 Mar 1943; Maj William W. Wittliff, c. 28 Apr 1943; Maj William B. Peterson, 2 May 1943; Maj William W. Wittliff, 16 Jul 1943; Maj Harry L. Smith Jr., 26 Aug 1943; Maj Charles R. Spencer, 19 Jan 1944; Capt John S. Litchfield, 30 Jan 1944; Maj Claude E. Ford, 1 Apr 1944; Lt Col Paul J. Greene, 12 Aug 1944; Lt Col Thomas C. Kelly, Oct 1944; Lt Col Joseph L. Dickman, Apr 1945; Maj Robert C. Booth, 23 Jun 1945; unkn, 30 Aug-9 Sep 1945. None (not manned), 12 Apr-13 Jun 1947; Maj Julius D. Shivers, 14 Jun 1947; Maj Donald V. Miller, 10 Mar 1949. None (not manned), 1-5 Dec 1950; Lt Col Frank Q. O'Conner, 6 Dec 1950; Lt Col Walter E. Modesitt, 29 Jan 1952; Maj Stevens H. Turner, c. Aug 1952; Lt Col George V. Lane, c. Jul 1954; Maj Ernest P. Stuyvesant, c. 18 Aug 1955; Lt Col Willis J. Gary, 3 Jul 1956; none (not manned), 8 Oct 1957-8 Jan 1958. Lt Col William P. Smith, 1 Feb 1973; Lt Col Richard L. Russell, 25 Nov 1974; Lt Col John R. Hullender, 14 Jun 1976;  Lt Col Joseph L. Higgins, 9 Jun 1978; Lt Col Howard T. Hanson, 4 Jan 1980; Lt Col Lonny R. Alexander, 20 Oct 1980; Lt Col James T. Thomes, 14 Dec 1981; Lt Col John R. Rademacher, 30 Jun 1982; Lt Col Gary A. Swigart, 23 Jun 1983; Lt Col Percy D. Leonard Jr., 15 Jun 1984; Lt Col Johnny Engleman, 18 Nov 1985; Lt Col David S. Taylor, 16 Sep 1986; Lt Col Russell L. Allen, 12 Nov 1987; Lt Col Dennis L. Austin, 31 Oct 1989; Lt Col Douglas W. Knutsen, 17 Jun 1991; Lt. Col. Terrence P. Long, 2 Dec 1992-1 Apr 1993. Unkn, 1 Apr-Jun 1998; Lt Col William T. Cahoon, 16 Jun 1998; Lt Col Wolfgang C. Asmus, c. Feb 2000; Lt Col Douglas H. Standifer, 18 Feb 2005; Lt Col Bo McGowan, 23 Mar 2007; Lt Col Scott Thomas, 19 Sep 2008; Lt Col Michael Stolt, 15 Oct 2010; Lt Col Christopher L. Manning, 25 Jan 2013; Lt Col William T. Kennedy, 23 Oct 2015.

 

Aircraft.  P-38, 1942-1945. P-51, 1947-1949. F-86, 1951-1955; F-94, 1955-1957. T-38A, 1973-1993. T-37B, 1998-2009; AT-38, 1998-2006; T-38C, 2006-; T-6A, 2007-.

Operations.  Combat in European and Mediterranean theaters of operations, 25 Dec 1942-3 May 1945. Fighter escort and air defense, 1947-1949. Air defense, 1951-1957. Trained USAF pilots, 1973-1993. ENJJPT 1998-.

 

Campaign Streamers.  World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Rome-Arno; Normandy; N. France; S. France; N. Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley; Air Combat, EAME Theater.

 

Decorations.  Distinguished Unit Citations: Italy, 25 Aug 1943; Italy, 2 Sep 1943; Ploesti, Romania, 10 Jun 1944. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jan 1978-30 Apr 1979; 1 May 1983 -30 Apr 1985; 1 Jun 1988-31 May 1990; 1 Apr 1991-31 Mar 1993; 10 Oct 1999-30 Sep 2001;

10 Oct 2001-30 Sep 2003; 10 Oct 2003-30 Sep 2005.

 

Emblem.  Approved on 30 Oct 1942.

 

Significance.  The 97 FTS emblem is the stylized face of a Devil Cat, trimmed in red and black with white tusks and green eyes on a blue background. The Devil Cat, neither cat nor wolf, has roamed the steppes of Asiatic Russia for generations. Its awesome appearance is but mildly indicative of the beast’s true ferocity, of its almost diabolical wiliness and daring. In all of central and northern Asia, no animal real or legendary excites a greater respect or fear among the hardened and barbaric peoples of this vast hinterland. The Devil Cat portrays the endurance, courage, resourcefulness and ferocity, which the 97 FTS emulates.