85th Flying Training Squadron

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85th Flying Training Squadron
T-6A Texan II Laughlin AFB.jpg
Active1941–1962; 1972-present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RolePilot Training
Part ofAir Education and Training Command
Garrison/HQLaughlin Air Force Base
EngagementsBattle of the Kasserine Pass
Operation Husky
Operation Avalanche
Operation Dragoon[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
85th Flying Training Squadron emblem (approved 2 January 1973)[1]85th Flying Training Squadron.jpg
85th Bombardment Squadron emblem (approved 9 September 1944)[2]85th Bombardment Squadron - Emblem.png

The 85th Flying Training Squadron is part of the 47th Flying Training Wing based at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. It operates Beechcraft T-6 Texan II aircraft conducting flight training.



World War II[edit]

The 85th was first activated as a bombardment squadron shortly before the United States entered World War II. Stationed at McChord Field, Washington it flew antisubmarine patrols following the attack on Pearl Harbor.[3]

The squadron was sent to North Africa to participate in Allied operations in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in late 1942 where it specialized in conducting low-level bombing missions against Axis forces. The unit earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for actions against German forces at Kasserine Pass in February 1943.[3]

Following the Axis defeat in North Africa the 85th participated in the reduction of Pantellaria and Lampedusa and the invasion of Sicily in the summer of 1943. The squadron next supported the British Eighth Army during the invasion of Italy and continued to lead support combat support throughout the Italian Campaign, earning it a second Distinguished Unit Citation for actions in the Po Valley 21–24 April 1945. In August and September 1944 the 85th briefly broke off from the Italian Campaign to support the invasion of southern France.[3]

Cold War[edit]

Following the Second World War the squadron remained an active bomber unit. It was the first squadron to operate the North American B-45 Tornado, the US Air Force's first jet bomber. It later transitioned to the Douglas B-66 Destroyer before being inactivated in May 1962.

Pilot training[edit]

The squadron was reactivated a decade later as a flying training squadron, replacing the 3645th Pilot Training Squadron at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas.[3]


  • Constituted as the 85th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Redesignated 85th Bombardment Squadron, Light on 20 August 1943
Redesignated 85th Bombardment Squadron, Light (Night Attack) on 16 April 1946
Redesignated 85th Bombardment Squadron, Light, Jet on 23 June 1948
Redesignated 85th Bombardment Squadron, Light on 16 November 1950
Redesignated 85th Bombardment Squadron, Tactical on 1 October 1955
Discontinued and inactivated on 22 June 1962
  • Redesignated 85th Flying Training Squadron on 22 March 1972
Activated on 1 September 1972[1]






  1. ^ a b c d e f Bailey, Carl E. (10 September 2008). "Factsheet 85 Flying Training Squadron (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  2. ^ Maurer, pp. 294-295
  3. ^ a b c d "Laughlin AFB Library: Fact Sheets: 85th Flying Training Squadron". 47th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs. 9 July 2014. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  4. ^ Watkins indicates the squadron was on the Maltese island of Gozo. Watkins, p. 71.
  5. ^ Probably at Torrente Comunelli until 20 August 1943, then at Gerbini Airfield. Watkins, p. 71.
  6. ^ Station number in Johnson.
  7. ^ Station information in Bailey, except as noted.


See also[edit]