84th Flying Training Squadron
Published December 01, 2008
The 84th Flying Training Squadron, Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, together with the 85th Flying Training Squadron, conducts the T-37 flying training portion of Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training.
The squadron was activated in 1942, the 84th Fighter Interceptor Squadron was an active and integral part of America's victory in World War II. Flying the P-38 "Lightning" and redesignated the 84th Pursuit Squadron, the 84th moved several times, ending up in California. The squadron was again redesignated, this time as the 84th Fighter Squadron, and shipped off to England. Change continued for the 84th, as they were reequipped with the P-47 "Thunderbolt". Soon after that, the unit lost most of its pilots and planes to the war effort in North Africa and it wasn't until April 1943, with new pilots and planes, that the unit saw it's first combat. During the war the 84th flew everything from bomber escort to fighter-bomber missions.
In September 1944, the 84th contributed its part to the Arnhem-Nijem airborne landings. Attacking and silencing numerous ground positions during the airborne assault, the unit was credited with saving scores of American and British troop transports. For this action the 84th received the Distinguished Unit Citation.
In December 1944 the 84th began flying the P-51 "Mustang". They used their new plane very successfully and on 10 April destroyed 58 aircraft on the ground earning the 84th its second Distinguished Unit Citation. In April 1944 the 84th flew its last combat mission escorting British bombers on their way to Hitler's "Eagle's Nest". The squadron completed three years overseas and was credited with 260 German aircraft destroyed.
The 84th returned to the United States in October 1945 and was inactivated. The squadron lay dormant for 3 years and then was reactivated in November 1948, now flying the F-84 "Thunderjet". Since that time the unit has had the F-94B, F-94C, all operational models of the F-89, the F-101B and the F-106.
In July 1981 the squadron was redesignated the 84th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron and received a fleet of T-33s to train in. The training squadron was inactivated in February 1987.
Then in April 1990 the squadron was resurrected to meet the increased demand for pilots. The 84th was designated a Flying Training Squadron (FTS) and joined the 85th FTS in training pilots in the T-37 at Laughlin AFB. Again yielding to changes in pilot production the squadron was inactivated in October 1992. In 1998 pilot production increased again and the 84th FTS was reactivated on October 1, 1998.