5th Flying Training Squadron

The 5th Flying Training Squadron is part of the United States Air Force's Air Force Reserve Command serving as a reserve associate squadron operating with the 71st Flying Training Wing t Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. It operates the Raytheon T-1 Jayhawk, Northrop T-38C Talon, and Beechcraft T-6A Texan II aircraft conducting flight training in support of the 71st Operations Group.

5th Flying Training Squadron
5th Flying Training Squadron T-1 Jayhawk
Active1941–1945; 1946–1988;
1990–1991; 1997–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RolePilot Training
Part ofAir Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQVance Air Force Base, Oklahoma
Nickname(s)Spittin' Kittens
Motto(s)Isti Non Penetrabunt Latin They Shall not Penetrate[note 1]

  • World War II EAME Theatre[1]

  • Distinguished Unit Citation (2×)

  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (5×)[1]
Jacksel M. Broughton
5th Flying Training Squadron emblem[1][note 2]
5th Fighter-All Weather Sq emblem (approved 16 January 1951)[2]
5th Fighter Squadron emblem (World War II)[3]


World War II

The squadron was established at Selfridge Field, Michigan as the 5th Pursuit Squadron an Army Air Corps fighter squadron in January 1941. It was assigned to the Northeast Air District with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks and Bell P-39 Airacobras as part of the defense buildup prior to the United States entry into World War II.

It deployed to the European Theater of Operations, assigned to VIII Fighter Command in August 1942. Its Airacobras were deemed unsuitable for the environment for escort duty. It was re-equipped with Supermarine Spitfires and was trained by the Royal Air Force. It flew some escort missions with VIII Bomber Command Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and Consolidated B-24 Liberators during the fall of 1942.

It was sent to North Africa in late 1942 as part of the Operation Torch invasion forces, and took up station in Algeria. It was reassigned to Twelfth Air Force and flew both fighter escort missions for the Flying Fortresses operating from Algeria and 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. It 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. It continued offensive operations until the German capitulation in May 1945. It returned to the United States and was inactivated during the fall of 1945.

Air Defense Command

5th Fighter Squadron P-61B Black Widow[note 3]

It was reactivated in 1946 as a United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) fighter squadron. It was primarily an occupation unit at Schweinfurt Airfield and Bad Kissingen Airfield in Germany. It was reassigned from USAFE to Air Defense Command (ADC) in June 1947, equipped with Northrop P-61 Black Widows, and stationed at Mitchel Field, New York, to perform air defense of the eastern United States.

In June 1948 the unit transitioned into North American F-82 Twin Mustangs. In the fall of 1949 the unit moved to McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey. In August 1955 the 5th moved on paper to Suffolk County Air Force Base, New York. In the spring of 1957 the unit transitioned into Convair F-102 Delta Daggers.

In February 1960 the 5th moved to Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and transitioned into the Convair F-106 Delta Dart under the 32d Fighter Wing.[4] Although the number of ADC interceptor squadrons remained almost constant in the early 1960s, attrition (and the fact that production lines closed in 1961) caused a gradual drop in the number of planes assigned to typical fighter squadrons, from 24 to typically 18 by 1964 and 12 by 1967. These reductions resulted in the squadron's parent 32d Fighter Wing's inactivation and the transfer of Minot to Strategic Air Command in July 1962.[4][5]

5th FIS F-106As flying past Mt. Rushmore in 1981

On 22 October 1962, before President John F. Kennedy told Americans that missiles were in place in Cuba, the squadron dispersed one third of its force, equipped with nuclear tipped missiles to Hector Field at the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis.[6][7] These planes returned to Minot after the crisis. In late 1962 the 5th acquired two live lynx kittens ("Spitten" and "Kitten") as mascots, with the assistance of the Minot Daily News, after a farmer had killed their mother.[8][9]

In the mid-1980s the 5th converted to the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagles. The F-15s only flew over Minot until the spring of 1988, when the FIS was inactivated. The lynx den in the squadron was one of the few places where Canada lynx had bred in captivity in the U.S.,[9] prompting both the St. Louis and San Diego Zoos to copy it in an attempt to get their own lynx inhabitants to produce offspring. Several generations of lynx flourished there, and after the unit was inactivated, Delta and Dart, twin kitten descendants of the original two Lynx kitten mascots were donated to the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot.

Pilot training

It was reactivated in 1990 as an Air Training Command (later Air Education and Training Command) undergraduate pilot Training squadron at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, but was inactivated in December of the following year. The squadron was activated again at Vance in 1997, but this time as a reserve unit. As an associate unit, it trains pilots and pilot instructors alongside the active duty members of the 71st Flying Training Wing.[1]


  • Constituted as the 5th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Redesignated 5th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Inactivated on 7 November 1945
  • Activated on 9 November 1946
Redesignated 5th Fighter Squadron, All Weather on 10 May 1948
Redesignated 5th Fighter-All Weather Squadron on 20 January 1950
Redesignated 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 1 May 1951
  • Inactivated on 1 July 1988
Redesignated 5th Flying Training Squadron on 1 January 1990
  • Activated on 16 February 1990
  • Inactivated on 15 December 1991
Redesignated 5th Flying Training Flight and activated in the reserve on 1 April 1997
Redesignated 5th Flying Training Squadron on 1 April 1998[1]




See also



Explanatory notes
  1. As an ADC squadron, the squadron's motto was Isti Non Penetrabunt, literally "they shall not penetrate", but colloquially to crews as The Bastards Shall Not Pass Broughton 2007, p. 274
  2. The emblem was modified after 1963 to bring the lightning bolts within the disc. Maurer, p. 34
  3. Aircraft is Northrop P-61B-10-NO Black Widow, serial 42-39567, taken in December 1947.
  1. Haulman, Daniel L. (8 January 2008). "Factsheet 5 Flying Training Squadron (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 10 August 2018.
  2. Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 34–35
  3. Watkins, pp.24–25
  4. Ravenstein, pp. 57–58
  5. McMullen, pp. 41, 43–45
  6. McMullen, pp. 10–12
  7. NORAD/CONAD Participation in the Cuban Missile Crisis, p. 16
  8. Broughton, pp. 276–278
  9. "Spittin' Kitten family expands". Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. Associated Press. 26 May 1970. p. 13.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Broughton, Jack (2007). Rupert Red Two: A Fighter Pilot's Life from Thunderbolts to Thunderchiefs. Zenith Press. pp. 276–278. ISBN 978-0-7603-3217-7.
  • Cornett, Lloyd H.; Johnson, Mildred W. (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946–1980 (PDF). Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
  • Watkins, Robert A. (2009). Insignia and Aircraft Markings of the U.S. Army Air Force in World War II. Volume IV, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater of Operations. Atglen,PA: Shiffer Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7643-3401-6.
  • McMullen, Richard F. (1964) "The Fighter Interceptor Force 1962-1964" ADC Historical Study No. 27, Air Defense Command, Ent Air Force Base, CO (Confidential, declassified 22 Mar 2000)
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947–1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • NORAD/CONAD Participation in the Cuban Missile Crisis, Historical Reference Paper No. 8, Directorate of Command History Continental Air Defense Command, Ent AFB, CO, 1 Feb 63 (Top Secret NOFORN declassified 9 March 1996)
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