337th Flight Test Squadron

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337th Flight Test Squadron
337th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron F-104 56-813.jpg
337th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Lockheed F-104 Starfighter[note 1]
Active1942–1944; 1954–1960; 1982–1985; 1988–2001
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
TypeFlight Test
Part ofAir Force Materiel Command
Nickname(s)Falcons[1]
EngagementsEuropean Theater of Operations[2]
DecorationsAFOUA[2]
Insignia
337th Flight Test Squadron emblem (approved 1 July 1982)[1]337 Tactical Fighter Sq emblem.png
Patch with 337th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron emblem (approved 9 June 1955)[3]337th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Emblem.png

The 337th Flight Test Squadron was most recently part of the 46th Test Wing and based at McClellan Air Force Base, California. It performed depot acceptance testing until being inactivated with the closure of McClellan on 13 July 2001.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Activated in 1942 at Keflavik, Iceland, equipped with Lockheed P-38 Lightnings. Mission was to intercept and destroy German planes that on occasion attempted to attack Iceland or that appeared in that area on reconnaissance missions. Returned to the United States in November 1942 as a IV Fighter Command Lightning Replacement Training Unit (RTU). Trained P-38 pilots in California and Washington State until phaseout of Lightning training in March 1944.

Air defense[edit]

Reactivated in 1953 as an Air Defense Command interceptor squadron. Performed air defense mission over Minneapolis and Upper Midwest United States, 1953-1955 with Northrop F-89D Scorpions. Reassigned to air defense of Boston and New England with North American F-86D Sabres. In 1957 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.

Received new Lockheed F-104A Starfighter interceptor aircraft in early 1958, the third ADC squadron to receive the F-104. In addition, the squadron received the two-seat, dual-control, combat trainer F-104B. The performance of the F-104B was almost identical to that of the F-104A, but the lower internal fuel capacity reduced its effective range considerably. However, the F-104A was not very well suited for service as an interceptor. Its low range was a problem for North American air defense, and its lack of all-weather capability made it incapable of operating in conjunction with the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) system. Service with the ADC was consequently quite brief, and the F-104As of the 337th were transferred to the Air National Guard.

With the transfer of the Starfighters, ADC shut down operations at Westover Air Force Base and the 337th was inactivated in July 1960.

Tactical fighter operations[edit]

Reactivated as a McDonnell F-4 Phantom II tactical fighter squadron at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in 1982-1985.

Flight test operations[edit]

Was a flight test squadron at McClellan Air Force Base. Conducted flight tests on aircraft returning to active service after depot maintenance, modification, or repair[2] from 1988-2001. Inactivated with closure of McClellan.

Lineage[edit]

337th Tactical Fighter Squadron
  • Constituted as the 337th Fighter Squadron on 29 August 1942
Activated on 11 September 1942
Redesignated: 337th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 1 July 1942
Redesignated: 37th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine on 5 February 1944
Disbanded on 31 March 1944
  • Reconstituted, and redesignated 337th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, on 23 March 1953
Activated on 8 July 1954
Discontinued on 8 July 1960
  • Redesignated 337th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 11 December 1981
Activated on 1 April 1982
Inactivated on 1 July 1985
  • Consolidated with the 2874th Test Squadron as the 337th Test Squadron on 1 October 1992[2]
337th Flight Test Squadron
  • Designated as the 2874th Test Squadron and activated, on 15 January 1988
  • Consolidated with the 337th Tactical Fighter Squadron as the 337th Test Squadron on 1 October 1992
Redesignated 337th Flight Test Squadron on 1 March 1994[2]
Inactivated: 13 July 2001[citation needed]

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning, 1942–1944
  • Northrop F-89D Scorpion, 1954–1955
  • North American F-86D Sabre, 1955–1957
  • North American F-86L Sabre Interceptor, 1957-1958
  • Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, 1958–1960
  • McDonnel F-4E Phantom II, 1982–1985[2]
  • General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark[citation needed]

Commanders[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is Lockheed F-104A-20-LO Starfighter serial 56-813, taken on 23 May 1958
Citations
  1. ^ a b Endicott, p. 746
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Factsheet 337 Flight Test Squadron". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  3. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 417

Bibliography[edit]

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