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Basic-Flying-Training-WEB.jpg

"GD" coded BT-13's based at Greenwood AAF, MS


Official USAAF photo courtesy of the Alan Hammons Collection



Basic Flying Training was a 70 hour program expended over nine weeks to achieve the following: formation flying,

instrument flying, flying by aerial navigation, night flying, long distance flying, use of two-way radio, use of a 2- pitch

prop and operating an aircraft that was significantly heavier aircraft than those used in the Primary program. 

In the early days of WWII the Basic aircraft type was the NAA BT-9 and BT-14. These types were soon replaced by

the Vultee Valiant (Source: NMUSAF). Beginning in late 1943 the USAAF (as well as the USN) began replacing the

Valiant with the North American AT-6 Texan. Therefore it will be will noted that the AT-6 is occasionally mentioned

 as an assigned trainer. The transition to the AT-6 was never 100 per cent by V-J Day.

 

Upon completion of Basic the cadet would move on to either an Advanced single-engine school (i.e. fighter aircraft) or

to an Advanced two-engine school in preparation for a multi-engine assignment. 

 




USAAF Western Flying Training Command

Army Air Field

Field Letter Code

Aircraft

Code Letter Source

Chico, CA 

M

BT-13

Moffett Field*

Gardner Field, CA

F

BT-13

TaFt, CA

Lemoore, CA

R

BT-13

LemooRe

Marana, AZ

S

BT-13, AT-6

Sahuaro

Mather Field, CA

I,T **

BT-13, AT-6

Instructor, MaTher

Merced, CA

E

BT-13, AT-6

MErced

Minter Field, CA

L

BT-13

Lerdo

Moffett Field, CA 

M

BT-13

Moffett

Pecos, TX 

P

BT-13, AT-6

Pecos

Stockton Field, CA 

K

BT-13

StocKton

 

 

Historical Notes

 

* Field letter code "M" was originally assigned to Moffett Field when it was a USAAC base. In 1942 Moffett Field was returned to the USN and the USAAC transfered its assets to a new base in Chico, CA. The BT-13's retained the same letter code of "M".

 

** Both letter codes of   "I" & "T" were used concurrently at Mather. The "I" identified aircraft of the brief "Centralized Pilot Instructors School".

 

 Stockton Field: Originally an advanced S-E school using the AT-6. At some point in time it converted to an adv 2-E school using AT-20 et.al. In 1944 it converted again to a Basic Flying school.

 

 Pecos AAF: In 1944 Pecos AAF converted from a Basic Flying school to an adv-2E school utilizing AT-17 / UC-78 aircraft.    


 

 

Cal-Aero / Polaris Contract Basic Flying Schools

Airfield

Field Letter Code

Aircraft

Ontario (Chino), CA

A, then O

BT-13

Lancaster (War Eagle), CA

B

BT-13


 
Historical Notes

When BFTS#2 closed out of Lancaster, CA (War Eagle Field) the Polaris Academy performed contract Basic flying training for USAAF cadets. The British field letter code of "BL" was changed to "B" as Cal-Aero (Chino) was an "A". In 1944 basic training at Chino was cancelled and some assets were transferred to Lancaster. Therefore Lancaster had a mix of letter codes of both A & B. 
 
In mid 1944 Cal Aero's Mira Loma Academy Contract Primary school (Oxnard) re-located to War Eagle (Lancaster) and replaced Polaris Academy contract basic.  
 
 
 
    

 

USAAF Central Flying Training Command

Army Air Field

Field Letter Code

Aircraft

Code Letter Source

Avenger Field,  TX

U

BT-13

HoUston, TX

Coffeyville, KS *

(NLA)

BT-13, BT-14

 

Enid, OK 

(NLA)

BT-13

 

Garden City, KS

(NLA)

BT-13

 

Goodfellow Field, TX (to 1944)

#E 

BT-9, BT-13, BT-14

 

Goodfellow Field, TX (post 1944)

#E 

AT-6

 unknown

Independence, KS * *

S

BT-13, BT-14

unknown

Majors Field, TX

(NLA)

BT-13

 

Perrin Field, TX

N

BT-13, BT-14

PerriN

Randolph Field, TX

H, #G 

BT-9, BT-13, BT-14

RandolpH

Strother Field, KS

# K

BT-13

Kansas

Waco, TX

#J

BT-13, AT-6

 

 

(NLA):  No Letter Assigned 

 #  The field letter code was a suffix to the sequential number (e.g. 201K)

 

 Historical Notes

 

* In 1944 Basic Flying Training was terminated at Coffeyville and it became a Photo-Recon training base

** Post WWII Independence AAF became a storage site for 3400 aircraft.

 


USAAF Eastern Flying Training Command


Army Air Field

Field Letter Code

Aircraft

Code Letter Source

Bush Field, GA

A

BT-13

Augusta, GA

Bainbridge, GA

B

BT-13, AT-6

Bainbridge

Cochran Field, GA

C

BT-13, AT-6

Cochran

Courtland, AL

CL

BT-13

CourtLand

Gunter Field, AL

G

BT-13, BT-14, AT-6

Gunter

Greenwood, MS

GD

BT-13

GreenwooD

Greenville, MS

GR

BT-13

GReenville

Jackson, MS

J

BT-13, AT-6

Jackson

Malden, MO

ML

BT-13

MaLden

Maxwell, AL

M

BT-13

Maxwell

Newport, AR

NE

BT-13

NEwport

Shaw Field, SC 

S

BT-13, AT-6

Shaw

Spence Field, GA *

SP

AT-6

SPence

Tuskegee, AL

TU

BT-13

TUskegee

Walnut Ridge, AR

W

BT-13

Walnut

 

 

Historical Notes

* In 1945 basic flight training was transferred from Cochran to Spence utilizing the AT-6.

 

 Basic flying training was conducted at Stewart Field, NY and was excusively for the cadets at the USMA, West Point, NY. Their BT-13's did not display a field letter code.

 

Some General Notes of Interest... 

  • Vultee Valiant production for the USAAF: 9,525 (BT-13: 7,832) + (BT-15: 1,693).
  • Cadets received about 70 hours flight time prior to moving on to advanced.
  • The above training aircraft field letter codes for the EFTC were assigned by a letter dated 20 May 1942 from "HQ, S.E. Army Air Forces Training Center, Maxwell Field, Ala".
  • According to W. Larkins text "Surplus WWII U.S. Aircraft" pg.180, BT-13's were selling for $ 450.00 (Jan 1946 price).
  • According to W. Larkins text "Surplus WWII U.S. Aircraft"  pg 189, 5237 BT-13's were placed on the surplus market by the WAA.
  • As of June 2016 it is estimated that there are fewer than 50 Valiants remaining as 'airworthy'. 



Photo Gallery 

 
Western Flying Training Commnd (WFTC)
 
  

chicoBT13no2.jpg
GardBT13no2.jpg
LemooreBT-13No2.jpg

"M" coded BT-13 's based at  Chico AAF, CA 
 

USAAF photo from the Collction of Ken Crist

"F" coded BT-13 based at Gardner Field, CA



USAAF Photo from the Collection of Ken Crist 

"R" coded BT-15 based at Lemoore AAF, CA  



W.T. Larkins photo

MaranaAT-6.jpg
MarBT-13.jpg
MercedBT13.jpg

"S" coded AT-6 based at Marana AAF, AZ utilized in 'BT' role
 
Harry Thorell photo from Collection of W.T. Larkins  

"S" coded BT-13 based at Marana AAF, AZ


Official USAAF photo courtesy of theS. Hoza Collection

"E" coded BT-13 based at Merced AAF, CA


USAAF Photo from the Collection of Ken Crist

MercedAT6.jpg
MintBT13No9.jpg
MoffetBT13.jpg

"E" coded AT-6 based at Merced AAF, CA utilized in "BT" role


USAAF photo from the Collection of Ken Crist

"L" coded  BT-13 based at Minter Field, CA


 USAAF Photo from Collection of Ken Crist

"M" coded BT-13's based at Moffett Field, CA


USAAF Photo from the Collection of Ken Crist

MysBT13.jpg
PecosNo2.jpg
StockBT-13.jpg

"P" coded BT-13 based at Pecos AAF, TX
 
 
Collection of W.T. Larkins 

"P" coded Nacelle on Pecos BT-13
 
 USAAF Photo 

"K marked BT-13 based at Stockton AAF, CA
 
 
Ken Crist collection 

 

Note: With the exception of Lemoore and Minter Fields ALL aircraft in the WFTC utilized a hyphen between the field code letter and the field number.

 

 

 

  Civilian Contract Flight Training

 

 

BT-13ChinoNo2.jpg
WarEagleBT-13.jpg
MYSBT15.jpg

"A" coded BT-13's based at Cal-Aero, Chino, CA


USAAF Photo courtesy of the Ken Crist Collection

"B" coded BT-13 operated by Polaris Academy, Lancaster (War Eagle Field), CA


Photo courtesy of California State Military Museum

"O" coded BT-15 operated by Cal-Aero at  Chino, CA

 


Photo by W.T. Larkins

 

 

 

 Central Flying Training Command (CFTC)

 

 

SwtrBT-13.jpg
AT6Goodfellow.jpg
IndependenceBT14.jpg

"U" coded BT-13 based at Avenger Field, TX



Photo credit as noted

"E" (suffix) T-6 based at Goodfellow AAF, TX utilized in "BT" role


USAAF photo from the Collection of Craig Fuller 

"S" coded BT-14 based at Independence AAF, KS


USAAF Photo 

PerrinBT13no1.jpg
unkBT-14.jpg
StrotherBT13.jpg

"N" coded  BT-13 based at Perrin Field, TX



Official USAAF Photo

"G" (suffix) BT-14 based at Randolph Field, TX
 
Photo courtesy of the SDAM 

"K"  (suffix) coded BT-13's based at Strother Field, KS 

Photo courtesy of Strother Field Airport, KS
Official USAAF Photo

JBT-13.jpg
GOOD_BT-13.jpg

I am still looking for the following three period images of  BT-13 aircraft to complete this section:
 
"TU" marked aircraft from Tuskegee AAF, Al 
 
"H" marked marked aircraft from Randolph Field ,TX
 
"K" marked aircraft from Stockton AAF, CA 
 
Can anyone help out on this quest ?? 

"J" (suffix ) BT-13 based at Waco AAF, TX
 
Photo courtesy of the SDAM 

"E" (Suffix) coded BT-13 based at Goodfellow AAF, TX
 
Source: USAFHRA 

 

 

Note that the incidence of 'suffix' coded Field Letters appears to be unique to the CFTC aircraft.

 

 

 

 Eastern Flying Training Command  (EFTC)

 

 

Bush_BT-13Rev.jpg
BainBT-13.jpg
CochranBT-13No2.jpg

"A" coded BT-13's based at Bush Field, GA

 

USAAF Photo

"B" coded BT-13 based at Bainbridge AAF, GA


Photo courtesy of San Diego Air & Space Museum

 "C" coded BT-13 based at Cochran Field, GA  

 


Source: Collection of Ken Crist

CochAT6no1.jpg
CortBT-13.jpg
GuntBT13No2.jpg

"C" coded AT-6's based at Cochran Field, GA utilized in "BT" role


USAAF Photo

"CL" coded BT-13 based at Courtland AAF, AL


Photo courtesy of San Diego Air and Space Museum 

"G" coded BT-13 based Gunter Field, AL


USAAF Photo

GunterAT-6.jpg
GRB-13No1.jpg
GDBT-13.jpg

"G" coded AT-6 based at Gunter AAF, AL utilized in 'BT' Role 
 
 
USAAF Photo 

 "GR" coded BT-13 based at Greenville AAF, MS 
 
 
 
Official USAAF Photo 

"GD" coded BT-13 based at Greenwood AAF, MS


Photo from the Collection of Allan Hammons

Jackson_BT-13No3.jpg
MaldenBT-13.jpg
Max_BT-15No2.jpg

"J" coded BT-13 based at Jackson AAF, MS
 
Photo from the NIMH Collection 

"ML"  coded BT-13's based at Malden AAF, MO
 
Photo Courtesy of the Malden MO, MAAPS Military Museum 

"M" coded BT-13's based at Maxwell Field, AL
 
USAAF photo from Air University Office, Maxwell AFB, AL  
 
 

NewportBT-13.jpg
NewportBT-13No.4.jpg
ShawBT13.jpg


"NE" coded BT-13 based at Newport AAF, AR

 

Photo courtesy of Jackson Co. Library, Newport, AR,

RE: "Newport Army Airfield Armed Forces Training Command", Army & Navy Publishing of Lousiana, Baton Rouge, LA


Official USAAF Photo

Interesting color usage on  Field Letter Code for Newport AAF aircraft. Source of image unknown...

"S" coded BT-13's  based at Shaw Field, SC


USAAF Photo from the Collection of Ken Crist

SpenceAT-6No2.jpg
TuskAT-6.jpg
WalnutRidgeBT-13.jpg

"SP" coded AT-6 based at Spence AAF, GA utilized in "BT" role
 
 
Source: Collection of Ken Crist 

"TU" marked AT-6 based at Tuskegee AAF, AL  utilized  in "BT" role
 
 
Source: Collection of Ken Crist 

"W" coded BT-13 based at Walnut Ridge AAF, AR 


USAAF photo from the Collection of Ken Crist

 
 
Note: More BT-13 images are illustrated in the subsection titled Miscellaneous Codes