Laughlin Air Force Base
Laughlin Air Force Base (1943-1945, 1952-Active) - A United States Air Force Base first established on 3 Mar 1943 as Laughlin Army Air Field at Del Rio, Val Verde County, Texas. Named after Jack T. Laughlin, a B-17E Flying Fortress pilot killed in action on 29 Jan 1942. Closed in October 1945. Reopened on 1 May 1952 as Laughlin Air Force Base during the Korean War. Active U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training base.
Established during World War II on 3 Mar 1943 as Laughlin Army Air Field at Del Rio, Val Verde County, Texas. The field became known as Laughlin Field on 11 Nov 1943 and later became an Army Air Force Auxiliary Field. Laughlin's primary mission during World War II was B-26 pilot and aircrew training. It was closed in October 1945 at the end of the war.
Laughlin reopened as Laughlin Air Force Base on 1 May 1952 during the Korean War to provide training for replacement pilots headed to the combat zone in Korea. Following the war, Laughlin retained the jet training mission until 1 Apr 1957 when the Strategic Air Command (SAC) took over operation of the base.
SAC operated high-altitude reconnaissance and air sampling with the Lockheed U-2A and the RB-57D Canberra aircraft at Laughlin. In 1961 the Laughlin mission expanded to include an Air Training Command (ATC) undergraduate pilot training program with T-37 and T-33 trainer aircraft. The SAC mission continued as a base tenant until 1963.
The current mission of the host 47th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin AFB includes specialized undergraduate pilot training. The Wing provides training for the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard and allied nation air forces using the T-6A Texan II, the T-38C Talon, and T-1A Jayhawk aircraft.
The T-1A Jayhawk is a two seater propeller aircraft used as the primary trainer. The T-38C jet aircraft is a twin engine fighter aircraft trainer while the T-1A Jayhawk is a twin engine jet transport trainer aircraft. The 47th Flying Training Wing at Laughlin AFB trains some 400 new military pilots each year in an intensive 52-week course.
Visited: 27 Nov 2017