The 2nd Fighter Training Squadron, American Beagles, is one of only "2" U.S. Air Force T-38 Talon adversary squadrons, and is tasked to provide world class, professional air-to-air threat replication in support of F-22 Raptor combat and formal training squadrons. The squadron is manned by highly experienced fighter pilots and support personnel with backgrounds in virtually every USAF fighter major weapons system. Additionally, the squadron maintains readiness to augment worldwide combat operations.
Known as the "American Beagle Squadron," the 2nd Pursuit Squadron was constituted on 20 Nov 1940, and activated on Jan. 15, 1941. The squadron served in World War II with the 52nd Pursuit Group, and during that period flew the Curtis P-40 Warhawk and Bell P-39 Aerocobra. In addition, they also flew combat operations in the Supermarine Spitfire and P-51 Mustang in the European and Mediterranean Theaters. The 2nd PS served specifically in air campaigns in Europe, Algeria-French Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Normandy, Northern France, Southern France, north Appennines, Rhineland, Central Europe, Po Valley, and performed air combat in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater. The unit received two Distinguished Unit Citations for operations in Germany and Romania in 1944. During this time, the American Beagles destroyed 184 and 1/3 enemy aircraft with an additional 14 probable and 44 damaged. Eleven Beagle pilots earned the title of ace.
Following World War II, the unit was deactivated on 7 Nov 1945 at Drew Field, Fla. The squadron was activated again on Nov. 9, 1946 and was assigned to the 52nd Fighter Group. During this time, it served tours in Schweinfurt and Bad Kissingen, Germany. Returning to Mitchell Field, N.Y., the squadron was designated the 2nd Fighter Squadron and flew the Northrop P-61 Black Widow. In 1949, the squadron was moved to McGuire Field, N.J., where it began flying the North American F-82 Twin Mustang.
In 1950, the 2nd FS became the 2nd Fighter All Weather Squadron and was outfitted with the Lockheed F-94 Starfire. One year later the unit was redesignated the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron and began flying the Republic F-84 Thunderjet.
Realignment in 1952 saw the 2nd FAWS assigned first to the 4709th Defense Wing, and one year later to the 568th Air Defense Group. In 1953, the squadron was introduced to the North American F-86D Sabre Jet. Reassignment to the 52nd Fighter Group took place in August 1955, and the squadron moved its operations to Suffolk County Air Force Base, N.Y. In 1957, the first delta wing fighter, the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger, was assigned to the unit to be replaced in 1959 with the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo. The squadron flew the F-101 for 10 years before being deactivated in 1969.
In 1971, the squadron was reactivated under the 23rd Air Division at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Mich, flying the supersonic all weather Convair F-106 Delta Dart. The unit received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for its activities during 1971-1972, but was deactivated March 31, 1973. In August 1974, the squadron was reactivated as the 2nd Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron at the Air Defense Weapons Center located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla, where it continued to fly the F-106. On Feb. 1, 1982 the unit was redesignated the 2nd Fighter Weapons Squadron, and it had the privilege of training the last active duty F-106 pilots.
In May 1984, the squadron was redesignated the 2nd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron and began flying the F-15C Eagle and training future MiG killers in the art of air-to-air combat in the world's greatest air superiority fighter. On Nov. 1, 1991, the name was changed to the 2d Fighter Squadron and the American Beagles continued to train Eagle drivers until it's deactivation on May 7, 2010.
The squadron reactivated at Tyndall AFB, FL, on Aug. 22, 2014 and was designated the 2d Fighter Training Squadron. Today the American Beagles are proud to continue the squadron's long and distinguished history, flying the T-38 to provide world class air-to-air threat replication for the F-22 Raptor, and ensuring Team Tyndall can continue to train and project unrivaled combat power.
Lieutenant Col. Chad M. Richards