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Aviation Cadet Training History

The Pilot Training Program was originally created by the U.S. Army to train its pilots. It began in 1907 by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, and later expanded as the Army's air assets increased. Applicants had to be between the ages of 19 and 25, athletic, and honest. Two years of college or three years of a scientific or technical education were required. Cadets were supposed to be unmarried and pledged not to marry during training.

In 1938 the U.S. Army Air Corps was expanded to 24 groups.They offered three 12-week cycles or nine months.

  1. Primary Flight Training was performed by contracted civilian flight schools.
  2. Basic Flight Training was performed at Randolph Field.
  3. Advanced Flight Training was done at Kelly Field and Brooks Field.

Cadet flight training was reduced in 1940 to seven months and only 200 flight hours to meet the demand for military pilots. From June 30, 1940 to June 30, 1941 the US Army Air Corps tripled in size from 51,165 men to 152,125 men.

"On 20 June 1941, the air arm of the U.S. Army previously known as the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) became the "U.S. Army Air Forces" (USAAF). The grade of Aviation Cadet was created for pilot candidates and the program was renamed the Aviation Cadet Training Program (AvCad). Cadets were paid $75 a month ($50 base pay + $25 "flight pay") – the same rate as Army Air Corps privates with flight status- and a uniform allowance of $150. As junior officers, cadets were addressed as "Mister" by all ranks. The program was expanded in May 1942 to also cover training navigators and bombardiers and Moffett Field became the first center to give "pre-flight" training to them. Other specialties covered included communications, armament, meteorology, and radar operation; they were conventional Army warrant officers who attended an appropriate USAAF warrant officer school."  - Wikipedia

Links to other Internet Sources on pilot training during WWII.:

The C. E. Daniel Collection: The site presents a collection of items from WWII to illustrate the Army Air Corp training and its tasking program."The task of making it successfully through flight school was no easy task and many would-be recruits found themselves washed out of the training programs and on their way to carrying a rifle as part of an infantry unit, or off to learn another trade as part of an aircrew. "