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Forging Combat Pilots: Transition Training

Transition training. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Transition training. (U.S. Air Force photo)

After months of toil, the coveted silver wings are pinned on. (U.S. Air Force photo)

After months of toil, the coveted silver wings are pinned on. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The successful completion of pilot training was a difficult and dangerous task. From January 1941 to August 1945, 191,654 cadets who were awarded pilot wings. However, there were also 132,993 who "washed out" or were killed during training, a loss rate of approximately 40 percent due to accidents, academic or physical problems, and other causes.

Those who graduated from flying school were usually assigned to transition training in the type of plane they were to fly in combat. The transition training, usually lasting about two months, became their last opportunity to prepare for combat before they deployed overseas.

Click here to return to the AAF Training During WWII Overview.

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