Page 29 - Volume 11 Number 3
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quickly changed, however, and during the first two years of the conflict about one million men were engaged in training activities as pilots, bombardiers, navigators, radio operators, gunners and technicians. Within the AAFTC was the Flying Training Command, and one of Yount’s first challenges was to build airfields to train aircrews. In the South, where the weather was generally good for flying year-round, training bases sprang up quickly and arriving cadets soon found themselves flying the AT-10 and other training aircraft from half-finished runways, often dodging bulldozers and workmen as they struggled day and night to make the airfields fully operational.
All cadets entered a 10-week advanced flying training course that included 70 hours of flying, 60 hours of ground school and 19 hours of training in military protocol and procedures. Cadets chosen to fly multi- engine bombers and transports flew the AT-9, AT-10, AT-17 and AT-24. Based on their performance, pilots were assigned to type-specific training in medium or heavy bombers, transports, troop carriers or multi-engine fighters that they would fly in combat. Upon completion of their training, graduates received their silver pilot wings and were commissioned as second lieutenants.
Taking Moody Field as an example, beginning in February 1942 and continuing until April 1945, the
Beechcraft AT-10 and other advanced training aircraft were kept busy teaching pilots the art of multi-engine flight, flying by sole reference to flight instruments, and the critical skill of flying in formation. Transitioning from single- to multi-engine airplanes, however, was not a simple task and possessed its own dangers. During the war, there were 191,654 cadets that successfully completed the program, but another 132,993 did not and were “washed out” or killed during training.
Tony Bovinich was among those pilots who trained in the AT-10. “I went to Randolph Field (located in Texas) and flew the AT-10. They were great to fly and I made some real short-field landings over a fence. It did not bother me that the airframe was made of wood. I figured it was put together pretty good or else we would not be flying them.” After his training at Randolph Feld, Bovinich was assigned to Douglas Army Air Base and taught pilots in the Curtiss AT-9, then he was transferred to Roswell, New Mexico, for transition training to the Boeing B-17. By the end of the war he was training to fly the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.3
Another pilot, Homer L. Keisler, graduated from multi- engine transition training at Blythville, Arkansas, where he flew the AT-10, but these airplanes were built by subcontractor Globe Aircraft Corporation, not Beech Aircraft Corporation. Keisler recalled that he and his

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