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TAI Pilot Hat Badge

Hondo Air Base, TX 1950-1958

TAI stands for Texas Aviation Industries. The company trained pilots for the military. As a result of the Cold War and the expansion of the United States Air Force, Hondo Air Base was reopened and activated 5 June 1950 by the USAF Air Training Command, as a contract flying training school. The 3304th Pilot Training Group was activated at the base operating J-3's, and T-6s in a joint effort with Texas Aviation Industries, directed training pilots under the supervision of the United States Air Force. In 1955, they were replaced with T-28s, and T-34s. In 1957 a golf course was constructed on the base through the efforts of base commander Lt Col Earl V. Riley. A golf tournament bearing his name remained a yearly event in the 1980s. This arrangement ended when Air Training Command discontinued its 3304th Pilot Training Group at Hondo on 1 July 1958. Training had stopped on 30 June, and ATC formerly closed its facilities on 31 October 1958.

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