Holux Overview 3: SAAB /Western Flying Training Command
Santa Ana Army Air Base (SAAB)
The Santa Ana Army Air Base (SAAAB) was built & activated in January 1942 in Orange County California. It was used for basic and pre-flight training; it did not have planes, hangars or runways.
Santa Ana was re-designated in 1943 as the Western Flying Training Command, and it commanded flying training (pre-flight, basic, primary and advanced) at airfields in the Western United States.
In 1981, Edrick J. Miller authored the book "The SAAAB Story", which detailed the history of the Base for the Costa Mesa (CA) Historical Society. The book was the "Rosetta Stone" that confirmed how the six pilots knew each other -- that they were all together in the "Class 44-A" series of four pilot training classes, from April, 1943 through January 7, 1944
Western Flying Training Command Class (WFTC)
Documented Training History of the 6 Class 44-A Pilots
Kitzman, Buttner, & Riha received Pre-Flight Training at Santa Ana
Mapes received Primary Training at WFTC's Chino Air Base
Kitzman & Higgins had Basic Training at WFTC's Chico Air Base
Kitzman graduated from Douglas Air Base AZ on 01/07/44
Buttner, Riha, & Brew graduated from Luke Air Base on 01/07/44