Cadet Captain Tom Doyle and the 49th CTS
The 49th Cadet Training Squadron of the Cadet Training Group is unlike any other in CTG history. No cadets were ever assigned to the 49th CTS; the number was set aside in honor of a former member of the Cadet Training Group. Cadet Captain Tom Doyle was a Northern California youth who was a leader in both his school and community, a licensed pilot at age 17 and an outstanding cadet member of the Civil Air Patrol. Cadet Doyle was selected to command the 18th CTS at Ford Ord in the summer of 1980.
However, a change in personnel requirements resulted in the activation of only one CTS in 1980 instead of the three initially planned squadrons. Shortly after the Fort Ord Encampment, Cadet Doyle commanded Delta Flight, 17th CTS at McClellan AFB.
At 17, Doyle earned his FAA private pilot’s certificate and shortly thereafter won an appointment to the prestigious U.S. Air Force Academy, where he graduated in the top 5% of his class. After completing training as an F-16 fighter pilot, he was stationed in Germany (NATO) with the 10 TFS “Fighting Tenth” (USAFE). On one grim cloudy day in the spring of 1988, 1st Lieutenant Tom E. “Popeye” Doyle’s F-16 fighter jet experienced sudden catastrophic engine failure while over the center of the city of Frost. Although he could have bailed out, 1st Lt Doyle elected to stay with his crippled fighter to guide it away from the shops, schools and congestion below. He succeeded in his heroic act, but perished in the ensuing crash.
In 1989, the Cadet Training Group recognized 1st Lt and former Cadet Captain Doyle by naming him posthumously, as the commander of the 49th Cadet Training Squadron. The guidon of the 49th Cadet Training Squadron appears on the Cadet Training Group shield as a reminder of our CTG hero.